10 surprising facts about our historic seaport of Grimsby

Published on 29th Jun 2023

Regal Fish are proud to call Grimsby our home. The fish market is fantastic and gives us access to unbelievable fish and centuries of experience and heritage to draw from in the industry. As a little homage to this special town of ours, here is a blog with our 10 favourite facts about Grimsby.

  1. People from Grimsby are called Grimbarians. The term “codhead” is often used to refer to people from Grimsby, especially Grimsby Town football fans as part of good spirited banter in the terraces. The correct demonym for Grimsby locals is actually Grimbarians. Famous Grimbarians include John Hurt, Norman Lamont, cricketer Darren Pattinson and Strictly Come Dancing siblings Kevin and Joanne Clifton.
  2. The Grimsby Dock Tower was made using one million bricks. The tower (pictured above) wasn’t always just an iconic landmark. It was completed in March 1852 to create water pressure to power hydraulic machinery at Grimsby Docks and there were discussions about knocking it down during World War 2. It was saved by its beauty and attracts many visitors to the area. If Grimsby is a little out of your way, there is a model made completely out of Lego at Legoland in Windsor.
  3. Grimsby could be older than historians once thought. We are certain that Grimsby was settled by the Danes sometime in the 9th century AD. Allegedly, the area is named after a man called Grim, a famous Danish fisherman in his day. However, there is new evidence that a small town of Roman workers may have lived and worked in the area around the 2nd century AD, making the most of the rich North Sea fishing grounds.
  4. Grimsby was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Grimsby featured in the infamous 1086 Doomsday Book and was listed as having 200 inhabitants. The area now has just short of 90000 people living there.
  5. Grimsby once hosted the largest fishing fleet in the world. At its peak in 1970, 400 trawlers were based in the port. By 2013, this was down to 5.
  6. However, the town still has the largest fish market in the UK.
  7. Traditional Grimsby smoked fish has Protected Geographical Indication. In 2009 the European Union awarded PGI status in recognition of its speciality. Traditional smoked Grimsby fish is cold smoked overnight using sawdust in tall chimneys. The process has been perfected over centuries and that expertise is apparent in the exceptional flavour. Purchase traditional Grimsby smoked fish.
  8. Grimsby Town FC do not play in Grimsby. Grimsby Town, known as ‘The Mariners’, have their ground Blundell Park in nearby Cleethorpes. Locals joke that they’re the only British football club that play all their matches away.
  9. Grimsby once held an unlikely record. Grimsby is well known as the centre of the UK’s fishing industry. However, in 1998 the BBC reported that Grimsby made more pizzas than any other area of Europe–more, in fact, than Italy.
  10. Elton John recorded a track in 1974 called “Grimsby”. Bernie Taupin, famous for writing most of the lyrics for Elton John’s songs, wrote “Grimsby” about his teenage years in the town. In the first verse, Elton sings: As I lay dreaming in my bed, across the great divide, I thought I heard the trawler boats, returning on the tide.