THE 100th birthday of Skegness Clock Tower began in grand style last week, as Grand Parade was treated to an afternoon of poetry, drama, song, and the unveiling of a Millennium Countdown Clock.
The fully illuminated clock is designed in the shape of the Jolly Fisherman, and counts down the amount of days to go to the millennium.
The ceremony began in the Compass Gardens when a play entitled Clocked Tower was performed by members of Act Aware Youth Theatre and Ex-L stage company.
It was specially written for the occasion by local playwright and Standard photographer Micheal Cooper, and, with a mixture of song, dance, music and poetry told the story of the last 100 years from the perspective of the tower.
It was clearly a hit with the crowd, with one member of the audience telling Mr Cooper: “All the happy memories came flooding back. It brought tears to my eyes”.
Following the play, East Lindsey District Council chairman, Coun Fiona Martin, told those present: “I’d just like to say what a fantastic performance that was and how fitting that on this Skegness occasion it was presented by local people.”
She then presented producer Jez Beckett and writer Micheal Cooper with special mini glass Clock Tower clocks and presented all the children from Act Aware and Ex-L who took part with special Jolly Fisherman goody bags. She concluded by thanking the carnival committee, saying: “The carnival committee put a great deal of time and energy into making Skegness carnival week one of the best in the country.”
The action then moved to the Clock Tower, where Coun Martin again made a small speech before unveiling the Millennium Clock and commemorative stone.
“In 100 years’ time, I should like to think that my contemporary (in case I’m not around by then!) will be repeating this procedure and looking back over another 100 successful Skegness years,” she said.
She then unveiled the commemorative stone, and presented Skegness Mayor Coun Sheila MacKenzie with a Jolly Fisherman mini glass clock, and, with the aid of the mayor, unveiled the Millennium Clock.
Picture above: Skegness Town Mayor Coun Sheila MacKenzie and chairman of ELDC Coun Fiona Martin with the Jolly Fisherman at the launch of the Millennium Countdown Clock at the Clock Tower.
Picture below: The commemorative stone laid on the Clock Tower Island.
Picture below: The unveiling of Skegness Clock Tower in August 1899, probably taken by local photographer, Charles Smyth.