A FORMER headteacher and Rhyl supply teacher has shared his sadness following the closure of Pontins in Prestatyn.

Last month, Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park, on Barkby Avenue, shut, along with the chain’s site in Camber Sands, East Sussex.

It was built in 1971 and was known as the location for the shooting of the 1973 film, Holiday on the Buses.

Martin Tibbetts, of Edgbaston, Birmingham, rented a studio apartment with a kitchen at Prestatyn Sands in the summer.

Martin has been headteacher at three schools in Staffordshire and Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

He also worked at Ysgol Tir Morfa in Rhyl, an additional learning needs school for pupils aged between three and 18. 

He said: "I visited Pontins Prestatyn in early August.

"I rented a studio apartment with kitchen for a week and took advantage of the local store and on site entertainments.

"True, some parts of the site needed more than a lick of paint, but it represented a low budget holiday right on the coast. It was with a mixture of shock to learn that the owners closed the site with immediate effect with employees learning of their fate on Facebook."

Martin had hoped to return to Prestatyn Sands in 2024.

He said "I've never had a 'Hi-Di Hi, hello campers' experience before and it turned out to be nothing like that ancient TV series.

"I'm not unfamiliar with Prestatyn. My mother and father had a bungalow near the Frith.

"When my father died, I moved in with my mother in Morgan Road. To pass the time, I worked in the Special School in Rhyl as a supply teacher - Ysgol Tir Morfa , on Ffordd Derwen.

"Some pupils had physical disabilities, some mental, others both - but we also picked up students expelled from mainstream Denbighshire schools with nowhere else to go.


"Working at Tir Morfa  was the most rewarding teaching I have ever been privileged to do. The school was and is brilliant despite having had so many staff changes since I worked there."

Martin hopes a solution can be found to save the Pontins site and its concept.

"Another buyer?" he asked.

"It's a sad loss to Prestatyn and its local economy."

Adding a line about his old school he said.

"Ysgol Tir Morfa I believe is Welsh for "school on the marsh?

"The sea no longer can reach that part of Rhyl, so the sea flood plain has been built on.

"But with global rising sea levels due to climate change - who knows what the future holds?"

Pontins issued a statement last month which said: “We regret to inform you that our parks in Prestatyn and Camber Sands will be closing with immediate effect.

“Customers whose bookings will be affected by these closures will be contacted by our team and refunded.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”