A gift for Jolly

27 01 2009

The Jolly Fisherman was recently presented with a framed print in recognition of his commitment to the town of Skegness during the 2008 Birthday celebrations. The frame was supplied and paid for by ELDC, with images from John Byford (moonhead.co.uk)

You can download the poster free of charge (for private display only – NOT for re-sale DOWNLOAD

Photo below: 20×30 inch poster being presented to the Jolly Fisherman last week at the Town Hall.

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Plaque to honour John Hassall

19 12 2008

Plaque to honour John Hassall – creator of the Jolly Fisherman

Yes – a plaque to honour John Hassall has now been produced (and paid for) by the Town council.
[see article below published in the Skegness Standard back in 2007]

The plaque will be unveiled at the Railway Station in 2009. Full details to follow soon.

John Byford with the new plaque to honour John Hassall

Photo: http://www.stevegould.co.uk

A POSTHUMOUS honour has been suggested for Jolly Fisherman creator John Hassall to coincide with the mascot’s 100th birthday celebrations next year.

At Wednesday’s Skegness Town Council meeting John Byford asked the council not to forget the artist when discusssing the forthcoming celebrations.

In the public session he said: “It was John Hassall’s creation at the end of the day.

“He was given the freedom of the foreshore in 1936 when he visited the town, but since that date we all know his creation has been used a million and one times.

“In recognition of the artist’s work, I’m requesting the town council look at giving John Hassall a posthumous honour, possibly along with a plaque to coincide with next year’s events.”

[b]He suggested the plaque could be paid for with money the council receives when people pay to reproduce the Jolly Fisherman image[/b]

Source: Skegness standard.






Skegness and the Jolly Fisherman

24 07 2008

By Sophie Campbell

Well, you do wonder. What could have turned a middle-aged boatman with sagging wellies and a tobacco habit into the poster boy of a generation? Or, rather, generations?

When the artist John Hassall was commissioned to design a railway poster trumpeting the charms of Skegness in 1908, I doubt it would have occurred to him that his creation — a joyous, rotund fellow prancing along an unfeasibly yellow beach smoking his pipe, soon nicknamed the “Jolly Fisherman” — would be celebrating his centenary in 2008 with a letter from the Queen and a party (to which you are all invited) on July 27 in Skegness’s Tower Gardens.

Rooneys, Beckhams, Cruises — none of them could be more guarded about their party plans than the mayor of Skegness, Neil Pimperton. He shakes his head sternly when I ask if Jolly (“The Jolly Fisherman” is a bit clunky for modern marketing purposes) is going to leap out of a cake or lead a fish-a-thon in the Tower Gardens duck pond. Pimperton is a sweet man who — along with his wife and mayoress, Rita — is hugely proud of his chosen home town.

He is also far too polite to say “Stuff Boris Johnson” after the London Mayor unfavourably compared Skegness to the Med in his latest Daily Telegraph column.

Pimperton is originally from near Rotherham, which, along with Hull, Keighley, Sheffield and others, was one of the traditional industrial feeders for Skegness; locals still refer to the last week in July and the first week in August as “Miners’ Week”. He gives me that “I know you journalists” look and says that it’s going to be a big surprise.

We — the mayor, mayoress, district councillor and Jolly expert John Byford and I — are on the Jolly Trail, another birthday treat that opened six weeks ago and starts at Tower Gardens. All things lead to (or from) Tower Gardens in Skegness; they were there right from the beginning, when the Earl of Scarborough decided to develop his stretch of flat Lincolnshire coastline into a seaside resort.

Construction began on a neat grid in about 1870 and his land agent advertised plots, extolling the “clean, hard sands, salubrious climate and finest cricket ground in England”, among other things. The gardens occupied the former coal yards, which once stored Tyneside coal debouched from colliers on to the beach.

Today, the pretty little gatehouses have gone and some of the neighbouring Victorian houses burnt down last August. The firemen had to siphon the water out of both town swimming pools and the fish pond to stop the blaze; even so, an amusement arcade went up. Afterwards, singed two-pence pieces were seen circulating in the town.

Holidaymakers stare curiously from their benches as our delegation strolls past. We stop occasionally to ask if they are enjoying Skegness. As the mayor and mayoress are not wearing their chains, everyone looks slightly startled, but they all say yes, thank you. We perambulate past the graceful, station-style pavilion — maroon clapboard, cream bargeboarding — that might, they hope, become a tourist office, café and shop; the matching bandstand, built in the year 2000; and the pond, where an anxious crowd is watching the ducklings frantically trying not to be washed backwards over the cascade.

The trail is marked by large yellow footprints that are controversial, because they are Jolly-sized and deemed unsightly by some. They are also being worn away, because the town council used the wrong sort of paint, but there are wooden markers as well, with Jolly medallions set into them.

They could do with more signs explaining exactly what the Jolly Trail is: a leisurely way to learn about the town’s history, passing the Embassy Centre’s rather glamorous new outdoor pool, stalls selling woolly worms on sticks and castle-shaped buckets, food vans with candy-floss bags bouncing in the breeze and Tupperware tubs of ice-cream toppings. The highlight is the quarter-of-a-mile wide beach of hard, dark gold sand; it might not be buttercup-yellow, but it proudly flies a blue flag.

We pass the Jolly Fisherman fountain, a bronze statue dancing on a pile of rocks. “All sorts of things happen to him,” says John Byford, laughing. “We’ve found him with knickers on his head and his pipe gets broken — and look, someone’s put Fairy Liquid in the water again.” Sure enough, a million bubbles twinkle rainbows in the sun. A CCTV camera swivels impassively on a pole, relaying pictures to the police station.

In the background, two gardeners toil away at a vast flower bed, creating a replica of the Jolly poster. The trail ends at the Clock Tower, where the Pimpertons will share the platform with the singer Jane McDonald for the illuminations switch-on tonight.

The next big event is a John Hassall exhibition at the Town Hall in September, showing the evolution of the Jolly design as well as his other work. The posters are stored in the mayor’s parlour, ordered from a specialist printer and stacked in tissue paper. We admire the original, in gouache, which is worth £30,000. It is startlingly subdued in comparison with its bouncy poster incarnation; the colours are more subtle, the fisherman looks almost more apoplectic than joyous. The difference made by the words — a bold typeface, advertising three-shilling LNER (London & North Eastern Railways) day trips to the east coast, with the immortal line “Skegness is so bracing!” breezing over the picture itself — is extraordinary.

Other posters show that Skegness was originally pitched as a health resort — the Town Hall itself used to be a convalescent home and the Derby Miners’ Convalescent Home is still going — hence the “bracing” line.

The coming of the railway in 1873 brought a different type of visitor, who wanted to do what the Jolly Fisherman was doing: having a laugh on the beach, with blue sky and sun. I will draw a veil over the hilarious Viz parody, which I spotted through the tissue paper, because it caused my hosts such visible distress. John Byford is bravely insisting on putting it in the show.

So stuff Boris and the Med. I was last in Skegness about 10 years ago and I liked it then. Its message might have morphed discreetly from “bracing” to “drier” over the past century, but the place still has real charm — rather like its pop-eyed, buoyant, shamelessly optimistic public figure. Happy Birthday, Jolly.





Party in the park – Jolly Fisherman

17 07 2008

Everyone invited!

THE Jolly Fisherman’s 100th birthday celebrations continue this month with a special party in Tower Gardens on July 27 and Jolly has invited everyone to come along and have fun!

The party is billed as an exciting free family afternoon by the sea with mascots from many popular holiday destinations joining the famous Fisherman for music, fun and games.

Guest compare, John Marshall from Lincs FM, will kick the event off at 2pm with music being provided by the Royal Anglian Military Band and Skegness’ Silver Band, which is also celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

A Jolly Fisherman look-a-like competition, judged by Jolly himself, will take place with young people encouraged to don their favourite wellies, blue jumper and red scarf. Those entering will get a piece of Jolly’s birthday cake and the winners will receive a special prize.

No seaside party would be complete without Punch and Judy shows and Pongo the Clown will entertain the children too.

Tower Garden will have a selection of stalls providing ice creams and other tasty treats.

The Mayor of Skegness, Councillor Neil Pimperton, encourages everyone to come along: “Everyone associates fun with Skegness and in particular with the Jolly Fisherman. The birthday party provides families with a cheap afternoon out by the sea and an opportunity to enjoy lots of free entertainment With Jane MacDonald switching on the resort’s illuminations the night before (July 26, 2008) it promises to be an action packed weekend on the coast.”

Please see the full birthday party itinerary below.

10am to 5pm – Local Charity stalls, BBQ, Mobile Skate Park, Bouncy Castle and to Children’s rides operating throughout the day.

1pm Prior to the commencement of the Party, Musical Entertainment provided by The Royal Military Band.

2pm John Marshall, Lincolnshire FM Radio Presenter, to compère the event throughout the afternoon beginning with a welcome to everyone attending Jolly’s Party and introduction of Characters and Mascots from around the area.

2.10pm “Arrival” of the Jolly Fisherman

2.15pm Song and Dance featuring the Lisa Jay Stage Institute

2.30pm Punch and Judy Show

2.45 to 3.30pm The Royal Military Band

3.00pm Join the Characters in a game of Musical Statues – A Prize for everyone taking part

2.45pm to 3.30pm Preliminary judging of all entrants to the Jolly Look-a- Like Competition – Every entrant will receive a very special Jolly

3.15pm to 3.45pm Pogo the Clown entertains – featuring Mix and Mingle, Balloon Modelling etc. etc.

3.45pm Presentation of the “Freedom of the Foreshore” to the Jolly Fisherman to and the cutting of his birthday cake

3.55pm Presentation of prizes to the winners of the Target Newspaper’s Jolly Poster Competition

4.05 to 4.30pm Pogo the Clown’s Special Magic Show

4.00 to 4.20pm Final judging of the Jolly Look-a-Like competition and prize presentations

4.30pm Skegness Silver Band entertains

Come and join in all the fun and help celebrate Jolly’s 100th Birthday together with his friends Dino the Dinosaur, Billy Brewer, Tower Mouse, Rocky Alligator, Pirate Pete and lots more.





The Jolly Fisherman travels from Skegness to Keighley

26 06 2008

The Jolly Fisherman

Photo of John Byford from Skegness with the unique plaque at Keighley Station.

More details of this event





Original manuscript of Jolly Fisherman found!

7 06 2008

IN honour of the Jolly Fisherman’s 100th birthday this year, we have been asking our readers to send us their Jolly memorabilia. Coun John Byford sent us a picture of the vellum, an orginal manuscript written on calf’s skin, presented to John Hassall in 1936 in recognition of his creation.

Coun Byford explained Mr Hassall was also awarded the freedom of the foreshore by Skegness Urban District Council, which entitled him to free use of things such as the cinema and deck chairs.

Coun Byford is going to Essex to pick up the original vellum so it can be displayed at the Skegness Civic Society’s Jolly Exhibition in September at Skegness Town Hall.

For more information / larger image please visit: Jolly’s website





All Aboard the Jolly Fisherman

7 06 2008

Photo by John byford – moonhead.co.uk

All the fun of the seaside came to the Bradford district to mark the 100th anniversary of a special train that used to run to the coast.

The Jolly Fisherman service started operating in 1908 and connected the district and other parts of Yorkshire to the resort of Skegness.

To mark the train’s centenary, the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway pulled out all the stops to recapture the spirit of the service.

The Butlins Red Coats were out in force on Keighley station, and were joined by Skegness’ resort mascot, the Jolly Fisherman.

Even the Mayor of Skegness, Councillor Neil Pimperton, had made the journey to the railway to be part of the historic occasion.

In front of hundreds of rail enthusiasts, the Jolly Fisherman service blasted out of Keighley behind two diesel locomotives – a pair of class 20s – that used to operate the train in the 1980s and 90s.

The spectacular sight launched the railway’s diesel gala, which runs throughout today and tomorrow.

The yard outside Haworth engine shed had rarely looked so busy as seven visiting diesels, from as far afield as Devon and Carlisle, joined the railway’s resident fleet of engines.

Tim Moody, organiser of the diesel gala, explained that the weekend represented a quadruple celebration of anniversaries.

Mr Moody, of Haworth, said: “We are celebrating many things this weekend. First and foremost, it’s the 40-year anniversary of the railway being re-opened as a branch line in 1968 by volunteers.”

To celebrate the landmark, Mr Moody said a mainline locomotive, 37087, had been named Keighley & Worth Valley Railway – 40th anniversary.

He said: “Also, this year marks 20 years since our first diesel gala which was in 1988 and ten years since Direct Rail Services, a mainline freight operator from Carlisle, have been sending locomotives here.

“But the oldest of them all is the Jolly Fisherman which is 100 years old this year. Significantly, we have got two of the locomotives here today that used to run to Skegness and were used by many enthusiasts to go to the seaside. We have even got a cake to celebrate the Jolly Fisherman’s 100th birthday.

“The train isn’t running to Skegness today, just to Oxenhope, which is nearly the same!

Coun Pimperton, who led the team of delegates from Skegness Town Council, said: “Last year we were approached by the railway for the 40th anniversary.

“Skegness owns the original plaque with the Jolly Fisherman logo on and they asked if they could use it for the anniversary. They also said they would be delighted if the mayor and a party could come and be involved in the action of the day and it has been absolutely fantastic.

“We have been treated with courtesy and everyone has been fantastic.”

source thetelegraphandargus.co.uk