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Historic smokehouse repairs nearly complete

10:33 am, Thursday, 16th March 2023 - 1 year ago


Conservation repair work on the Alfred Enderby Smokehouse on the Port of Grimsby has just about been completed.

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.

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. The work has been funded by a PSiCA (Partnership Scheme in Conservation Areas) heritage grant worth £150,000, awarded last year.

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 traditional chimney cowls have been cleaned and repaired, and cast iron rainwater goods have been completed.

Following the re-rendering of the gable wall, painting of a new advertising sign will be done after Easter, led by Sam Delaney of Creative Start Arts in Health CIC, and using traditional sign writing techniques.

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.

Patrick Salmon, MD of Enderbys, said: “We’ve been wanting to do these repairs for a long time, but just haven’t had the opportunity to date, so it is great to see the work coming to an end to secure the original building for years to come. If our plans for the new building come to fruition, it will mean that we can involve the community and visitors more in the traditional processes and our work.” 

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.”

North East Lincolnshire Council Cabinet member for Tourism, Heritage and Culture, Cllr Tom Furneaux, said: “Grimsby is known, and has a PGI in place for its smoked fish, and Enderby’s have led this work for many years. To see this project to restore these historic premises nearly completed feels like a real milestone.

“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, so we can attract a variety of industries and people to use this area as a base to work. Some of that change will come if we can find ways of working with people and businesses like Enderby’s who can help support that change.”

David Walsh, Historic England Lead for Grimsby HAZ, said: “We are delighted that the work at Alfred Enderby’s smokehouse is nearly complete. Supporting key local businesses such as Enderbys is a key aim of the Heritage Action Zone and we are pleased to help Enderbys expand into the adjacent building. The smokehouse, together with other projects funded through the Heritage Action Zone, will soon form a striking ‘entrance’ to the historic docks which symbolises the regeneration of the area.”

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.

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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