Talking of visitors, our favourite past time is sitting eating chips outside a 'caff' whilst 'people watching'. I was going to say 'all shapes and sizes' but one shape, one size predominates. 'The big people' rule in Skegness. If you're big, nay massive Skegness is seemingly the place to be. Every obese, large, rotund, overweight individual from Leicester, Derby. Nottingham and Sheffield seem to make for dear old 'Skeggy'. And I've not seen so many smokers for many a day. Add tattoos by the dozen, on heads, necks, backs, arms, legs (I daren't guess what's fortunately hidden from view) and you get the picture. And the men are just as bad! Nevertheless It's a cheerful place, at least I thought it was. Now I'm not so sure.
I bought the local paper, the Skegness Standard. Its front page banner headline read. 'United in Wind Battle'. Now Skegness and district is dominated at the moment by news of a proposed 'wind farm' to be situated on land near Anderby Creek. Feelings apparently run high, but are know where near the 'united front' suggested in the headlines. (I actually stayed at Anderby Creek. I met many, including locals who held a different viewpoint. I also noticed 'anti' signs a long distance from the proposed site.) There is even an anti-windfarm organiser, a certain Melvyn Grosvenor who will help organise your protests if you so wish. I could go on, but minds are made up, the word NIMBY springs to mind.
Moving on, I noticed something interesting; happiness in Skegness and district is not in abundance. Letters to the paper are a case in point. Apparently motor vehicle parking on the pavement is rife. Tradesmen, taxis, the general public, all park on the pavement. Not that it's any better when they take to the roads. Buses clog the roads outside the Embassy; parked on zigzags, double parked, and what's more, evidently the police don't care! And if you don't drive but merely walk about, what happens. The seafront shelters you pass are full of foul mouthed drunken men at all hours of the day. Are people born moaners or does the place do this to you?
No, not a happy place, Skegness. The newspaper's Facebook is full of irate moans concerning overflowing litterbins, dirty waterways and overgrown roadside verges. A visit to Skegness really is 'slit your wrist' time. Never mind, a walk up to jolly old Ingoldmells will surely do you good. Nope, not really. People on sites near to the Bolton Lane Sewer Works have been moving out because of the smell. ('Anglian Water is working hard to identify the source of the odour.') Try the Sewer Works, fellas.
If all these problems aren't enough, I'm sure we can find other reasons for a good old moan. Croft residents in particular have got moaning off to a fine art. A delegation from Sycamore Close complained about children skateboarding. (' They didn't skateboard in my day.' Of course they didn't, skateboards weren't invented!) And more radar gun useage requested in Church Lane please, motorists are speeding through the village. (Are you sure it's not machine guns you require? That would cure the problem.) As if all this were not enough, it was reported than the swings on the playing fields were being used by 'certain children' (are they aliens?) and drunk adults. Plus they are leaving litter; serious stuff indeed! Mind you, you will be pleased to know vehicles over seven and a half ton are to be banned from around Croft. (No vehicles, no deliveries, surely; or is that different?)
I wonder if there is something in the water around Skegness that affects people; or maybe it's a misery 'gene'. Is it an age thing? Perhaps its parochialism gone mad. Perhaps the Standard just likes to be miserable. Some Skegness and district citizens make Grumpy Old Ken look positively,
Do you remember Mona Lott, Mrs Mop of ITMA fame. Her favourite saying was' It's being so cheerful as keeps me going.' I wonder if she came from Skegness!