The History of Skegness 1930 to 1939    
 

 

The History of Skegness

1930 - 1939


The History of Skegness through the eyes of Harold Fainlight M.B.E., J.P
 

First Edition - May 2001

Authors Note:

The events recorded below were documented nearly 70 years after the period of time covered. All apologies are given for incorrect names, spellings and minor errors. We welcome notes for correction relating to such errors. Should any name mentioned in this publication be of offence to any person or relative of the person named, living or otherwise, such name(s) will be corrected or may be removed at request.

Malc. Bailey.

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Following a social and political life span of over 60 years, dedicated to the prosperity of the resort and its associated tourist amenities, this is the story of the town and its development from 1930 until the outbreak of World War 2 as seen by a local resident and councilor Mr. Harold Fainlight M.B.E., J.P. In his 80's Harold remains a delightful person in conversation and remains devoted to his home town of Skegness. Consistently generating bubbling ideas for the future, he also delights in uncovering memories of Skegness of the past, in particular to recall the colourful fairground characters of the day, who were perhaps the founders of modern Skegness. This is his story and that of early Skegness.

Born in 1918 in Brighton, Harold was the son of Charles and Fanny Fainlight. The family moved to Putney, Eastbourne, Great Yarmouth and eventually, at the age of 14, Harold's family moved to Skegness. Charles Fainlight was a trained diamond mounter, but misfortune in business caused the family to move north where he was involved in market business in Lincolnshire. In Harold's words "It seemed a pretty remote place to us - anything further north than Watford was another world".

 

 

The family's first home in Skegness was situated in Drummond Road, now an area of small hotels and guest houses. Then (in 1932) an area of Skegness comprising large homes, mainly privately owned by people living in the Midlands, perhaps used as second "holiday" homes. Harold suggests that he may have lived in every house on Drummond Road at one time or another. He often reminisces of his early driving days - at the age of 14! In Harold's words, "When I was about 14 years of age, I had my first driving lesson. I took this on Winthorpe Avenue. A friend asked if I would like to learn to drive and offered to teach me in his 2 seater Bull Nose Morris with an open rear "dickie". I went up to the top of Winthorpe Avenue, reversed and then went into forward gear and down the Avenue. That was the total sum of my driving lessons. I acquired first of all a Bull Nosed 4 seater and then a Windsor saloon. We lived on Drummomd Road at the time. The car was often difficult to start. Sometimes it was shortage of petrol. Occasionally we would need to remove the spark plugs and warm them on the gas stove. Other times we would push the car down the side road to the garage to get a mechanic to "crank" the starting handle. We could buy petrol at 9d (4p) for a gallon then".

 

Mage of Sunshine CafeThe first family business venture in Skegness was situated at Butlins Pleasure Beach (prior to the creation of Butlins Camp to the north opening in 1937-8), now Skegness (Bottons) Pleasure Beach, located on Grand Parade Skegness. Here Charles leased a opened small cafe, and named  it "The Sunshine Snack Bar". The location was facing Skegness Pier, at the north side of the park, then named "Mugs Alley". Possibly serving a thousand cups of tea a day, the cafe opened early morning, catering for visiting miners from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire. In Harold's words "They were used to rising early and welcomed our morning tea !" Success prompted the family to purchase another established cafe a short distance away, then known as "Moody's Cafe"

Sunshine CafeThe menus in the 30's generally comprised egg sandwiches, hot pie & mushy peas, plus a good variety of cakes. To drink, tea, lemonade, limeade, cherryade and dandelion & burdock were served. While "Vimto" was highly popular, neither Coke nor coffee were a menu option and (possibly barely heard of). Fish & Chip meals were being pioneered, but at that time, popularity was still well over the horizon. Most food and drink products were produced locally, including the soft drinks by local supplier "Bellamy". Tea was 2d (two old pence - 1p) per cup. A jug of tea was 6d (six old pence 2 1/2p) per jug. A 2/6d (12 1/2p) deposit was levied on jugs and cups to ensure safe return!

Sunshine Cafe.Neither plastic bottles nor cans had been invented and most drinks were sold in glass bottles. Empty bottles were never found on Skegness beach owing to a refundable 1 old penny paid upon the return of an empty bottle. Any discarded  bottles were quickly collected by local youngsters eager to collect the return money. Clearly an indication of a golden period prior to the modern throw away society. Ginger beer was commonly sold in small earthenware parallel bottles, not dissimilar in shape to some traditional glass bottles still available today.
.

 

The land where the amusement park was located was leased from Skegness Urban District Council by the late Sir Billy Butlin. The original perimeter facade was constructed from any available timber which was covered with chicken wire, and rendered with cement and plaster to provide a rock like appearance. A little paint provided the desired finish.

The park generated its own 110 Volt electrical  power and simple cables were passed over all of the side shows and attractions. Harold delights in recalling how wires were "bared" and cables were simply wrapped around to provide lighting - switches were not necessary in those days!

The original "Big Dipper" then called "Figure of Eight" was constructed by a local joiner Mr. Stamper. While limited, commercial fair ground rides were becoming available, at that time most side shows, rides and other attractions were "home grown".

Larger rides included Dodgems, the first in Skegness (it is suggested that Mr. Butlin had acquired a global U.K. franchise for the supply of Dodgems). Mont Blanc (a car ride), Caterpillar, (a circular caterpillar shaped carriage with a canvas cover that opened and closed as the ride rotated). The park boasted of Water Dodgems, an aquatic version of the conventional ride. Operators were reputed to have been provided with thigh boots and worked waist deep in water, while electricity flashed into the vertical contact poles from the overhead "live" chicken wire.

Harold takes much pleasure in recalling the colourful and side shows, and the operating characters that made the park such a wonderful place to visit in those days. It was perhaps the combined variety and ingenuity of the smaller games and exhibitions that  provided the real fun of the fair. Inventive but simplistic ideas amazed many a visitor at that time.

Here are but a few examples awaiting visitors of the 1930's:

 

 

Professor Bodie

A character who dressed in black leather. Using ultra high electrical voltage to generate enormous electrical sparks his exhibition amazed all. His show comprised a series of electrical tricks - including, treating his audience with several unexpected electric shocks! The culmination was to invite an unsuspecting member of the audience to remove a ("live") baby doll from a tub of water!

Al Capone's Automobile

The original armoured car that once was owned by the American Gangster.

Lady Albinos

Two young albino girls both having exceptionally white skin, white hair and pink eyes. To attract a crowd, they would play "Glockenspiel" on a small stage at the front of the exhibition. Having attracted a curious audience, visitors were then invited into the small theatre at the rear, to see the full show.

African Village

Comprising a snake pit, the attraction was occupied by large snakes plus a pretty young girl. Add the beat of Tom Toms, and the scene was set!

Sale of Sheet Music

Unusual show comprising a young professional pianist and a grand piano. The musician (known as "Curly" because he was completely bald!) took pride in entertaining his audience, and then offering for sale copies of his sheet music - 6 songs for 6d (2 1/2p).

Darts

Some conventional dart boards, and other grossly oversized boards up to about 5 feet in diameter that made winning appear so easy, especially when oversize playing cards were pinned to them.

Spider and the Fly

A highly inventive game, owned by Joe Trevis, (a character who was 4'0" tall). Joe was reputed to be one of a few who owned a motor car at that time. It was recorded that when driving, all that was visible of Joe was his Trilby hat that he always wore.

The game was played by 12 persons, each controlling a winding wheel. At the rear of the stall was a large spider's web, around which a "fly" was constantly moving. 12 spiders were located on twelve spokes radiating from the centre of the web, initially, dormant on the web's outer perimeter. When the game began, participants wound the wheels, causing the "spiders" to slowly move to the centre, closing in on the fly. The first spider to intercept the fly was the winner. However, there was a governor coupled to each winding wheel that influenced the movement of each spider. Although the instinct was to wind as fast as possible, this did not always produce winning results, if the winding was too fast, the governor caused the respective spider to slow down considerably or stop altogether.

Derby Racers

Ingenious game for two where model horses were wound around a shallow vertical drum, providing a winner and looser. The stall operated by Bill Smith was reputed to always be the last to close at night - Bill had provided himself with a 6 volt battery and personal lighting! There were also several other variations of this theme.

Bombers

A simple but interesting circular stall for 12 players. 12 model aeroplanes were fixed to the perimeter of an over head wheel. The stall holder loaded a dart "bomb" to each aeroplane. Each player had a "bomb" release trigger controlling the dropping of his  bomb. As the wheel rotated, the player released the "bomb" that was expected to fall onto a target that was calibrated with numbered sections. The player with the highest score was the winner and as such, received a prize.

It is reputed that a "local", Albert Toynton became so proficient at this game that he was possibly barred from the stall!

Harold recalls that each target was made from paper and was changed periodically when there were so many dart holes in it, it could no longer be used.

Sausage Jack's 10 Ping Pong Ball Stall.

A simple game where 10 Ping-Pong balls were lined up at the top of a slight gradient behind a holding louvre that was controlled by the user. At the bottom of the slope was a series of numbered chutes that each ball could enter when released. If the sum of the  numbers had a certain value, the player would win - perhaps very few ever did !

Sausage Jack also produced a variation of this game where unbalanced metal containers were rolled down a similar slope dropping into a series of holes. Because of the imbalance, it was unpredictable as to where the balls would eventually finish. Simple but highly entertaining.

Laughing Clowns

Yet another variation to the 10 Ping-Pong ball game was the laughing clowns. A series of pot clown heads each with an open gaping mouth were placed across the front of the stall. The heads oscillated slowly, left then right (similar to a person shaking his head). A Ping-Pong ball was placed in the mouth of the clown, which rolled through to a chute - similar to the above.

Roll a Penny

An old penny (1d) was rolled do a fluted slope onto a grid of small squares. Each square had a number engraved into it - the sum (in pence) that could be won if the coin came to rest in that square. The catch - the coin must be fully inside the square to win!

Buntie Pulls The String

A prize every time!

An array of prizes were displayed at the rear of the stall. At the front of the stall a player was presented with a multitude of strings suspended from the stall roof. Each string was attached to a prize by means of small overhead pulley wheels. The player pulled a string of his choice that lifted his winning prize. Were the better prizes ever coupled to the hanging strings ? We will never know!

Bagatelle Table 

Win a packet of cigarettes.

Two packets of (Ten) cigarettes were placed vertically on a billiard table, a ball width apart. In order to win a packet of cigarettes the player needed to knock down both packets with one ball - all but impossible! The game was simply called "2 down wins 1".

A variation was to pace a billiard ball in a small circle on the table. On top of the ball, several 1d (old one pence) coins were carefully placed and balanced. To win, the player needed to strike the ball with the cue ball and knock a coin out of the circle. Simple - try it - all but impossible !

Gun Stalls

There were several varieties of rifle ranges varying from 2.2 rifles to cork guns.

The rifle stall, then run by a Mr. Starbuck needed to convert to air-rifles in the 1960's when public usage of rifles became illegal.

With respect to the cork guns (a variation of the "pop gun"), corks were fired at cigarette packets placed on a shelf at the rear of the stall. In order to win, the packet needed to be knocked off of the shelf by the cork. There was perhaps a small optical illusion, that made the game far more difficult that it first appeared, plus presumably if the packet just fell over, that was not counted as a win!

Brooklands Racer

A fore-runner of the modern "Scalectrix". A marvellously designed "figure of eight" circuit with model racing cars constructed by an engineer.

Andy The Sea Lion Man

A side show run by a character who had both arms below the elbow. He always had a fully dressed "Nurse" in constant attendance. During his act Andy would simulate a Sea Lion, catching small fish thrown to him by the audience.

Piano Playing Marathons

During this period it was not uncommon to perform non stop piano playing sessions to attempt to break the current record of the day. Harold recalls seeing such sessions being continuous day and night.

Noah's Arc

Noahs Arc AttractionProbably one of Harold's favourite stalls. This was a game for 12 players. Prizes were explicitly displayed at the centre and rear of the circular stall. Lights would randomly flash in a "Noah's Arc" model feature, that was divided into 12 randomly illuminated squares. Each square depicted a  different animal. The winner was the player who's respective animal was illuminated when the random lighting effect stopped. Bearing in mind this was the thirties, this is perhaps a forerunner to the modern gaming machine. The young Harold Fainlight is pictured left.

Man Or Beast

Image or Beast AttractionA walk round exhibition designed by Harold. Harold explains that he purchased from Fleet Street, London, press photographs of unusual happenings from locations throughout the world. He recalls a graphic photograph of a man who's face was fully covered with hair, hence the caption "Man or Beast". Another example was the "giraffed necked" tribe women. There were also vivid pictures of natural disasters, for example volcanic eruptions and earth quakes. There were some 300 images displayed on mounted boards within the exhibition.

At the end of the display, the audience were invited to pass through a door to view the "cherry coloured cat" and the "Egress". To the amazement of the audience, they emerged from the exhibition at the rear of the building. Harold explains that this had two effects: audience were never seen to leave the exhibition, and, that clients could not reveal the secrets of the stall to those entering!

Footnote: Look up "Egress" in a dictionary if you are not sure of its meaning. In Harold's words "All cherries are not red - some are black!".

 

 

Billy Butlin also had his own game stall, where a winner could win a budgerigar, a very valuable and prestigious pet in those days. His game comprised a large array of goldfish bowls into which a Ping-Pong ball needed to be thrown to win a small prize. To win a budgerigar, a ball must be thrown into a vase at the rear of the stall, a very difficult proposition!

Truly, the side shows were that backbone of the park, the hustle, colour and all of the atmosphere and fun of the fair. Most visitors knew that they could outwit the stall holders and take many prizes, but possibly few did. The stall holders were true professionals in their own light. If business was poor, it was not unusual for "blaggars" to verbally promote business from passing visitors by calling terms such as "Aye - Aye - just a minute" or "Under the Arm !". It was also common for pretty young girls to operate stalls and to entice young males to try their luck.

The park was dotted with colourful fortune tellers and other similar interesting characters. To catch the last penny, various "slot machines" were located in strategic positions. In Harold's words "There were wonderful automatic machines - you could put a penny in and watch a man being hanged! The grave yard scene showed skeletons jumping out of the graves and all kinds of other frightening apparitions. There were two football games where the model men would kick their feet and knock the ball from one end to the other". 

Other larger attractions included "Butlins Zoo", containing various animals that included Lions, Monkeys, Porcupines, caged birds and many more. It is reputed that in the quiet winter months, it was common to hear the roar of the lions a considerable distance inland.  Also exhibited was also the "Smallest Horse Alive". Harold revealed that this was in fact a Shetland pony that was groomed and shaved daily to provide the appearance of a small horse! The zoo was managed by a "Captain Carl Barrington", a colourful character, dressed in western clothing complete with a Stetson hat and Custer style beard. Complimentary to the zoo was a side show containing a massive pig some 10 ft to 12 ft in length. Undoubtedly "The Biggest Pig in the World".

The "Crazy House" was located at the South entrance to the park. A crazy shaped building, hiding a delight of unexpected booby traps and hidden features. the attraction was accessed via a maze of narrow internal winding corridors. The feature concluded with a "Cake Walk", a crazy moving walkway plus an unexpected upward blast of cold air leaving many a young lady (wearing a loose summer dress) considerably embarrassed!

A popular "Helter Skelter" and "Mirror Maze" were also located on the Park.

Apart from the Fainlight family cafe businesses there were also other food outlets on the park. Harold recalls "The Automatic Chipper". A remarkable predecessor to modern fast food ventures. Hungry visitors would place 3d (1p) in a slot located in a board across the front of a stall. To the delight of the visitor, a bell would ring and (by magic or automation) a bag of chips would drop to an opening at the bottom of the "machine". The visitor did not see ladies frying chips behind the façade and dropping the finished product into a delivery chute after hearing the bell ring when a coin drops into the "machine"!

A similar "fortune telling machine" was also operated by similar means, a personal horoscope "automatically" popping out of the bottom of the "machine" after presenting it with personal details.

In describing the people of those days Harold refers to all as wonderful people to work and associate with. Some were entrepreneurs, some were showmen.
Most made a honest living, some came for the holiday season and were more proficient in providing short change than any service they provided. In Harold's words "Times were not good in the Midlands then, and lots of people came to Skegness hoping to make a living. They were really not "show people" - just ordinary folk, but they brought some marvelous attractions to Skegness".

All were characters who provided a foundation for the modern Skegness of today.

 

 

Image of Peggy diving off of Skegness PierMoving the topic of conversation from the amusement park to the adjacent pier, Harold recalls memories of "Dare Devil Peggy" and "Dare Devil Leslie", a father and son team (surname Gadsby). Both performed, diving into the sea from a high board located at the head of Skegness Pier  (unfortunately this section of the Pier was destroyed by storm in 1978). Dare Devil Peggy only had one leg (hence the name "Peggy", perhaps derived from "Peg Leg"). Leslie had a hand missing. The culmination of the act was Peggy taking his high dive to the sea wrapped in a burning sack!

The Image (right) is of Peggy's dive, probably from the higher board. Peggy is shown in mid air at the extreme right of the image, the original photograph clearly showed one leg. Counting the rungs of the ladder (just visible under the life belt), and estimating the height of the diving board in relation to the height if people on the pier, we can assume that the height of the high board was perhaps 80 to 100 feet above the water surface.

Other points of interest in this image are the glass partition at the pier head. The pier theatre was later constructed to the left side of this location. The advertising banners located adjacent to the life belts displayed "Don't let weakness cramp your style Drink Bovril", and (as far as we can interpret from the original image), "Get in the swim you'll survive - Drink Bovril and Milk". 

Assuming that the tide was at its highest, Peggy would have had in the order of 16 feet to 20 feet of depth of water, (subject to swell), to break the fall..

 

 

When asked what happened to all of these characters after the holiday season, Harold explained that the "holiday" season in those days lasted for about 6 weeks only, perhaps 10 at the most. After the summer season most fairground characters moved on to inland fairs for example Goose Fair at Nottingham and other venues. Skegness out of season was all but deserted, but there was a thriving local population of about 9,000 people ( year 2000 approx. 21,000). Most main shops remained open throughout the winter period. It was very common to find most of the public houses all but empty.

Referring to the visitors travelling to Skegness in those days, Harold recalled them arriving in thousands, most having saved money, perhaps for a whole year for one day with the family in Skegness. The majority arrived by rail and some came in charabancs. It was not unusual for up to 60 trains per day to arrive at the town. Skegness even had its own railway turn table. Trains arriving in the evening were also very common, returning visitors late at night following a night out in the town. 

In the 30's, holidays "with pay" did not exist and while many took a holiday from work for a week, most could not afford to do so. It was not uncommon for an entire work place to organise a group outing. Alternatively it was also very popular for whole families to visit the town, that is mother, father, granny, grand dad, uncle Tom Cobley and all! 

Apart from the funfair and miles of golden beach, local pubs were always popular destinations for many arriving in the town. The "Lumley" (still located opposite the Railway Station) was reputed to have stocked the bars with pre-filled beer glasses in order to meet the demand of mass visitors arriving or departing via the Railway Station - especially for those needing a quick last drink prior to returning home.

 

 

Most visitors staying for a week took their holiday in a "Boarding House", where landladies provided breakfast, lunch and evening meal (sometimes referred to as "high tea"). A point of interest was a charge made for the cruet - if holiday-makers required salt, pepper and vinegar on the dining table, the cost was an extra 6d (2 1/2p) per week for use of the cruet set!

Visitors were not encouraged to stay indoors at their accommodation. Landladies generally only welcomed visitors at meal times and  following the evening meal, all visitors were expected to "go out". Consequently, evening shows at the Arcadia Theatre (now long gone) were very well patronised, as were local public houses. Other entertainment venues of the day were, the Pier Theatre (at the head of Skegness pier), The Parade Cinema, The Tower Cinema, The Lawn Cinema, The Kings Hall and The Winter Gardens. 

The Kings Hall was located in Scarbrough Avenue, and was part of a complex comprising a theatre, indoor swimming pool, and public "baths". Owing to few boarding houses having bathrooms, visitors would generally bathe in the Kings Hall complex. Sea water was used for washing and special soap was provided for use with saline water in order to create a lather. Harold recalls seeing the play "Murder in the Red Barn", at the King's Hall, the main actors being Ted Slaughter and Maryah Martin. The King's Hall also doubled as a dance hall. The complex was privately owned by a Mr. Parker. Unfortunately all was destroyed by enemy action during World War 2. (Year 2000 the location is a car park).

 

 


Moving on to accommodation at that time, the main quality hotels were "The Seacroft Hotel", "The Vine Hotel", "The Pier Hotel", "Lion Hotel" , "Hildreds Hotel", "Imperial Hotel", "County Hotel" , "Marine Hotel"and "Lumley Hotel".

The Cafe Danson (now long gone) was situated on Tower Esplanade, where afternoon Tea-Dances and Evening Dances were very popular. Dances were also held at the Suncastle, afternoons and evenings. The Suncastle was so named, owing to the roof being constructed with Vita Glass. Vita Glass allowed Ultra Violet light to penetrate the interior of the building, thus enabling visitors to "tan" under cover, the effect was also supplemented by ultra violet "Sun Lamps" that enhanced the environment. Internally, the Suncastle was decorated with Palm Trees, which in those days was a unique and exotic plant.

The Embassy Centre, then known as "The Piazza" was owned by Skegness Urban District Council, and was leased to a Mr. Morris. It comprised a huge dance hall. Over the main door and dance floor was a Minstrel Gallery where a small orchestra would play popular music. The owner Mr. Morris, would sit on a raised dais in order to overlook the whole area. The dance floor was surrounded by tables and chairs. Immediately upon arrival and seating, a visitor was approached by a waitress who would take an order for coffee - then costing 6d (2 1/2p). After two or three dances, having drank the coffee, Mr. Morris (from his raised location) would direct respective waitress to persuade visitors to re-order. The cost of dancing was obviously covered by several cups of coffee !

Harold theorises that many holiday romances must of began at such dance venues.

The Winter Gardens, located at the North End of North Parade, were used during the summer months as a Circus the operator being a Mr. Jowles. It was not uncommon for top international Circus artists to perform at that time in this venue. Harold recalls that for  publicity, several elephants were commonly seen on the beach playing cricket, the bat being held by the trunk. Another elephant would be the bowler! A large wicket was erected, behind an elephant wicket keeper. To complete the facade, each elephant wore a cricket cap depicting its own team colour!

 

 

Places of Entertainment in Skegness 1930 - 1939

Cinemas

Tower Cinema
Central Cinema (Year 2000 - Central Bingo)
Parade Cinema (Year 2000 - Amusement Arcade)
Lawn Cinema (Year 2000 - site of Hildreds Centre)

Theatres

Arcadia Theatre ( Year 2000 - Car Park)
Kings Hall (Destroyed by bomb World War 2 Year 2000 - Car Park)
Pier Theatre (Destroyed following Storm 1978)
Winter Gardens (Year 2000 - North Shore Bingo, The Street & Arcades)

Dance Halls

Cafe Danson ( Year 2000 - site of Pandas Palace)
Imperial Ball Room
The Sun Castle
The Piazza (Year 2000 The Embassy Centre)
Tower Cafe (Year 2000 - a night club)

 

In year 2000 the following venues remain in original usage:

Tower Cinema
The Sun Castle
Imperial Ballroom
Tower Cafe (Renamed as a nightclub)

The only remaining theatre is "The Embassy Centre" (formerly "The Piazza" above), now owned and managed by East Lindsey District Council.

 

 

Harold recalls how local initiative was employed to exploit opportunities. For example, many young "locals" would await the arrival of trains and offer to transport arriving visitor's luggage to respective accommodation ("luggage on the barrow madam"). A small financial "tip" (depending on the generosity of the visitor) was paid to the "barrow boy" for the transport service. At the most there were only one or two taxies or landaus in Skegness , which very few visitors could afford. 

Another smart financial idea of the day was the supply of planked walkways enabling visitors to cross the many creeks on Skegness beach. For a few "coppers", visitors could reach the sea without wetting their feet.

Empty bottles provided a good source of income for the young - collected and returned to source for 1d per bottle, ensuring that few broken bottles were ever found on Skegness beach.

Beach vendors commonly operated on Skegness beach selling cockles, mussels and other sea food.

Camera operators (who offered to take instant family photographs) always worked on the water's edge, paddling in the sea. This was simply because Skegness Urban District Council's Beach Inspector had no jurisdiction to prevent trade beyond the water line. Thus the photographers seldom wore shoes. Pictures taken were developed within minutes at the scene. Visitors were presented with a card photograph which they were told to keep from direct sunlight until the picture was fully developed. Harold recalls that such pictures were of very good quality for that period.

Another attraction was the works of an artist  who produced impressive World War 1 relief sculptures on the beach. Viewed from Skegness Pier visitors would enjoy impressive works of art and would throw small change onto a sheet spread on the sand below. Harold recalls the size of the exhibits were some 10 to 12 feet square and were very impressive and of excellent quality.

Similar to today, donkeys operated on Skegness beach, delighting both children and adults alike.

 

 

Harold describes these days as the "Glorious days of Skegness" which sadly, to come to an abrupt end with the outbreak of World War 2. 

Men were called to war and the beaches were lined with anti invasion defences. Visitors ceased to arrive and the town  prepared for a far different future. Butlins Holiday Camp was transformed into a Naval training base and was renamed HMS Royal Arthur.

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Footnote:

Sadly Harold passed away in 2005, when Skegness lost a dedicated statesman whose ideas and lifetime work provided much to the ongoing success of the resort. Thus we are proud to dedicate the page as a tribute to Harold Fainlight MBE, JP. 1918 - 2005

Further reading:

A brief history - 1875 - Current

An evacuee from London

 

 

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