Source: Skegness News 14th February 1934
County Hotel initially called the ‘Jolly Fisherman’
Picture: Artist’s impression of The Jolly Fisherman Hotel (note the signage)
This is a rather long article from which I have extracted the most revealing information.
Basically, Harry Bateman, Wainfleet Brewer, was granted a license to operate a new hotel which was to be built on North Parade, Skegness. (We are referring to what is now the County Hotel).
Interestingly, the first name suggested for the hotel was ‘The Jolly Fisherman’. There was a debate on this in court and the name was mistakenly referred to as ‘The Jolly Miller’. This caused some amusement in court.
The suggested name was then changed to ‘The County Hotel’ when representatives from the RAC and the AA said “though “The Jolly Fisherman” was familiar in the district it might be misunderstood by visitors as a small wayside inn.”
£12,000 Hotel for Skegness – Successful application to Spilsby Brewster Sessions”The Jolly Fisherman” becomes “The County”
Subject to certain conditions prohibiting outside advertising and service in the forecourts, the Spilsby and Skegness magistrates, at last Monday’s annual Brewster Sessions, granted a full publican’s licence to Mr Harry Bateman for a new £12,000 hotel to be erected on the North Parade, Skegness.
…The application was not objected to by other licence holders, but Mr J Barker (Grimsby) objected on behalf of householders in the vicinity and the National Deposit Friendly Society whose Convalescent Home [now Skegness Town Hall] is situated nearby.
The interest in the case was indicated by the crowded appearance of the public seats…There were also no fewer than 17 magistrates present….
Some amusement was caused when the Clerk announced that the original application was in respect of a new hotel to be called “The Jolly Miller.” Following the laughter the Clerk hastily corrected the name to “The Jolly Fisherman.”
Change of Name
Addressing the Bench on behalf of Mr Bateman, Mr P E Sandilands said the hotel “The Jolly Fisherman” was named after the well-known poster published by the LNER “It is so bracing.”
However, on the representations of the RAC and AA it had been suggested that though “The Jolly Fisherman” was familiar in the district it might be misunderstood by visitors as a small wayside inn. It was therefore proposed that the name of “The County Hotel” should be substituted.
[The article continues saying that as the applicant, Mr Bateman is a prominent man within the brewing industry, the County Hotel much be a much needed establishment.]
The proposed hotel would be a modernised corner building…in accordance with the Town Planning scheme…
From the first floor upwards there would be a clear view of the sea, the Solariun [Suncastle] opposite having been set below the level of the road.
The population of Skegness in 1901 was 2,000 and at the present time 10,500. Only three new licences had been granted in the last 30 years. A licence was granted to the Seacroft Hotel in 1908, to the Marine Hotel in 1925 and to the Callow Park Hotel in 1933. There had been no licences granted to this part of Skegness for years and years.
…A lease of the land had been obtained from Lord Scarbrough for the express purpose of building the hotel and option to purchase had been secured by Mr Bateman.
…it would probably be April 1935 before the building could be opened.
Mr Barker (cross-examining): Why did you decide to change the name? – Because people might think it was a small wayside inn.
You are sure it was not because the term “Jolly Fisherman” suggested the condition they would be in after a visit? (Laughter).
You say you are satisfied there is a demand for this hotel. Have you taken the precaution of enquiring of householders in the neighbourhood whether they corroborate you opinion? – No.
The article continues to debate the virtues and otherwise of the provision of a new hotel in Skegness.
The revelation that the County Hotel was originally intended to be named “The Jolly Fisherman” is very interesting as we’ve already discovered that there are images of the Jolly Fisherman and Jolly Fisherman’s ‘wife’ incorporated into panes of glass within the County Hotel, The drawings from which the panes appear to be modelled, were produced by John Hassall especially for the County Hotel.