A controversial call by an animal rights group for the Jolly Fisherman to be replaced as the Skegness mascot by a fish has met with a chorus of disapproval.
A letter to town Mayor Carl Macey from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) suggested a modern animal friendly version with a re-working of the iconic holiday advert featuring a joyous fish and the words “Skegness: a Happy Plaice.”
PETA director Mimi Bekhechi said: “Skegness should be remembered for fun seaside holidays rather than the violent occupation of its mascot. It’s time to send the Jolly Fisherman to a retirement home and give fish their plaice in the sun.”
However, there was a wave of opposition to the idea on the Skegness Standard Facebook page.
Lee Airstone wrote: “Jolly Fisherman needs to stay, he is part of Skegness, getting rid of Jolly Fisherman would be like getting rid of the beach.”
Joyce Mary Sabin added: “Just leave our Jolly Fisherman alone. About time people stood up to these animal rights fanatics. Jolly belongs to Skeggy and he stays.”
Jonathan Buckley said: “Are they serious?! The Jolly Fisherman is an iconic part of Skeg’s history! Children love him, most folk know him and it’s the Skegness brand.”
Former district and town councillor Steve O’Dare described the idea as “complete and utter nonsense.” Adding: “Just checked my calendar as I thought I had woken up on April 1.”
A statement from East Lindsey District Council portfolio holder for coastal economy Steve Kirk said: “Jolly has done a Brill job promoting Skegness his entire life - catapulting the resort to one of the most popular and successful in the country. Whatever next? Robin Hood being ask to stop using a bow and arrow? What a load of Cobblers.
“We hope Peta change their Tuna and agree that Jolly is fine as he is. Eel be around for a long time to come.”
PETA is offering to supply the local schools with £1,000 worth of VBites Fish-Free Fish Fingers if Skegness agrees to adopt the Happy Plaice as its new mascot.