March 2, 2020 4.01 pm This story is over 49 months old

‘Don’t make Jolly Fisherman walk the plank’, cry Skegness fans

The council is debating the future of the mascot’s costume on Wednesday

Residents have called for Skegness’ historic mascot the Jolly Fisherman to be saved after fears council bosses could get rid of him.

It follows a report to Skegness Town Council debating the future of the iconic 110-year-old character costume.

It was handed back to them by the Lincolnshire Coastal BID board, which will no longer offer the mascot service.

Skegness Town Council, however, has concerns over a lack of storage space for the costume as well as the rules and regulations limiting its use.

Councillors will be asked whether or not they wish to store the costume and will be told “a longer-term decision is needed regarding the future of the Jolly Fisherman costume character.

“All those organisations operating Jolly since ELDC used employed theatre staff to run it, have found difficulties operating with volunteers, and it has not sustained,” said the report.

“In 2012, [the council] considered operating Jolly when ELDC elected to stop the service but decided against this based on the cost.

“The resource and cost of operating Jolly (if done properly) is more than many will imagine.”

The debate has caused uncertainty online, with residents taking to social media to call on the council to keep the mascot.

It was created in 1908 by artist John Hassall, who is regarded as one of the most successful adverts for the town.

A petition has also been launched on by Joseph Emmanuel. It has so far been signed more than 120 times.

Former councillor John Byford said: “Jolly is not just our town mascot, he’s a crowd puller.

“He’s our A-list celeb, and does so much more for Skegness, promoting the resort far far better than all the town councillors put together.

“He may be 112, but he’s certainly not ready to hang his boots up yet!”

Ossy Myers said: “Let’s keep Jolly, he always knows how to put a smile on everyone’s face.”

Paulette Billson-West said: “Jolly is a historic part of Skegness. Childhood memories of Skegness include Jolly.”

A spokesman for Skegness Town Council confirmed no decision had yet been made.

Councillors will meet on Wednesday, at the Town Hall on North Parade on at 7pm.

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