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Skegness Fire *Updated*
Posted By Chris on Friday 17th August 2007 @ 11:29 AM | Filed Under: Nearby Attractions

Skegness Fire *Updated*

The Lucky arcade and The Parade, that comprises four large entertainment bars and a number of concession stalls, were at the very heart of a fire that broke out in Skegness late last night. Throughout the night, more than 100 fire-fighters have been tackling the blaze affecting surrounding arcades, nightclubs and restaurants on The Parade.

The roof of the complex has collapsed making it more difficult for fire-fighters “to get to the very heart of the fire”, said Simon Nash; incident commander for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue. The extent of the fire is so bad that water from local swimming pools had to be utilised as the fire crews own supplies ran low.

Fred Hoyles, secretary of a nearby ex-servicemen’s club, commented "It looks like a bomb has hit the area. There are these bits of brickwork standing on their own and lots of twisted metal. I am very upset. I've lived here for years and it's hard to see the town in this state."

Some fire-fighters have commented that they’ve never seen anything like it. At its height, the fire could be seen approximately 20 miles out to sea. The adjacent Parade hotel is also allegedly badly damaged. Fire crews are expected to be attending the scene for the rest of the day.

Update: Saturday August 18th @ 14:05

The fire forced a 200 metre stretch of property to collapse. Some of the affected buildings were being re-developed whilst others were around 100 years old. "It was a major business venture that the town had embraced. Just two or three weeks ago they had completed the first phase and only earlier this week they were planning a major opening in September on a spectacular scale and all of that has gone,” said Geoff Barry, spokesman for the Bowler Brothers who had been developing the complex.

A number of revellers were in the area at the time of the fire, including 19 year old David Smith who told reporters "I was having a drink with some friends near the parade complex when police and bouncers came in and said we had to evacuate the building. We were told it was a small fire so we weren't really worried about it. But within 20 minutes the flames were sky high. We were all quite shocked. It's really going to affect the nightlife because the parade is such a big part of that. I think the holidaymakers are going to be a bit shocked when they come down.”

Investigations into the fire are at an early stage, but signs are pointing toward the fire being started suspiciously. However, Police haven’t ruled out an accidental cause. Police are keen to speak to anyone who might have seen any suspicious activity in the area around the time that the fire was started. Ch. Supt. Russ Hardy commented "There are a number of possibilities we are investigating and these include the possibility that it is accidental as there are a number of catering establishments in the vicinity. We are also investigating the possibility that the fire was caused deliberately."

Images captured by Island Quest forum member "robbogt".

More images/video of the fire:-
Visit Skegness Forums
BBC In Pictures
Skegness Standard
Skegness Video

Main article image by Scott Dalton via BBC Lincolnshire.

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Skegness Carnival
Posted By Chris on Wednesday 8th August 2007 @ 11:13 PM | Filed Under: Nearby Attractions

Skegness Carnival

Despite concern over recent bad weather, the Skegness Carnival is set to begin this weekend. Expect to see the likes of Homer Simpson, Batman or even Mickey Mouse as this year’s theme is fictional characters. A procession of themed floats will take place after being judged at 1pm in Wainfleet Road Playing Fields on Sunday afternoon. Entry forms are available via Skeg-Carnival and must be returned by Friday.

Local fields are used for the events throughout the week, something which concerned organisers due to the recent bad weather. Better weather conditions combined with good drainage should mean that the event can go ahead as planned, nevertheless if local fields are badly affected, the events will go ahead in alternative locations.

The carnival takes place over the week between Sunday 12th and Friday 17th August, offering a wide range of activities and events. Art, sport, culture and entertainment is offered to entertain all the family, whether young or old. The complete outline to the events occurring throughout the week is listed below:-
6-10pm - Fishing match in conjunction with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at Jackson's Corner

11.30am - Majorette display in the Tower Gardens
2.30pm - Parade
Noon-8pm - Art exhibition at St Mary's Church, Winthorpe

10am-8pm - Art Exhibition at St Mary's Church, Winthorpe
11am - Pavement artists in Prince Edward Walk/sea wall near the Pier
2pm - Sand sculpting competition on central beach
7-9pm - Extreme sports display at X-Site, off Seaview Road

10am-8pm - Art exhibition at St Mary's Church, Winthorpe
10.30am - Walking treasure hunt starting from Tourist Information Centre, Grand Parade
2pm - Baby show (0-2 years) at band satnd in Tower Gardens - sign in 1pm
6.30pm - Kite display in Prince Edward Walk at Seaview Road

10am-5pm - 999 display, Gala Day and Pogo the Clown in Pier Field
10am - 8pm - Art exhibition at St Mary's Church, Winthorpe

10am - 8pm - Art exhibition at St Mary's Church, Winthorpe
11am - Hotels in Bloom presentation to winning hotels
2pm - Tiny Tots (2-5 years), Miss Seaside (3-10 years) and Super heroes (3-10 years) at band stand in Tower Gardens - sign in at 1pm
7pm - Fancy dress and disco at The Suncastle, Grand Parade

10am - 4pm - Friday Gala in Tower Gardens
11am - noon - Dog obedience class in Tower Gardens
2pm - Pet show (sign in at 1pm) and Pogo the Clown entertainment in Tower Gardens

Contact: Skeg-Carnival
Via: Skegness Standard

Town Mascot Gets New Head
Posted By Chris on Monday 6th August 2007 @ 12:20 AM | Filed Under: Nearby Attractions

Town Mascot Gets New Head

Located on the seafront, the Jolly Fisherman mascot has become synonymous with Skegness. The head of the statue is soon to be replaced, after ongoing campaigns from Skegness Town Council, since the statue was erected last year. The statue has been criticised by Skegness Town Council for an ugly and cartoonish appearance – which is claimed to scare children.

Research undertaken by Skegness Town Council supports their criticism, as 78% agreed that the statue was ugly. East Lindsay District Council, who unveiled the statue last year, offered to pay half of the amount needed to replace the head providing Skegness Town Council pay the remaining sum.

At the meeting on Wednesday August 1st; Coun Mark Anderson said: "Had we (Skegness Town Council) been consulted in the first place, we wouldn't be in the position where we are now having to give 50 per cent back to ELDC." However, Easy Lindsay District Council member, Coun Brian O'Connor, commented that if Jolly were to be made the council’s design, they should pay for 100%.

The statue of the town mascot began on a tourism poster with the slogan “Skegness is so bracing” to encourage visitors to use the Great Northern Railway (who commissioned the poster) to visit the area. Coun Neil Cooper who is portfolio holder for regeneration (East Lindsay Council) added “"It's a Skegness logo and should be owned and controlled by the town."


Skegness Lights Up
Posted By Chris on Thursday 2nd August 2007 @ 12:56 AM | Filed Under: Nearby Attractions

Skegness Lights Up

The streets of Skegness were set alight as the annual illuminations were switched on by all round entertainer, Shane Richie, on Saturday 28th July. The “enchanting display of light” will fill the streets between now and October. The display ranges across the north end of the Promenade, Clock Tower, Compass Gardens, Tower Esplande and the Boating Lake.

East Lindsay Council organised the event which featured free musical entertainment at the Clock Tower from 1930 onwards. A parade then made its way down Grande Parade comprising a number of entertainers from in and around the local area including the North East Lincolnshire Pipe Band, Redcoats and characters from Butlins, the Butlins Road Train and the Skegness Carnival Queen; Carnival Princess, Rosebud Princess and the Jolly Fisherman (resort mascot).

Shane Richie, most famous for his award winning role as Alfie Moon in Eastenders, flicked the switch at 2145 on Saturday evening. As the streets were illuminated, the crowd were left to watch as fireworks graced the sky above. Coronation Street actors, Antony Cotton, Bruce Jones and Sam Aston have switched the lights on in Skegness in previous years.

In related news, Mabelthorpe’s illuminations and The Star of the East were switched on by Coronation Street Actress and Soapstar Superstar contestant, Tupele Dorgu. Addressing the crowd, Tupele said; "I'd never heard of Mablethorpe until now but from what I have seen there is a real sense of community here. The children I've met are fantastic and I am amazed at the amount of people who turned out tonight." As the star admired the beach from the platform, Tupele said "I don't live anywhere near a beach – you are all very lucky."

Planet Fun Expansion Complete
Posted By Barry on Sunday 3rd June 2007 @ 7:26 PM | Filed Under: Nearby Attractions

Planet Fun Expansion Complete

The new extension to the existing Planet Fun complex has now been completed. The two storey extension doubles the size of the existing unit. It has been open for public use for several weeks.

In a related story - the car park at the rear of Planet Fun amusements has also been converted into a multi-storey unit. However, only the first story of this car park is currently complete.

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