Skegness donkeys cannot be allowed to work through the day without a mid-day break!
They should be taken off the beach and to grazing grounds between 1pm and 2pm.
This suggestion was put to Skegness Council by the RSPCA in 1962.But donkey owners complained that this was unreasonable. The three-quarters of a mile each way trip meant that the donkeys would lose most of their dinner hour, and it would mean driving them through the traffic four times a day.
The RSPCA refused to consider the donkey owners’ appeal for a shorter working day instead, feeling strongly that the donkeys should have their dinner hour.
The society maintained that a continuous working day for the donkeys was unreasonable and excessive. A representative of the society did agree that the donkey owners had a valid point in not wishing to take the animals through the busy traffic-lined streets of Skegness. He also agreed that the trip would take up too much of the donkeys dinner break.
The RSPCA conceded on these points but maintained that they should only work between 10am to 1pm, and 3pm to 5pm. During their lunch break the donkeys should have their saddles and bridles removed and should be taken from their pitches and off the beach to a shady place where they could be fed and watered.
The Skegness Council agreed to accept the recommendations of the RSPCA and notified the donkey owners accordingly. Coun Swift said it would be better if the donkeys were completely removed from the beach to prevent them working overtime. He suggested the Tower Gardens might be a good place for them to take their lunch hour, but the Council did not agree.
Note: We caught up with Chris Epton who currently works his herd of donkeys on Skegness beach, and asked him if he remembered the great dinner-hour ban of 1962. He certainly did – “We eventually got round it”, Chris told us, “by greatly shortening the donkeys’ working day!”