Mablethorpe is a small coastal town in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England.
Several small caravan parks exist around Mablethorpe. The town is administered with Sutton-on-Sea and Trusthorpe, as the civil parish of Mablethorpe and Sutton. The former parish of Mablethorpe covers a rectangular area inland along the A1104 Alford Road towards Maltby le Marsh as far as the boundary between the LN12 and LN13 postcode at Grange Leisure Park where Earl’s Bridge crosses West Bank. The southern boundary of the former parish follows the Trusthorpe Drains which are crossed at Bamber’s Bridge on Mile Lane. Out towards Alford near Strubby was the former RAF Strubby, now called Strubby Airfield. To the north is the parish of Theddlethorpe St Helen, which is much bigger in geographic area than the former parish of Mablethorpe, extending up to the River Great Eau at Saltfleetby. The town is the eastern terminus of the A52. However, the town is best accessed via the A1104 and A16 through Alford. The A157 to Louth is the sixth bendiest road in the UK.
Mablethorpe has been in existence for many centuries although part of it was lost to the sea in the 1540s. For example, records of the Fitzwilliam family of Mablethorpe Hall date back to the 14th century. In the 19th century it was also a centre for ship breaking during the winter. Mablethorpe Hall is to the west of the town along Alford Road. It is near the parish church of St Mary. The Mablethorpe church group also includes Trusthorpe.
In 1883 the first lifeboat station was built in Mablethorpe. The station ran until the First World War when it temporarily closed due to not having a full crew. After the war the station was closed permanently due to a continuing shortage of crew until 1965 when an inshore lifeboat (ILB) station was established. The town has a new lifeboat station.
The town was visited by Alfred Lord Tennyson in the 19th century. Some parts of the town are named after the poet including: Tennyson Road and Tennyson High School.
Mablethorpe is the destination for the Morel family’s first holiday in the D. H. Lawrence novel, Sons and Lovers, published in 1913. “At last they got an answer from Mablethorpe, a cottage such as they wished for thirty shillings a week. There was immense jubilation. Paul was wild with joy for his mother’s sake. She would have a real holiday now. He and she sat at evening picturing what it would be like. Annie came in, and Leonard, and Alice, and Kitty. There was wild rejoicing and anticipation. Paul told Miriam. She seemed to brood with joy over it. But the Morel’s house rang with excitement.”
Mablethorpe is the setting for the adventures of B.P. Perry’s fictional detective, Snake Wolfbane. The series begins with The Mablethorpe Connection.
In January 1953 Mablethorpe was hit by the disastrous East Coast floods.
Along with many small seaside villages and some inland towns and villages, Mablethorpe lost its railway station in 1970 due to the Beeching Axe. Skegness, however, kept its railway station. Mablethorpe only retained the miniature railway in Queen’s Park. The old railway station is now the site of the sports hall.
There are two supermarkets in the town: one is operated by Lidl, and one by the Co-op. There is also a Heron for discounted, frozen foods. Other high street names include Boots, Greggs and Couplands, and there are also some independent retailers, geared largely towards selling gifts and novelties for Mablethorpe’s tourist trade. The town is host to two banks: Lloyds TSB and Barclays.
Attractions at the resort include a fairground and the beach. Its beach is long, wide and flat and separated from the town by a narrow strip of large sand dunes. A sand train operates to take visitors to the north end of the beach. There are also numerous amusement arcades which offer your traditional seaside entertainment.
There is a two screen cinema, Loewen Cinema on Quebec road. The cinema is independently run to a high standard boasting the largest screen in the area, Dolby Digital 3D, premier seats and air conditioning. In 2008 the old Dunes Theatre was changed to Sharky’s Bar after a refit, but by 2012 was renamed The Dunes Complex and has returned to its original use of theatre with a bar and restaurant.
Just over a mile to the northeast of the town, near the Seal Sanctuary, is the Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal, which supplies 5% of the UK’s gas. To the west is the Bambers wind farm which opened in November 2004 and has 8 turbines which produce 5MWe. The Bambers II windfarm, an extension of the first, opened in November 2006 producing 5MWe with 6 turbines. The two turbines at Mablethorpe wind farm, which produce 1.2MWe, were the first wind turbines in Lincolnshire when they were built in July 2002. All three are owned by Ecotricity and situated at the corner of West Bank and the Trusthorpe Drains. The Star of the East is on the sea front.
Mablethorpe hosts the UK’s only beach hut festival Bathing Beauties in September every year. Owners of private beach huts compete in exterior design as well as poetry, music and drama performances.
The Mablethorpe Marathon was launched in 2006 and attracted around 2,500 runners in its first year. Although it took a break in 2009 it returned in 2010 and remains a popular annual event.
For over 40 years Mablethorpe has also been host to Motorcycle sand racing, which takes place in the Winter and Spring seasons. This inspired the Mablethorpe Motorcycle Festival which was launched in 2010 and will take place again in 2011, hopefully becoming another annual event.
Every summer Mablethorpe hosts its illuminations event known as the “Switch On”, a celebrity turns on the lights. Past celebrities to turn on the lights include: Timmy Mallett, Barbara Windsor, Wolf & Hunter from Gladiators. In July 2011 Twist and Pulse hosted what many considered the best attended event so far.