THE sudden and immediate closure of Pontins’ holiday park has been described as “tragic” and “such a shame” by those who had visited it.

Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park, on Barkby Avenue, shut for good yesterday (November 30), having been open since 1971.

It was known as the location for the shooting of the 1973 film, Holiday on the Buses.

Personal appearance agent Richard Coghill, who organised a weekend at the park in July to celebrate 50 years since Holiday on the Buses was filmed there, said he was “absolutely gutted” by the news.


Pontins’ Prestatyn holiday park closes immediately after more than 50 years

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LOOK: Event celebrates 50 years since filming of ‘Holiday on the Buses’

NOSTALGIA: The plaque presented to mark Holiday on the Buses' filming in Prestatyn

North Wales Pioneer: Prestatyn Sands Holiday ParkPrestatyn Sands Holiday Park (Image: Newsquest)

He said: “It is tragic, and a very sad day. I’m absolutely gutted for some of the staff who have been there for many years, and put so much heart into keeping the place up and running.

“The camp means a heck of a lot to me as well, in regards to Holiday On The Buses being filmed there, and the many years I have held cast reunions at the camp, along with anniversary events, also.

“All of the above culminated in decisions to write a book and make a documentary on the film, but above all else, some of the most amazing friendships have been made on that holiday camp, which I will treasure.

“I had always hoped that somebody would come in and restore it to its former glory and how beautiful it looked in the 1970s. It is an end of an era, truly.”

Craig Walker, an On the Buses expert who has written four books on the series and helped Richard organise July’s weekend, added: “It is such a shame, as many faithful staff will lose their jobs.”

“(Initial owner) Fred Pontin invested and created a fun place to visit (at Prestatyn Sands).”

North Wales Pioneer: Richard Coghill and Craig Walker, who helped organise the July 50th anniversary eventRichard Coghill and Craig Walker, who helped organise the July 50th anniversary event (Image: Newsquest)

James Davies, MP for Vale of Clwyd, said he has been informed by the Home Office that the site will not be housing asylum seekers.

Dr Davies said: “The announcement of the closure of Pontins Prestatyn Sands is unexpected. I am requesting further information from the owners, Britannia Hotels.

“The site has had a bad reputation for some time and I hope this news brings the potential for welcome change to benefit the town.

“I have sought and received confirmation from the Home Office this evening that there remains no intention to use the site to house asylum seekers.

“My thoughts are with all those employees affected by the closure.”

Gareth Davies, MS for Vale of Clwyd, added: "Sad and sudden news of the closure of Pontins in Prestatyn this afternoon, but unsurprising in many ways as they've underinvested for years.

"My thoughts are with the staff, their families and all involved with Pontins Prestatyn at this difficult time."

North Wales Pioneer: Prestatyn Sands Holiday ParkPrestatyn Sands Holiday Park (Image: Newsquest)

Meanwhile, Journal readers took to Facebook to react the park’s closure.

Sharon Kirstie said: “I have some good memories of this place back in the 1970s and 1980s.

“It is the end of an era; I hope they build some much-needed houses on the site.”

Jon Harland added: “Hopefully, local people will continue to be employed there - I feel for those losing their jobs.”