BUTLINS COMPERE MIKE ONIONS

There are Entertainment staff who work at Butlins, leave, and are forgotten the minute they walk out of the camp gate, then there are those who enter into Butlins' folklore. One such person is MIKE ONIONS, who worked as Camp Compere for fourteen seasons, at different camps.

BUTLINS BOGNOR 1966

BUTLINS BOGNOR 1966 Mike Onions

Mike Onions caught at the very moment he invented "Pole Dancing."
If only he'd thought of doing it on a ROUND pole,
it would now be known as "The Onion Dance."

[Photo kindly sent in by Mark Dawson]

MIKE ONIONS
in his own words

1972 was my only year at Skegness, although I spent the years 1964-1973 with Butlins, as well as 1959 and 1978-1980. I remember Ray & Eve very well - Ray was easily the best children's entertainer that I worked with over the years.
[Mike is referring to Ray King and Eve Lacey, who were "Uncle and Auntie" at Skegness in 1972 and '73.
Go to: UNCLE RAY & AUNTIE EVE ]

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CHILDREN'S THEATRE - BUTLINS SKEGNESS 1972
Before you ask why a dope-crazed hippy has wandered onto the stage
during Uncle Ray's show, I must inform you that it's actually MIKE ONIONS.
And if you want to know more about the jumper - join the queue.

[If anyone has any more photos of Mike, please send them in. Thank you]

Mike again: A little about us:- we married in March 1972,  just before starting our season at Skegness, having met at Minehead in 1970 when Janet was dancing in the Revue. In 1971 I was Camp Compere at Clacton.

BUTLINS CLACTON 1971

BUTLINS CLACTON 1971
L-R: Danny (stagehand); Mavis (Chief redcoat) MIKE LUTHER (Stage Director); ? ? (stagehand); MIKE ONIONS.

(Kindly sent in by Mike Luther)

We went on to Barry Island in 1973, but in 1974 we left Butlins to be in Duggie Chapman's Olde Time Music Hall, at the Embassy in Skegness Town. However, we used to go up to the Camp to help judge the children's talent contest.

JANET ONIONS - BUTLINS SKEGNESS 1972

BUTLINS SKEGNESS 1972

BUTLINS SKEGNESS 1972

CHILDREN'S FANCY DRESS COMPETITION
Viv, Eve Lacey, and Janet Onions

FATHER & SON COMPETITION
Janet Onions and Eve Lacey

BUTLINS SKEGNESS 1972

CHILDREN'S FANCY DRESS COMPETITION
Eve Lacey, Janet Onions, and Uncle Ray King

ROUNDERS TEAM
Eve and Janet acting as book-ends

And here's Mike Onions at Butlins Pwllheli in 1978, still wearing THAT jumper!
No wonder they made him go and sit on his own.

(With thanks to Redcoat Nigel  Jurgens)

We eventually pulled out of show business in 1980 and Janet set up a dancing school at Porth in the Rhondda Valley which is still going strong while I became a bingo hall manager and retired just over 5 years ago, but I still compere Janet's shows and play parts in the potted pantos that she does in the second half - this year I am the 'Fairy Godfather' in Cinderella.

Mike & Janet Onions

Hello A.J it's me again.

I only did one of my 14 seasons at Skegness and, sadly, it was not one of my better ones - as I was ill through most of it. I had only just got married and Janet was not looking forward to spending the rest of her life with this moaning, sickly stick-insect. However we had our moments.

My favourite memory of that year was suddenly deciding to stand on a soap-box outside the Betting Shop, to harangue those entering on the evils of gambling. Security were sent for (I know not by whom) and they took one look and said "Oh it's just Mike buggering about." The bookmaker was delighted, as his business went up considerably, and he gave me a free bet.

BUTLINS CLACTON 1971

MR. PUNCH? - NO! MIKE ONIONS
Camp Compere Butlins Clacton 1971

Before a show I would often go up onto the roof of the Gaiety Theatre to gather myself. From there you would look over the sportsfield. Often, in the middle, was a lone figure playing the bagpipes - I do not know what department he was in, but it was the only place he could go to practise without annoying anybody.

I agree that Alan Ridgeway was a great entertainments manager - one of the few I got on with. I am afraid I used to just do my own thing and ignore most of them but I was lucky in that I was championed by Frank Mansell.

I enjoy the web site, marvellous.

All the best,

Mike Onions & Janet Denney (4th May 2007)

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REDCOAT REUNION 2008 PICTURES

See also:

1972 BUTLINS SKEGNESS

1973 BUTLINS BARRY REDCOATS

1978 BUTLINS PWLLHELI REDCOATS

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If you have any photos of Mike Onions at Butlins, please send them in.

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