EXACTLY 56 years after his ” birth,” the famous Jolly . Fisherman officially came home to his adopted town of Skegness last week. The original of the John Hassall painting, commissioned in 1908 by what is now British Rail — they paid the artist £12 for it—was formally presented to Skegness Council, along with its copyright.
The brief ceremony, between the Chairman of Skegness Council, Coun. F. A. Wise, and Mr. F. M. Wright, Divisional Manager of the Eastern Region of British Rail, was watched by councillors and members of the public at the start of the Council meeting in the Town Hall on Wednesday.
ON THE MAP
The world-famous oil painting
depicting a smiling fisherman bounding along a seaside beach “) was given place of honour in front of the Chairman’s dais in the Council Chamber. It has been on loan to Skegness Council for many years, and hung in the Council Chamber at the old Town Hall. British Rail say of it :
“Hassall’s vigorous design, allied with the slogan ‘ Skegness is So Bracing’ , became the poster
which was to put him and Skeg- ness firmly on the map, and was first used to advertise a non-stop corridor excursion train from London King’s Cross to Skegness for 3s. return. The design in one form or another has been in continuous use ever since.
” Ironically, there is no copy of the original poster — which became one of the early peaks of pictorial design — in either the railway archives or those of Skegness Council.”
John Hassall, who exhibited at the Royal Academy, died in 1943 at the age of 80. His last poster was produced just before the 1939-45 war to stimulate recruiting for air-raid wardens.
Handing over the painting and the deed of copyright, Mr. Wright recalled that his last appearance in Skegness had not been so popular. It was when he gave evidence in support of the proposed ” Beeching Cuts ” at the big rail inquiry at the Embassy!
Source: Skegness Standard 3rd March 1965