What with Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie in the cinemas, Grimsby is the butt of jokes up and down the country. But here are some things all those proud Grimbarians who've really grown up in Grimsby know about their Lincolnshire town.
1. Every time you tell someone you’ve grown up in Grimsby, they mention fish, yet if you live here the only time you ever think about fish is when you’re deciding whether to order haddock or cod.
2. But talking about fish, the fish ‘n’ chips in Grimsby are the best in the country and amazingly cheap and Harry the Haddock is still our favourite blow-up mascot.
3. ‘Scraps’ are the best part of a fish ‘n’ chip meal.
4. Everyone in Grimsby has probably had a nonsensical conversation with Ozzy (RIP), our friendly local homeless alcoholic, who you’d often run into round top town in the day, or staggering into beer gardens at night.
5. Chewing gum is ‘spoggy’.
6. Saturday night was spent drinking Frosty Jacks in People’s Park if you weren’t 18 yet.
7. On a Saturday afternoon, you took a trip Up Town on the number 9 bus to listen to CDs on the headphones at Andy’s Records.
8. A Blastaway was the drink to have while dancing in front of the giant wall of TV’s in JD’s nightclub.
9. When you wanted to go swimming, Scartho Baths had the best diving boards (and it’s pronounced Scaffa obviously!).
10. Every Christmas, you have to watch the panto at Grimsby Auditorium, always starring a C-list celeb.
11. As a child any time you went to Weelsby Woods, you always had to ‘ride’ the lion statues at the gate.
12. The road under the bridge on Weelsby Road always used to flood dramatically, making for some rally style splashing in the car.
13. The Pestle and Mortar and The Market Hotel were the rough pubs. All the hippies hung out at The Exchange, while the soulies went to Tiffanys in Wintringham Road. Later, if you were an emo you only went drinking in The Matrix, The Barge and Old Lloyds.
14. To all intents and purposes Grimsby and Cleethorpes are the same place as they join on to each other seamlessly.
15 You were told you couldn’t go to Grimsby in the school lunch break, when the sweet shop you were allowed to visit was just across the road and actually in Grimsby.
15. Blundell Park, home of Grimsby Town is actually in Cleethorpes.
16. Grimsby Town hasn’t always been a rubbish team. We remember supporting it when it was managed by Lawrie McMenemy and got promoted up to the third division. However we’re now used to the lows of being relegated and missing out in playoffs.
17. The event of the summer was The Radio One Roadshow at the Boating Lake in Cleethorpes. Whether you knew who the singers were or not (Kriss Kross anyone?), you’d push to the front, scream and wave about a poster to try for an autograph.
18. The best bands were on at the Winter Gardens, but you avoided it on Wednesday when it was the ‘Bags Ball’.
19. The water at the paddling pool at the Boating Lake was always freezing, had no heaters, was overcrowded with hundreds of kids, and the flooring was so rough and the water so shallow you’d frequently scrape skin from your feet. But you cried as a kid when the paddling pool closed down after the summer.
20. You hate the sight of fish fingers having worked all summer holiday on the production line at the Birds Eye factory.
21. You feel safe in the knowledge that if you fail college then there’s always working in a fish factory as a back-up.
22. You never hung out around Riby Square as that’s where all the prositutes were.
23. Lloyds Arms student night in the nineties was the place to get a pint for a pound. You called it ‘Old Lloyds’ once Wetherspoons Lloyds opened up. That’s not ‘New Lloyds’, but ‘New Wethers’ to differentiate between it and ‘Old Wethers’, which is actually at the Yarborough Hotel.
© Stephen Richards
24 You always wonder what the five creepy statues on the side of Grimsby Library are meant to be, but have never thought of going in to ask.
25. You have no accent, but the rest of the world thinks you have the most common accent in the world.
26. You hate on Grimsby, but will defend it against anyone else who tries to hate on it
27. There is actually a University Centre in Grimsby, so thanks to the students of the BA Professional Writing course for suggesting some of the points here!