Gin Blog | Filey Distillery

Bonzo the Seal: A Filey Landmark

by David Pendleton on Aug 08, 2022

Bonzo the Seal: A Filey Landmark

Way down south in that there London they have the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band but here in the North Yorkshire coastal town of Filey it’s a different Bozo that gets our seal of approval. So much so that Bonzo the seal is one of the engravings featured on both our Filey Signature Gin and Filey Pink Gin bottles.  

Rescued and Raised by Filey Fishermen  

Bonzo the seal was rescued and brought up by Filey fishermen, "Jossy Buggins" (George Jenkinson) and his sons, Jim and Frank, in the mid-1920s. Bonzo was a tiny pup, probably a mere twelve pounds and would have probably died had he not been taken in by the fishermen. 

Growing into a Tourist Attraction  

A zinc bath was filled with sea water up in one of the bait sheds on 'Jenk's Alley' and the seal lived happily in there. However, he quickly outgrew his bath and by the new visitor season he had a new home in a wooden hut, with a concrete pool, near the Coble Landing. Visitors were charged to see the seal and Bonzo became a firm favourite. Bonzo was said to be 'the size of the Loch Ness Monster', so clearly life was good to the once tiny seal! 

A Filey Icon  

Bonzo the seal will forever be remembered as a Filey icon and a symbol of the town's love for sea life." 

We recommend that you meet Bonzo (he’s wooden sculpture) situated on the Coble Landing which is one of Fileys proud landmarks.  

Pat him on his head and then saunter into town to celebrate his good health with a Filey Gin and Tonic in one of the many friendly bars or restaurants that we are proud to boast stock our wonderful spirit.