Skegness - A Trip To The Lincolnshire Coast
w/e 04 April 2004
In the years after the Second World War, Skegness became a very
popular holiday resort especially with visitors from the Midland
counties of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. With the onset of
foreign travel the town lost some of its appeal but today it
still attracts many visitors during the summer months. I was
surprised last week with the number of people there at the end
of March despite the fact that the start of holiday season is
still a few weeks off. This view of Lumley Road should be familiar
to ALL visitors, whether old or new. To the left of the building
towards the centre of the picture is the much narrower High Street,
probably more commonly known, because of the number of establishments
selling one of England's favourite take away meals, as Chip Alley.
Fish and chips were also available at the Tower Restaurant and
despite the shutters seen here, most of the shops on Lumley Road
were open for business. Even this early in the year, seaside
souvenir shops were trading alongside the national chain stores
and other local businesses.
Almost as traditional as fish and chips, any visit to the seaside
should also be marked by at least one stick of lettered rock
and the Skegness Rock Factory has already built up sufficient
stocks to satisfy everyone with a sweet tooth expected in the
town during the coming weeks.
There will be plenty of ice cream on sale too not least at the
Kiddies Corner on the South Parade.
For the more grown up children (and adults) there are larger
and more adventurous amusements off Grand Parade and although
comparatively tame by the rollercoaster standards of today, the
Big Dipper has been a familiar feature of the Skegness skyline
for many years.
And then of course there is the beach. With a stiff breeze blowing
in from the North Sea, there were no takers today but preparations
for the summer season are well under way. There's a sign for
donkey rides but no donkeys yet; flag poles but no flags and
a pier that is shorter now than it used to be and almost reaches
the sea which, if you look closely, you can just see. There was
a joke some time ago that you needed two days to visit Skegness
- one to get there and the other to walk down the beach to the
edge of the water. That's probably unfair but with such a large
expanse of sand there's plenty of room for everyone and there's
certainly no fighting for sun beds.
As an alternative to the sea, the calm waters of the boating
lake are another excellent option. Soon the lake will be a hive
of activity but at the moment, all the boats are tied up awaiting
their first customers.
No visit to the town would be complete without a look at these
two famous icons. Even on this very brief visit - I was only
there for about an hour - I had time to see the Clock Tower and
the symbol that is always associated with Skegness, the Jolly
On this visit I didn't have time to go to the end of the pier,
but in those halcyon post war years, well before the arrival
of digital cameras, Wrates had a thriving photographic business
snapping holidaymakers as they walked along the prom. By presenting
the ticket thrust into your hand when the photograph was taken
at their premises at the pier, you could inspect, buy and order
further copies of your holiday image. In 1953, Coronation year,
the photos were presented in souvenir folders.
The colour images on this page are from my latest visit to Skegness
but this one with the date stamped in the top corner probably
records my first visit. Yes believe it or not, that cute child
really is me!