Skegness’ Jolly Fisherman is dropped from tour

The Jolly Fisherman at the Skegness Christmas parade and lights switch-on. last year. Photo: MSKP-241116-54 ANL-171114-094635001
The Jolly Fisherman at the Skegness Christmas parade and lights switch-on. last year. Photo: MSKP-241116-54 ANL-171114-094635001

Promotional project won’t include mascot and will focus on whole East Coast

The Jolly Fisherman has been a much-loved figure at Jolly on Tour events run by the Skegness and district Chamber of Trade and Commerce for years, having been the face of the resort since he appeared on a poster created by artist John Hassall in 1908 for Great Northern Railways with the slogan ‘Skegness is so bracing’.

However, there are now fears Jolly is being blown out because the new Lincolnshire Coastal Destination Bid will be taking over the running of promotional tours and their focus has to be the whole of the coast.

Tony Tye, chairman of the Chamber, told the Standard: “We’ve been informed the Coastal BID will not back the ‘Jolly’ tours and our trailer is being returned to Skegness Town Council.

“They (the BID) don’t want him anymore because he’s not the face of the whole coast.

“I’ve been involved with taking Jolly on Tour for the past five years and everywhere we have gone he is loved, with people wanting their pictures taken with him. Wherever we go they all know Jolly and shout out things like ‘Super Skeggy’.

“Last year we did 12 trips to places like the Yorkshire Show, Scampton Air Show, Northampton, Bedford, Worksop and Crystal Peaks in Sheffield.

“We distributed thousands of holiday guides promoting the whole coast, but Jolly on Tour will not be happening anymore.”

Lisa Collins, manager of the Coastal BID, confirmed they would be running promotional tours from next year. She said: “The BID company will be running tours and will be using them to promote the whole of the East Coast.

“As a business we represent from as far north as Donna Nook Nature Reserve and Mablethorpe, through Chapel St Leonards to Ingoldmells and south to Skegness and Gibraltar Point.

“We are currently working on the branding of a new trailer to reflect this.

“People will still see Jolly around Skegness, though. I think the Ambassadors who we also run used him more times than in previous years this summer, and he will be out this week at the Children in Need Show show and at Christmas lights switch-ons and market.”

Mayor of Skegness Coun Danny Brookes confirmed he was aware of the changes, but said he believed there was still a place for Jolly in Skegness.

He said: “Children love to see him and I think we will still see him around town doing what he does best.”

l Do you think the Jolly Fisherman should remain the face of Skegness and the coast, or do you think he should be replaced by something new? Email chrissie.redford@jpress.co.uk