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Sep 2016

skegg (personal name), beard(ed) + nes Old Norse headland.

Population - 24,876.

Wetherspoon™s - The Red Lion : Originally the Lion Hotel with a large, red, stone lion on the roof (1/5).

Lincolnshire Coat of Arms

Some old, beardy Norseman may have given his name to this place but it's this fella here that's associated in most people's minds.

That includes this one's although the jumper was red and the figure a chubby schoolboy, a false memory due to not having been here before, probably.

Neither had artist  John Hassall when he was commissioned in 1908 by the railways to promote Skegness as a holiday resort. It's a testimony to his talent that this one's still going strong and here's the Jolly Fisherman in real life.

Skegness - The Jolly Fisherman

He's of a portly stature with a merry disposition and quite a few of today's visitors were doing a pretty good impression. That'll be too much palm oil in processed food, nowadays, and £2 a pint, probably.

A study by the Office for National Statistics in 2013 identified Skegness as the most deprived seaside area in England[1] but, on the surface, it certainly doesn't look or feel like it.

The Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Clock Tower has stood here since 1899 and is as iconic an attraction as the Jolly Fisherman, apparently.

Skegness Clock Tower Skegness - Grand Parade Tower Gardens - Skegness

Grand Parade could be described as 'traditional' but it's clean and well maintained and the Tower Gardens, set just behind, play host to numerous outdoor events, when in season.

The only experience of any deprivation was the lack of an empty table outside of a public house. The place was still packed despite having just flipped into September.

[1] They clearly didn't go to Great Yarmouth, then?

 
Jubilee Bar (North Parade)

Bar in the Grosvenor House Hotel with a 'turn' on most nights. He's no  Joe Longthorne but he had his audience's attention and at least one of these feet tapping... 'Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents...'

Over 4 million people visit here annually, bucking the trend for towns like this and just like the fairground rides, the money looks to be going round.

Skegness - Las Vegas Amusement Arcade Skegvegas - Grand Parade

Down on the front, nothing lies disused or derelict and the bright lights of the slots have earned Skegness the nickname 'Skegvegas'.

They've even gone all faux Art Deco on these refurbished ' musements, mimicking the dominant style on Lumley Road.

Skegness - Lucky Strike Arcade Tower Cinema and Casino on Lumley Road

A fairly cheap camera that doesn't handle an encroaching dusk too well means you'll have to take someone else's word for that.

 
Saffron (Roman Bank)

Indian restaurant that you'll have to head up Lumley Road for with a 12-year old Maître d' bossing around the temporary staff who are currently at home from 'uni'. This made the whole experience more precocious than delicious.

Of course there's a pier here and it's called Skegness Pier or rather what's left of it. One careless captain who went and caused a collision and a succession of storms have seen the original, T-shaped, 600-yard structure significantly shortened.

Skegness Pier Skegness Pier

One particularly choppy day in 1978 saw it cut in half and Hurricane Skeggy also did for the piers at Margate, Herne Bay and Hunstanton. An inevitable fire[1] followed and most of Lincolnshire's starlings then had to arrange alternative accommodation.

What is left, however, is still an attraction even though that's sand you're looking down at through the gaps in the decking, it barely makes it to the sea now.

[1] See also every other pier in England apart from the one at Saltburn.

Because you're just a little bit of a snob, you've probably forsaken the portmanteau-named guest houses[1] in town and chosen to stay in a  hotel, a little way out, with outdoor seating for a nightcap and a golf course next to it.

Skegness - North Shore Hotel & Golf Course Skegness - North Shore Hotel

Now, it's known that the town is traditional but is it still the '70s here where Ladies, and Visitors, have to enter by a separate door? Relax kids, that's the ladies lavs but a check still had to be made.

[1] Typical examples are 'Pambarry' or 'Gordelsie' or 'Trelinda' now it's been thought about.

There's a bit of a walk into town along a path next to the beach and having taken a wrong turn later on, you'll end up walking back on it.

Skegness - Beach Path

Only this time it's dark, pitch dark. There sounded to be some kind of nighttime activity in the dunes, some kind of voluntary marine conservation helping hatching turtles to the sea, perhaps?

That seems to be a serious business so it's not really known what all the giggling was about?