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Health and safety fears lead to 'laughable' mock-up of Jolly Fisherman statue in Skegness

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: August 08, 2012

"LAUGHABLE": Councillors have slammed an initial mock-up, left, of how a new Jolly Fisherman statue at Skegness railway station could look. Right: The Jolly Fisherman statue in Compass Gardens

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A MOCK-UP of how the new Jolly Fisherman statue at Skegness railway station could look has been described as "disgraceful" and "laughable" by councillors.

A prototype design model for the structure which is to be placed in the new station plaza, was presented at last week's full council meeting by Lincolnshire County Council but was met with disappointment from nearly all members present.

The figure, supposedly based on the original John Hassall painting, portrays Jolly holding a beach ball on his shoulder, patting the head of a seal pup with his other hand.

LCC's Anita Ruffle was keen to emphasise that the model was by no means the final design and that changes could be made.

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Describing the mock-up, Mrs Ruffle, said: "We are trying to keep his arms in because we did feel there was the issue of health and safety.

"We have got the starfish and the waves around the bottom. The facial expression is very similar to the images you sent us."

However Councillor Steve Kirk, disagreed saying the figure wouldn't look out of place amongst the gargoyles at Lincoln Cathedral.

He said: "I really am speechless, it would have been hard to make something uglier. I am amazed anyone would think we as a town council could accept that in a prominent position in our town."

Skegness Mayor, Councillor Mark Anderson, was also incensed.

He said: "I think it's absolutely disgraceful. How dare people bring this back when they are using public money. We hold this copyright for good reason because we don't want people to make a farce of our logo and our town and this to me is a farce, it's got no soul and it's cold and it's not what we are about."

Councillor Phil Kemp suggested the council withhold the copyright until they get an image they are happy with and questioned why granite was to be used for the sculpture when the town council had expressly said they didn't want it.

Mrs Ruffle said it was down to the tendering process and that granite was the material of the preferred bidder so was not something that could be changed.

She said: "We have to decide what it's going to be – a Jolly made of granite or are you saying there will be no granite in which case there will be no commission for Jolly. It's really an either-or."

Lincolnshire County Council said that as the tendering process had not been completely finalised, they couldn't confirm the cost of the statue but it would be coming out the £750,000 plaza scheme budget.

Councillor Kirk suggested that a design could be looked at along

the lines of the previous railway station statue, with a metal spade and suitcase.

After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed that a small group of councillors should be tasked with working with LCC on a design that they found suitable before bringing back the final image back before the full council for approval.

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  • maybebaby2  |  August 11 2012, 8:30PM

    Just thought I would copy and paste this article from health and safety executive regarding the statue of the Jolly Fisherman. It has most certainly caused a big stir, makes you wonder if there is some underlying reason for this. In what way was the tender flawed anyway. Dear Editor, Your story about plans to change the iconic design of the Jolly Fisherman statue has certainly captured public attention. Given the interest, I wanted to reasure your readers that there is no health and safety legislation covering whether statues should have their arms outstretched, or not. We expect people to have a bit of common sense when it comes to identifying and managing risk - not to eliminate every minor hazard from everyday life. Yours faithfully, Rosi Edwards Regional Director HSE

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  • AndyARDK  |  August 10 2012, 11:19PM

    He's ugly and a lot fatter the image and version near the Clock Tower He looks more like a troll on holiday? They altered the arms because of "Health and Safety" I don't really understand, unless they think so stupid idiot will think it's something to jump on ... and only fool would think that? The beach ball is another stupid idea and so would be a bucket and spade before they think of it. Although added a sea lion into the design is a nice touch has Skegness is know for the sea lions in the Wash.

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  • Brunnian  |  August 10 2012, 8:20PM

    What's wrong with this one? http://tinyurl.com/9nbf8rc

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  August 09 2012, 10:18PM

    StephDaily79 - I'm not sure whether you were serious (scary) or just trying to advertise a training scheme. Do you want to clarify?

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  • madbat63  |  August 09 2012, 4:30PM

    Instead of the dreadful new statue, why don't they just get a mosaic done of the original poster and put that on the wall of the new station, that would also get over ant Health & Safety issues.

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  • M_C_Donald  |  August 09 2012, 9:13AM

    I don't like it, but it does look more like the original poster that the existing statue.

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  • maybebaby2  |  August 08 2012, 10:47PM

    Is there any chance we can see all the submissions, who did this one? What other designs were submitted and by whom?

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  • Bob_Major  |  August 08 2012, 8:20PM

    Whatever you say, the Jolly Fisherman is at least jolly, which is more than could be said of the residents of Sheffield-on-Sea.

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  • maybebaby2  |  August 08 2012, 7:18PM

    I agree NO GRANITE means NO GRANITE and the bid should have been thrown out. As far as Health and Safety issue is concerned just how many claims have been put in through the old Jolly having outstretched arms and extended leg? Give Skegness people the choice and be brave enough to say NO.

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  • SherlockBones  |  August 08 2012, 4:18PM

    "However Councillor Steve Kirk, disagreed saying the figure wouldn't look out of place amongst the gargoyles at Lincoln Cathedral." This new statue of the 'Jolly Fisherman', who is bordering on obese and with a face only a mother could love, wouldn't look out of place amongst the residents of Skegness either.

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