Sunday, February 24, 2008
Skegness is a seaside town and civil parish within the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. Located along the Lincolnshire coast of the North Sea, it is 37 miles (60 km) east of the city of Lincoln, and has a total resident population of 18,910.
Skegness is perhaps best known as the location of the first Butlins holiday resort, built in 1936, which remains within the area to this day, and in this capacity, remains one of the most famous seaside resorts in the United Kingdom.
The name indicates that Skegness has its origin in the Danish period of settlement in England. Although it has been suggested that it looks like a foot, a hypothetical Viking responsible for establishing the earliest settlement on this location, it is much more likely to have derived from words which appear in modern Danish as skæg, beard and næs, nose or in geographical terms, headland.
See also: Butlins
The land was part of the Earl of Scarborough's estate and he, or his agent H.V.Tippet The pier has since undergone major refurbishment and is now once again a thriving tourist attraction, although it no longer extends far seaward of the high tide line.
Resort town and Butlins
In March 2005, Skegness took the top spot in a survey by Yours magazine, looking at the best retirement places in the UK. Yours researchers visited sixty likely towns, and factors involved in judging included house prices, hospital waiting lists, the crime rate, council tax rates, activities and attractions, weather patterns and ease of transport. It has also been described by Lonely Planet's Great Britain guide as "everything you could want" in a seaside resort.
Today the town's tourist industry mainly caters for working-class holiday-makers and day-trippers from Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and other areas of the East Midlands. Skegness has been dubbed "the Blackpool of the East Coast" or "Nottingham by the Sea", and has a famous mascot, the Jolly Fisherman (designed by John Hassall in 1908 for the Great Northern Railway), and a slogan - Skegness is so bracing - a reference to the chilly prevailing north-easterly winds that can and frequently do blow off the North Sea. The town is popularly known as Skeg, Skeggy or Skegvegas. Further up the coast are the other holiday resorts of Mablethorpe, Sutton-on-Sea, Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards.
The seafront teems with a variety of ways for visiting tourists to spend their money. The main strip of road along the beach is a kaleidoscope of neon and flashing lights advertising arcade machines, slot machines, fairground rides, crazy golf, fish-and-chip shops and various bars. There are also seasonal shops selling cheap ways to entertain oneself, such as kites and buckets-and-spades - such quieter pleasures can be enjoyed on the long wide award-winning beach, which in summer features a fine herd of donkeys for riding. The town is also a major centre for bowls, and is the home to the world's premier Meccano exhibition, annually staged in the Embassy Theatre, on the Grand Parade by the seafront. Behind the Embassy is Botton's Pleasure Beach, featuring roller coasters, mini merry-go-round (the Gallopers), dodgems and many traditional and modern rides, as well as the annual spectacular end-of-season firework display.
There are large Morrisons and Tesco supermarkets in the centre of the town near the railway station, and a Co-op in the Hildreds Centre shopping area. Lumley Road is the main shopping area, with plenty of fish and chip shops and pubs. To the south of the town is Gibraltar Point, a nature reserve on the northern limit of The Wash.
On 2007-08-16, a huge fire hit an entertainment complex on the Skegness front. No one was injured. The fire swept through The Parade, Lucky Strike Arcade and Buster's Fun Pub.
On the southern foreshore sits a popular family attraction, the Fairy Dell paddling pool. Closed by the district council because of health and safety fears in 2004, the pool soon became the centre of controversy as people from Skegness, elsewhere in the country and as far afield as Australia voiced their dismay at the loss of such a time-honoured free facility. Taxpayers and town councillors joined forces with the local press to campaign for the Fairy Dell to be reopened, and the district council gave way to public pressure and promised to have it back in operation by summer 2006.
On 22nd May 2006, the Fairy Dell re-opened following a major refurbishment during which many improvements were made to the pool such as clean-filtered water and extra water features. 
In October 2005, the East Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust closed the Scarborough Ward at Skegness Hospital as part of a package of money-saving measures. Locals were outraged by the decision, because the ward represented about a third of the hospital's entire capacity and also provided palliative care. Campaigners marched through the streets and held up the traffic, then later called for the resignations of the PCT board members after they turned down a £100,000 donation offered by East Lindsey District Council to enable the ward to remain open through the winter. The PCT said the donation would "impinge" on its duties, and could be considered "unlawful" if accepted.
Fine beaches link the coastal towns, and there are many large caravan parks in the surrounding countryside. One caravan park a short distance to the north of the town has its own airfield, with a 755 metre grass runway. Visiting pilots can call the airfield on 132.425 MHz, although PPR (Prior Permission Required) is stated for landing. A number of years ago, pleasure flights used to operate from the aerodrome.
The town is served by Skegness railway station, which is the terminus for the Grantham to Skegness Line. Trains run the full lengh of this and the Nottingham to Grantham Line to give direct fast convenient connections to the East Midlands.
Nottingham, Grantham, Boston and Sleaford have direct connections, while popular places such as Leicester, Derby, Lincoln and Kettering are only one change.
The A52 passes through the town from Boston to Mablethorpe and the A158 takes people from Lincoln to Skegness.
Skegness is also the home to the schools for most of the surrounding area's secondary education. Two schools cater for the 11–18 age range, St Clement's College (formerly known as the Earl of Scarborough High School) is a secondary modern on Burgh Road, and Skegness Grammar School on Vernon Road.
Skegness Hospital is on Dorothy Avenue. The town also has two large GP practices, a mental health team and a PCT health centre. The latter being on Cecil Avenue.
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