Welcome one and all to my beach hut

Grab a deck chair, Tea or coffee and help yourself to a buiscuit but you'd better mind the seaguls or they'll grab them first. Just look at that view and doesn't the sea look inviting.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Black Saturday: Childrens Accounts of the 1953 coastal flooding


On 31st January, 1953, considerable areas along the coast of Lincolnshire were flooded. The Mablethorpe, Sutton-on-Sea and Skegness areas were the most seriously affected parts and forty-three people lost their lives.

It was soon after dusk when the first waves crashed through the sea defences in Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea and within an hour virtually the whole town including the high street lay underwater.

A terrifying time for everyone living there and for the people drafted in to help. A long and cold night lay ahead.

The destruction didn't stop that night however and the morning's high tide combined with the continuing storm saw the flooding get worse.

It eventually reached more than two miles inland. Help was needed urgently to shore up the defences and the military was brought in.

Of course it wasn't just humans that felt the effect of the flood, the storm also took it's toll elsewhere. Around 200,000 acres of farmland was devastated and hundreds of animals died.

Some years ago the accounts by school children who had lived through the floods were discovered, they were put together to form this book that has become a real treasure. The Book is called Black Saturday and was compiled by Sue Leese & Jenifer Baker, it contains 24 accounts of the flood of 1953 as seen through the eyes of young children living in Sutton-on-Sea at the time of the disaster. The original stories have been deposited with the Lincolnshire Library Service and are kept at Mablethorpe. This is a remarkable book and I strongly recommend it.

I include just two of the stories here, to read the rest you will need to seek out a copy of Black Saturday, Printed and published by S.B.K. Books, Lincs. LN122AL Isbn. 1-899881-58-1   

Terry Smith Aged 10 years

It happened on Jan 31st 1953. I was at the pictures when it happened. To begin with I went to John Pinders party. After dinner we all went to the picture. It was a terrific gale and we nearly got blown over. At about half past six I knew about the flood. Mr Tipper told us that there were two feet of water in the street. The next thing the water was seeping under the doors. We had to move to the back of the cinema because it was getting deep. Then we had to go to the balcony. The lights went out but we had some gaslamps. We had a drink of grapefruit juice and Paul Guy gave me one and a half dog biscuits. At half past four on Sunday morning we were evacuated to Alford rest centre. On Sunday evening Pat Murray took John Pinder and I to the Corn Exchange where David Jones was. We slept there, and in the morning John had gone to Louth. David and I went to the rest centre for eight o’clock breakfast, and then David found Mr Hillswood, a friend of his. Mr Hillswood said we had better go to Louth because our mothers would probably there. When we got to Louth in a mans car David saw his mother and we went to Monks Dyke school. We went to the pictures in the afternoon free. When we got homes Mrs Jones said we had to go to a private billet in Kediston Rd. The owner of the bungalow was called Mrs Barnard. I slept there one night and then in the morning David was ill with tonsillitis. At about half past eleven I found my mother and on the quarter past one bus we went to Lincoln.

Susan Haddon Aged 11 years

The Flood came on January 31st at half past five. Mummy had just sent Robert to bed because he had a chill on the Kidneys, and he said he wanted to go to bed, so he went to bed. Mummy went to the shops to get some groceries. I wait for her in our shop. When she came in she told us the sea was rushing down the pullover at a terrible rate, we looked outside and saw the sea was racing down the High Street, and then it came trickling through the door. By six the water was nearly up to my knees and daddy was passing boxes up to me and I struggled up the stairs with them. Mummy had put Sally to bed because she had fallen in the water. We didn’t do anything with the furniture mummy said the sea would go down any minute so we didn’t bother. All the time we were taking things off the lower shelves until it came up to my waist and then made me go upstairs because it was too deep for me. The shop door opened and daddy and Brenda ran into the shop to close it. Daddy dropped the candle and he called to to fetch another from the kitchen because the electricity had failed. Mummy went into the kitchen but before she got there the back door fell in and she couldn’t keep on her feet she screamed at daddy to come out of the shop but it was up to his neck and he couldn’t get out but at last he managed it, and they all came up stairs and changed into dry clothes and then I went to bed.

For more details of the floods I recommend you visit the following web pages





Thursday, 26 January 2012

Skegness Model Yacht Pond


The post card I recently purchased, the one shown on the right of this page brought back happy memories for me of childhood days. I’m not sure of the date when this photograph was taken but I would guess sometime in the 1930’s. The view of the model yacht pond I remember was much different than it looks here but it seems to be in the right place just before you entered the pleasure beach.

On arriving in Skegness on a weeks holiday there very first thing that happened as I remember it was to pay a call to Woolworths, besides buying the usual bucket and spade I was allowed one toy of my choice and I would always choose either a clock work motor launch or a small yacht. When I wasn’t on the beach I would spend my time happily sailing my boat on the model yacht pond right next to the Peter Pan railway.  There was always a small crowd of us youngsters with adults gathered around the pond and I would often see older men sitting and enjoying the pastime and perhaps dreaming of times gone by.

I often wish that the yacht pond could still be there, what a pleasant way of spending a few summer hours than to watch the boats sailing in the wind, other places still have them, I think of Bournemouth where I also spent childhood holidays, there is an excellent waterway come paddling pool in the gardens where children still sail there yachts and at Hove nr Brighton every Sunday morning member of a local model club would come down and sail there models on the pond and some very fine remote controlled boats there was amongst them.

But alas there is no profit to be made from a model yacht pond unless it is the type where you put money in a slot to steer the remote controlled boats around for a minute or too that is, so I doubt if we will ever see a model yacht pond back in Skegness in my time mores the pity. But I still have my memories. Happy days.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Back To My Roots


Wet winter days also offers me the opportunity to work on my family tree. I started researching my ancestry some 5 years ago; I was encouraged to do it by a friend who has been researching his own tree for many years and who has also given me much assistance in the task. I have been very successful in research on my Fathers side and have gone back into the 16th century and much of what I have discovered I consider as very remarkable.

If we are lucky we might possess some object that has been passed down through the family perhaps for generations. If we are really fortunate this item may be of some considerable monetary value the kind of items you will see on Antiques Road show or the popular midday programme ‘Flog it’. But it’s a fact we all possess air looms passed down to us from our ancestors by the means of DNA that are far more valuable than any treasure in the attic. I have discovered more about myself by researching the past than I could imagine. It is my belief that we are constructed through time and a series of building blocks through our DNA and this process is even more important to us than any form of education we could receive.

I have studied my own personality and compared it to what I know of the life of my ancestors and my findings very much mirrors how I see myself. I can consider my self a piece loving non aggressive person, looking back through my past ancestors I have found no evidence to suggest any difference, no law breakers, none have followed a military career and even though my Father, grandfather and Great Grandfathers have served the country in wartime none have showed signs of extreme courage but chose rather to keep there heads down and get through it the best way that they could which has been my philosophy throughout life, however at the same time I will not shy away from speaking out against what I believe wrong or when necessary lead by example. Throughout life I have been a socialist and coming from a long line of railwaymen it is no surprise that I have been a believer in the trade union movement and the right to withdraw your labour if all other forms of negotiation fail. I am very proud of my long line of forebears who were very much involved in the industrial revolution. I have a great grandmother who was brought up on a working canal barge, I can trace my family right back to the start of the Railway age and many of my family were involved in the Lace industry that was very dominant in the building of both the economy of both Nottingham and Long Eaton where most of my ancestors in the 20 century came from.  

I have moved about through out my life, from Long Eaton to Beeston, then back to Long Eaton, then to Derby and finally to Skegness. Looking back to my ancestors I see many similarity’s in there lives. My early ancestors come from rural communities like Shepshead and Whymeswold in Leicestershire and Gotham in Nottinghamshire working very much in agriculture until the start of the industrial revolution opened up opportunities of better paid work in Cities like Nottingham and towns like Long Eaton. Have you ever wondered what has drawn you to a certain area to live, could our ancestors have anything to do with this? Strange that the first house I purchased in Long Eaton was more or less across the street from where my great great grandfather lived and where my great grandmother was born, a fact I only discovered through my recent research and why do I feel most at home near water, could that have any bearing to my ancestors who lived and worked on the canals.

Another interesting comparison between my own life and that of my ancestors is the fact that religion has caused considerable conflict and hardship. I have discovered that one of my ancestors had to escape from France because of his protestant beliefs at the time of the Roman Catholic persecution of Protestants in France; my ancestor was a French Huguenot and was lucky to have escaped from France to join many of his own kind to start a new life in London. My great grandmother fell in love and married a railwayman who also happened to be a member of a Methodist church which caused conflict of interests with is future high church minded father in law who decided that my grandmother was marrying below herself and immediately cut his own daughter from his family and in my own life religion was partly to blame for the break up of my first marriage.

Whether we accept it or not we are very much linked with our ancestors and there attitudes to life and much more. I have always had a love of music which I am sure I got from my father and in turn from his Father. My grandfather was very keen on the brass band movement of the early part of the last century, I remember being taken at a very early age to listen to Brass Bands in our local park and I have been told that I was regularly took by my grandparents whilst in my pram. My grandparents used to have a railwayman lodging with them in the war that happened also to play in the Long Eaton Silver Prize Band so it’s no wonder that I passionately love the brass band music even to this day.

The pastime of tracing your family tree can be both rewarding and illuminating because it is my belief that to discover who you are you must understand where you come from. Many of the habits and the way we react or think we often link back to our parents but if you were to delve a further back I’m sure you will discover even more similarities.   

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Picture Post Cards


Wet winter days allows me the opportunity of devoting more time to some of my many pastimes and hobbies that get neglected somewhat during summer months.

I started collecting Picture Postcards during the 1970s. I used to visit local post card fairs browsing and picking up the odd post card or two that I liked, and then a friend at work gave me a collection of postcards. I used to visit antique shops because they often had an old shoe box lying around with a selection of postcards in it.

In 1902 the post office changed its rules to allow post cards with pictures on one side and on the reverse of the card a message and address could be written. In the early 1900s before the use of the telephone became common place most towns had up to 3 or 4 mail deliveries a day and it was often possible for someone to send a card in the morning and for it to be received the same day. http://www.postcard.co.uk/postcard_history.php

Picture post cards are a very good way of seeing how our towns have changed over the years and the messages on the reverse often give clues to how people lived back then. The great thing about collecting postcards is the variety of subjects that are covered, besides photos of places all over the world you could collect forms of transport, sporting themes, military uniforms, film star or celebrity portraits the list is endless. Most of these postcards you can pick up quite cheaply but others can be more expensive, for instance railways stations or some sporting events can cost you more.
The most expensive Post Card was one sent from the doomed HMS Titanic’s are expected to sell for thousands of pounds in auction.

I haven’t been adding to my collection over the last 15 years or so because there seems to be few post card fairs around Skegness but I have just started adding to my collection of picture postcards of Skegness and area from the many that are on sale on E-bay.

Below are just some of the interesting cards I have in my collection. The most recent of which can be found at the top of the page which shows the launching of the Lifeboat on Skegness Beach, the post mark on the reverse is dated 1918.


I have a collection of postcards produced by Watercolour artists my favourite being by a man often signing is cards ARQ. Watercolour artist A R Quinton was 57 years of age when postcard publisher Joseph Salmon spotted some of his paintings in a London art gallery. Salmon persuaded ARQ to let him print a 1912 calendar featuring Quinton’s English village views. The calendar was a success and, over the next 22 years, Quinton went on to produce more than 2000 watercolours featuring the towns, villages and resorts of England and Wales often travelling around the country on his bicycle.The Quinton card above is of Buckfast Abbey


The card above is a part of a collection I have depicting bus company's and shows some of the popular types of buses in company livery. this card is of Bartons Co and most of the buses I remember well. The cards were taken from paintings by G.S Cooper
The card above is from a series of cards based on popular songs at the time of WWI and were often used to send by the troops back home to wives or sweethearts. Each card has a verse of the song and would often come in sets of four cards. The cards were made by Bamforth's of Holmfirth (where Last of The Summer Wine was filmed) who were renowned for there saucy postcards.
Another of the cards depicting a poster created by the GNR Railway company to advertise their Excursions from London to Skegness (notice the price of 3 shilling return).

Finally the post card above is of the famous clock tower in Skegness. Note the buses in the picture that were often referred to as 'Toast racks' because the seating was reversible.



Wednesday, 11 January 2012

200 years of Dickens


2012 Celebrates 200 years since the Birth of Charles Dickens and there are lots of things going on all over the country in our libraries and museums to celebrate this fact.

Charles Dickens is much loved for his great contribution to classic English literature. He was the quintessential Victorian author. His epic stories, vivid characters and exhaustive depiction of contemporary life are unforgettable.

His own story is one of rags to riches. He was born in Portsmouth on 7 February 1812, to John and Elizabeth Dickens. The good fortune of being sent to school at the age of nine was short-lived because his father, inspiration for the character of Mr Micawber in 'David Copperfield', was imprisoned for bad debt. The entire family, apart from Charles, were sent to Marshalsea along with their patriarch. Charles was sent to work in Warren's blacking factory and endured appalling conditions as well as loneliness and despair. After three years he was returned to school, but the experience was never forgotten and became fictionalised in two of his better-known novels 'David Copperfield' and 'Great Expectations'.
Like many others, he began his literary career as a journalist. His own father became a reporter and Charles began with the journals 'The Mirror of Parliament' and 'The True Sun'. Then in 1833 he became parliamentary journalist for The Morning Chronicle. With new contacts in the press he was able to publish a series of sketches under the pseudonym 'Boz'. In April 1836, he married Catherine Hogarth, daughter of George Hogarth who edited 'Sketches by Boz'. Within the same month came the publication of the highly successful 'Pickwick Papers', and from that point on there was no looking back for Dickens.
A Christmas Carol, the first of his Christmas books, was published in 1843. The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future remains one of the most popular stories ever written in the English language.

As well as a huge list of novels he published autobiography, edited weekly periodicals including 'Household Words' and 'All Year Round', wrote travel books and administered charitable organisations. He was also a theatre enthusiast, wrote plays and performed before Queen Victoria in 1851. His energy was inexhaustible and he spent much time abroad - for example lecturing against slavery in the United States and touring Italy with companions Augustus Egg and Wilkie Collins, a contemporary writer who inspired Dickens' final unfinished novel 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'.

He was estranged from his wife in 1858 after the birth of their ten children, but maintained relations with his mistress, the actress Ellen Ternan. He died of a stroke in 1870. He is buried at Westminster Abbey.


Should you find yourself in Chatham, England, be sure to stop by Dickens World, which has to be the only Charles Dickens-themed amusement park on the planet. Attractions include the Great Expectations Boat Ride, a replica Victorian schoolhouse (complete with snarling teacher) and a haunted house. No word on whether they offer smallpox face-painting, or sell gruel at the concession stand.

Charles Dickens was the first literary superstar - his popular works reached a wider audience than any writer before him. With classics like Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, and David Copperfield, Dickens dominated the literary life of 19th-century England and the United States. But like many remarkable people, Dickens was a complex, multi-layered individual, full of peculiar quirks and odd habits.

When The Old Curiosity Shop was published in serial form in 1841, readers all over Britain and the United States followed the progress of the heroine, Little Nell, with the same fervor that audiences today follow Harry Potter. When the ship carrying the last installment approached the dock in New York, 6,000 impatient fans onshore called out to the sailors, "Does Little Nell die?"

Charles Dickens captures perfectly what life was like at the start of the Industrial revolution and he outlines the changing world around him with for instance the coming of the Railways.
Writers like Dickens and painters like Turner were among the first to view the railways as symbolic of change. The railways could be both heroic and revolutionary and yet destructive. They transformed both the rural landscape and townscapes with new bridges, cuttings and embankments.

William Turner's famous painting Rain, steam and speed, Great Western Railway reminds us of the initial impact the railways and their trains and engineering had on artists. A little later, Charles Dickens was including a scene on the building of the railways in Dombey and Son, where he describes the railway works cutting their way through Camden Town.

On 10 June 1865, the train in which Dickens and his mistress Nelly Ternan were riding careened off the rails on a bridge in France. Seven of the train's eight cars plunged into the river, killing many passengers, while Dickens's car dangled off the bridge. The writer remained calm, offering brandy to shaken passengers and working to free those trapped in the cars below.

I was inspired to read many of Dickens popular novels in my teenage years mainly because there were at the time some very good adaptations of his books being made for television. One of the first of his books I read was Great expectations and it was interesting to see a new adaptation in 3 parts being televised this Christmas (though I must admit I was not too happy with some changes to the story made near the end).

I still enjoy reading Dickens and am presently reading Bleak House one of Dickens novels I have previously never read. I hope also to get the new autobiography of his life. Now that I own a Kindle I can get all of his classics and most of them I am able to download for free. Dickens characters are as real and relevant today as they were 200 years ago and will continue to give pleasure to readers for hundreds of years more.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Bob Holness 1928 - 2012

I was sad to hear of the death of Bob Holness today. Blockbuster was one of my favourite quiz shows of the 80s and I hope they will bring it back one day. If like me you remember the quiz or if you have never heard of it, take a look at the exerpt from the show on You Tube that I have linked at the bottom of the post

Bob Holness was born in South Africa but his family moved to the UK when he was a child. He returned to the country of his birth and began his broadcasting career there in the 1950s as a radio presenter. He moved back to the UK in the early 1960s.

During a long and varied TV and radio broadcasting career, Holness also presented gameshows including Call My Bluff and Raise the Roof and worked for Radio 1, Radio 2, the World Service and LBC.

Bob Holness, saw the role as that of a rewarder of knowledge rather than the ringmaster of a hysterical circus. Indeed, one of the worst mistakes one could make with Holness was to refer to any of the many quizzes he conducted as gameshows. In his unostentatious clothes, he resembled a jovial and thoughtful golfing companion rather than a smirking media man, and he always made a point of sympathising with contestants who lost.
Blockbusters, the TV quiz for 16- to 18-year-old contestants but aimed at a much wider audience, consolidated Holness's popularity and also gained him cult status. In the programme, he posed questions, the answers to which began with a letter of the alphabet that had been chosen by contestants from a honeycomb grid. A favourite wheeze of the contestants was to tease him by asking, "Can I have a P please, Bob?" or even "Can I have U?" Holness, who said that he always recognised the "little snigger" in the contestants' voices, took all this in good part, knowing that it helped to build up the programme's audience to more than 6 million.

The show's first series, in 1983, was recorded at the ATV Elstree Centre (which was still owned by Central until 1984 when it was sold to the BBC). Subsequent series were produced at Central's Nottingham "Television House" studios, however, at least one season (1989–90) was filmed at Central's Birmingham studios. The series was filmed in the summer months over a 6-8 week period, with five episodes being made each day. In the final episode of each day, the contestants were allowed to do the "hand jive" during the end credits. The hand jive first appeared in 1986 after one of the contestants was bored while sitting through filming several shows a day waiting for his turn. It eventually became increasingly more popular, and has since been regarded as one of the show's most beloved gimmicks.
The original game board was a feat of engineering. It was powered using 38 slide projectors, each with its own set of slides for the different letters, colours and Gold Run questions, and took up the entire height of the studio.

Happy Memories  R.I.P Bob

Watch this clip of the show  http://youtu.be/5R04PD_jl-0






 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

RNLI Skegness Lifeboat


The new year as been heralded in by a period of very strong winds and it is at times like this that the thoughts of all those living and working along our coast go out to those who may be struggling with the perilous conditions out at sea. My own thoughts and that of many more in Skegness have been drawn towards the brave crew of the RNLI Lifeboat crew who may at any time of night or day be called upon to put there own lives at risk in order to go out and rescue anyone anywhere in need of their help. 

There has been a lifeboat operated in Skegness since 1825. The first lifeboat station was established in 1825 by the Lincolnshire Coast Shipwreck Association to guard the Lincolnshire coast around the north east corner of The Wash, fringed by dangerous sandbanks. The Association amalgamated with the RNLI in 1864. Since the station became operational, there have been five boathouses at Skegness, the current one being completed in June 1990. It was the first new lifeboat house to be built for the Mersey class lifeboat and it also houses a D class inshore lifeboat and a shop. The long stretch of beach between the boathouse and the sea can be up to 400m, depending on the state of the tide. During a call out, one or both lifeboats are pulled along the sand by tractor to the water’s edge before launching. During the summer months, this area is filled with holidaymakers, so the crew run along the sides of the boat moving people out.

The early lifeboats were drawn by a team of eight horses hired from a local farm. It must have been an amazing sight watching the lifeboat being pulled along the beach so as to get the lifeboat closest to the stricken vessel to allow for a swift launch, remember in those days the boats were powered only by the oars off the crew members and these men must have been strong as they fought against strong tides and winds in high seas in order to get out to the stricken vessels.

In complete contrast to today’s lifeboat the 'Lincolnshire Poacher' as it is named is a Mersey class all weather lifeboat powered by twin 285hp Caterpillar 3208T turbo-charged diesels and is capable of a speed of 17 knots. It has a crew of six and can carry a X Boat inflatable which it can deploy at sea. Its survivor compartment can carry 43 people, but more than 21 prevents self-righting should the boat capsize.

The Lifeboat house also holds a D Type class inflatable lifeboat. Fast, light and with very shallow draught, it can respond rapidly and work in very shallow and confined Waters. It is an ideal lifeboat for rescues close to shore in fair-to-moderate conditions in both daylight and darkness. It has a single outboard engine and can be launched from special trolleys or even manually.

The crew members of the lifeboat are all volunteers who are prepared to leave there place of employment at any time when called upon. Many of these men have family links to previous lifeboat crews and there are families in Skegness who can traces their descendants right back to the earliest days of the Skegness Lifeboat.

I can remember a time not long ago when once a distress signal was received at the lifeboat house maroon rockets would be fired, one maroon for the inflatable and two maroons for the out shore lifeboat to be launched. If you were lucky enough to be in Skegness at the time you would see men running from there place of work or cycling or driving their vehicle down Tower Esplanade as fast as was safe enough, all converging on the lifeboat house ready for the launch. With today’s technology it is no longer necessary to use the maroons which at times could cause hazards but I do miss hearing the maroons going off has it somehow involved residents in the launch and allowed us to in our thoughts wish the men safe passage.

This coming year will involve many launches especially during the summer months when they could be called out 2-3 times a day to deal with thoughtless visitors who don’ t take heed of warnings about the dangers of using inflatable’s on the sea or to search for lost children. The lifeboat crew do a fantastic job and have saved scores of lives, if you visit the lifeboat house you can see a roll of honour to the lifeboat men and the job they do.

The Lifeboat house is generally open daily from 10.30am-4pm. From the clock tower walk towards the beach and the station is on the left. There is also a shop which is open from Easter to Christmas the Station can be reached on the web at www.skegnesslifeboat.org.uk

Skegness is very proud of its lifeboat and supports in many ways through donations and special activities. Each year the Lifeboat station hosts a special open day with stalls and special launch displays and mock rescues at sea. Details of this day can be got from the Lifeboat Station.

Monday, 2 January 2012

2012 - My Hopes and Expectations


On this my first blog of 2012 I just want to share my hopes and expectations for the next 12 months. Above all I hope that before the end of the year we will see some signs of us getting out to the gloom we have endured over the last few years and we can see some hope especially for the youngsters looking for worthwhile employment.

I do believe that the London Olympics can herald a new future of optimism and for this reason my biggest hope is that the games will go through without any interruption or bother and that our young sporting hopefuls all do well.

I’m hoping for a good summer with plenty of sunshine, it’s the one thing that can guarantee that visitor to Skegness will keep rising. I have often heard business people say what is the point of attracting large numbers to the resort if they are not spending? My view is that as long as the visitors keep coming we have hope, but if they stop coming in large numbers then we have no hope. Whether they have money in there pockets to spend is irrelevant, we just need to keep attracting them with clean beaches and free entertainment and eventually once they begin to prosper then they will spend.

I also hope that someone with a little entrepreneurship and imagination can be encouraged to come and start the redevelopment of our foreshore, we here in Skegness badly need some new attractions and a new look about the place. It is clear to see from the many adverts on the TV that UK holiday destinations are going to be the thing in the future and if we hope to continue to get a large slice of this cake then we need to keep up with the rest, Blackpool has seen a massive investment in its sea front and attractions and we must do the same.

There are numerous things to look forward to this year in Skegness, to name just a few: The 2nd Party on the Pier, the Olympic torch being parade through on 27th of June, The SO festival on June 29th to 31st, The Illuminations switch on and Carnival week in August and the AMCA beach racing in November.

I'm pleased also to hear that much improvement is going to be made to our bowling greens and prizes to wow back the many bowlers who visit our shores to enter into the tournament weeks that are held each year. The bowlers play a vital role in the economy of the town and I am glad to see that it has been recognised.

On a personal note I’m really looking forward to the opening of Mablethorpes Beach huts in the month of May and I hope the weather will be kinder to us this year so as we are able to spend more weeks enjoying the facilities.

 I also hope to find interesting subjects to keep you the readers entertained and hopefully increase the numbers who visit the blog on a daily basis. So I shall be looking for more historical stories from Skegness and Lincolnshire’s past, including a look at some of the World War two airfields that are dotted about the county and some tales of folklore and mystery as well as covering some of the events that will be taking place in and about Skegness.

Once again this year I will endeavour to work with Coastal Access for all to ensure that our coastal walkways are accessible by all, wind born sand is the enemy of all who rely on the use of wheelchairs and Mobility scooters and I am hoping that with the help of the community and volunteers we can keep our coastal areas clear for the enjoyment of all.

Finally I hope to support our local library in any way I can this year, we have seen last year that our library service is under threat mainly by people that never use them and such do not appreciate the importance of the service the library brings to the community. I have over the last year joined a local history group and book club at our library and very much enjoy them. The library Service I believe will change dramatically over the next decade, with more people turning to the use of electronic books its inevitable that less emphasis will be placed on the lending of novels but hopefully in its place we will see more emphasis on group activities such as book readings, local history illustrated talks. Our libraries already house large collections of documents, photographs, newspapers, maps and other items related to the history of the area and items essential to our past lives. If we loose our library we also loose the availability to view these items and instead they will be stored away somewhere out of our reach. It is my belief that given time we will discover a whole new way of using our library service and until that day I will continue to support them.

2012 My Hopes and Expectations


On this my first blog of 2012 I just want to share with you just some of my hopes and expectations for the next 12 months. Above all I hope that before the end of the year we will see some signs of us getting out to the gloom we have endured over the last few years and we can see some hope especially for the youngsters looking for worthwhile employment.

I do believe that the London Olympics can herald a new future of optimism and for this reason my biggest hope is that the games will go through without any interruption or bother and that our young sporting hopefuls all do well.

I’m hoping for a good summer with plenty of sunshine, it’s the one thing that can guarantee that visitor to Skegness will keep rising. I have often heard business people say what is the point of attracting large numbers to the resort if they are not spending? My view is that as long as the visitors keep coming we have hope, but if they stop coming in large numbers then we have no hope. Whether they have money in there pockets to spend is irrelevant, we just need to keep attracting them with clean beaches and free entertainment and eventually once they begin to prosper then they will spend.

I also hope that someone with a little entrepreneurship and imagination can be encouraged to come and start the redevelopment of our foreshore, we here in Skegness badly need some new attractions and a new look about the place. It is clear to see from the many adverts on the TV that UK holiday destinations are going to be the thing in the future and if we hope to continue to get a large slice of this cake then we need to keep up with the rest, Blackpool has seen a massive investment in its sea front and attractions and we must do the same.

There are numerous things to look forward to this year in Skegness, to name just a few: The 2nd Party on the Pier, the Olympic torch being parade through on 27th of June, The SO festival on June 29th to 31st, The Illuminations switch on and Carnival week in August and the AMCA beach racing in November.

I am pleased also to hear that much improvement is going to be made to our bowling greens and prizes to wow back the many bowlers who visit our shores to enter into the tournament weeks that are held each year. The bowlers play a vital role in the economy of the town and I am glad to see that it has been recognised.

On a personal note I’m really looking forward to the opening of Mablethorpes Beach huts in the month of May and I hope the weather will be kinder to us this year so as we are able to spend more weeks enjoying the facilities.

 I also hope to find interesting subjects to keep you the readers entertained and hopefully increase the numbers who visit the blog on a daily basis. So I shall be looking for more historical stories from Skegness and Lincolnshire’s past, including a look at some of the World War two airfields that are dotted about the county and some tales of folklore and mystery as well as covering some of the events that will be taking place in and about Skegness.

Once again this year I will endeavour to work with Coastal Access for all to ensure that our coastal walkways are accessible by all, wind born sand is the enemy of all who rely on the use of wheelchairs and Mobility scooters and I am hoping that with the help of the community and volunteers we can keep our coastal areas clear for the enjoyment of all.

Finally I hope to support our local library in any way I can this year, we have seen last year that our library service is under threat mainly by people that never use them and such do not appreciate the importance of the service the library brings to the community. I have over the last year joined a local history group and book club at our library and very much enjoy them. The library Service I believe will change dramatically over the next decade, with more people turning to the use of electronic books its inevitable that less emphasis will be placed on the lending of novels but hopefully in its place we will see more emphasis on group activities such as book readings, local history illustrated talks. Our libraries already house large collections of documents, photographs, newspapers, maps and other items related to the history of the area and items essential to our past lives. If we loose our library we also loose the availability to view these items and instead they will be stored away somewhere out of our reach. It is my belief that given time we will discover a whole new way of using our library service and until that day I will continue to support them.