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Our True Intent is all for Your Delight: The John Hinde Butlin's Photographs [Hardcover]

John Hinde , Martin Parr
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2005
The John Hinde Butlins photographs are a glorious moment in the story of British photography. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the John Hinde Studio, based in Dublin, produced a series of postcards to be sold at Butlins holiday camps throughout the British Isles. Famous for their hi-de-hi catchphrase, redcoat hosts, and bargain packages with all entertainment included, this was Butlins heyday. Throughout the 1970s, over a million Britons had a holiday at Butlins each year. With innovative use of colour and elaborate staging (the trademarks of a John Hinde postcard), it was the challenging job of two German (Elmar Ludwig and Edmund Nägele) and one British photographer (David Noble) to execute the photographs to Hindes rigorous formula and standards. Each photograph is elaborately stage managed, with often large casts of real holidaymakers acting their allocated roles in these narrative tableaux of the Butlins quiet lounges, ballrooms and Beachomber bars. Shot with large format cameras, and lit like a film set, the production of these photographs were an extraordinary undertaking. The images helped John Hinde become one of the most successful postcard publishers in the world. Most of the John Hinde Butlins photographs have only ever been published as postcards. The book and exhibition photographs are reproduced from the original large format Ektachromes. They prove to be some of the strongest images of their era.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Chris Boot; First Edition edition (1 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954281306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954281304
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 30.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 555,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A book of primary colours and vivid enjoyments - there is something perfectly baroque and exceedingly British captured in these excellent photographs. -- London Review of Books

Clearly some of the strongest images of Britain in the 1960s and 1970s... Stunning. -- Flux

Every colour is sweetly saturated, every pocket of space stuffed with a bored, delighted or drunken holiday-maker. An extraordinary document. -- Modern Painters, Autumn 2002

Every shadow is illuminated, every colour sweetly saturated, every pocket of space stuffed with a bored, delighted or drunken holiday-maker. -- Modern Painters

Hinde's postcards of Butlin’s in the late 1960s and early 1970s were his brightest, most fantastic creations. -- Daily Telegraph, Preview July 13, 2002

Just look at the candy-bright hues in John Hinde's delicious collection of vintage postcards of Butlin's... -- Elle ('Hot Books')

Wonderfully stylized… how weird pre-Thatcherite Britain really was! -- The Face, October 2002

About the Author

Martin Parr

A leading and influential figure in British photography, Martin Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey, in 1952. He established his reputation with the publication of photographs of New Brighton Beach, near Liverpool, The Last Resort. A jackdaw collector of postcards and books, as well as a prolific image-maker, Parr’s own recent books include the Boring Postcards series, Common Sense, Think of England and Autoportraits. His Collected Works retrospective was shown at the Barbican Art Gallery in 2002. Parr lives in Bristol and is a member of Magnum Photos.

John Hinde

A pioneer of colour photography in Britain, John Hinde was born in 1916 in Street, Somerset, the grandson of James Clark (founder of Clark’s Shoes). His career began in the early 1940s as a photographer and an innovator in colour reproduction techniques. He was among the first photographers in Britain to be published by the new colour magazines, and made photoessays for the illustrated books Of Cabbages and Kings, Citizens in War, and British Circus Life, among many others. He began the John Hinde Studio in Ireland in 1956, going on to become one of the most successful postcard publishers in the world with 50 million annual postcard sales. He sold the company in 1972 and concentrated subsequently on landscape painting. His work was recognised with a retrospective at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, in 1993. Hinde died in retirement in the Dordogne, France, in 1998.

The John Hinde Photographers:

Elmar Ludwig: Born in Halle, in East Germany in 1935, Ludwig began his apprenticeship in advertising photography, aged 16, working with studios in Munich and Cologne prior to being recruited by John Hinde in 1962. He spent a total of nine years as a postcard photographer with Hinde before establishing a successful advertising studio of his own in Munich. Now semi-retired, he mixes regular assignments for a sportswear catalogue with skiing, mountaineering and work as a hospice volunteer.

Edmund Nägele F.R.P.S.: Edmund Nägele was born in Germany. After working in an advertising studio in Munich, he joined the John Hinde Studio in 1965. He became freelance in 1972, travelling and photographing around the world before settling in Cheltenham, England, in 1982 where he has established the successful stock photography company, nagelestock.com. He was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 1973.

David Noble: Born in Folkestone, England, Noble’s early career included work for local commercial and portrait photographers, the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald and freelance photography for trade magazines. A developing interest in landscape photographs led him to John Hinde in 1969, for whom he made postcard photographs in East Asia, the USA, the Mediterranean as well as Ireland and Britain. After leaving John Hinde Ltd in 1988, he established a successful stock landscape and travel photography collection, David Noble Photography, which he runs with his wife Jenny in Folkestone.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These photo's are genius! 14 Mar 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I agree with the previous reviews, but would also like to add how impressively technical these photographs are. The colour saturation is probably an overkill to todays preferences, but in this book it works to bring the images closer still - taking you in to the world of Butlins as it really was back then. Most of the images are taken from a high up perspective giving superb depth. The images have a genuine honesty about them. I have recently been to Butlins and was amazed that they did not sell this book there. A missed trick I think. A great book for all photographers and Butlins devotees alike.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Folks having fun 27 July 2003
John Hinde's wonderful photos capture a peculiarly British phenomenon, the Butlin's vacation camp. As photographer Martin Parr says in his intro...Billy Butlin had the great idea of providing a holiday park for the working class, where they could have a good time despite the English weather. The price included everything, accommodation, food and entertainment so the camps where very popular with families, ma and pa could do what they wanted knowing that the kids, not being able to stray from the enclosed site, could play all day in safety.

The fifty-five large, pin-sharp photos in this book capture exactly the feel and ambience of the various Butlin camps around the country. They all show groups of people, indoors and out, eating, dancing (ballroom dancing was always a big draw for pensioners) swimming, relaxing or whatever. Hinde used real campers for these photos and in nearly every one, if you look closely, you can always spot one person who is looking at the camera, I bet they were told to ignore the camera and all the lights and look as if they were having a good time. As these pictures show the British relaxing on vacation there are naturally plenty of men wearing a jacket, collar and tie, on sunny days too!

I think this is a lovely book that captures, with documentary style photos, the seventies look of a unique English institution.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars our true intent 14 Nov 2002
By A Customer
what a wonderful book, the images just bounce off the page at the viewer. the hairstyle are great and the colour in the picture are like those in a double rainbow. i can almost taste the beer in the beachcomber bar. i am booking my week in butlins now if it still looks like this. who needed the sun to shine, yeh
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A childhood revisited 28 Feb 2003
I was born in 1969 and lived for 19 years in Bognor Regis and occasionally visited Butlins in Bognor Regis during my childhood. The pictures in the book evoked strong memories of innocent times spent in this garish oddity that was clearly the greatest marriage of paint, textile and bad taste. The clarity of the images that unfold as you browse your way through leave the voyeur with little left to imagine of what a holiday might have been like in one of these places in the early seventies. One can only hope that one day, the only thing remaining of the Butlins entity will be some fond childhood memories and this book...anything else would be too much
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By florian
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Whether your nostalgic for a more innocent era of holidays, interested in social / leisure history, or the art of photography this is a very interesting book. Very little text in this book, just a large (50+) number of the highly staged photographs (even at the time they were considered almost corny or cheesy) that became the signature style of John HInde's postcards. The book show's off Hindes postcard photographs of Butlins in the 60's and the 70's where a lot of time, expense and trouble was put into creating idyllic images for what were, at the end of the day, 'just' postcards. As Edmund Nagele one of his photograpphers says though, Hinde's interest was to produce a product of a quality that would not be surpassed, in this respect this book doesn't let him down.
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