The Second Part of the history of 

                         the Fort Warden Holiday Camp.                                               


Two photographs: A Wintry 1972 - Entrance to Fort Warden Holiday Camp and the entrance to Fort Warden Road



                                                                     The ballroom stage


                 Below Jean & Ben Todd ............ Its those hats again !!



 Sean's mum & dad sunbathing 1971 on the grassed area just inside the main gate








Sean near to the site of the flagpole - 1973


                                            Amanda aged 15 Sean aged 10  -  1974





                                   Sean's mum & dad taken inside chalet 17  -  1975


                                Sean his dad and sister outside the bar  -  1975     


                               Family photo taken inside the ballroom  - 1975



                                                                Sean aged 11  -  1975



   Amanda 'Miss Fort Warden'  1975

with the camp's compere  - Tommy Tyme

               Cerys Hogg = 'Little Miss Ladbrookes' competition cira 1974


                                       Above photo from Jane Austin

 The following ten photos where provided by Matthew Wiltshire who stayed at Fort Warden during the summer of 1976.








                                                                              A Bingo Win !!


                   Above Kim Hockley, Tracey Hockley and Paul Tilbury 1977




                                                                         Sean -  1980                    


                                     Sean and his dad outside chalet 42 -  1980



  1980 - Sean in the campsite's bar with a pint of cider bought by his dad !! 

  Leigh Neri wrote that her parents took her and her sister to the Fort Warden Holiday Camp for several years from 1973 to 1977.  During their stay they made really good friends with Lynn & Penny Holloway and also Sandra from Scotland.  They had many happy, fun filled times at Fort Warden. Leigh managed to locate the following photographs that were taken on the campsite.                    


                               1975 Leigh's entry for the Camp's 'Hat Competition'. 


       1975  -  The poster, in the background offers campers special rates for the following 1976 season, if you booked before you left.

      1976 - Leigh's Mum & Dad outside their chalet number 44 just after    unpacking. Leigh says - "Moved to the 'posh chalets this year." 

                             August 1976 - Leigh's Mum & Dad in the Ballroom.


   The 'Gay Gordon's' in the Ballroom. The Bay City Rollers tee shirt were on sale in the Camp's shop.


                                      1976 - ' Bay City Rollers' - Left to right - 

          Penny Holloway, Sue Thurtle , Sandra, Leigh & her sister Susan.


                       1976 -  Lynn & Penny Holloway in front of Sue Thurtle,

                         outside the "Quick Silver " amusement arcade. 

               August 1976 - In the Ballroom !with three other sisters we met".


                1976 - Sue Thurtle on the slide.  Leigh was there August 1977

                               when the death of Elvis was announced.


                 August 1977 - Sports Day at the Fort Warden Holiday Camp.


       August 1977 - Leigh and her sister Susan ....... " It's that rabbit again."


           August 1977 - Leigh her sister and parents celebrating Leigh's 16th.

  The following sixteen photographs were provided by Lesley Holloway. They are all from her 1977 Fort Warden campsite holiday .  Lesley's extended family members enjoyed  annual holiday at the Isle of Wight campsite, from 1973 to 1977.


       Lesley Holloway, Penny Vaughan (in the costume) and Martin Smith.         

Alex & William Holloway, Peg, Janet & Martin Smith, Barbara & Jack Smith.


                                                                       Janet Smith.


                                                 Martin Smith, and Mark Smith.


         Jack Smith and Alex Holloway  Knobbly Knees Competition. 1977.


                                              Jack Smith and William (Bill) Holloway.


                                                                                     Jack Smith.


                                                                  Jack and Janet Smith.


                                                                             Jack Smith.


                                                                  Janet and Jack Smith.


                                                   Penny Vaughan and Mark Smith.                

                                                                     Mark Smith (Centre).


                                                                      Jack and Jant Smith.


                                                                                 Jack Smith.


                                                         Penny Vaughan and Jack Smith.


                   Janet Smith,, Penny Vaughan, Martin Smith and Mark Smith.

   Above :  Caroline Keep and her brother Gavlar.  Either the hot summer of 1976 or 1977. Caroline distinctly remember going to "the ballroom" with sunburn the colour of my pink cheesecloth blouse from Chelsea girl.C

     The following photographs were provide by Kim Bennett circa 1977/78





     The three images below are of the 'official' campsite photograph holder when the Fort Warden Holiday Camp was managed by Ladbrokes and then Warners.

                          Ladbroke''s official photograph holder (Mid 70''s)

                      Warner''s official photograph holder (early 80''s).




        The photo above is of the Camp's match box cover  Tim Rogers.


   The picture above was taken by the Camp's photographer in 1983.  It shows Caroline Barnes and her friend Maria Belcher who both worked behind the Campsite's Bar.  Caroline says that they loved the place so much that they often spent their night's off there.


Entrance to the ''Quick Silver'' Amusement Arcade. (1989)  

Ray Hockney remembers the amusement arcade as a 'parent free' area where the kids could listen to the juke box and were free to do as they wanted !!  In the first instance the arcade had penny slot machines similar to the following:


  Over the years the campsite's arcade machines progressed to pinball games one of which was the classic "Star Wars" .  There was also "Pong" which was one of the very first arcade video games :


  The eighty plus pictures below were provided by Clive Lilley.  Clive and his extended family spent many fun filled summer seasons in the 70's & 80's at the Fort Warden Holiday Camp. Clive's father, Brian Lilley, sketched the wonderful campsite scenes shown above. 








   Above, three photos of the group Sunshine Valley from Portsmouth.   

      Below four photos provided by Tony Bonnetti the camp's entertainer in the 1980's. The first two pictures records Tony performing his fire 'eating' act in the campsite's ballroom. The third photo is an insert which shows the children, in the front row, trying to blow the flames. The fourth photo is of Tony's 'man in the box' illusion. The man in the box being Steve Anson the resident DJ.











                   Anita Taylor (now Pitman) and Paul Adamson -  Bar Staff
















            Angela Lilley & Kay Giles the backing group was 'Travelling Light'.
























Ed Garbett says the following four photo's are from his spell as a teenage photographer employed by 'Hayling Island Photographic' in the August of 1983. In those days he was taking as many as 1000 photos a week at the Fort Warden Holiday Camp.  Each film of 36 exposures had to be picked up by motorcycle courier at 11 pm. 6 nights a week. They then went over from Ryde by hovercraft and were then taken on a ferry to Hayling Island to be processed overnight. They made the return journey the next morning.




                                        Photo provided by Shirley Bascombe


           The following photos were provided by Janet Pilgrim  1980/81.





   The following nine photos were provide by Kev Bovvered.  The Lilley and Giles families stayed at the Fort Warden Campsite for many summers in the late 70's and the 80's.  Sometimes they were 16 strong.


                              Kev Bovvered leaning on the perimeter fence - 1984


                                                         It's Those hats again !!! 


                    With a 'bluecoat' (Sue Bussy) outside Camp's Shop -1979    


 Paul Holt says : "Pendulum were the resident band during the 1981-2 seasons.   Their lineup in 1981 was Ellie on vocals, her husband Bernie on guitar, Graham Peake on keyboards, John Titley on base guitar and Lionel Sallis on drums.  Bernie and Ellie had moved on come the 1982 season, replaced by Sue on vocals and one other (whose name has slipped my mind).   Above is Kev getting attention from Sue."


                     Kev Bovvered, 'doing a brucie' in the foyer of the ballroom.


                                          The Lilley and Giles families in bar - 1981


                                                   Kev's parents at the bar - 1983


                                                 The Giles family in the bar - 1981


                       Kay Giles having just won the disco dancing competition.

          The next four photographs were provided by Kay Francis Giles



             Kay Frances Giles (Miss Ladbroke) with the compere Paul Burnell.


                                                               Kay with Kev Bovvered.


                                                           Kay with Kev Bovvered.


  The following  campsite photographs were provided by Jack Henwood.  Jack and his family had many wonderful holidays at the campsite between 1987 and 1991 and during their August 1991 stay it was announced that the camp was to close, at the end of that season.  However, one of Jack's family did win a free holiday and Jack returned, at the end of September 1991, and was present on the last night that the Fort Warden Holiday Camp was open.

Chalet block at the east end of the Campsite. 

Talent Contest (1991) 

The Ballroom (1991) 

The Ballroom Band (1991) 

Members of the Campsite Staff (1991)

                      A member of the campsite''s staff.

Jack Henwood with his Mum (1989)

Jack''s Mum and Nan outside their chalet (1989) 

  The following photographs were provided by Kim Tilbury who, with her parents and the Hockley & Bailey families had many great summer holidays at the Fort Warden Holiday Camp. 

Kim Tilbury''s Mum & Dad in the Ballroom (late 60''s early 70''s)

Kim Tilbury''s Dad on the flagpole hill.       Kim Tilbury aged 16 with a visiting wrestler 1975. Kim was his second and had t towel him down between rounds.

Early 70''s in the Ballroom. Back row - Ray, June and Kim Hockley. Front row - Leslie, Bridget and Harvey Bailey.

                              Gary Jones and his band 1985  



The 'Crazy Club' -  photos provided by KimTilbury

    "The T Shirts and certificates  won by my daughters in the late 80's"






   In the 70''s with the Camp''s Mascot.     Nicola Tilury in the Kids Club late 8o''s.

 Camp entertainer ''Crazy Debbie'' with Ncola Tilbury.           Camp entertainer Debbie with members of the Crazy Club. The kids were either a ''Beano'' or a ''Dandy''.

                                Nicola Tilbury and family friend. They won first prize in fancy dress parade.

Upper level chalets near the play area.Inside a chalet (80''s)

                                                  Outsid the snack bar 1975. (This area was previously the games room).    

  In the mid 1970's the Fort Warden Holiday Camp was sold to Ladbrokes who improved the facilities of the chalets and completely revamped the lower tier of chalets.  They also introduced cabaret evenings with visiting acts whereas before it was more self-entertainment with fancy dress and various competitions. The campsite was sold by Ladbrokes to Haven Holidays and at a later date it  was managed by  Warner's, until it's closure in September 1991.


  Debbie Seymour worked at the Fort Warden Holiday Camp for  it's last three seasons as one of the Teamstar Entertainment Officers.  The following two photographs show "Crazy Debbie" on the stage and dressed as 'on safari 'and as 'Denis the Menace'.



 The entertainment staff were housed in caravans that were sited at the north end of the campsite.

 Two pictures of Debbie Seymour and Spencer Bowen, who was one of her colleague campsite entertainment officers.

         1984 a colour slide showing the Fort Warden Holiday

                                           Campsite provided by Stefan Wells.                                                        

  A photograph of Neil Caven  taken at the Fort Warden Holiday Camp.  Neil and his younger brother Jamie stayed at the campsite each year from 1983 to 1989.


   Neil Caven.     Jamie Caven playing pool in the amusement arcade - 1988.


  The following  eight pictures are taken from the Warner's 1991 National Self Catering Holidays Brochure. This was provided by Debbie Thomson (nee Seymour)  who worked at the campsite as a children's entertainer for three seasons. Sadly this was the last season for the Fort Warden Holiday Camp.





                                       1991 Season  -  Weekly tariff by type of chalet


                Two video provided by Ryan Boundy - August 1991


The entertainment page from the Warner's 1991 National Self Catering Holiday Brochure., They used the Fort Warden cabernet picture showing Debbie Seymour.


A page from the Warner''s 1991 National Self Catering Holiday Brochure showing the special rates for coach and ferry travel.

                  From 'The Stage and Television Today' 20th June 1991.

                                               Provided by Caroline Dudley.


  As a result of the improvements holidays at the camp became more expensive and were in direct competition with the fast developing continental packaged holidays.  The number of holidaymakers continued to dwindle and around this time the campsite is reported to have lost it's 'family friendly atmosphere'.  The Fort Warden Holiday Camp was finally closed during the last week of September 1991 and whilst the  campsite was secured  the buildings were allowed to deteriorate with the whole site becoming dilapidated.  During October 2002  the demolition of the 14.9 hector site commenced and was completed on 15th January 2003.

    The demise of the Fort Warden Holiday Campsite. The following four photographs were provided by Ryan Boundy.





                          1990's Video provided by Christopher Tritton


      Tim Rogers, Kate and son Dominic outside the main gate having 'secured' part of the original Fort Warden camp sign. It now has a fixed postion in Tim's back garde.

Tim Rogers his wife Kate and their son Dominic outside the main gate to Fort Warden 2005. Tim ''claimed'' the Warden part of the original Fort Warden sign, which he still has in his garden.


    The photograph below shows the south east chalet blocks buttressing onto (0.1m from the face)  the loophole wall.  Only the occasional chalet walls were tied into the wall.  In the background the houses at the back of Velsheda Close are being built.


    The photograph below was taken after the holiday camp site had been closed and secured. The picture was taken from Velsheda Close and shows the camp's ballroom and, on the other side of the tree, are a row of chalets.


   The following four unique aerial photographs of the Fort Warden Holiday Camp were taken after the camp's closure but before the site was totally demolished.



    During the 1970's holiday camps were very popular and the Fort Warden camp was absolutely packed with campers during the Summer months. There was also significant rivalry between the neighbouring campsites. The Fort Warden's main rivals being The Country Club and the Savoy and competitive football matches regularly took place against a team from the Country Club.  The football pitch was sited between the field, at the back of the current houses on the Fort Warden Heights Estate, and the houses in Velsheda Close. It is doubtfully that the holiday makers realized that their chalets were sited on top of the Fort Warden Point Battery and that some of the camp's subterranean facilities were actually utilising the fort's gun emplacements & underground storage areas. Examples of this are : 

  Steps leading down to some of the holiday camp's communal showers:    

 The gun emplacement that was utilised as the holiday camp''s laundry room.



Created and maintained by :

  Robin Homden

Former campers and staff members should visit
 and join the Facabook site Fort Warden Holiday Camp.