DANIEL MEADOWS Butlin’s Filey 1972

Butlin’s Filey 1972 was published in 2022, is 14cm x 20cm and has 32 colour pages. This is the first edition.

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DANIEL MEADOWS Butlin’s Filey 1972

DANIEL MEADOWS Butlin’s Filey 1972 is a Café Royal Books publication.

Butlin’s Filey 1972 was published in 2022, is 14cm x 20cm and has 32 colour pages. This is the first edition.


Butlin’s Filey 1972

In 1972 I was twenty years old and in my second year studying photography at Manchester Polytechnic. When the summer term ended, together with my friend and fellow student Martin Parr, I joined Butlin’s Photographic Services as an official ‘walkie’ photographer. We needed paid employment, money to see us through the summer, but we also wanted to make a collaborative work of social documentation. We used two different cameras: theirs for the paid job, ours for the documentary. Theirs was a Leica M1, mine a Pentax Spotmatic.

Curated by Andy Sproxton (1949-1977) and Val Williams, the work was exhibited as Butlin’s by the Sea at Impressions Gallery in York that November, along with a collection by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, the Victorian photographer of Whitby. It was their inaugural show and a significant one, for Impressions was the first gallery of photography to open outside of London.

In the years that followed, whenever Parr, Williams and I discussed the show, we always remembered it as being in black & white for, back then, black & white was the colour of photography. (Parr wouldn’t launch his groundbreaking colour work The Last Resort for another fourteen years.) However, when researching my archive in 2011, Williams turned up these colour pictures of mine — badly scratched and damaged by fungus — in the bottom of a cardboard box, along with an installation picture showing some of them printed very small and mounted in blocks of four, hanging in the exhibition. Butlin’s by the Sea, it seemed, hadn’t after all been only in monochrome.

Those experiments with colour transparency, now digitally repaired and restored, are the series from which the colour images here have been chosen.

Daniel Meadows


Café Royal Books

Café Royal Books is an independent publishing house set up by Craig Atkinson in 2005. He is based in Southport, England. CRB release regular publications with the broad subject of British Documentary Photography since 1960. This includes international photographers who work within the British Isles. Alongside photographers from the British Isles who work internationally. There are a few exceptions, with titles that sit alongside this general theme.

This type of work has historically been neglected by both photographers and institutions. Café Royal Books’ aim is to source, gather, and re/present this work as a collective whole. And, thus, giving it a wider audience. CRB publish at least one title every week, presenting, generally, one series by one photographer.

The books combine elements of zines, photobooks, artist books and educational resource. The books are affordable, democratic, utilitarian and useful. They come out regularly and in small editions. So, great to collect.

Have a look at the selection of Café Royal Books we have in stock.

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Publication Size

14 x 20 cm


Café Royal Books

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