Snip at £5,400
Fantasy Island boss rescues heritage
Part of Skegness’ heritage has been returned to the area, thanks to Ingoldmells businessman, Mr John Woodward.
Mr Woodward successfully bid at Onslows’ London auction rooms for the original artwork by artist, John Hassall, which was used to produce the 1925 version of the “Skegness is so bracing” railway poster.
After securing the artwork with a bid of £5,400, Mr Woodward, managing director of Blue Anchor Leisure, Ingoldmells, vowed to take the painting back to the Skegness area.
Bidding for the painting, which was found in a garden shed in Hornchurch, Essex, started at £2,500. Fifty-three seconds later, it was the property of Mr Woodward, bidder number 38.
“If it had been treble the price, or £20,000, we’d still have taken it,” he said afterwards, adding that he did not want it to end up in a museum.
He said the painting would first of all go back to his Fantasy Island complex in Ingoldmells and later to the town hall in Skegness, where the original artwork for Hassall’s 1908 version of the “Skegness is so bracing” poster hangs.
It was part of the area’s heritage and Skegness was where it belonged, said Mr Woodward.
There were others bidding for the artwork, including the Skegness Ex-Servicemen’s Club.
The larger than life Jolly Fisherman himself was present to register his interest.
The Ex-Servicemen’s Club were more successful in their bid for the poster published by the London and North Eastern Railway from the artwork, which club president, Mr Archie Shaw picked up for a cool £1,600.
Never one to miss an opportunity to promote Skegness, Jolly, flanked by town clerk, Mr Alan Crawshaw, and East Lindsey’s head of leisure and tourism, Mr Bob Suich, handed out leaflets to those who attended the auction and to people en route, carrying on the tradition of keeping the resort firmly on the map.
The artwork will be put on display at Fantasy Island during the school half term. Mr Woodward says: “This will enable parents to bring their children to see it and view a piece of history”.
Source: Skegness Standard 13th October 1995
Photo: Lincolnshire Standard Group
Photo: Blue Anchor Leisure boss Mr John Woodward pictured with the Jolly Fisherman painting outside The Magical World of Fantasy Island, Ingoldmells.