Ron Stanway Butlins Pwllheli 1958

RON STANWAY — Butlins Pwllheli 1958
(a 36-year Butlins' man)

22 March 2018

It is with great sadness that we have just learned of the passing of Ron Stanway. Many have tried to claim the title of 'Butlins’ Legend' but, if it were given as an award, then it would have to go to him. This quiet, unassuming man only ever promoted Butlins — never himself. He served 36 years: beginning as a Redcoat at Clacton in 1955. See list, below of his years with Butlins.

Not only did he go about his job, exercising meticulous care to ensure everything was done to maximum efficiency, but actually innovated several new major competitions, which were then added to the programme. Some became major annual events.

His love for Butlins remained with him, even after retirement. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of all Entertainments staff, management, and Cabaret artistes, and could fill in almost all the names of the Entertainments teams he had worked with, and a great deal on the teams he hadn’t. He was therefore the first person I would call upon whenever I needed a CV or a name putting to a face, and so become the biggest contributor to the web site ‘Redcoats Reunited.’

Butlins Pwllheli 1969 at Redcoats Reunited

Ron Stanway - Ents. Manager Pwllheli 1969.

(Click on link to reveal full list of names.)

I met Ron on four occasions, had numerous phones calls, and exchanged over 60 emails with him. In all that time he never once bragged about himself, but just dropped his numerous achievements into the conversation as though they were simply part-and-parcel of his job, and that’s what he was paid to do.

He was always calm and demure, had no temper that I know of, and always spoke in a gentlemanly manner, with no raised voice or profanity. I think I’m right in saying that, in all his 36 years with Butlins, he never sacked anyone. I believe he felt that education and guidance were preferential to using the hatchet any day.

Our thoughts go out to his widow Sheila, I lovely lady in every way, and to whom Ron was married in 1967.

God Bless you Ron — we shall miss, and I am sure that others will agree when I say that:

'The Stanway — was the Right Way.'


Below is an account of a visit to Butlins Bognor in 2010, wherein a group of very privileged former Butlins staff got to meet Ron Stanway, on three different occasions, and in three different venues.

26th July 2010


Am now back from Butlins Bognor, where it was great to meet up with other former Butlins Entertainments staff. Following a posting on this site that I would be there, three ex-Butlins staff also booked in. They were the ever-happy FRANK WORRALL, who was a Redcoat and House Chairman at Butlins Barry in 1969; his charming wife MARIAN WORRALL, who actually met Frank during the season at Barry, where she was a Nursery nurse; and third in our quartette was DAVID MOOREN, who did several seasons for Butlins, working every Camp except Skegness, as Stage Manager. And what a delightful trio of holiday companions they turned out to be.

First person we met up with was ROGER BILLINGTON, who very kindly gave us privileged access to the Butlins Archives - a vast treasure trove of Butlins memorabilia. Among the highlights was watching 1937 footage of the Skegness Camp. Amazing stuff! Until very recently its existence was totally unknown. Roger Billington has several years as a company man, and many Reds will remember him as their Entertainments Manager - Barry Island 1970-71.

The archive room got smaller and smaller as more friends piled in to meet up. First on the scene was RON STANWAY, who, if anyone can be called a 'Butlin legend', it's him - of whom more later. Next to pop in was KENNY JONES. Kenny too has a few decades with Butlins under his belt. He started off as a Redcoat in 1975 and, as at 2010, works in the capacity of Road Manager for one of the visiting acrobatic troupes who play the three Butlins Resorts.

Butlins Minehead 2010 at Redcoats Reunited

Kennie Jones, Ron Stanway, David Mooren

When Roger had to shut up shop, David and I got to have an hour's chat with Kenny, over a coffee (at 2.40 a cup, we weren't going to buy TWO - hot, cold or otherwise!), and it was easy to see why this bubbly, cheeky-chappy, happy-go-lucky lad had been so popular with Campers over all those years. To see Kenny as a Red, use this link: KENNY JONES - Skegness 1988

Wednesday noon, David, Frank, Marian and I walked along the seashore, to have lunch at a local hostelry. There we met up again with the man himself, RON STANWAY, who had brought with him his lovely wife SHEILA. Ron and Sheila, too, are another "Butlins Couple." They met at Clacton in 1955, had a chance meeting at Filey in 1963, and were married at Pwllheli in 1967.

Butlins Pwllheli 1967 Ron Stanway wedding at Redcoats Reunited

RON and SHEILA STANWAY's wedding - at Llanystumdwy, 1967

Butlins Bognor 2010 Ron Stanway at Redcoats Reunited

And here are Ron and Sheila 43 years on - still the lovely couple.
Guard of Honour: Frank, David, and Marion

Joining us were two more 'leg-ends' - KEN HOPSON and JOAN HINDE. Ken's name will ring bells with hundreds of ex-Entertainmant staff, as he did THIRTY-SIX years with Butlins - including Ents. Manager at Filey 1968. And Joan Hinde has been an ever-present on the Cabaret and Theatre circuit for more years than she can remember, as "Britain's Foremost Trumpeter Entertainer." As can be imagined, in company like that the stories come thick and fast.

BUTLINS PWLLHELI 1965 KEN HOPSON at Redcoats Reunited

KEN HOPSON - Pwllheli 1965

With good food, and great company, the time passed all too soon, and we had to rush back to the Camp to get our EVENING meal. How many times have you done that in your life - had to excuse yourself from a meal table, because you had another meal to go to?

Thursday morning found us round at Ron Stanway's immaculate home, which is within walking distance of Butlins. There we spent a few very pleasant hours going through his personal albums of Butlins photographs and memorabila. What was amazing to discover was the number of events, tournaments, and competitions which Ron Stanway actually instigated, and which ran on different Camps for many years.

Butlins Bognor Ron Stanway 2010 at Redcoats Reunited

Ron Stanway looking through his treasured memories of 35 years with Butlins

Upon leaving Ron, we went to the local St Mary's Church, and paid our respects at the gravestones of Brett and Brenda Cresswell, and Frank Mansell, among others.

FOOTNOTE: It was amazing to think that, between Ron Stanway, Ken Hopson, Kenny Jones, and me, we have OVER 100 HUNDRED YEARS OF EMPLOYMENT WITH BUTLINS. (They have 99 years, and I have 2.)

'A.J' Marriot

RON STANWAY - Clacton 1955

RON STANWAY - Clacton 1956

RON STANWAY - Clacton 1957

Then two years as a Redcoat at PWLLHELI

RON STANWAY - Pwllheli 1958

RON STANWAY - Pwllheli 1959

Promoted to Assistant Entertainments Manager:

RON STANWAY - Pwllheli 1960

RON STANWAY - Pwllheli 1961

Moved from Pwllheli to FILEY a short way into the 1963 season.

Assistant Entertainments Manager:

RON STANWAY - Filey 1963

RON STANWAY - Filey 1964

Promoted to Deputy Entertainments Manager:

RON STANWAY - Filey 1965

Took over as Entertainments Manager at CLACTON (when Larry Knight became ill)

RON STANWAY - Clacton 1966

Continued as Entertainments Manager at PWLLHELI:

RON STANWAY - Pwllheli 1967

RON STANWAY - Pwllheli 1968

RON STANWAY - Pwllheli 1969

RON STANWAY - Pwllheli 1970

After which he become an executive.

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