Year in Review: December

Lily Mullen and Alfie Osbourne with Santa at Spilsby Cracker Day. Photo b David Nutt.
Lily Mullen and Alfie Osbourne with Santa at Spilsby Cracker Day. Photo b David Nutt.
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Festive fun featured frequently throughout December - none more so than Spilsby’s annual Cracker Day.

Organisers of the event, Spilsby Lions, said it was one of the best events in its history, with extra stalls and more funds raised for charity.

Lions member Sue Oliver said: “There were 41 stalls and everyone said they’d done very well.

“One or two of the charities said they took the most they had ever taken and all of the craft stalls were very tasteful and popular with the crowds.

“Everyone said it was a fun and festive atmosphere, the Harlequins sang beautifully and Santa was very popular.”

The event helped raise around £3,000 for local and national worthy causes, which is among the highest tallies ever.

More than 300 youngsters from primary schools around the region entered the Cracker Day Christmas card competition, which was won by Spilsby Primary School’s Joshua Harper.


The festive season of goodwill helped save dozens of adults with learning disabilities from losing a vital social outlet earlier in December.

Skegness based charity Alive and Kicking, which helps 45 adults with learning disabilities, had been threatened with closure after its minibus suffered engine failure, requiring £2,000 in repairs.

Chairman Tina Mellors hoped the charity’s annual carol service would raise sufficient funds to cover the repair bill and made an impassioned appeal to the Standard’s readers to attend.

She said: “Our members would suffer immensely if the charity was to fold - they would no be able to meet their friends, they would have no social life and it is likely that their mental health would worsen without our support.”

Although the concert at St Matthew’s Church raised only £86, a generous £2,000 donation from an anonymous business person helped save the day.

Tina said: “I am over the moon and couldn’t be more grateful.”


A proposal to portray the Jolly Fisherman as a muscular, fitness fanatic in a viral health campaign met an angry response in December.

Personal trainer and software designer Nathan Hague sought Skegness Town Council’s permission to ‘remix’ the iconic image as a ‘buffed up’ Jolly for the new generation.

He said: “I want to make this quite viral - not just for Skegness but for every other UK town - it starts here and it’s very exciting.”

Mr Hague said the initiative was about doing something nice for the town and he was not interested in making any money from it.

Members of the public and councillors at the meeting, however, strongly opposed the images, which showed Jolly growing increasingly muscular, eventually baring an athletic torso while striking his traditional prancing posture.

One resident, speaking in the public session said: “We’ve got a world famous icon that no one else has and then this person comes to Skegness like the Pied Piper of Hamelin who wants everyone to sing to his tune and change the Jolly Fisherman to ridicule him and turn him into a Popeye figure.”