Save the Jolly Fisherman!

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Skegness and the Jolly Fisherman.

The_Jolly_Fisherman_001Skegness, a seaside resort in England, doesn’t really have too much to commend it. (Others may argue). But it has a wonderful history when it comes to graphics and promotion.

The Jolly Fisherman, pictured here, was created in 1908 by an artist named John Hassall to promote the resort. And ever since, the fisherman has been doing a jolly good job too.

But in July 2015, PETA (which is an American organisation – the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) objected to this one hundred year-plus icon.

The organisation object to the ‘fact’ that the Jolly Fisherman is promoting a ‘violent occupation’. In other words, the fishing industry.

Firstly, I would like to remind PETA that the latest statistics show that 3.2% of the USA population is vegetarian – and that the figure for the United Kingdom is 5.7%.

Then, I would like to inform them that their idea of replacing the Jolly Fisherman with an image of a leaping fish and the slogan ‘Skegness – A Happy Plaice’ is just awful and way too corny to appeal to any British person.  Sorry PETA, we’re an island, we had and still have a fishing industry. It’s part of our heritage and we really don’t appreciate you messing with something we see as a cultural icon, right? (Speaking of right, what gives you the right?) I’m inclined to ask why you think that your most-consumed American food (fast food burger rubbish) is superior to fish and chips? Checkout the nutritional values. Please.

And leaving vegetarianism and animal rights aside (and I am not a meat eater) can you not appreciate good graphics and tradition? Does everything have to be politically correct – according to your own interpretation? 96.8 % of people in your own country eat animals – so why not sort out that first? Get your own house in order.

Leave my heritage alone and I’ll do the same for you. I’m sure you’d prefer it that way. Think about it.

You have every right to promote your message, of course, but please, you have more to concentrate on in your own country without trying to understand other cultures and inflict your own morality upon them. In China, Korea and Vietnam, people eat dogs. I rather imagine that in general, your supporters would rather you concentrated on that little issue instead of a rather insignificant English seaside town and its graphics.

The final word goes to the former mayor of Skegness who said “What a load of bollocks.”



Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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