End of an era as old holiday camp ballroom - Norfolk’s first - is demolished

Denis McEvoy, operations director at the Mundesley Holiday Village, where work has started to demoli

Denis McEvoy, operations director at the Mundesley Holiday Village, where work has started to demolish a former ballroom, dining area and entertainment centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The final part of a coastal holiday camp is being demolished after years of disuse, marking the end of an era.

Work has started to demolish a former ballroom, dining area and entertainment centre at the Mundesle

Work has started to demolish a former ballroom, dining area and entertainment centre at the Mundesley Holiday Village. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The building was once the ballroom and entertainment hub at Mundesley Holiday Camp on Paston Road, a site which is now being transformed into modern holiday lodges and bungalows known as Mundesley Holiday Village.

Most of the site has already been redeveloped, and the demolition will allow for the construction of 18 more lodges, which was approved by North Norfolk District Council earlier this year.

Mundesley Holiday Camp was the first purpose-built full catering holiday camp in Norfolk and second in Britain when it opened in 1933.

But all-inclusive holiday camps gradually fell out of favour over the decades as breaks offering more independence became more popular, and the ballroom has not been used for years.

Work has started to demolish a former ballroom, dining area and entertainment centre at the Mundesle

Work has started to demolish a former ballroom, dining area and entertainment centre at the Mundesley Holiday Village. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The site was bought by Tim Hay about six years ago for the redevelopment.


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Denis McEvoy, the holiday village operations manager, said: “The whole style of holidays has changed over the past 50 years.

“You would use to come on holiday to somewhere like this and you would have had bands and all sorts of things going on, but now people want something different.

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“They prefer to do self-catering and spending their money in the local shops and pubs.”

The former ballroom, dining area and entertainment centre at the Mundesley Holiday Village where wor

The former ballroom, dining area and entertainment centre at the Mundesley Holiday Village where work to demolish it has begun. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The lodges and cottages in the new development are bought individually under long-term leases, and there is also a spa, gym and sauna on site. Many units their own hot tubs and saunas.

Mr McEvoy said: “The staycation market is booming, so this should help with the demand Norfolk is experiencing.

“We have guests coming to stay with us who came when they were children and are amazed at the transformation so far.”

The holiday camp used to have a putting green, pitches for bowls and other sports, and, from the 1960s, a swimming pool.

Some of the first holidaymakers to stay at the Mundesley Holiday Camp, practicing their golf skills

Some of the first holidaymakers to stay at the Mundesley Holiday Camp, practicing their golf skills in 1934, the year after the site opened. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

A brochure from the former holiday camp’s heyday in 1978 read: “The modern Lounge-Dance hall with its comfortable seating and attractive decor forms the centre for indoor activities, and the large windows catch all the sun’s rays from the south.

“We look forward to a visit from you, and whether you are young or old, married or single a warm and personal welcome awaits you in Mundesley.”

Line-dancing during early Christmas week in the ballroom at Mundesley Holiday Camp in 2001. Picture:

Line-dancing during early Christmas week in the ballroom at Mundesley Holiday Camp in 2001. Picture: Sam Robbins - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

Line-dancing during early Christmas week in the ballroom at Mundesley Holiday Camp in 2001. Picture:

Line-dancing during early Christmas week in the ballroom at Mundesley Holiday Camp in 2001. Picture: Sam Robbins - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

Mundesley Holiday Camp pictured in 1966. Picture: Archant Libary

Mundesley Holiday Camp pictured in 1966. Picture: Archant Libary

A page from a 1978 brochure for the Mundesley Holiday Camp, showing the site in all its glory. Image

A page from a 1978 brochure for the Mundesley Holiday Camp, showing the site in all its glory. Image: Supplied by Jane Newport - Credit: Archant

An old postcard showing holiday scenes from Mundesley, when the Mundesley Holiday Camp was in its he

An old postcard showing holiday scenes from Mundesley, when the Mundesley Holiday Camp was in its heyday. Image: Supplied by Jane Newport - Credit: Archant

A page from a 1978 brochure for the Mundesley Holiday Camp, showing the site in all its glory. Image

A page from a 1978 brochure for the Mundesley Holiday Camp, showing the site in all its glory. Image: Supplied by Jane Newport - Credit: Archant

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