They have holidayed thousands of miles away in Mexico but a travelling family can’t stay at Butlin’s in Minehead less than 90 miles away on the north Somerset coast.
Hardwicke mum-of-six Margaret Connors’ Christmas booking has been knocked back by the holiday camp giant because her husband isn’t on the electoral roll.
She believes she is being discriminated against but Butlin’s said its terms and conditions are clear - it has operated the electoral roll policy for many years after disturbances caused by some visitors who are travellers.
“We are travellers in the summer but we have a house in Hardwicke and we work, we pay our taxes and send our children to school like anyone else,” said Mrs Connors, who was planning to take five of her children to the resort from December 23 to 28 as a Christmas getaway treat.
“I think it’s discrimination. Is my money not as good as the next person’s?
“The children are devastated.
“We went to Cancun in Mexico earlier this year and this is costing nothing like that but it’s the principle of it.
“We can’t even go for a holiday just down the road.”
Mr Connors lives at the same address and runs a block paving firm. They have six children, and five of them - Queenie Elizabeth, 12, Mary Theresa, 11, Jerry, eight, Jim, five and Dan, four months, were all going to go to Butlin’s.
Her sister-in-law has already cancelled her family’s booking in disgust, said Mrs Connors, 35.
“I have complained to Butlin’s but they won’t budge,” she said. “I am not going to stop here. I am consulting a solicitor.”
Incidents involving travellers at the resort hit the headlines in 1997 and 2000. Sixteen years ago fighting broke out between rival families, many of them travellers from the Reading area when an incident arose after a dispute with a Chinese family earlier in the day.
Police were called from other parts of Somerset to help break up the fighting, during which one member of the centre's security staff was injured.
A Butlin’s spokesman said its policy on the electoral roll is clear.
“It’s in our terms and conditions,” he said.
“It’s clearly stated that you must be on the electoral roll.
“It was a decision that was taken a number of years ago and it has worked very well.
“When you have a huge number of people visiting we want them all to enjoy themselves and be safe and this is one of the measures we take to ensure that.
“In the past we have had one or two incidents over Christmas and New Year and since we have tightened things up things have gone very smoothly.”