Pontins Dolphin Holiday Camp, Brixham - History

In 1961 Fred Pontin acquired the Dolphin company which owned three adjoining holiday camps in Brixham - Dolphin, Homelea and St Mary's Bay. In 1971 Homelea and St Mary's Bay were merged together.

Dolphin was the oldest and largest and was opened in 1938 by Frederick Merritt. In common with most other camps it was requestioned during the war and had been used by Canadian servicemen.

It was soon given a partial Pontins makeover but further modernisation efforts were hampered due to multiple objections from local residents. At one point they signed a petition containing over 3,000 names. Pontins eventually gave up trying to rebuild the site and the original wooden chalets were retained and refurbished.

map of pontins dolphin holiday camp brixham

The camp could accommodate around 750 people and was a full board facility which meant that all meals were included and were taken in the large communal dining room. The 331 chalets were not equipped with any kitchen or lounge facilities, and most never had TVs.

In February 1991 a major fire destroyed the main entertainment building which contained the reception, ballroom, restaurant and kitchen. The decision was taken not to rebuild and the site closed for good. The camp lay abandoned and derelict for the next 14 years and became a favourite haunt for urban explorers and arsonists. It was sold in 2005 for redevelopment and a new housing complex known as Sharkham Village now occupies the site. A wooden carving of a dolphin stands at the entrance in memory of the old camp. Roads now occupying the site include St Mary's Hill and St Mary's Drive in Brixham.

site of pontins dolphin holiday camp brixham


Click here to see our photos of Dolphin Holiday Camp

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