A SPECIAL excursion train rolled into Skegness station on Saturday bringing with it hundreds of day-trippers and hopes to expand the resort’s appeal to new visitors.
A welcoming reception including the Mayor of Skegness Coun Steve Kirk, The Jolly Fisherman, Skegness Silver Band and other dignitaries greeted the tourists upon arrival in a bid to encourage more return visits.
Coun Kirk said: “We have our standard visitor towns from a two hour drive away, but this shows that Skegness is accessible by train from further afield and I would hope that more people would make that trip now they have made improvements to the line to make it a relatively swift journey.
“I spoke to several people who were coming back, having not visited for 20 or 30 years but were really looking forward to seeing what had changed in that time.”
Approximately 500 passengers were given visitor guides, recommending attractions to enjoy during their day trip as well as suggested activities for longer return visits in the future.
Town centre manager Stefan Krause was also able to use the opportunity to promote the resort as UK Railtours Intercity 125 made its journey from London King’s Cross station. He said: “We were able to hand out literature in the morning promoting the resort, the first class section was completely sold out and the second class was also very full so I think it was a great success and hopefully will be repeated next year.
Many of the visitors were delighted to meet Skegness’s famous mascot The Jolly Fisherman and Coun Kirk believes the town should make the most of his resounding appeal.
He said: “Everybody loves Jolly, so we really do need to protect him and make sure we get him out more often – he is a mighty fine guy.”