MR. THOMAS LEEMAN
It is not given to many people to pay two visits to a particular place during their lifetime with a lapse of 80 years between, but such is the experience of Skegness’s oldest inhabitant, Mr. Thomas Leeman, of High Street.
In 1847, when a young man of 17, Mr. Leeman made a journey to Gibraltar Point about five miles south of Skegness. Although he has resided in the neighbourhood practically ever since, he did not renew his acquaintance with the “Point” until last week, when a visit of his daughter from Manchester provided the opportunity for a picnic at Gibraltar.
“Did you find any change there?” asked our representative, to whom Mr. Leeman related the interesting little story.
He gave a deep chuckle. “Change!” he echoed. “Why, I should never have known the place again. When I last went 80 years ago, it was nothing but sand and a few bushes round there, but now its a forest. I couldn’t have believed that a place could have altered so much.”
Our representative commented that 80 years is a pretty long spell, and Mr. Leeman smilingly agreed. “Aye, a good deal can happen in 80 years,” he remarked, adding, “especially in these times.”
Mr. Leeman went on to say that the old house which was originally a “pub” kept by one Captain Scuffham, was still in existence, as were one or two other old houses and the blacksmith’s shop which belonged to the Heanley family, “They used to have some rare games at the pub” he commented.
Mr. Leeman enjoyed the outing and picnic very thoroughly, and is looking forward to similar treats in future years.
Our representative gathered several interesting facts anent Skegness and the neighbourhood from this fine old local resident, who carries his 97 years remarkably well and is still able to get out and about on fine days. These facts will be embodied in an article which we propose to publish at an early date.
Note: I have not yet found the further article as described in the final sentence of this story.
I wonder that Capt. Scuffam referred to in the story is a mistake, and the gentleman’s name was actually Thomas Scupholm. Mr Scupholm was born in Saltfleet, Lincolnshire, circa 1800, and he and his family appear on the 1841 and 1851 census as living at Gibraltar House. He is described as an inn keeper. On the 1881 census, now aged 81, he is described as a retired mariner – I think he had some connection with the lifeboat.
Click the link below for further reading about the old buildings at Gibraltar Point.