Childhood Horror Ordeal Recalled

A Skegness man has revealed his horror ordeal as a toddler… when he fell down a well at Gibraltar Point! Mr John Holland was three at the time and lived at the former Ship Inn — more familiarly known as Gibraltar House.

Mr Holland as he is now

Mr Holland as he is now

Evidently the lid of the well had not been properly replaced. Young John trod on it and tumbled down the shaft.

“I have only the vaguest memory of the experience,” says Mr Holland, now 60, a former painter and decorator.

“I don’t know how I survived. It seems incredible.”

Young John’s cries were heard by his father, Mr Wilf Holland, who raised the alarm and raced to the rescue.

With his feet being held at the rim of the well, he managed to grab his son by the hair — but then he himself became wedged by the breadth of his shoulders.

Eventually, the pair were both pulled free, but it was an ordeal that still causes John to shudder when he recollects it.

“There was blood streaming from both my ears, and for days afterwards I had a huge bump on my head,” he says. “As the well-lid upturned, it had clouted my head, hastening my descent”

Even staff at the Gibraltar Point visitors’ centre were unaware of the existence of the well until it was pointed out to them by Mr Holland.

Is there any risk that the same thing could happen again? No. The well was blocked up with bricks from the Ship Inn and Sykes Farm after they were both demolished.

A recent picture of Mr Holland under the sycamore tree which is just a few yards from the site of the well.

A recent picture of Mr Holland under the sycamore tree which is just a few yards from the site of the well.

Source: Skegness News 28th January 1987

More of Mr Holland’s fascinating memories of Gibraltar Point.

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