The Prime Minister Visits Skegness


The Prime Minister (pictured left) and Mrs. Attlee were given a warm welcome to Skegness on Saturday evening, when they were the principal guests at a civic reception and dinner given in their honour by the Skegness Council, and were received by the Chairman of the Council (Coun. Cedric E. Fry, J.P.) and Mrs. Fry.
During the evening, Mr. Attlee was presented with a silver statuette of the Skegness ” Jolly Fisherman,” modelled after the famous creation of the late John Hassall, and the presentation of a basket of flowers to Mrs. Attlee was made immediately after the reception, by four-year-old Gwynneth Fry, daughter of Coun. and Mrs. Fry.
In addition to the Prime Minister and Mrs. Attlee, chief guests at the dinner at the Imperial Cafe included Mr. Arthur Moyle, M.P., Parliamentary Private Secretary to Mr. Attlee; Commander John Maitland, M.P. for the Horncastle Division, and Mrs. Maitland; His Honour Judge R. S Shove and Mrs. Shove; Ald. E. G. Gooch, M.P., President of the National Union of Agricultural Workers, and Mrs. Gooch; Mr. A. C. Dann, secretary of the National Union; the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire (Mr. R. H. Fooks) and Mrs. Fooks; and Squadron-Leader G. A. Worth, of Spalding, High Sheriff of Lincolnshire.
Commander J. A. Kinnersley, R.N.R., Foreshore Manager to the Skegness Council, acted as Toastmaster and submitted the loyal toast.

In a particularly happy proposal of the toast of the Prime Minister, Coun. Fry said that he believed it to be the first time in history that Skegness had been visited by any Premier of this country, and the town deeply appreciated the great honour conferred on it.
On behalf of the Council and Townspeople, he extended to the Prime Minister and Mrs. Attlee a very cordial and warm welcome to Skegness; and an equally warm welcome to all the officers and members of the National Union of Agricultural Workers attending the Skegness Rally, which they hoped would not be the last.
Regretting that the many duties undertaken by the Prime Minister during his short visit had precluded a tour of the town’s principal amenities, Coun. Fry proceeded to mention the outstanding features of Skegness, and said that the resort was known throughout the kingdom to an extent quite out of proportion to its small size, due, he thought, to the boldness, enterprise and wisdom of past town councils in the development of their
natural resources and the creation of many with which nature, in this flattest of English counties, did not endow us.

[Part of Coun Fry’s address during the entertaining of the Prime Minister gives an astonishing revelation about a connection with Napier in New Zealand and Skegness, which I have covered in a separate post.]

[The article goes on to give account of the works of the Prime Minister]

Source: Skegness News 30th June 1948

I am confident enough to state, having scoured subsequent newspapers, that this was in fact the ONLY time a Prime Minister has visited Skegness, discounting Sir Winston Churchill’s visit as a young boy.


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