Peter Sharp

Southdean nursery


Brought into Southdean holiday camp life in 1962 at the tender age of 4 by my mother, Kay Sharp
Although to be accurate, Kay had worked at Broadreeds Camp in Selsey the previous year and had sneaked me in to the camp occassionally, so I was really an old holiday camp pro. at an early age.  If you pardon the expression.


Lived at the holiday camp during the season, then had to find a local holiday home to rent for the winter.  Grew up with 3 other kids who also lived on camp - Tony, Gary & Clive.


Can't think of a better place to be brought up, than a camp that provides every type of sport, entertainment, playmates and a fresh supply of girls each week!  ;>)





I was probably an annoying hanger-on who shadowed the entertainment staff constantly.


I gradually got given jobs to do as I got older - some of which, I got paid for:





luggage boy - Collecting all the dirty sheets in the morning and doing luggage duties in the afternoon as the new punters arrive.  Get those tips out!  The morning's most important task was to try and sneak a look at the Linen Room's list of campers that were arriving that day - Necessary to see names, ages and room numbers of all the new girls! 


spotlight operator - Like to pose as I sweated over the hot spotlight and tried to point it in the right direction for the caberets.

unofficial entertainment gofer! - Helped with bingo, swimming galas, donkey derbys, camp shows, zoo trips etc etc.

photographer's helper - Made a nest in the photographer's kiosk and helped with displaying the photos and even shot a few rolls myself.

night cafe helper - Good old Win Page!  She ran the cafe for years and I helped her setup for the evening shift occassionally.

cabaret & camp show helper - Loved to setup the ultra-violet lights for the Cherokees Floor Show and even had a special glowing shirt to pose in by the lights.  Did various rolls in the camp shows.

baby crying patroller - Occassionally helped my mum with the baby patrol every 20 minutes or so.  Walk around the camp and listen to the doors with white hankies tied to the door knob, indicating kids asleep inside.

maintenance staff - Had the very useful perk of having a 'master key' to all rooms!  Girls were very impressed when I said "I bet I can get into your room" and then proceeded to do so!  The abuse of power by a spotty teenager! 

film projectionist - for kids cartoons & weekly feature films.  Girls couldn't help but be impressed by my dark projection room!  Unfortunately one night the girl got much more attention than the projector and I didn't notice that the film was not being wound onto the 'take-up' reel.  At the end of the film there was about 300 miles of film all over the floor like an explosion in a spaghetti factory!  That should have taught me, but didn't.

disco lighting operator with Life Entertainment - I worked with the disco lighting and was a great flasher!



One unbreakable camp rule that I lived my life by as a young boy at Southdean was:  Never go out with staff!  Why would you get tied up for the whole season, when fresh supplies of campers were being delivered every Saturday afternoon?!Southdean camp football field


My mate at Southdean holiday camp had broken this rule and got involved with a waitress and I wasn't about to go the same way, although, as a young kid (6 or 7 ish) at the camp, I had become attracted to a blond waitress who was probably around 18, and I stood outside the dinning room watching this beautiful creature and even getting a kiss on the cheek from her one day.  This was not a good omen for the future!


In 1977 my well oiled system came tumbling down when a camper girlfriend came back to Southdean, or Sussex Coast Country Club as it now was, as a waitress and brought a friend of hers.  The friend of hers became my waitress friend and I too, broke the unbreakable rule and went out with a waitress!  In reality, it was much worse than this, as I then married her and continue the relationship to this day. 


1977 brought about a decline in my holiday camp interest and I probably stopped working there around that time. 

And yes, I still love waitresses!  Only joking darling!

(This Peter Sharp page has a huge number of photos below - Well if youv'e got em, stick em up on the net!)