2021: Miles of smiles as festivals return to coast - July to December

Joy and hope for the future came at the start of the second half of 2021 in the Skegness area

Paul Sargison from Skegness, and Jessica Moorehouse announced the they were expected a baby boy from the top of the Starflyer at Fantasy Island.
Paul Sargison from Skegness, and Jessica Moorehouse announced the they were expected a baby boy from the top of the Starflyer at Fantasy Island.

JULY

'IT'S A BOY' - COUPLE'S HIGH FLYING ANNOUNCEMENT

Smoke coming from an extreme ride at a theme park in Ingoldmells might normally have raised alarms - but at the beginning of July it brought miles of smiles.

Rubbish left on a privately-owned stretch of Ingoldmells beach sparked an appeal for visitors to take it home.

Fantasy Island hosted its first-ever gender reveal from the Starflyer - and, at 70ft up, the blue smoke from a spinning chair confirmed, 'It's a boy'.

Paul Sargison from Skegness, and Jessica Moorehouse, originally from Sheffield, had both worked at Fantasy Island for over 17 years and thought it would be the perfect place to share such a happy announcement.

Jessica Moorehouse, Park Supervisor and ‘mummy-To-Be’ , said: “We’re absolutely over the moon to be expecting another little boy! It was such a magical moment to see the blue smoke go off and an experience we’ll never forget."

£22M VISION FOR SKEGNESS PIER TO BE RETURNED TO FORMER GLORY

Burma Star veteran Fred Conway, 96, lays a wreath at the memorial in Skegness on VJ Day.

Modern tea room, off shore boat trips and a viewing platform were included in an exciting new vision to extend Skegness Pier.

The consultation process that would see the iconic 19th century attraction return to its former glory at a total estimated cost of £22,353,895 million began with a meeting of stakeholders - and new owners the Mellors Group announced they needed the public's views to help them bid for funding and attract investment.

Initial proposals by Leonard Design Architects would see the current entrance replaced with a 'revived commercial gateway' that would be 'quirky and idiosyncratic'.

Along the promenade, that would stretch to nearly 600m, would be landscaped strips to represent the 'Wild Coast' and encourage a return to 'promenading'.

Crowds welcomed the return of Bands on the Bank to Bateman's Brewery in Wainfleet.

The pier head would feature a Geodesic Dome structure tea room as well as environmental visitor attraction, funfair. There could also be boat trips.

Finance director for the Mellors Group Clare Draper said the overall cost will be determined by the final design and the consultation and Stakeholder events being held over the coming weeks would help the company shape the vision and attract investment and grants.

She said: "It's been our plan from day one. It's the dream isn't it to purchase Skegness Pier and extend the pier deck to its former glory."

AUGUST

An appeal was launched to save John Nuttall's donkeys after a devastating burglary.

'TAKE IT HOME PLEA' AS RUBBISH

An appeal was made for visitors to take their rubbish home after 34 bags of rubbish were removed from a private beach in Ingoldmells - in spite of a community clean-up being cancelled.

Local community programme, BeachCare, had joined up with the Lincolnshire Coastal BID to organise a beach clean to help alleviate the continuing problem of rubbish being left behind on the promenade of a privately owned beach at Ingoldmells Point.

Due to Covid-related circumstances which were out of Keep Britain Tidy’s control, the event on was cancelled. However, members of the Lincolnshire Coastal BID team still turned up in case news of the cancellation did not reach everyone and while they were there they got busy helping to clear up.

One of the owners, Bradley Bibby, told the Standard the business spent £25,000 a year employing two full-time members of staff to keep the promenade and beach litter free and to pay Sid Dennis & Sons Ltd to remove the rubbish collected.

"It's disheartening when we work so hard to keep the beach and promenade litter free when we still get criticism for the rubbish left behind by visitors," said Mr Bibby.

Part of the vision for an extension to Skegness Pier.

The appeal to remove rubbish was made by Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID Manager, Nicola McGarry. She said: "With the focus being predominately on climate change, I believe the important and key message we should be collectively sharing is for people to take their litter home and to care for the environment, wherever you are."

SALUTE TO BURMA STAR VETERAN ON VJ DAY

A 96-year-old Burma Star veteran laid a wreath at the memorial in Skegness to celebrate the 76th anniversary of VJ Day.

Fred Conway represented the Burma Star Association at a ceremony at St Matthew's Church, proudly taking along his war medals - the 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, Italian Star, French Medal and Victory Medal.

Mr Conway is one of the last surviving Burma Star veterans and now lives in Anderby Creek with his family.

He told the Standard he was incredibly honoured to be laying a wreath and representing the Burma Star in Skegness. "I always used to lay the wreaths for the Burma Star where I used to live in East Staffordshire but now I have moved to live with my family in Anderby Creek," he said. "I was honoured to be asked to do it in Skegness."

Members of the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion attended the memorial at St Matthew's Church, along with the Burma Star and Skegness Town Council chaplain, the Rev Ian Banks, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Skegness, Coun Trevor Burnham and Jane Burnham, who were representing the council and residents.

RETURN OF POPULAR BANDS ON THE BANK

Crowds gathered on the paddock next to Bateman's Brewery on Saturday for an afternoon of live music.

Local bands taking to the stage included Cuttin’ Loose, Zebra, Local Heroes, Audio Tap, Lizzie and the Sandboys and Glass Shadow.

There was also a good selection of food and, of course, a beer tent selling Bateman's.

Jaclyn Bateman, marketing director of Bateman's, said: "We were delighted how well the event went.

"We have been holding Bands on the Bank since 2008.

"Obviously, we had to miss a year last year however, I think this was the best one so far."

SEPTEMBER

WORLD CAFE LAUNCHED TO RAISE £3K FOR SAFER COMMUNITIES

A new campaign supporting safer communities supported by Lincolnshire Police was launched in Skegness.

The World Cafe was held at the Tower Gardens Pavilion piloted by World Cafes and Mutual Gain.

Other events were held at Sleaford, Skegness, Sutton Bridge and South West Ward, Gainsborough.

Its vision saw Lincolnshire Police wanting to build on the strengths across these communities in an environment facilitated by professionals but owned by the local community.

Mark Housley, operational superintendent on East, said: “The Mutual Gain approach seeks to create ‘active’ citizens, there is so much than can be owned and sorted by communities, they just need some support to make the first step.

“Our plan is to raise funds, we have £5k in each pot gifted by the PCC, our target for each area is a minimum of £30K which will enable communities to fund and tackle some of their local needs.

SKEGNESS ROCKS AT REGGAE FESTIVAL

Skegness Reggae and Ska Weekender brought hundreds of people to the resort to enjoy music, vibe and Caribbean food.

The three-day festival in Scarbrough Avenue was organised Skegness Visit Lincs Coast ( BID)

Nicola NcGary, BID manager, said: "We are delighted with the turnout.

"The weather has been mostly kind and we have people here from the local area including Burgh le Marsh and Wainfleet and as far away as Edinburgh."

CARAVAN OWNERS VOW TO CARRY ON PROTESTING AGAINST AGE LIMITS ON VANS

Caravan owners in Ingoldmells vowed to carry on protesting over age limits imposed on their vans.

According to protestors, around 300 owners have been affected by a policy brought in by Fantasy Island which states vans which are 22 years old or more should be removed from the site.

Protests started mid-August and there were plans to carry on protesting until November when the site closed for the winter.

A similar protest was also held by caravan owners at the East Lindsey District Council run Kingfisher park. Owners are now taking ELDC to court.

SCOOTER RALLY ROARS INTO TOWN

The 11th annual Skegness Scooter Rally was hailed a massive Skegness.

Organisers Dean and Tracey Robinson had been forced to cancel last year's event and had been apprehensive about how this one would go.

But as the sun set on the three-day festival, they said: "We just want to thank everyone for their continued support.

"Like everyone, I think we were not sure how this one would go, but what a weekend it turned out to be . Even the weather was kind .

"Due to last minute changes and working with what we had the rideout was a bit chaotic, but we gave it a go and it was great to see everyone who turned out."

OCTOBER

HIGH SHERRIFF'S AWARD TOI FORMER HOMELESS MAN

A man who was homeless and living in a tent when he first moved to Skegness 10 years ago was awarded one of Lincolnshire's highest honours for his tireless efforts clearing the streets of rubbish.

Paul Russell won the hearts of the community after he pitched a tent at Winthorpe with his greyhound dog, Sparks, and was spotted spending his days picking up litter along the coast.

Now living in a flat in Skegness, he has never stopped litter picking

Paul, 48, was presented the High Sherriff's Award after being nominated by Skegness town councillor Richard Cunnington.

Coun Cunnington commented: "I work in Skegness town centre and have done now for a number of years, I have seen this gentleman and his dog walking our streets litter picking for a number of years.

"There have been many comments about him on social media and nobody has a bad thing to say - he is always polite.

"This year I have seen him out until at least 8pm and I felt it was time to thank him for the work he does in the town and surrounding area.

"Whilst walking with his dog he picks up every piece of rubbish including cigarettes buts and keeps the area tidy."

WINTER WONDERLAND PLANS FOR SKEGNESS

Skegness Town Council revealed plans for a winter wonderland in Skegness

Councillors voted to establish a budget of £10,000 per year to create an annual Christmas events weekend, incorporating the Christmas Illuminations switch-on.

A three-year Christmas Illuminations contract at a total value of £54,524 to be awarded to L.I.T.E Ltd has already was agreed by councillors at a previous meeting.

The winter wonderland idea was put forward in a motion by Coun Danny Brookes, which states: "After two years of disruption and the ever increasing work load of the switch-on event, Skegness Town Council works with the Hildreds Centre, Carnival Committee, other businesses and interested parties to establish an annual Christmas event weekend incorporating the Christmas Illuminations switch-on and other activities to try and bring the whole town together."

MP GUEST AT SPILSBY ROYAL BRITISH LEGION ANNIVERSARY

Local MP Victoria Atkins said she has been inspired by the work of the Royal British Legion when she attended the Spilsby and district branch's 100th anniversary.

The MP for Louth and Horncastle was special guest at a musical extravaganza to celebrate the anniversary and was referring to her ministerial role resettling refugee families from Afghanistan in Operation Warm Welcome.

The branch celebrated this milestone along with the Royal British Legion itself on Saturday night at the Franklin Hall..

Formed on October 8, 1921, the branch is amongst the longest serving in the country, supporting service people and their families.

Ms Atkins attended the musical evening along with her husband and son.

Over the years she has formed a special connection with the branch. In 2018 - along with David Morris, MP for Morecombe and Lunesdale in Lancashire - she helped return the Dead Man's Penny belonging to local Private Charles Edward Woodward’s Dead Man’s Penny to the town. Mr Morris found it in a London militaria shop and it now takes pride of place in the Franklin Hall.

"It's been a fantastic evening and a joyous occasion to reflect on all of the great work the Royal British Legion has done," Ms Atkins said.

"It's amazing that Spilsby was one of the very first branches and they continue to this day.

"The organisation is also inspirational for me in my new role as Minister for Afghan Resettlement because the work the veterans have done to help ex-servicemen and their families is not just connected to the First World War but every single conflict since.

"We have had a fantastic evening and it has been a pleasure to be here."

TRADERS DRIVE TO BOOST MARKET

Traders called on the Skegness Standard to help promote the town's historic market which was created in the 1960's by Fred Nicholls.

Renovation had taken place during lockdown but although there were several new traders, there were still some empty units.

Seventy-two year old Spud Taylor had been trading on the market for just over 50 years, starting before Fred sold it to John Woodward and Gordon Hawkins. Spud said today's market was a shadow of its former self, but still had a lot to offer, covering a small area of Briar Way, close to the High Street.

"Tradewise, it's got a lot quieter," he said. "It was a novelty when the market first opened.

Shaun Barton hasn't regretted opening his shop - Wizards and Witches.

"It had only been open for two or three years when I first came - I was 17 then, although I've not been continuously on here.

"I still get a good share of support from local customers - if they need a rug, they know where to come.

"We don't get a lot of passing trade anymore. We watch the visitors walking by along High Street and just need them to come round the corner.

"We also need some new traders - there are some new ones but we need more.

"But it keeps me busy - I'm not planning to retire. I think they'll have to carry me out."

NOVEMBER

INTERNATIONAL NETBALL PLAYER OPENS COMMUNITY COURTS

A disused area of Skegness Grammar School which had been transformed into two new netball courts was officially opened d by England Under-21 and Wasps netball player Poppy Baker.

Poppy took a break from physiotherapy studies at Nottingham University to open the courts which are to be available to the wider community as well as students.

Poppy, who also coached a Year 7 Netball Talent Day at the facility, said: "It's so nice to see new facilities for school age children and the wider community.

"After the last 18 months being locked up getting out and socialising with sport is so important."

The courts were the dream of the DRET school games organiser for the coastal area based at Skegness Grammar School, Sarah-Jayne Smith, who was able to secure funding through the Active Lincolnshire Opening Facilities Fund.

SHOPPING CENTRE NOMINATED FOR NATIONAL AWARD

The manager of a shopping centre in Skegness spoke of his pride for his team after being nominated for a national award.

Hildreds Centre were runners-up in the National Sceptre Awards in London - and manager Steve Andrews took to social media to announce the news.

He said: "I am so proud of my amazing team for being nominated, shortlisted and being runners up quite literally out of hundreds of other shopping centres, many much larger than ours.

"It was an honour to fly the flag for Skegness again and show the rest of the country what a great town we have.

"Thanks for your support every one we really appreciate it."

SKEGNESS RBL CHAIRMAN 'HONOURED' TO REPRESENT COUNTY

The chairman of the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion said it was a 'special honour' to represent the county by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Day .

Paul Dixon, who is community welfare officer for Lincolnshire RBL, was accompanied by his wife, Christine, and joined the march through the city which was watched on television by the nation.

"We started at Horse Guards Parade, where we were formed up and we marched on a large loop around the streets of London, passed Prince Willian, and then back to Horse Guards Parade," he said.

"It was a fantastic day and very emotional, with everyone clapping as we walked past them.

"It was so nice to see our country come back together for this special event of Remembrance."

The support for Remembrance Day was echoed locally after last year's processions were cancelled due to the pandemic.

In Skegness, hundreds of people gathered around the memorial at St Matthew's Church.

Parade Marshall Tony Kelly, who is a Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion committee member, said he was delighted with the turnout.

WAINFLEET RBL UNVEIL NEW BENCH

Wainfleet area branch of the Royal British Legionunveiled a new bench to celebrate their 100th anniversary.

The bench, situated by the bus station in the market square, was blessed by Father Hugh of Wainfleet All Saints Church in a ceremony attended by members and guests.

It was unveiled during a bustling market day by Andrew Quickfall, a representative of the Wainfleet Community Hall Trust, who paid for it.

Carl Drury, of Riverside Salvage Reclamation, also sponsored a plaque.

The celebrations continued with a tea party, including special 100th anniversary cakes, at the Coronation Hall.

SKEGNESS WEATHERS STORM TO BRING CHRISTMAS MARKET

The army of volunteers who were up at the crack of dawn to bring Christmas to Skegness were praised for their tireless efforts after Storm Arwen ripped through plans for the start of a festive market, leaving organisers and families "gutted"..

Hundreds of people travelled to the resort to enjoy the Christmas market and lights switch-on the Sunday after battering down the hatches on Saturday when the storm hit.

Entertainment took place in the Hildreds Centre the day before for those brave enough to go out, but safety concerns had cancelled the market.

Carnival committee member Ady Findley said: "I can't tell you how gutted we were to cancel on Saturday, but the storm and safety concerns made it impossible for us to go ahead.

"We were delighted to be able to go ahead on the Sunday and so pleased to see how many people turned out to support it."

The market was followed by the switch-on of The Hive Christmas tree lights on the seafront, with Santa, entertainment and fireworks.

DECEMBER

'TURN OUR LIGHTS BACK ON' CALL

Skegness Town Council called on the Government to make it a legal requirement for overnight street lighting to be provided in Skegness.

The action followed a motion by Coun Richard Cunnington which was put to town councillors in the November meeting.

Coun Cunnington said he wanted the council to write to HM Government to make it "a legal and statutory duty for local authorities like Lincolnshire County Council to provide streetlights in the middle of the night".

"This can try to help people living in a haven of fear for their safety when living their normal life either by working or socialising," he said.

The motion was seconded by Coun Danny Brookes.

In a second motion on street lighting, Skegness Town Council has called upon the Leader of Lincolnshire County Council to put the streetlights back on during 12am till 6am in Skegness.

Coun Cunnington, on proposing the motion, said: "Our blacked-out roads during these times make the vulnerable feel unsafe when going to or coming home from work or socialising."

QC WINS LANDMARK CASE FOR SKEGNESS PARA SHOWJUMPER.

A QC won a landmark case against the doctor who advised the mother of a Skegness para-showjumper with a rare form of spina bifida.

Evie Toombes, 20, of Skegness, brought the claim to the High Court in London, alleging Dr Philip Mitchell negligently failed to advise her mother, Caroline Toombes, to increase her intake of folic acid.

The ground-breaking ruling means that a healthcare professional can now be found liable for negligent pre-conception advice which results in the birth of a child with a serious health condition.

Susan Rodway QC was instructed by Tim Spring of Moore Barlow in the case of Toombes v Mitchell, in which Her Honour Judge Coe QC handed down judgment in favour of the claimant.

COAST INSPECTOR AWARDED

Coast Insp Colin Haigh was honoured in the Lincolnshire Police's Annual Recognition Awards.

The awards, held at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Lincoln, celebrated courageous members of the force.

Insp Haigh received the gong for Making a Difference. He commented: “Policing can be a traumatic and stressful job and I’m delighted to accept this award on behalf of all the good work that is done by Force Peer Supporters."

A statement from Lincolnshire Police said: "Colin has ensured volunteers have been kept up to date with training, whilst ensuring their mental health has not been affected by supporting others.

"Colin has also helped to challenge the attitudes surrounding mental health especially the stigma around disclosure and we are in a better place because of his efforts.

"This is all down to the positive commitment Colin has demonstrated to wellbeing over the past two years and the initiatives he has driven forwards."

TOWN WELCOMES RETURN OF SANTA RUN

The 15th Annual Santa Fun Run saw a return of the popular Christmas seafront event in Skegness, with many families turning out in the cold to raise money for Rotary charities.

The event was organised by the Rotary Club of Skegness who commented: "So many lovely people did their bit for charity today, in spite it being cold and wet.

"Did it matter? No! So many people went to so much effort."

Mayor of Skegness Coun Trevor Burnham started the race, supported by the Jolly Fisherman and the Carnival Princess Summer, who handed out the medals.

In Wainfleet, the Bateman's Brewery Rosey Nosey Fun Run was held in aid of the Fire Fighters' Charity.

The route of the two races started at the brewery and wound around the streets of Wainfleet, adding to the Christmas Market festivities in the town square.

ASHES OF MUCH-LOVED FORMER COXWAIN SCARTTERED AT SEA

The ashes of a much-loved Skegness RNLI coxwain were scattered at sea in a moving ceremony attended by family and former colleagues.

Richard 'Watty' Watson died tragically in a road traffic accident on October 1, 2020. He had served more than 32 years with the RNLI, saving hundreds of lives, before he retired in 2019.

His great humour, knowledge and dedication was recognised last Sunday when crews and lifeboats from Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and Norfolk made the journey to Skegness for his last launch and to pay their respects in solidarity with his family and Skegness volunteer crew.

An appeal for £50,000 for Skegness Lifeboat Station which would be a lasting legacy to Watty was also launched earlier this year.

So far it has raised £30,000 and to make a donation to the visit RNLI Skegness - In memory of Watty

BIG CHRISTMAS FEASTS IN SKEGNESS AND WAINFLEET

A massive community effort saw two Big Christmas Feasts take place in Skegness and Wainfleet.as part of an annual campaign by the Skegness Standard to bring festive cheer to the area's elderly and vulnerable.

The event in Skegness was hosted by the Lunch Box 5000 team at the Storehouse and the second event was held at Wainfleet Merhodist Church.

Local businesses and supermarkets, organisations including the Rotary Club of Skegness and charities, including Buckingham Emergency Foods, joined the Skegness Standard to help the event go ahead safely after last year's was cancelled due to the pandemic.

This is the ninth year that the Skegness Standard newspaper company has sponsored the festive feasts around our different publications.

Skegness Reggae and Ska Weekender brought hundreds of people to the resort to enjoy music, vibe and Caribbean food.
The 11th annual Skegness Scooter Rally was hailed a massive Skegness. Photo: Barry Robinson
Paul Russell won the community's hearts because of his litter picking.
MP Victoria Atkins (second left) was a special guest at the 100th anniversary of the Spilsby and District branch of the Royal British Legion. Also pictured are (from left) Raymond Glynn-Owen (Hon Treasurer) Bill Atkin , ( Vice- Chair), Barbara Chandler (Hon Secretary), Ron Worth (President) and Denis Chandler (Chair).
Skegness Market in the 1960's. Traders today would like to see it return to its former glory.
England Under-21 and Wasps netball player Poppy Baker opening the new netball courts at Skegness Grammar School.
The Hildreds centre were runners up in the National Sceptre Awards in London.
Skegness Remembrance Day parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
The Wainfleet area branch of the Royal British Legion bench is unveiled to mark its 100th anniversary.
Insp Colin Haigh receives his award from Chief Constable Chris Hayward.
The 15th annual Santa Run took place in Skegness. Photo Barry Robinson.
The The ashes of much-loved Skegness RNLI coxwain Richard (Watty) Watson have been scattered at sea.
Volunteers at the Big Christmas Feast in Skegness.