VIDEO: The Jolly Fisherman statue makes its way back to Skegness

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It was as if The Jolly Fisherman statue had never left at all looking more jolly than ever as preparations were being made for its installation earlier today.

The much-loved mascot was welcomed by guests, dignitaries and its original artist Sioban Coppinger as its new plinth on the Skegness Railway Station plaza was prepared.

The new statue had to be completely recast after the former one had spent 24 years welcoming guests to the town and was in need of so many repairs it was deemed the best option.

“It is really nice to work on the Jolly Fisherman, I don’t think many enjoy making repairs but it is such a well-loved piece,” said Sioban Coppinger earlier today.

“I hope he will welcome even more visitors for 25 years or more to come,” she added.

Lincolnshire County Council commissioned the original artist, Sioban Coppinger, to carry out the work and she has spent the last four months faithfully recreating the statue. In recent weeks Sioban’s been casting and refurbishing the bronze elements and applying the finishing touches to ensure the new Jolly is in perfect condition to return to Skegness.

Bronze shells have also been made to place on the plinth and also the fisherman’s trusty and original bronze suitcase will be placed with the statue.

The artist and workmen were preparing the area to ensure the Jolly Fisherman is placed correctly and will be completed within the next day or so.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, Colin Davie, said: The Jolly Fisherman has returned home to Skegness; he is a famous icon for the town and the entire country for local people and nationally, I hope it will help to improve tourism and the Jolly Fisherman with welcome visitors once more.”

And the Mayor of Skegness Coun Jim Carpenter was also thrilled with the Jolly Fisherman being returned to the town, he said: “I am really pleased it is back. It will welcome people to Skegness and the town and it great to see it back again.”

Work will also take place this week to embellish The dune or wave-like sculptures with skate studs and other sea creature type features to prevent it being misused.

l What do you think about the Jolly Fisherman statue being returned to Skegness? Good for tourism? Email amy.gallivan@jpress.co.uk