Lockdown writing competition entries to go on display at new gallery

Selected entries in the Skegness Standard lockdown writing competition will go on display at a new gallery to be opened later in the year.
As life returns to a new normal in Skegness, the Standard is hoping you have been inspired during the past few weeks in lockdown to enter our short story competition.As life returns to a new normal in Skegness, the Standard is hoping you have been inspired during the past few weeks in lockdown to enter our short story competition.
As life returns to a new normal in Skegness, the Standard is hoping you have been inspired during the past few weeks in lockdown to enter our short story competition.

Local photographer John Byford has been collecting works as a local record of the pandemic for the exhibition at the 1929 Gallery - part of a creative hub and tearooms at the old police station on Roman Bank.

Readers have been getting creative during lockdown - and we can't wait to share their work work with you.

Since the Skegness Standard joined forces with Lincolnshire's best-selling author Margaret Dickinson to launch a short story competition, we have been overwhelmed by the inspiration behind the entries we have already received.

As Covid-19 restrictions are eased and life returns to a new normal, we are looking to bring the competition to a close - and have now a closing date for final entries of June 30.

Stories should be no more than 1,000 words and the best three will be published in the Skegness Standard.

John Byford said: "We are looking forward to displaying entries as part of our exhibition at the new gallery - and we will bring you more news about this in the coming weeks."

Margaret Dickinson, who was born in Gainsborough before moving to the Lincolnshire coast, says she is looking forward to judging the entries, along with former Skegness editor, John Cowpe. She says writing can be the perfect escapism for people confined to their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Her latest book, The Spitfire Sisters, was published in January and is the final part of a trilogy. Margaret is already working on her next novel, taking just a short break for her daily stroll.

Born before the end of the Second World War, she says that period of history has been an inspiration in many of her novels.

"I was born during the war and can just remember the rationing," she said.

"Our lockdown is very different as people were not confined to their home in the same way.

"But now is the perfect time for people to get creative and try their hand at writing a short story."

Mr Cowpe has also had three books published, "Skegness Past", a photographic history of the area produced in conjunction with the Skegness Standard, and two novels, "Ill Winds" and "All For Blood".

He says: "I am delighted to be asked by the Skegness Standard to judge their competition alongside Margaret Dickinson. For several years the Standard and East Lincolnshire Arts ran a successful short story competition. Margaret and I were the judges, alongside the late Peter Emmens. It's great that the Standard has come up with a similar idea to to stimulate people's imaginations during these difficult weeks."

* Email your entries to [email protected]. Normal JPI Media competition rules apply.

In the meantime we have also been sent a poem by Karina Oakes, which has also been inspired by the lockdown.


Start of lockdown

I went bed with a frown

made me feel so down

I can’t do this, I sighed

I wake up, panic attack

peace is what I lack

how can I do this for weeks on end?

I go back to bed, I can’t go on

if this lockdown lasts too long

The streets are empty

caravan park shut

they are closed and empty

like a beach hut

The town so still

no tourists about

deader than winter

with no way out

B and B’s closed

hotels too

time on their hands

nothing to do

A sobering thought for locals

And the odd caravanner

Who still have their reasons

For staying on, else they’d be gone

They are still here as Government Exemptions apply………..

Else Police and Security would make sure,

They’d said Goodbye

It’s funny

As when you ask the locals

Where they’re originally from

Nottingham, Mansfield, Sheffield

The list goes on

Tourism will change now

I know that for sure

People will sell their caravans

And it will be like before

Wide open spaces

The odd tourer perhaps

The people of Skegness will clap

Not for the NHS

But to tourists who have gone back

More shops close down

No-one around

Even people from Skeg have to move town

Have to find work

Theres none here, you see

Since Businesses closed down

And tourists have gone to a further off sea

Arcades remain shut

Due to Social Distancing Rule

With less machines

Their profits would fall

Pubs and Clubs close

Too much ale gone to waste

Relys on regular custom

To keep up the pace

Skegness, still and eery

Like a Stephen King clip

Only the big supermarkets stay open

Whilst everything else is dying

Cafes remain shut

No-one visits anymore

Candyfloss and Ice-cream stalls – miss a whole summer

Never happened before, not even during the war

Those who live here

Should never boast

When you come to realize

It’s the tourists that made the coast

Skegness has come full circle

Like 200 years ago

A fishing town

No more, no less

People no longer frequent

The Clock-tower

Or Skegness

People have moved town

Less people around

The result of lockdown

Whilst people were clapping for the NHS

Our seaside towns were dying

And died a slow death

Well done Corona Virus

Less pollution around

But you’ve took away our seaside town !

Which for one gave jobs to lots of people

Made Skegness thrive

Like bees to a hive

The tourists flocked

Even though they got mocked

By locals – each and every year

For their caravan lifestyle !

Lessons learned

No more jobs in the town

Seaside is empty

Home for the seagulls only ……..

After lockdown

I remember when all this were caravans

People will say

Instead of ‘ All this were fields’

Way back when

Now people only come Skegness

For the day

Caravan haters during lockdown

Might just reap what you’ve sown

And remain a ghost-town

So before you judge the tourists

And their all year round trade

Be thankful for the job you had

Before the Corona raid

Lest we go back to the old fishing town

you were from a Bygone Age