"If God had wanted us to go to Skegness.." Skegness by sourbugger

Skegness Travel Guide: 41 reviews and 76 photos

...then it wouln't be connected to the world by the A52

Skegness, it has to be said has something of a reputation as a windswept dump on the east coast.

Little in this hatchet job will dispell that sterotype.

The only thing that is jolly about this place is the logo - the jolly fisherman.

The Jolly Fisherman

One enduring image of the town is the well known picture of the big fat fisherman prancing down the beach. If he did that these days he would be probably be arrested.


It has been said with some truth that Skegness rose to fame on a poster. The Jolly Fisherman poster and its accompanying slogan is probably the most famous holiday advertisement ever drawn. It has been circulated hundreds of times in almost every newspaper in the land, and the dancing salt has been imitated by thousands of visitors. John Hassall drew the picture in 1908. It had been commissioned by the Great Northern Railway Company and for this masterpiece he received twelve guineas. The ?so bracing? slogan, of almost equal importance, is believed to have been the brainchild of an unknown member of the Railway Staff. The poster was first put on display at Easter time that same year in conjunction with a special three-shilling excursion from Kings Cross. The last of these trips ran on August Bank Holiday, 1913. Hassall, one of the greatest of all poster artists, drew many telling advertisements, but none so fine as the Jolly Fisherman. He visited Skegness only once in his life. That was in 1936 when the town which he had put on the map presented him with an illuminated address and ?the freedom of the foreshore?.John Hassall said, ?the reality of Skegness has eclipsed all my anticipation's. It is even more bracing and attractive than I had been led to expect?. Born in Deal, as a young man he twice tried, without success, to join the Army. In frustration he went off to Canada, and whilst there he turned his hand to sketching. Returning to England, he went on to Paris and Antwerp to study art, and the first pictures he sent to the Royal Academy were accepted. Hassall?s original masterpiece hangs in a place of honor in Skegness Town Hall. It was formally given to the town by British Railways, along with the copyright in 1966.

The artist died in 1948, eighty years old and penniless.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Makes Hell look like a desirable option
  • Cons:none
  • In a nutshell:Thank God I live in the civilised world
  • Last visit to Skegness: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (33)

Comments (26)

  • TheLongTone's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2009 at 6:10 AM

    Very bracing. But at least there's a sandy beach at Skeggy. And good to know where your flattering ppp comes from!

  • Feb 20, 2008 at 5:16 AM

    i live in skegness and this ginger bread man is no were to be seen so check and skegness is a ok place

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2007 at 5:26 AM

    Ahh yes, I too spotted the gingerbread man. In all fairness I did find a few interesting things about Skegness, from your tips. It is a strange duck indeed.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2007 at 6:03 AM

    I was lured here by your HP promise of "full flow ranting" and wasn't disappointed ;) And now I know where your gingerbread man comes from!! Love the packing tip, among others!

  • Jan 3, 2007 at 8:18 AM

    I shall book my ticket right away

  • Florida999's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2006 at 10:35 AM

    Hahaha, I'll be sure to look this very scenic and lovely location up on an obscure map somewhere for our next trip.....NOT, lol! But GREAT comments, enjoyed reading !! Thanks for visiting my Colorado page!

  • iris2002's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2006 at 4:05 AM

    Must put Skegness on my must-visit list LOL.. thanks duck ;)

  • Darby2's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2006 at 4:07 AM

    I shall definitely put Skegness on my must see list as well as Cleethorpes

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2006 at 10:37 PM

    You gave us all the pros and no cons! Aren't you a bit biased for Skeggy? ;-) Hassall is surely prancing in his grave! Scenes from The Drum come to mind...

  • zizkov's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2006 at 5:56 PM

    Skeggy - how have I mised this jewel of the Lincolnshire Riviera?


“Deny yourself nothing, but deny everything.”

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