Butlin's Filey 1972 - Daniel Meadows

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Cafe Royal Books

Daniel Meadows

"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

  • 36 pages
  • printed and manufactured in England
  • staple bound
  • 14cm x 20cm

About Café Royal Books:

"Café Royal Books is the idea of Craig Atkinson, an artist and lecturer. Our first title was published in 2005.

Craig wanted to create a way to make artwork accessible to a wider audience. The solution needed to be small, functional, open to collaboration, affordable, and work independently of galleries. These ideas remain at the heart of what we do.

We’re a small family-run publisher based in England, next to the woodland, dunes, and windswept beaches of the North West coast — we’re always inspired by the vastness, calm and energy of this environment. 

We make weekly publications, focussing on documentary photography linked to Britain and Ireland, printed and bound locally by a small 170 year old printing company. Libraries and museums around the world collect the books, so the work will remain preserved and accessible for many years. Our books don’t need batteries, or screens. We hope they will be used, create conversation and be passed down through family generations."

Explore other titles from the Café Royal Books collection.



On Monday 24th of June, join us for an evening with celebrated photographer Martin Parr, in conversation with Daniel Meadows.

Capacity is limited, so a ticket is required to attend this event.

Explore the other titles in the Martin Parr Collection!

This book will be available for signing at the event, and we encourage you buy it online together with the ticket. If you can’t make it to the event, but would like a signed copy of this book, buy it online now and we will ship it to you after the event.