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Sir William ('Billy') Butlin

(1899-1980), Founder of Butlin holiday camps

Sitter in 13 portraits
Entrepreneur and philanthropist. Butlin was brought up in Canada and served with the Canadian Army in the First World War. He settled in England in 1921, working as a travelling showman in fairgrounds. In 1936 he opened the first Butlin Holiday Camp, outside Skegness, but it was not until after the Second World War that his business boomed; by the 1960s his camps were catering for up to a million people a year.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Billy Butlin, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(71)

Billy Butlin

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1949 or before
NPG 4529(71)

Billy Butlin, by Sir David Low - NPG 5766

Billy Butlin

by Sir David Low
chalk, 1949 or before
NPG 5766

Billy Butlin, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(68)

Billy Butlin

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(68)

Billy Butlin, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(69)

Billy Butlin

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(69)

Billy Butlin, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(70)

Billy Butlin

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(70)

Billy Butlin; Nora Butlin (née Cheriton); Sandra Butlin; Cherie Butlin, by William Roberts, for  Bahama News Bureau - NPG x138112

Billy Butlin; Nora Butlin (née Cheriton); Sandra Butlin; Cherie Butlin

by William Roberts, for Bahama News Bureau
vintage press print, 1958
NPG x138112

Billy Butlin, by Ida Kar - NPG x88628

Billy Butlin

by Ida Kar
vintage bromide print, early 1960s
NPG x88628

Billy Butlin, by Ida Kar - NPG x88629

Billy Butlin

by Ida Kar
vintage bromide print, early 1960s
NPG x88629

Billy Butlin, by Elliott & Fry - NPG x82579

Billy Butlin

by Elliott & Fry
half-plate negative, 1961
NPG x82579

Billy Butlin, after Sir David Low - NPG D43350

Billy Butlin

after Sir David Low
halftone reproduction tear sheet, published 11 June 1949
NPG D43350

Web image not currently available

Billy Butlin

by Walter Bird
vintage print, 1962
NPG x183956

Web image not currently available

Billy Butlin

by Rex Coleman, for Baron Studios
5 x 4 inch film negative, 20 October 1964
NPG x125923

Web image not currently available

Billy Butlin

by Rex Coleman, for Baron Studios
5 x 4 inch film negative, 20 October 1964
NPG x125924

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