Bizarre Suicide Attempt Skegness Pier

A news story of a Nottingham man who suddenly made an attempt to drown himself whilst walking on Skegness beach. Fortunately he was saved by a fisherman and a pier personnel.

This news article not only gives an historical account of the resort but reveals attitudes and reporting styles in the 1880s.

The Skegness Herald local newspaper told the story in a way that would be unacceptable today:

The title of the article “Exciting Scene” can be said to be insensitive to the suicide attempt, as it conjures up feelings of ‘a good spectacle’.

The article flippantly suggests that the man “may have been overpowered by the strong air” of Skegness.

The article seems to incite regional racism as the reason for the suicide attempt, saying that may be the man could have been intoxicated by the effects of the Nottingham “Goose Fair”. It further endorses this, even bringing in a religious element, by suggesting the the intoxication was demonic and thus relieved by a [holy?] immersion in the sea.

The insensitivity of the article climaxes when the writer ends with describing the suicide attempt an an “amusing scene”.

Exciting Scene

A somewhat novel yet exciting scene occurred beneath the Pier Saloon on Saturday morning.
It would seem that a gentleman from Nottingham, while taking a walk on the beach – perhaps overpowered by the strong air – suddenly conceived an idea that is was a nice opportunity to drown himself.
He was observed to rush to the edge of the basin and throw himself in.
He was, however, being watched intently by S Moody, fisherman, High Street, and Scrimshaw, of the Pier.
Both made an attempt to save him.
After going down in the water a time or two, he suddenly came to himself, and as the effects of the “Goose Fair” passed off, thanks to his immersion, he speedily walked off and disappeared, so far as those who witnessed the amusing episode are concerned.

Source: Skegness Herald 10th October 1884


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