It’s the Queen’s official birthday today.
If I had a second birthday, I’d treat myself to a trip to Skegness to root out the eyesores there.
Last time I read about Skeggy – ahead of this week’s kerfuffle – a leading local had dubbed it SkegMess because of dilapidated property in the area.
Now I’m not one to knock a fellow resort for showing a bit of initiative and innovation in a marketing strategy.
We did much the same when we had money to burn on such things – back in the day when Blackpool could afford to hire a plane to fly a banner proclaiming: You’d Be Better Off in Blackpool, over conference delegates meeting in a rival resort. But that was years ago.
We also did a deal which franked all the mail out of another resort with a message promoting Blackpool.
Light hearted rivalry. But we’ve stamped it out since.
For that was then and this is now. Now we’re all in the recession together, resorts are cinderellas in public funding, and should show a united seafront.
Why waste public money taking a pop at another place?
Skegness sought to promote its SO arts festival with a poster with pot-shots at both Blackpool and Brighton.
So far, so-SO.
The digital artist involved chose to depict Blackpool Tower clad in scaffolding – while it’s being given a restoration job which will far outlast any of the previous to date. He then added insult to injury by showing a graffiti-covered wall. Brighton had very similar treatment. More graffiti.
The photographer told the Skegness press he chose the images to “represent urban art” and not “belittle those places.”
Shame he didn’t pick one of the outstanding examples of urban art in and around the centre from the last graffiti festival here. Or from the Sand Sea and Spray Life’s a Beach urban art festival which opens today and runs through the weekend. Forty-three artists, six locations.
And all at a time when the Lights are going up and the stars are coming out, Sir Elton tomorrow on that vast seafront stage, Olympic torch next weekend, John Barrowman, McFly and The Wanted.
There’s a big difference between a bit of banter between resorts and forking out for a poster campaign which makes unfavourable comparisons between “views to remember” from Britain’s blockbuster resorts Blackpool and Brighton, and the ever-SO saintly Skegness.
Visit England has owned up to being “confused and disappointed” by the advert. The leader of the council involved, East Lindsey, still hopes “good will come out of it for both of us.”
If nothing else, the fall-out shows that if you want to play “tag” with the big boys it’s better not to play dirty.