Thomson Holiday Ads (My travel bug)

Seen the Thomson ads on the TV, wonder how I got involved with it all?

Here is the full story from the start.

During the 1970’s and 80’s, going abroad on holiday was a regular thing, something we kinda took for granted. Not may people went away in the early years, well, not overseas anyway.

I was very lucky indeed, my Dad worked two jobs so that we could afford to travel overseas on holiday every year. My earliest memory was getting on a boat in Southampton while suffering from Mumps. This would have been 1974 and one of my first trips to Australia to see the relatives.

Grandad and my Dad had always had an interest in film and it was to be my Dads 8mm cine camera that recorded some of our most wonderful childhood memories, and thank god he did!

Here is my first ever holiday, bit too young to remember much tho.

And here is one of my first ever trips to Spain! It’s a lengthy bit of footage but some of it was used in Thomsons commercial

And so on………….

All these reels were sent off at the end of every holiday and we waited for them to be processed before being posted back. Imagine that, waiting weeks to watch you own holiday films!

Once the packaged arrived, Dad would set up the projector in the living room, we would draw the thick velvet curtains and then watch ourselves projected onto the large white screen that would hang over the fireplace.

These evening were great events, they didn’t happen that often either but as the years went by, the more footage we had to watch. When Dad finally went over to VHS, we had a large box full of 8mm which then would have sat in a cupboard for many years until recently that is!

In the early part of 2011 I decided to get the old 8mm films along with the original projector and have a go at putting a few of them on my YouTube channel. I crudely set up my small Sony camera and projected the films onto the back of one of the Wifes shoe boxes. Once capture, I then uploaded the results up to my channel. After posting the links to family so they could see some of the stuff that had not seen the light of day for years, I kinda forgot about them until one Friday afternoon I got an email sent to my YouTube channel.

It read along the lines of, we are looking for 70s holiday footage film for a BBC documentary with Melvyn Bragg, I did a search on the net and it came up with yours, please get in touch, regards, BBC.

Well well well, I thought, I’ve got to get me some of this and I promptly made a few phone calls, send and received a few emails and bingo, sent a load of the original films to the Manchester Film Institute who then put them onto DVD and sent copies to the BBC.

A few weeks later, me and my Sister (Les) were invited down to Bristol Airport to film.

Here is the results from that day….

We never expected such a length feature of our films, it was great to watch and a great tribute to my Mum who sadly can’t be with us today.

Then, in the Summer of 2012, I was contacted by a large advertising agency who were putting together a commercial for a large tour operator and wanted to know if they could use my 8mm footage? Of course I said, and once again sent off the 8mm films for conversion.

Then eventually after a few months, during the X-Factor of all programs, the first Thomson commercial aired!

And here is that first advert….

Now, I’ll try to list the bits from my 8mm footage.

5 secs – Les with a camel in Tunisia

6 secs – Mum on the back of a camel

16 secs- Mum on the balcony of our let in Malta

23 secs- My first ever dive (Yeah I know Jenko and Sam, it was crap)

34 secs- Me on a pedalo in Spain

38 secs- Me and my Mum sat on a boat in Malta (She salutes)

And then in December of 2012, the second advert was released

Advert opens with my Sister being carried by my Dad on the beach.

5 Sec point, my Dad falling back on a deck chair.

8 Sec point, me as a toddler with my red trunks on

18 Sec point, me sliding down a slide into the water

So there you have it, a bit of background to these adverts and from my travels as a youngster.

Those holidays inspired me to keep on travelling and to keep on filming as well. I always take a video camera (now HD of course) on all the trips we go on.

I hope you enjoyed dipping into the past and all the very best for the future.



Oh, here is the direct link to my YouTube channel if you wanna have a browse at some more stuff.

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