Skegness is mourning the loss of its most dedicated holidaymaker – who was due to make his 70th consecutive annual visit to the town.
The beaches, bracing air and friendly welcome had kept 89-year-old Nottinghamshire man Reg Baines returning to the resort every summer for 69 years.
And with Reg set to turn 90 this year, his family had planned a special trip to the town to celebrate this and mark his 70th anniversary as a visitor.
But sadly Reg passed away last week after being taken ill.
Skegness Mayor Jim Carpenter said: “Our condolences go out to Reg and his family. He was a very committed visitor to Skegness. If we had another couple of thousand of visitors like Reg it would be ideal.”
Reg’s love of Skegness began in 1944 when he cycled here with a group of young friends from Welbeck Colliery village.
The group, who called themselves The Welbeck Wheelers, struggled to find somewhere to stay overnight but were offered use of a boarding house garage owned by a Mrs Codd. This was the Seaview on the corner of St Andrew’s Drive and Sea View Road.
They returned for a few years, but eventually stopped going. However, Reg had fallen in love with Skegness and continued visiting on his own, staying with Mrs Codd each time. Since the late 1980s he has stayed in the Glentworth Hotel, in Glentworth Crescent.
His loyalty to the resort was recognised in 1999 when he was given an award by the town for visiting for 55 years on the trot.
Steve Boun, owner of the Glentworth Hotel, said: “Over time we’ve come to know Reg very well. He loved coming to Skegness over carnival week. We knew him as ‘Uncle Reg’. He was always invited to local events by the council and helped to judge the bathing beauties competition at Butlins and helped with the re-opening of the Embassy Theatre, Skegness, with Ken Dodd.
“Reg was a well-liked, nice man and a very loyal visitor to Skegness, and he promoted Skegness wherever he went.”
A spokesman for East Lindsey District Council said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Baines’ family at this time. It is clear he took great pleasure from his visits to Skegness. I am glad that Skegness could play such a positive and enjoyable part in Mr Baines’ life.”