Year in Review: March

Onlookers with the dead whale. Photo by John Byford.
Onlookers with the dead whale. Photo by John Byford.

A dead sperm whale was the star attraction at Skegness during March.

The whale, 35 feet in length, weighing an estimated 30 tonnes, washed ashore at Skegness Beach.

The massive sea mammal was first spotted near the bottom of Skegness Pier in the early hours of Saturday morning.

News of the rare occurence soon spread, prompting crowds to gather, hoping to get a glimpse of the fascinating yet sombre spectacle.

Large gashes along its spine indicated the majestic creature died from a collision with a boat and could have been dead for several days before finally washing ashore.

Male sperm whales prefer deep sea waters to hunt their main prey - deep sea squid and rarely travel into shallow waters, as naturalist Tony Burgess who came from Grimsby to witness the spectacle explained: “ If they get into shallow waters the weight of their bodies on their lungs makes it difficult for them to breathe.”

East Lindsey District Council buried the whale to mask the inreasingly unpleasant aromas emanating from the decomposing corpse. It was then removed later in the month in a mammoth all-night removal operation, before embarking on its final 70 mile trip to a specialist landfill site at Winterton, in the north of Lincolnshire.


Controversial sculptures outsides Skegness Railway Station were fenced off just weeks after there unveiling, in response to safety fears posed by a teenage boy’s injuries.

East Midlands Trains covered the wave-like sculptures, which formed part of its £800,000 station plaza landscaping works, with protective cases, following an accident in which a 14-year-old boy sustained facial injuries while playing on them.

The move provoked criticism from local councillors and residents, some of whom felt it was ‘health and safety gone mad’ while others believed it to be an ‘admission of guilt’ regarding the sculptures’ unsuitability.

A spokesmen for East Midlands Trains explained that the wooden coverings were a temporary measure while a review was carried out, saying at the time, it was to ‘prevent any future incidents resulting from the misuse of the new plaza.’

As yet, the boards are yet to be moved.


Birthdays come just once a year - unless you are Caleb Cooke, that is, in which case they come once every four.

Caleb was born at Pilgrim Hospital on Leap Day this year, placing him in the rare group of people who only get to celebrate their true birthdays during a Leap Year.

Caleb was born stronger and healthier than expected at 8.29am, weighing 4 lbs four 1/2 oz.

Although Caleb is far too young to understand the significance of his birthdays just yet, his parents have already decided how they will help him to celebrate in years to come.

“What we’ve decided is to celebrate his birthday on February 28 and then every Leap Year we will have an extra special birthday party for him,” said father, Anthony Cooke.