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Tracks, Smacks and Sunhats – how the early years of the railway helped shape Grimsby and Cleethorpes

11:04 am, Tuesday, 12th September 2023 - 10 months ago


Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre is pleased to announce an exhibition to celebrate 175 years since the railway arrived in Grimsby and 160 years since its extension to Cleethorpes.

It is difficult to imagine Grimsby without its famous docks or Cleethorpes without its beautiful pier and promenade. These impressive feats of Victorian engineering represented two towns growing in wealth and status. This was thanks to the arrival of the railway and the investment and ambition of the railway companies.

Tracks, Smacks and Sunhats tells the story of the first glorious years of the railway. How it brought previously unimaginable connections with the rest of the country, allowing both towns to grow and prosper like never before.   

The exhibition includes rarely seen railway memorabilia, and items relating to the growth of Grimsby Docks and Cleethorpes resort. This includes several items kindly loaned from the archives at Associated British Ports (ABP).

Simon Bird, Regional Director for the Humber said: “ABP is delighted to be able to loan some of its historic artefacts and paintings to this exhibition. It’s a great celebration of the part the railway companies played not just in shaping the port but the whole resort of Cleethorpes. We have some amazing pieces within our archive and it’s great to share them with the public and help tell the important story of how the area grew.”

The exhibition is free and opens to the public on Friday 15 September and runs until and Sunday 31 December 2023.

Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm. Closed Mondays, except bank holidays.

Louise Bowen, Collections Officer for Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre is happy to answer any questions about the exhibition. Please contact on (01472) 2323345 or email [email protected].

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