No where else can there be a greater contrast in the way people live and how life goes on around every one than you can find in a popular British seaside resort like Skegness. For half the year the place is full of light, lights from the fun fair, the cafes and later the illuminations. The town can go from all hustle and bustle and noise of all description with packed beaches and the smell of hot dogs and toffee apples. Then the lights go out, the kiosks and cafes shut, the beaches stand empty and just a few people walk the prom, head covered and bowed against the oncoming wintry wind.
For some it brings joy, for those who make there money from tourism it’s a time of rest, a time to have a holiday a time to put on a lick of paint and get ready for the opening of a new season. For some it means a struggle without the seasonal work, (it’s a fact the only place who take on extra staff during winter is the Jobcentre). For some it’s a time to enjoy the solitude and to make the most of the relaxed atmosphere and the empty car park and empty roads.
For many though it means a complete change of lifestyle, its time to close up the caravan, stack up the cushions, cover everything up and no more weekends away till spring. For some residents it means night time buses don’t run and there a longer waiting times during the day. It’s a time when local businesses struggle to survive and will even put many more business from setting up in town. Many shops will shut for the winter. Pubs won’t put on the same entertainment as during the season and the beach huts stand empty and alone.
As you can guess I am not one of those who welcome the winter months. I reveille in the hustle and bustle of the Summer crowds, the happy faces, the music and screams from the fair ground rides but most of all the Laughter.
Its February here in Skegness and in my eyes it’s the worst month of the year. All I see as I walk along the foreshore is the ghosts of all last year’s visitors, the empty benches, the shuttered ice cream and hot dog stalls the empty boating lake and park benches in front of the empty and silent band stand.
However I have my dreams of how it could be different during the winter. If only we had a under cover all weather attraction where some could shop and others play and some could even sit and chat and watch life going on around them, if only we had the facilities to attract conference parties and big sporting events like Snooker and Darts, if themed weekends and exhibitions. Just down the road Butlins have successfully achieved all of these things and are a successful all year round thriving business, oh if only Skegness could follow there example.
To achieve all this first and foremost we need investment from outside of the town and even more important it would require cooperation from everyone, that means the hotels, shops and other local tourist businesses would need to work together, but the advantages to the town would be great, no longer would shops shut down because of the lack of custom and in fact we would encourage new retail outlets to start up.
Until and if this ever happens I will just after be patient for the time when the crowds return and our lovely resort awakes from its slumber and once more comes alive to the to the sounds and sights we so easily conjure up when we think of Skegness.