Row over Jolly Fisherman bowls trophy

18 04 2010

A SIX-time champion of the Skegness bowls circuit is considering boycotting all events in the town this year following an argument over trophies. Proving the Jolly Fisherman is as dear to the hearts of visitors as it is to Skegness townsfolk, last year’s mixed pairs winner John Keith Bowmer has taken umbrage with organisers East Lindsey District Council.

At the root of the issue are the Jolly Fisherman figurines presented to winners; once made of silver, then porcelain and last year replaced by a plastic alternative.

Mr Bowmer, of Mansfield, says the plastic trophies were only meant to be temporary and that winners were promised they would be later replaced by ‘real’ figurines.

But District Council says this isn’t the case. They say it was clearly advertised in last year’s programme that traditional trophies were not available, due to health issues for the normal provider.

“We still spent £2,500 on trophies last year. They were not cheap things we provided,” said District Council spokesman James Gilbert.

“I know people are very passionate about their Jolly Fishermen figurines and it is unfortunate that last year we had to provide an alternative.”

Mr Bowmer strongly refutes the claim that a change in figurines was advertised in any of the three programmes for events last June, July and September.

He says he is mainly concerned for his playing partner Beryl Holland, who won her first title in 40 years of trying in 2009.
“She was very upset not to be presented with a Jolly Fisherman,” says Mr Bowmer.

“We received a plastic prize, yet they took £5,241 in entry fees for the September tournament alone.

“They do very well out of us from Nottinghamshire in Skegness.”
A recipient of a £100 cheque for winning the mixed pairs, Mr Bowmer said he spent an equal £100 on entry fees and roughly £500 on accommodation, travel, food and entertainment expenses while staying in Skegness.

Now aged 74, he has won a variety of categories on the seafront in the last half century and previously held the national over-60s singles title.

East Lindsey Senior Sports Development Officer Matthew Archer wrote to Mr Bowmer in hope of clarifying the ‘misunderstanding’ and said the traditional figurines would be back in 2010.

He offered Mr Bowmer the chance to purchase a solid replacement for £87.50.

Mr Bowmer indicated he would consider buying a trophy to save Mrs Holland the heartache but told council that, unlike the Jolly Fisherman, they ‘didn’t have a leg to stand on’.

Source: Skegness Standard


Jolly Fisherman out in the cold in new Skegness guide!

16 01 2010

A NEWLY published flagship visitor guide for the east coast has come under fire for failing to put Skegness in the picture. John Byford, a professional photographer and district councillor, is hot under the collar because the “Skegness and Mabelthorpe 2010” production from Lincolnshire Tourism has an uninspiring picture of a sandcastle on the front cover.

And The Jolly Fisherman isn’t even mentioned.

Coun Byford: “I was horrified when I saw the front cover. It certainly doesn’t sell Skegness at all.

“The sandcastle looks as though it’s made from play-pit sand and not beach sand. Skegness is one of the top five seaside holiday destinations in the country and we should be reflecting that.”

He claims the guide appears to feature stock pictures that could have been taken anywhere and few people are facing the camera.

Coun Byford said: “The Jolly Fisherman has been promoting this town for the last 100 years and he’s nowhere to be seen.”

The councillor has taken his complaint to the town centre manager and aims to raise it with the district council so Skegness can have a voice before any future publications go to print.

But at least one Skegness hotelier is delighted with the guide. Ash Tyrrell, of the Westdene Hotel in Trafalgar Avenue, emailed his congratulations through to Lincolnshire Tourism and complimented the organisation on the guide’s “strong, vivid photography”.

And Mr Tyrell told the Standard: “I think it is probably one of the best ones they have ever done.”

He believes the guide is a hit because it covers so many activities and therefore has “a wider reach” than previous issues.

Mr Tyrell said the ‘Skegness is so Bracing’ slogan had served the town well over many years but people could also miscontrue that as a claim that the town is freezing cold – so perhaps it could be left out of the town’s marketing.

Council imposes tattoo image fee

24 12 2009

Tattooists will have to get permission from a local council in future if they want to draw Lincolnshire’s famous Jolly Fisherman figure on people.

Skegness Town Council, which owns the copyright to the original Jolly Fisherman poster, has told tattoo parlours they will have to pay £10.

But some tattoo artists have branded the idea “silly”.

The council said it wanted to protect the image, which was designed as a holiday advert for the resort in 1908.

The figure, designed by John Hassall, became synonymous with the town from the posters, which read: “Skegness is SO Bracing”.

‘Good publicity’

Council officials said they were not previously aware it was being used as a tattoo.

Its clerk, Tony Cumberworth, said the council was alerted to the fact by a taxi driver, who complained he had to pay to use the image on his taxi and argued the same charge should also apply to tattooists.

Mr Cumberworth said: “People have always been required to apply to the council to use the image but it’s only recently come to light people are having it as a tattoo.”

A council spokesman said: “The town council has no objection to people using the Jolly Fisherman image but stresses that the reason it requires anyone who wants to use the image to seek the approval of the town council is to ensure the original image is protected and not devalued in any way.

“The administration fee charge of only £10 is to meet the cost of processing an application for the use of the image.”

Joe Klackzka, who owns Joe’s Tattoo Studio on Lumbley Road, said he received on average one request a year for the image.

He said: “I think it’s silly, the Jolly Fisherman represents Skegness and we don’t pay to tattoo any other images.”

Dave Daubney, who already has a tattoo of the Jolly Fisherman, said: “I had it done because I was born in the town, it’s something to be proud of.

“It’s our little logo for the town.

“It’s good publicity for the town and it’s free.”

Source: BBC

see video:

Skegness town manager will use Jolly logo to promote town

24 12 2009

SKEGNESS’ new town centre manager has been granted permission to use the image of the Jolly Fisherman on his stationery by Skegness Town Council.

Stefan Krause applied for permission to use the image on his letterheads and emails.

Councillors agreed to charge him the usual commercial rate of £10 at their management committee meeting.

At the same meeting, taxi driver Darrell Blackburn questioned the council’s charges, saying it was unfair to have to pay £10 each time the logo is reproduced.

He said he has the image on his taxi to promote Skegness – not for his financial benefit.

Councillors agreed they may have to review the charges again in the future.

Source: Skegness Standard

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 (

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.

Jolly Fisherman at Meadowhall – Sheffield

27 01 2009

SHOPPERS at the Meadowhall shopping centre, Sheffield, had a special visitor when the Jolly Fisherman spent a weekend promoting Skegness. Jolly, Skegness Myor Coun Neil Pimperton and Skegness town councillors joined staff from Butlins, Skegness, to advertise the town as a holiday destination. Coun Pimperton said: “Skegness has always been one of the great traditional British seaside resorts. All the old favourites are still here and still very popular, but so are modern attractions such as skateboarding, kite surfing, a seal sanctuary and nature centre, many large indoor venues and a fantastic night life.” They handed out copies of the Skegness holdiay guide which were eagerly taken by passing shoppers.

Photo: John Byford –

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


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.