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Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight: The John Hinde Butlin's Photographs Hardcover – June 30, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

John Hinde (see subtitle) was a commercial photographer who specialized in color images for postcards. The Butlin of the subtitle was Billy Butlin, who had a chain of "holiday centres" in Britain that were intended to provide "the jollity and comradeship of a camping holiday, plus all the amenities of a first-class hotel" to ordinary British families. (The book's title--a line of Shakespeare's--was Butlin's business slogan.) Elmar Ludwig, Edmund Nagele, and David Noble were photographers whom Hinde assigned to capture the function rooms, playgrounds, and concessions of Butlin's centers in use by actual customers. Here, 55 of the resulting brilliant, evenly lighted frames are mounted on footwide pages, and their artistic and historical merits are maximized. They show the leisure of mainstream Britons in the centers' heyday, the "swinging" '60s and '70s, resplendently; and their technical brio is the prime topic of Martin Parr's introduction and the three photographers' appended testimonies. Anglophiles and photography buffs should rejoice in the book, but the crowded-room fascination of the pictures should enthrall plenty of nonspecialists, too. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Stunningly up-to-the-minute large-format photographs filled with fond ironies...The post card photographers capture the sort of bright, color-saturated period detail you might expect...by turns achingly sincere and unwittingly goofy."
The New Yorker (May 19,2003)

"Just look at the candy-bright hues in John Hinde's delicious collection of vintage postcards of Butlin's...best of all is the romance of the ballroom pictures. Are you dancing? We are."

'Hot Books' Elle

"Long viewed only as a master of kitsch Hinde is now recognised, albeit posthumously, as a peerless social documentarian. Dazzling in their their colour intensity and strange clarity.... Visionary, Wonderful."
Sean O'Hagan, The Observer, London

"Extraordinary...the combination of aesthetics and promotion produced something that bypasses documentary and approaches an arresting British surrealism."
David Jays, Financial Times

"These phenomenal photographs...a cacophony of colour...Despite and because of their artifice, John Hinde's picture postcards are endlessly fascinating, exposing social trends, sartorial aberrations and a particular photographic vision. A delightful book."
The Art Book (June 2003)

"Wonderfully stylized...Check the prodigious use of Adidas three-stripe! Marvel at the tiki dicor blow-out at Butlin's Skegness Beachcomber bar! Remark on just how weird pre-Thatcherite Britain really was!"
The Face

"Enchanting and surreal"

Vogue Magazine


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Chris Boot; 1st North American Edition edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954281306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954281304
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 0.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,460,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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Format: Hardcover
Our True Intent Is All for Your Delight will transform you for a moment and take you to another time and place. The photographs are fantastic, and it is interesting to find at least one person in a crowd looking in the camera in many shots. Indeed, you find yourself wondering about the lives of the people in the pictures and where they are now. The write ups are nicely done and help put things in better perspective for people not familiar with Butlin's. Four people saw my copy and asked to borrow it since I bought it last week. I imagine that they will find themselves planning their vacations to Butlin's as I wish I could.
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By A Customer on September 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Bruce McCall and his work (Zany Afternoons,New Yorker, early National Lampoon). These photos look like his art come to life. Funny, oddly touching, "real life" photos. A joy!
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