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Why Grimsby was left behind The town's identity died with its fishing industry

Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty


December 12, 2022   8 mins

All maritime countries are interested in the edibles a-swim along their coasts, but in Britain, sea-fishing has long had a near-talismanic significance. In 2016, trawlermen personified the “island nation” for many Brexiteers — adventurers, out there on the high seas risking their lives to find food for us. The patriotic piscatorial pack was long led by Grimsby — which was, by the early 20th century becoming not just Britain’s, but the world’s, largest fishing port. It maintained this distinction with tough pride until the Fifties. But now, the name conjures bleak deprivation, rather than heroic trawlermen.

The docks today are eerily still, with boarded-up Victorian and Edwardian buildings, chain-link fences, and the occasional vessel, up out of the water, waiting to be serviced, dismantled, or quietly abandoned. There is a memorial garden to lost trawlers, with rusted anchors instead of gravestones. I have the nameplates of one Grimsby trawler, the Nimrod, found burned out on a beach, on the wall of my house. All along the shorelines south of the Humber, fragments of a once-great industry wash up after northeasterlies — bits of boat or quay timbers, sections of net, lifebelts, lobster pots.

This town was founded on fish. According to a 13th-century epic, it was fathered by a Danish fisherman called Grim, who saved the infant son of Denmark’s legitimate king instead of obeying orders to drown him. Not that such mythmaking feels relevant to many Grimbarians today. For most of the town’s history, any fish caught locally was for local consumption, although it has been a busy port since at least the 11th century. The simultaneous 1848 arrivals of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway, and the East Lincolnshire Railway, changed everything. Fresh fish, from the apparently endless stocks of the North Sea, could now be carried quickly aboard 40-wagon “Fish Specials” to the bottomless markets of the South. Grimbarians perfected the technique of preserving fish in ice, at first brought from Norway, until the Grimsby Ice Factory was established in 1900. Long the world’s largest, it produced up to 1,200 tons of ice daily, until it ceased production in 1990. The Factory survives, still with much of its machinery, the unique but crumbling centrepiece of the network of surviving dockside streets known as the “Kasbah”.

A century ago, Grimsby was frantic with fishing. Over 160 trawlers might unload their catches in a single day, with boats moored two deep along quay walls. Between a third and half of all residents were directly employed in the industry, everyone connected to it in some way. Fishermen from as far away as the Thames and even Devon relocated up here. (Between 1841 and 1901, the town’s population grew from 3,700 to 75,000.) They prospected the wide and unpolluted German Ocean as far as Greenland, almost imperial in their ambitions. A vastly expensive, Italianate-style, 309-feet-tall Dock Tower was opened by Prince Albert in 1854, evidence of the trawling industry’s importance to the Empire. The Tower still stands: a striking seamark and symbol of vanished might.

Trawling is one of the most dangerous occupations on earth. A few years ago, the Marine and Coastguard Agency reported that UK fishermen were six times more likely to die at work than those in any other profession. Apart from falling overboard, dangers include being injured by nets, ropes, and occasionally even the quarry, with “sea cats” (Atlantic wolffish) able to inflict nasty bites. Deckhands are not even well paid, with average salaries of under £16,000, although they often get a share in any profits.

All this would have been even worse in Grimsby’s glory days. In the 19th century, apprentices as young as 13 endured desperately hardscrabble lives aboard stinking smacks, sometimes brutally or incompetently captained. The bulwarks were only two feet six inches high, and inexperienced hands could easily be swept overboard, even in moderate seas. A list of losses between 1878 and 1882 shows 169 causes of accidental death, ranging from “Lost during heavy gale” to “Fell asleep whilst holding light when net was being drawn in” and “Fell overboard when larking in rigging”.

Many apprentices deserted, and if recaptured, frequently chose imprisonment over returning to sea. That Grimsby was particularly problematic is suggested by the levels of incarceration in comparison with other fishing ports. In 1889, the town locked up 123 apprentices, and Hull 15 — and other fishing ports, such as Brixham or Lowestoft, almost none. In 1873, shocked national newspapers reported on groups of returned apprentices being marched through the centre of Grimsby, chained together. As the Grimsby Herald repined: “Respectable people said they would be glad if Grimsby could be erased from the map of England. If they knew as much about the treatment of some of these lads
 they would feel surprised that the judgement of Heaven did not fall upon us.”

But some boys prospered, and eventually became wealthy skippers and owners. Substantial Victorian and Edwardian villas in Grimsby’s suburbs still testify to some men’s discipline and ambition. In 1882, James Plastow, originally from the Hackney poorhouse, told a Board of Trade inquiry that within five years of coming to Grimsby he had managed to save enough to buy several smacks. He told the doubtless gratified inquiry board, “I believe every lad in the fishing trade has the same chance of a successful life as I have had, provided he saves his money instead of spending it.”

Needless to say, the majority of young men were not so sensible. Enter the “three day millionaires”, with large amounts of money to spend after particularly prosperous voyages. Acutely conscious of the danger of their employment, they played even harder than they worked. Their antics afflicted Grimsby with public drunkenness, high crime rates, and excessive venereal disease, all exacerbated by the borough’s notorious misgovernment.

Grimsby has many of these same problems today, but without the prosperity. A recent film set in the town, Three Day Millionaire, centres on three young trawlermen who decide to carry out a major robbery. Like many popular depictions of Grimsby, it shows the town as a sinkhole of crime and dangerous desperation. (See also Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2016 action-comedy Grimsby, in which Cohen played a feckless football hooligan, as well as the end-scene of 2006’s This is England, in which the disillusioned young skinhead protagonist, played by Grimsby-born Thomas Turgoose, casts a St George’s flag into the sea.) These depictions are overdone, yet not wholly misplaced.

If 19th-century Grimsby had its troubles, the 21st-century town arguably has even more, with an especially bad reputation for sexual assault and violence. Grimsby is Lincolnshire’s most dangerous major town, and one of the ten most dangerous major towns in Britain, with an overall crime rate of 134 crimes per 1,000 people, 78% higher than the rest of Lincolnshire. This is blamed on many things, from bad education to a lack of youth clubs, to the even more nebulous “lack of discipline”. Locals’ attitudes are unsentimental; in a 2019 Grimsby Telegraph poll, an overwhelming majority of respondents favoured solutions to youth crime such as “Bring back borstal”. Causes are doubtless complex, but the removal of community spirit, and sailorly solidarity, cannot have helped.

The town’s fate has always been tied to its fish. The country’s insatiable demand, plus the ever-greater efficiency of 20th-century fishing, had inevitable effects. Cod stocks close to the coast dwindled sharply after the Fifties. Once the town’s trawlermen would have been able to fish off Iceland and Norway instead, but from the late Forties onwards they were faced with increasing resistance from local fishing interests. Between the Fifties and the Seventies, British trawlers were increasingly excluded from these territories, with three long-running “Cod Wars” — a combination of international legal cases, high politics (Henry Kissinger declined to support the British, because the US needed Iceland’s military bases), and angry confrontations on the high seas — trawlers cutting others’ nets, and even ramming each other, while naval vessels manoeuvred nearby.

Then came the EEC’s fisheries policy, to which the UK became subject after 1973. It was in many ways misguided. British fishermen resented suddenly having to share fishing grounds as close as 12 miles offshore with trawlers from other EU countries — sometimes more advanced super-trawlers, or ones using illegal small-meshed nets, which scooped up fry with the adult fish. Ted Heath was widely seen to have given away too much to foreign fishing interests. This launched a “narrative of betrayal
that fishing was considered expendable,” Barrie Deas of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations reflected in 2018. “It tied us into this absolutely atrocious deal — a top-down, unsympathetic system.”

The Common Fisheries Policy introduced in 1983 was supposed to safeguard stocks, but too often, its effects was even more overfishing of key species like cod and haddock, and the counterintuitive dumping overboard of huge quantities of perfectly edible side-catches of other species, because they had been caught outside CFP-designated catching seasons.

By the end of the Eighties, Grimsby’s fishing had almost gone.

Eventually, and grudgingly, Brussels offered substantial subsidies for British fishing — over €243 million between 2014 and 2020. But it was too little too late: the sum could neither revive the industry, nor compensate emotionally. At the apex in 1891, there were 861 Grimsby-registered trawlers. As of December 2022, there were seven, only four of which operate from the port, each of those ten metres or under, fishing for shellfish, which are not subject to quotas. EU-registered trawlers extract around eight times more fish (by value) from UK waters than British boats do from EU waters.

Grimsby’s strong pro-Brexit showing in 2016 was propelled by such bitter economic facts, but also by nostalgia for departed pride and brave heydays. Fishing today makes up just 0.1% of the British economy, but when a flotilla of 30 trawlers sailed up the Thames in June 2016 to fly the flag for Brexit, they carried as cargo not just Nigel Farage, but the hopes and dreams of multiple seaside towns. As one retired fisherman said sadly in 2020, “You’d got guys in a cake factory — perfectly brilliant skippers sticking cherries on cakes. Where does your pride go with that?”

Now that the UK has decoupled from Europe, is there hope for Grimsby? Brexit does offer the theoretical opportunity to revive the fishing industry, and to manage fish-stocks better, at least while they remain within the UK’s 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone. Last December, the UK reached a six-species quota agreement with the EU and Norway, in a deal the Government claims will add £190 million to the UK industry. But foreign-owned trawlers still operate within the UK’s not yet exclusive Economic Zone Any vessels that break any new agreements may get away with it, as the UK has only 12 fishery protection vessels to patrol an area three times the size of the UK’s land-area.

Even if there were a resurgence in British-owned boats, Grimsby may be too far gone — its last few large vessels now operate out of elsewhere, its workforce is mostly retired, its skillset largely dispersed, its attitudes altered. Industry veterans often live in straitened circumstances, sometimes suffering long-term ill-health, including a high incidence of asbestos disease from long onboard exposure. At least 1,000 have depended on the Grimsby branch of the Fishermen’s Mission, which helps “retired or shipwrecked” fishermen. Their example hardly encourages young Grimbarians to work on trawlers.

But the tradition is not quite dead. Although no Grimsby-registered trawlers land white fish at the port today, the Fish Market is still busy selling creatures caught predominantly off north-east Scotland, Iceland, the Faroes and Norway. The fish arrives in the evening, to be graded and sorted overnight before the Market opens at 6am the following morning. Sellers and buyers bid on pallet-loads of fish packed into 50kg boxes, and the whole auction (normally around 125 tons of fish) can be over within an hour. Frozen fish is also sold, originating from as far away as Russia, India and China. Although some of the fish is trucked off west along the A180, much is still sold to local processors, and through fish and chip shops, stalls at markets, and vans delivering door-to-door across Lincolnshire and beyond.

The smell of the past still sometimes literally fills the air, courtesy of surviving factories making fish-fingers, preparing shellfish and smoking all kinds of things that swim. Grimsby is the UK’s premier seafood processing centre, with more than 50 factories adding around £2 billion annually to the economy. (The European Commission, ironically, granted “Grimsby Traditional Smoked Fish” Protected Geographical Indication in 2009.) Brexit seems to be making some firms consider pulling out, but the Government is taking up some of the slack, for example in November giving a local cold storage facility a £5 million injection.

Fish processing is monotonous and unglamorous but it is also nationally important. One Grimsby firm alone, Young’s, provides around 40% of the fish eaten in the United Kingdom.

The switch from exporting to importing and processing is emblematic of modern Britain, but it seems especially sad here, in this town with a vanished raison d’ĂȘtre — this town that has worked so hard, endured so much, and made such a contribution to national life. Back at the disconsolate docks, on a gull-grey December’s afternoon, it is impossible not to regret the departure of an epic fleet.

 ***

Order your copy of UnHerd’s first print edition here. 


Derek Turner is a novelist and reviewer. His first non-fiction book, Edge of England: Landfall in Lincolnshire, has just been published by Hurst.
derekturner1964

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Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago

Take away the specifics of fishing, and the outcome is identical in many if not most towns throughout the country. As the aritcle correctly points out – the export of labour – fish processing in this case, but manufacturing in most others – set the ball rolling on the destruction of these towns, and then to compound matters, and almost as though washing its hands of the people now deemed surplus to requirements, the government then started importing whole cities worth of migrants.

With traditional work and manufacturing a thing of the past, the interests of big buisness and the obsessive short term focus on GDP growth then took absolute priority. An undending queue of workers willing to work for next to nothing combined with (and had a large part in enabling) an educational system that became interested only in maximising university admissions at the overt cost of providing an alternative for the academically disinclined in the form of well funded, well resourced and well promoted further education, apprenticeships and other vocational training. The result: huge swathes of the citizenry essentially locked out of decently paid employment & career prospects by a combination of bargining power obliteration and a tragic paucity of skills and training.

Though largely invisible to the better off – notably the elites and their ‘enlightened’ cheerleaders – the damage of mass immigration is blindingly obvious to anybody living in many sections of our cities or in the many dying towns up and down the country. We have millions of people who could have been skilled workers or tradesmen, but rather than making any effort to train them (or to even advise them of such careers) we took the easy import option, and then to add insult to injury we left them no other choice but to subsist in terribly payed jobs; their wages kept to the absolute minimum because their bosses knew they could be replaced at the drop of a hat by a glut of imported workers willing to work for half their pay. Rinse and repeat for years on end, and on top of the fragmented and completely transformed communities we have hundreds of towns like Grimsby – devoid of hope and aspiration; the residents’ bleak existence compelling destructive behaviours, crime, ill health, and spirals of generational decline. And until our overlords see what caused the problem, or perhaps just simply even start caring, things will only get worse.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Jam
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

The keys to successful democracies are power balances. A political right balanced by a political left, an independent judiciary to reign executive overreach, independent media able to shine a light in dark areas.

When the political left abandoned the indigenous working class, its core constituency in most western countries, a very important power balance was lost.

The “maximisation of university admissions” without any prioritisation of useful courses has now bled so far into the media and judiciary the independence of those organs is also threatened.

Populism is probably the only truly countervailing power to complete control by the oligarchs. Unfortunately, populism also has a history of leading to dark places and definitely does not favour power structures that may restrain it.

We have let something incredibly valuable slip away.

Last edited 1 year ago by Martin Bollis
Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

”Unfortunately, populism also has a history of leading to dark places”

This is the myth we are taught to be able to attack anyone not a blind follower of lefty/Liberalism and socialism. Unless you call Mayo a ‘Populaist’ leader (killed up to 100,000,000 of his won people) and the other monsters in history who were not usually populists.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

”Unfortunately, populism also has a history of leading to dark places”

This is the myth we are taught to be able to attack anyone not a blind follower of lefty/Liberalism and socialism. Unless you call Mayo a ‘Populaist’ leader (killed up to 100,000,000 of his won people) and the other monsters in history who were not usually populists.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

This was a very interesting article, just as a good read. As you say, it is not different from other towns where industry declined in a similar way. My own home town employed thousands on the railways and in car production. All gone.
I also learnt that people from Grimsby are called Grimbarians.

Manufacturing has gone and will only return when it will be cheaper to make something in England than in China. The UK taught the world how to make things and is now suffering for it.

I have one point of criticism of your post. You say, “And until our overlords see what caused the problem, or perhaps just simply even start caring, things will only get worse.” Why should this happen – it is so unlikely as to be impossible.

This wishful thinking, this hope that a messiah will come and make us mighty again, is negative and dangerous. For example, the messiah might say, “Everyone must stay in their homes so that we can save money by not heating buildings in the city centre”. Would UnHerders just agree because the messiah was a great person?

The sheer negativity of wishful thinking is one of the things stopping us from doing things.

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Sort of take your point Chris, but what else left is there but the hope that the people in charge of the country might see the damage – the cynical shorterism- and decide to change tack. I’m not quite yet at the point where I see only a messiah type figure as bringing this about, not least because I think more and more of the public are beginning to see what we can.

And as much I’m skeptical of Labour rule, I do think Starmer’s recently expressed position on immigration was extremely welcome news – as he identified correctly many of things I point out above – and even had many lefties nodding along.

So, maybe, just maybe, theres time to turn things around, or at the least limit the damage. All I can do is try to point out the myriad pitfalls of mass immigration to people whenever given the opportunity. And happily think the xenephobe / racist / bigot slur has been that overused its lost its magic power to end the discussion.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

And I sort of agree with you. UnHerd is very anti-Labour. But the Tories have done all the bad things in the last three or four years. The Tories have followed the USA into mad wokeness. The Tories are running around like blue-a*sed flies, falling over each other, making gaffes and generally looking like amateurs. Maybe it is time to give Labour another chance – but I do worry about the hovering presence of Gordon Brown (and even Blair).

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

But Labour is also infected by “mad wokeness”, and I think to a greater degree than the Tories. Don’t get me wrong, I would love there to be a Labour party that I could vote for, but I don’t think that it’s there yet.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

So, what is the answer? Back to wishing for a messiah to arrive and save us all.
Labour does have one advantage – its members actually do things. They are activists. They don’t just sit in front of a computer and type.
I agree with you. Labour could be worse than the Tories.
There are only two solutions and neither have much hope:
1) Change the system completely. This means that people who write, UnHerders, magazine authors start to criticise the system rather than picking on a political party. Any who starts a sentence with … “The Lefties…” is just a waste of space. When people start talking about changing the system you have a chance.
2) Rejoin the EU and just absorb all the c**p.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

So, what is the answer? Back to wishing for a messiah to arrive and save us all.
Labour does have one advantage – its members actually do things. They are activists. They don’t just sit in front of a computer and type.
I agree with you. Labour could be worse than the Tories.
There are only two solutions and neither have much hope:
1) Change the system completely. This means that people who write, UnHerders, magazine authors start to criticise the system rather than picking on a political party. Any who starts a sentence with … “The Lefties…” is just a waste of space. When people start talking about changing the system you have a chance.
2) Rejoin the EU and just absorb all the c**p.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

But Labour is also infected by “mad wokeness”, and I think to a greater degree than the Tories. Don’t get me wrong, I would love there to be a Labour party that I could vote for, but I don’t think that it’s there yet.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

And I sort of agree with you. UnHerd is very anti-Labour. But the Tories have done all the bad things in the last three or four years. The Tories have followed the USA into mad wokeness. The Tories are running around like blue-a*sed flies, falling over each other, making gaffes and generally looking like amateurs. Maybe it is time to give Labour another chance – but I do worry about the hovering presence of Gordon Brown (and even Blair).

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Funny you should bring up the ‘Messiah’ hope. I live some 7,000 miles west of Grimsby, but about 10 years ago I published a book called ‘The JOB Messiahs’, listing all the nutty schemes promoted by overpaid public ‘experts’ to revive our local economy — and nothing worked out. But then, why should it? Just as in Grimsby, our local industries got started without any government aid — so why should government initiatives work this time?

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Sort of take your point Chris, but what else left is there but the hope that the people in charge of the country might see the damage – the cynical shorterism- and decide to change tack. I’m not quite yet at the point where I see only a messiah type figure as bringing this about, not least because I think more and more of the public are beginning to see what we can.

And as much I’m skeptical of Labour rule, I do think Starmer’s recently expressed position on immigration was extremely welcome news – as he identified correctly many of things I point out above – and even had many lefties nodding along.

So, maybe, just maybe, theres time to turn things around, or at the least limit the damage. All I can do is try to point out the myriad pitfalls of mass immigration to people whenever given the opportunity. And happily think the xenephobe / racist / bigot slur has been that overused its lost its magic power to end the discussion.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Funny you should bring up the ‘Messiah’ hope. I live some 7,000 miles west of Grimsby, but about 10 years ago I published a book called ‘The JOB Messiahs’, listing all the nutty schemes promoted by overpaid public ‘experts’ to revive our local economy — and nothing worked out. But then, why should it? Just as in Grimsby, our local industries got started without any government aid — so why should government initiatives work this time?

neil sheppard
neil sheppard
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Ten, maybe even five years ago, I would have argued against the sentiments in this post. Now, I would whole heartedly endorse them. The hollowing out of vast swathes of this countries productive capacity has been horrific to behold. All political parties are guilty. We know the problem, we as a country now need to find the solution, and fast. The last 25 years of globalised technocratic government has no answers.

Rich B
Rich B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Yes, I agree it is a similar picture across England. It is difficult to see how manufacturing has a future. The cost of electricity is very high for production and then the cost of fuel is very high for distribution.
There does not seem to be any political will to tackle this.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

The keys to successful democracies are power balances. A political right balanced by a political left, an independent judiciary to reign executive overreach, independent media able to shine a light in dark areas.

When the political left abandoned the indigenous working class, its core constituency in most western countries, a very important power balance was lost.

The “maximisation of university admissions” without any prioritisation of useful courses has now bled so far into the media and judiciary the independence of those organs is also threatened.

Populism is probably the only truly countervailing power to complete control by the oligarchs. Unfortunately, populism also has a history of leading to dark places and definitely does not favour power structures that may restrain it.

We have let something incredibly valuable slip away.

Last edited 1 year ago by Martin Bollis
Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

This was a very interesting article, just as a good read. As you say, it is not different from other towns where industry declined in a similar way. My own home town employed thousands on the railways and in car production. All gone.
I also learnt that people from Grimsby are called Grimbarians.

Manufacturing has gone and will only return when it will be cheaper to make something in England than in China. The UK taught the world how to make things and is now suffering for it.

I have one point of criticism of your post. You say, “And until our overlords see what caused the problem, or perhaps just simply even start caring, things will only get worse.” Why should this happen – it is so unlikely as to be impossible.

This wishful thinking, this hope that a messiah will come and make us mighty again, is negative and dangerous. For example, the messiah might say, “Everyone must stay in their homes so that we can save money by not heating buildings in the city centre”. Would UnHerders just agree because the messiah was a great person?

The sheer negativity of wishful thinking is one of the things stopping us from doing things.

neil sheppard
neil sheppard
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Ten, maybe even five years ago, I would have argued against the sentiments in this post. Now, I would whole heartedly endorse them. The hollowing out of vast swathes of this countries productive capacity has been horrific to behold. All political parties are guilty. We know the problem, we as a country now need to find the solution, and fast. The last 25 years of globalised technocratic government has no answers.

Rich B
Rich B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Yes, I agree it is a similar picture across England. It is difficult to see how manufacturing has a future. The cost of electricity is very high for production and then the cost of fuel is very high for distribution.
There does not seem to be any political will to tackle this.

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 year ago

Take away the specifics of fishing, and the outcome is identical in many if not most towns throughout the country. As the aritcle correctly points out – the export of labour – fish processing in this case, but manufacturing in most others – set the ball rolling on the destruction of these towns, and then to compound matters, and almost as though washing its hands of the people now deemed surplus to requirements, the government then started importing whole cities worth of migrants.

With traditional work and manufacturing a thing of the past, the interests of big buisness and the obsessive short term focus on GDP growth then took absolute priority. An undending queue of workers willing to work for next to nothing combined with (and had a large part in enabling) an educational system that became interested only in maximising university admissions at the overt cost of providing an alternative for the academically disinclined in the form of well funded, well resourced and well promoted further education, apprenticeships and other vocational training. The result: huge swathes of the citizenry essentially locked out of decently paid employment & career prospects by a combination of bargining power obliteration and a tragic paucity of skills and training.

Though largely invisible to the better off – notably the elites and their ‘enlightened’ cheerleaders – the damage of mass immigration is blindingly obvious to anybody living in many sections of our cities or in the many dying towns up and down the country. We have millions of people who could have been skilled workers or tradesmen, but rather than making any effort to train them (or to even advise them of such careers) we took the easy import option, and then to add insult to injury we left them no other choice but to subsist in terribly payed jobs; their wages kept to the absolute minimum because their bosses knew they could be replaced at the drop of a hat by a glut of imported workers willing to work for half their pay. Rinse and repeat for years on end, and on top of the fragmented and completely transformed communities we have hundreds of towns like Grimsby – devoid of hope and aspiration; the residents’ bleak existence compelling destructive behaviours, crime, ill health, and spirals of generational decline. And until our overlords see what caused the problem, or perhaps just simply even start caring, things will only get worse.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Jam
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

“Eventually, and grudgingly, Brussels offered substantial subsidies for British fishing”

Brussels never gave Britain any subsidy whatsoever. Britain was always a net contributor to the EEC/EU. Any money given by the EU to Grimsby was taken from British taxpayers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

After watching how the British Gov gave their fish rights to EU I was surprised they did not license EU sheep farmers to land on Scottish shores and round up the sheep and take them back to Holland as their right to British Resources.

Having been part of the commercial fishing and processing it struck very close to my heart of see Britain prostitute out its native waters to European powers for pennies….

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

Giving away our birthrights – be it our waters, our homeland through mass immigration, our oil and gas reserves, our sovereignty to the EU – is a speciality of the British ruling class.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

Giving away our birthrights – be it our waters, our homeland through mass immigration, our oil and gas reserves, our sovereignty to the EU – is a speciality of the British ruling class.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

After watching how the British Gov gave their fish rights to EU I was surprised they did not license EU sheep farmers to land on Scottish shores and round up the sheep and take them back to Holland as their right to British Resources.

Having been part of the commercial fishing and processing it struck very close to my heart of see Britain prostitute out its native waters to European powers for pennies….

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

“Eventually, and grudgingly, Brussels offered substantial subsidies for British fishing”

Brussels never gave Britain any subsidy whatsoever. Britain was always a net contributor to the EEC/EU. Any money given by the EU to Grimsby was taken from British taxpayers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The anachronistic Barnett Formula, (1978)which heavily subsides
those notorious ‘benefit junkies’, the Northern Irish, the Scotch and the Welsh, should be scrapped immediately and the funds saved diverted to Grimsby and many other worthy English towns.

It is a national disgrace that the aforementioned ‘parasites’ have been indulged for so long, and that they have absolutely NO sense of shame when squealing for yet more subsidy
Enough is enough.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago

There’s a Welshman’s uptick for you. Most Welsh politicians need a kick up the *aris piece*. Some deserve a noose around their necks. *That’s a proper seaman’s term. Admiralty Manual of Seamanship Volume 1 refers.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Thank you!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Thank you!

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago

There’s a Welshman’s uptick for you. Most Welsh politicians need a kick up the *aris piece*. Some deserve a noose around their necks. *That’s a proper seaman’s term. Admiralty Manual of Seamanship Volume 1 refers.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The anachronistic Barnett Formula, (1978)which heavily subsides
those notorious ‘benefit junkies’, the Northern Irish, the Scotch and the Welsh, should be scrapped immediately and the funds saved diverted to Grimsby and many other worthy English towns.

It is a national disgrace that the aforementioned ‘parasites’ have been indulged for so long, and that they have absolutely NO sense of shame when squealing for yet more subsidy
Enough is enough.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

Grimsby, Hull and Scunsthorpe. All sacrificed on the altar of London declinism and worship of the continental bureaucrat. What a disaster.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

Grimsby, Hull and Scunsthorpe. All sacrificed on the altar of London declinism and worship of the continental bureaucrat. What a disaster.

David Ginsberg
David Ginsberg
1 year ago

I worked at the Youngs coated fish factory back in the late 90’s. Grimsby was very much food town with lots of plants producing frozen and fresh food for the UK and beyond. Though fish was the main area there were other food being processed such as pizzas. I always found that Grimsby and neighbouring Cleethorpes had a strong identity and sense of community. I enjoyed living there though the work at the factory was a challenge. undoubtedly there were problems particularly drugs which flowed in from nearby Immingham and the transition from a fishing led economy to one led by food processing had left a lot of people behind. I have many fond memories of my time there and though people could at first be a bit frosty once they got to know you they were extremely welcoming.

David Ginsberg
David Ginsberg
1 year ago

I worked at the Youngs coated fish factory back in the late 90’s. Grimsby was very much food town with lots of plants producing frozen and fresh food for the UK and beyond. Though fish was the main area there were other food being processed such as pizzas. I always found that Grimsby and neighbouring Cleethorpes had a strong identity and sense of community. I enjoyed living there though the work at the factory was a challenge. undoubtedly there were problems particularly drugs which flowed in from nearby Immingham and the transition from a fishing led economy to one led by food processing had left a lot of people behind. I have many fond memories of my time there and though people could at first be a bit frosty once they got to know you they were extremely welcoming.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Yet only 45 miles to the south west “as the sparrow flies”, is the finest Gothic Fane in England, if not the World, Lincoln Cathedral!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Do sparrows fly that far? Aren’t they mainly localised aves?
Jesting apart, your point is valid. If our medieval craftsmen could produce such wonders, what would their modern-day equivalent be doing now? A refocusing on skills and crafts has already been suggested in Comments, and i agree. It brings the prospect of not only decent wages but the satisfaction of an end product that may stand the test of time, as the example you cite has done.
Those skills are still available, as the current restoration to a very high standard of the magnificent Rochdale town hall testifies:
A Look Inside: Behind-the-scenes of Rochdale Town Hall’s multi-million pound restoration | ITV News Granada

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Apparently only 9 of our Cathedrals have a “ dedicated Stonemasonry Workshop and Stonemasonry team”!

How many from our 15.5 surviving Medieval Cathedrals that includes, I have no idea.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

”Do sparrows fly that far? Aren’t they mainly localised aves?”

masterful debunking of his argument.. loved it

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

It was joke! An alternative to Crows if you like.
You need to book yourself in for a Comprehension check!
I wasn’t making an argument but stating a FACT, that Lincoln Cathedral is the finest Gothic Cathedral in existence, or do you dispute this?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Gareth Evans
Gareth Evans
1 year ago

I would wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Lincoln cathedral
I’m from Grimsby & was one of the team that built the scaffolding for the recent restoration works. I’d visited on a couple of occasions in the past but having the opportunity to spend a lot more time there up close and personal with the building made me appreciate what a truly fantastic piece of architecture it is. One of the most interesting conversations I’ve had in recent years was with a 70 year old stone mason who was painstakingly restoring the ‘Gallery of Kings’ above one of the entrances with his apprentice who was in his 40’s! We really are in last chance saloon to take advantage of & pass on the knowledge of these highly skilled & experienced people in all trades before it’s lost forever. In my opinion more needs to be done to encourage youngsters to take up trade apprenticeships instead of being pushed into useless university degrees in obscure subjects that don’t actually qualify them to earn a good living in real life.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Gareth Evans

I couldn’t agree more. Millions of our young are being funnelled in totally useless non-jobs, mainly in the Public Sector, whilst the architectural masterpieces of our civilisation are being wantonly put at risk!

Astonishingly we have actually been here before, with terrible consequences.

In the Spring of 1536 we had approximately 60 Great Churches, similar if not quite as magnificent as Lincoln. Ten years later that figure had been reduced to 24, and with the subsequent loss of St Paul’s in 1666 to 23 where it has remained ever since.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Gareth Evans

I couldn’t agree more. Millions of our young are being funnelled in totally useless non-jobs, mainly in the Public Sector, whilst the architectural masterpieces of our civilisation are being wantonly put at risk!

Astonishingly we have actually been here before, with terrible consequences.

In the Spring of 1536 we had approximately 60 Great Churches, similar if not quite as magnificent as Lincoln. Ten years later that figure had been reduced to 24, and with the subsequent loss of St Paul’s in 1666 to 23 where it has remained ever since.

Gareth Evans
Gareth Evans
1 year ago

I would wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Lincoln cathedral
I’m from Grimsby & was one of the team that built the scaffolding for the recent restoration works. I’d visited on a couple of occasions in the past but having the opportunity to spend a lot more time there up close and personal with the building made me appreciate what a truly fantastic piece of architecture it is. One of the most interesting conversations I’ve had in recent years was with a 70 year old stone mason who was painstakingly restoring the ‘Gallery of Kings’ above one of the entrances with his apprentice who was in his 40’s! We really are in last chance saloon to take advantage of & pass on the knowledge of these highly skilled & experienced people in all trades before it’s lost forever. In my opinion more needs to be done to encourage youngsters to take up trade apprenticeships instead of being pushed into useless university degrees in obscure subjects that don’t actually qualify them to earn a good living in real life.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

It was joke! An alternative to Crows if you like.
You need to book yourself in for a Comprehension check!
I wasn’t making an argument but stating a FACT, that Lincoln Cathedral is the finest Gothic Cathedral in existence, or do you dispute this?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Apparently only 9 of our Cathedrals have a “ dedicated Stonemasonry Workshop and Stonemasonry team”!

How many from our 15.5 surviving Medieval Cathedrals that includes, I have no idea.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

”Do sparrows fly that far? Aren’t they mainly localised aves?”

masterful debunking of his argument.. loved it

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Do sparrows fly that far? Aren’t they mainly localised aves?
Jesting apart, your point is valid. If our medieval craftsmen could produce such wonders, what would their modern-day equivalent be doing now? A refocusing on skills and crafts has already been suggested in Comments, and i agree. It brings the prospect of not only decent wages but the satisfaction of an end product that may stand the test of time, as the example you cite has done.
Those skills are still available, as the current restoration to a very high standard of the magnificent Rochdale town hall testifies:
A Look Inside: Behind-the-scenes of Rochdale Town Hall’s multi-million pound restoration | ITV News Granada

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Yet only 45 miles to the south west “as the sparrow flies”, is the finest Gothic Fane in England, if not the World, Lincoln Cathedral!