Monday, 5 April 2010
Skeg, Skeggy, Costa del Skeg or Skegvegas... whatever you call it, you spot Skegness from about 96 miles away across the flat Lincolnshire landscape due to the enormous rollercoasters and big wheels on the shimmering horizon.
Skegness was primarily a fishing village until the arrival of the railway in 1875. In 1908, Great Northern Railways commissioned a poster to advertise the resort, the 'Skegness is so Bracing' poster featuring The Jolly Fisherman helped to put Skegness on the map and is now world famous.
The poster, from an oil painting by John Hassall, was purchased by the railway company for just 12 guineas.
John Hassall died penniless.
The first Butlins holiday resort was opened in Skegness in 1936 and is still one of the areas biggest draws, together with the main strip along the beach where a kaleidoscope of neon, advertising, arcades, slot machines, fairground rides, crazy golf, fish n chip shops and dodgy looking bars service the hundreds of thousands of pleasure seekers.
In 2005, Skegness was voted the best retirement town in the UK. It has also been described by Lonely Planet's Great Britain guide as "everything you could want" in a seaside resort.
However in 2008 the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, declared "Stuff Skegness, my trunks and I are off to the sun", bless him.