‘Scaremongering won’t close Skegness down’: Get set for cracking Easter

Tony Tye, chairman of the Skegness and district Chamber of Trade and Commerce, by the statue of the resort's real mascot, the Jolly Fisherman. ANL-170413-163042001
Tony Tye, chairman of the Skegness and district Chamber of Trade and Commerce, by the statue of the resort's real mascot, the Jolly Fisherman. ANL-170413-163042001

Thousands of visitors are expected to head for Skegness for the Easter break this weekend undeterred by a national newspaper’s front page making fun at the resort’s iconic mascot, the Jolly Fisherman,

Many have been upset by the ‘Skegness is SO Brexit’ headline on The New European and the story inside claiming if the coast’s migrant workers go home after Brexit, locals ‘could be in for a shock’ and the resort ‘close down’.

Skegness isn’t on its way down, it’s on the up

Tony Tye, chairman of the Skegness and district Chamber of Commerce

Copies of the paper were available in newsagents across the country yesterday, with town clerk Steve Larner commenting ‘many will be hurt and offended’ by the satirical front page image of the Jolly Fisherman sneering and giving offensive gestures.

However, the resort was already buzzing ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, with car parks full and hundreds of families along the foreshore experiencing why the resort has the slogan ‘Skegness is So Bracing’, which is associated with the original John Hassall poster of the Jolly Fisherman.

The Standard caught up with Tony Tye, chairman of the Skegness and district Chamber of Commerce, near the statue of the iconic mascot of Skegness.

Mr Tye, wearing his Jolly Fisherman pin on his jacket, said: “The front page is very naughty - I’m not happy with it or Jolly being depicted with the V-sign.

“But the article is just a load of scaremongering.

“The migrants who work here won’t be going home. Some of them have been here for 20 years and I know because 10 years ago I was involved in a review that looked at exactly that.

“At the time there were 2,000 migrant workers, about 10 per cent of the population, working in Skegness - all hard working people who have made their lives here.

“They are not going home - it’s not going to happen.”

Mr Tye said he was tired of national papers making cheap jibes at the resort. He said: “Skegness isn’t on its way down, it’s on the up. You only have to look at the investment in the resort.

“Thousands of visitors came last weekend and I can’t believe how busy the town has been already with the schools being off for two weeks.

“We’ve every reason to hope for a cracking weekend.”

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Skegness ‘on the up’ not ‘washed up’