I Do like To Be Beside The Seaside pt 32


Given that the football season has begun again I now find myself being occasionally abandoned for the day. Last Saturday was one such day, although luckily one where I was abandoned along with the use of a motor vehicle. So with that being the case I decided to break free of the confines of the Weir homestead and head North.

To Skegness.

According to my parents I have been to Skegness many many years ago however I don’t have any recollection of it and upon arriving, (in a pleasing gloomy light drizzle), nothing seemed overly familiar. The journey across the Lincolnshire flatlands was anything but direct, (which is odd given the lack of landscape requiring redirection), and was conducted at a less than breakneck speed due to a variety of vehicles produced by Mr John Deere & Company – so as soon as the aforementioned motor vehicle was correctly parked I was off explore.

Like a lot of seaside towns Skegness resembles a Spaghetti Western film set, in so much as all the excitement and glamour, (yes you heard), appears in a single strip propped up by, (and this is where the allusion falls down obviously), a largely unassuming town, (and that’s not a dig, I live in a largely unassuming town as well). So it’s this ‘strip’ I headed out on, along the North Parade initially, passing the first of the Jolly Fisherman statues and then The Embassy Theatre although it wasn’t long before I found myself heading out of town. So I about-turned and headed back, now a little nearer to the beach – passing some beautifully kept but deserted bowling greens, a collection of municipal beach huts and shelters, (painted in the local colours – which appeared to be a range of blues), and a water way, being slowly, (and somewhat comically), emptied of detritus by a solitary man in a pedalo.

Next a stroll down the Pier – which was more simple than I had imagined although perfectably acceptable as a pier, then a wander round the Central Amusement Park, past a collection of crazy golf courses (additional marks there for the selection on offer), a boating lake and onto the model village.

Having read Charles Holland’s recent piece on the world of the miniature, (over at his excellent blog, Fantastic Journal – and partially quoted below), I was particularly looking forward to visiting the model village out on the South Parade, and although it wasn’t the most extensive of villages it was still well well worth the effort.

“Because miniatures (and giants) are translations – that is, versions of other pre-existing objects – something tends to get lost – or added to – along the way. So, models are as much about how we see things as they are objects in their own right. Making an object at the wrong scale removes it from the real world, so that it becomes an object of contemplation, a way of reflecting upon the things that we normally only experience in a blur of habit.”

So having taken in the many sights and sounds of the Skegness Model Village I ventured into the supporting town (real rather than model) to avail myself of the many purveyors of novelty confectionery and fancy goods – who quickly faded as the sea disappeared from view.

Continuing through the town I eventually found my way to my last port of call, the railway station, to say hello to second Jolly Fisherman statue of the day and a plaque paying homage to it’s creator, Mr John Hassall. Disappointingly whilst the rest of the town was pleasingly shabby the station was just unpleasant. Admittedly it’s the end of a probably underused line but you’d have thought that given the station’s link to Skegness’ most iconic character, (who appears all over the town – see here and here), a little more care would be shown.

So having seen much of what Skegness had to offer, (and mostly liked it), I walked back through town, took a quick turn on the beach, returned to the car and onto home.

2 Responses to “I Do like To Be Beside The Seaside pt 32”

  1. i grew up near leicester, so Skegness was our ‘local’ seaside. they sold the Leicester Mercury there so you wouldn’t feel too out of touch with the real world.

    at secondary school we took a bunch of french exchange students there to show them the best of british beaches. unfortunately the sea was out and all they saw was mud stretching out as far as they eye could see. i can’t remember them being that impressed.

    i still get excited thinking about beaches (probably because Leicester was just so far away from any). And it’s great now we live just 10 minutes drive from one. But Skeggy will always have a place in my heart !

  2. I’m glad to have reminded you of Skegness all that distance away. Even though I live minutes from the Norfolk coast the draw of provincial seaside towns is great. I’m sure I’ll be back and when I do revisit I’ll pass on your regards.

    DW x

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