Skegness Is Soooo Bracing, Darling


The famous fisherman poster, iconic symbol of the town since 1908

The modern world has not been kind to the great British seaside resort. Developed in the heyday of rail travel, once a magnet for day trippers and holidaymakers alike, most are now sad and depressing shadows of their former selves, populated mainly by retirees and the homeless.

Never the world’s most appealing holiday destination – as the famous 1908 poster hints, the weather can be chilly, and only a penguin would call the North Sea  warm – the Lincolnshire resort of Skegness went into decline with the advent of mass tourism, cheap flights, and holidays in Spain.

But now it’s rainbows to the rescue: the town council would like someone – anyone – to organise a festival in the town to attract business in the slower months. Specifically, they’re looking for a Gay Pride Festival.

Following a motion by Councillor Phil Kemp, Skegness Town Council said it would support a Gay Pride event. Mr Kemp said:

“It seems to me a terrific way for people to celebrate their own sexuality and have fun. I have been aware that Skegness already has quite a large gay community within its own right but believe that apart from one particularly pub, there isn’t much in the way of them being able to celebrate that.”

Fellow Councillor Steve Kirk, with one eye on the till, said: “I am happy to support the sentiment behind this. Let’s not underestimate the power of the pink pound.”

The twinkle some claim to have spotted in the eye of the towns statue of the famous fisherman seems to indicate his approval. Or maybe it was just another bracing shower.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)