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The Jolly Fisherman fountain
Point 8 - The Jolly Fisherman
Now seen as synonymous with Skegness, the Jolly Fisherman started life on a poster with the slogan, ‘Skegness is so bracing’, which has become one of the most enduring tourism posters ever.
It was commissioned by the then Great Northern Railway to encourage visitors to use their service to take them on their seaside breaks to Skegness.
The picture itself was drawn by John Hassall the son of a naval officer who was born in Walmer, Kent. He studied in Antwerp and Paris at the Academie Julien. Sadly the tale does not end happily for John as when he died in 1948 he was penniless.
The commission in 1908 for the poster was for 12 guineas and with its slogan became an instant icon for the East coast town. It is believed that the slogan itself was thought up by an unknown member of staff for the Great Northern Railway – so if you have any relatives who worked for the company at that time you never know it could have been them.
Jolly Fisherman poster
It was Easter time, 1908, when the poster was first seen by tourists who were encouraged to travel from Kings Cross on a special three shilling excursion to Skegness.
John Hassall only visited Skegness once, in 1936 when he was given ‘the freedom of the foreshore’ by the town.
He is claimed to have said that Skegness “…is even more bracing and attractive than I had been led to expect”.
The original now hangs in a place of honour in Skegness Town Hall, but if you look you will see ‘Jolly’ everywhere around Skegness.
Your walk is now complete as you head down Tower Esplanade and back to the lifeboat station where you first started.
last updated: 16/05/2008 at 17:14