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Historic smokehouse repairs and signwriting finished

2:25 pm, Tuesday, 11th July 2023 - 11 months ago


The final piece of the jigsaw has dropped into place at the historic Alfred Enderby Smokehouse on the Port of Grimsby.

Started last September, the work by local firm ES Rudkin Ltd has included reinstating historic features as well as improving security features on the building.

And now, following the re-rendering of the gable wall earlier this year, Creative Start Arts in Health CIC, led by Sam Delaney, have completed the end wall over the last few weeks, repainting and incorporating traditional signwriting, finishing off the building’s exterior and completing the works covered by the £150,000 PSiCA (Partnership Scheme in Conservation Areas) grant awarded in 2022.

Patrick Salmon, MD of Enderbys, said: “It’s fantastic to see the work completed on the main building to secure it for years to come, and the signwriting is literally the cherry on the proverbial cake – it looks amazing. We’re working on our plans for the future and the second building so that we can involve the community and visitors more in learning about the traditional processes and our work.” 

Sam Delaney from Creative Start CIC, said: “To be involved in the signwriting for one of the most iconic gable ends in Grimsby is just brilliant. I’ve had the pleasure of working with James Atkinson who is a member of the Creative Start Programme – he’s been a big support for me on this job. The results really do speak for themselves – the style of the work perfectly complements the traditional processes used in the smokehouse.”

The building listed as a Grade II structure, is one of the few remaining smokehouses in the area which still uses the geographically protected cold-smoking method.

Old maps show this building was originally constructed as a smithy between 1896 and 1905, but between 1917 and 1928 was converted to fish curing and has remained so ever since. Alfred Enderby Ltd is one of four companies which form the Grimsby Traditional Fish Smokers Group, which received EU recognition for its method.

Since the work started, the traditional chimney cowls have been cleaned and repaired, and cast iron rainwater gutters and downpipes have been installed.

Enderby’s plans don’t stop there, though! A new grant for £150,000 through the same PSiCA scheme has been awarded for works to the next-door building, building 13, the former Marconi building. This will be spent on structural repairs, making way for Enderbys to expand into it.

The grant money will be used to remove the PVC windows and doors, reinstate more authentic Crittal-style windows on the first floor, repair the roof, repair and repoint the masonry and install new cast iron rainwater goods.

Enderbys are aiming to use the new building to expand the business, and also to enable a bigger, more accessible space for group visits and tours to learn about the protected Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish method.

North East Lincolnshire Council Cabinet member for Tourism, Heritage and Culture, Cllr Hayden Dawkins, said: “I’ve been down to see the building and it looks marvellous. We have a deep history in our ports, and Grimsby is known worldwide for its smoked fish. Enderby’s are one of a few remaining traditional smokehouses that keep this work going.

“This area of the port is a unique place, and we must continue to look at how to make it safe and welcoming to work in. There are many different sectors starting to use the older buildings and help to revitalise the port area, which can only be a good thing – we must help protect our port, and be proud of it.”

Simon Bird, Regional Director of the Humber ports, said: “It’s great to see this historic building being revitalised and renovated. This smokehouse has been a landmark for many years on the Port of Grimsby and it’s right to see its unique character restored, as part of instilling pride in this part of the port known as the Kasbah. Patrick Salmon has done much to promote the wider seafood industry in Grimsby and the art of cold-smoking, and we look forward to continuing to work with him for many years to come.”

David Walsh, Historic England, said: “The completion of the works to Enderby’s smokehouse is a key milestone in the regeneration of the historic docks. The new signwriting by Creative Start CiC highlights the importance of the smokehouse in Grimsby. Enderbys, together with the recent conservation works on nearby buildings, now forms a striking entrance to the Kasbah conservation area.”

The PSiCA is being delivered as part of the Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone. The scheme has a total pot of £1m and is a joint project between Historic England and North East Lincolnshire Council, with support from ABP. 

The PSiCA grant scheme is open to businesses on the Kasbah on the Port of Grimsby or organisations that may be interested in moving to this conservation area. Anyone interested should contact Dr Stella Jackson, Heritage Action Zone Project Manager, at [email protected].

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