Grimsby, is part of the Unitary Authority North East Lincolnshire Council, which was created in 1996 during the Local Government re-organisation. The Council was created when Great Grimsby Council and Cleethorpes Borough Council amalgamated and took on the services of Humberside County Council which was abolished.
East Marsh is a three member ward with three Liberal Democrat Councillors. The Ward is a large compact ward to north of the borough, and is made up of three wards from the old Great Grimsby Borough Council, namely: Victoria, Humber and Grant Thorold Ward.
In the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s Grimsby was a flourishing fishing port, and many of the people from the East Marsh Area had connections with the fishing industry. However, the area has not changed a great deal in many ways. Back-to-back terraced housing, with streets such as, Guildford Street, Kent Street, Garibaldi Street, Rutland Street and Hope Street, all of which have been partially demolished or have been in decline for many years.
Yet in each of these streets there was a strong sense of community identity and a sense of belonging, the residents were not bothered if it was VE Day, Coronation Day or just any other day they were always looking for a street party. “Hope Street, along with many other streets in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, had within its residents an intense sense of community spirit, and took the opportunity to celebrate any major national event with flamboyance and style with bunting and flags strung across the street from house to house, and residents decorating their house fronts with inventive designs. In addition, there would be singing and dancing by individuals and groups of people, and music filled the air from these and the numerous clog dancers”.
In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s many families were displaced to other parts of the town, such as, the Yarborough Estate due to the wide scale slum clearances. The cleared areas made way for new estates on Hildyard Street, Willing Way, Churchill Way and the multi-storey tower blocks. The Cod Wars damaged the port of Grimsby economically, and also had a detrimental effect upon the lives of the deep sea fishermen of the East Marsh, many of whom blamed the then Labour MP for Great Grimsby, and Foreign Secretary, Anthony Crosland for giving up our “fishing rights” in 1976. A direct legacy from the ‘demise of the fishing’ is the terminal decline of Freeman Street – the town’s once foremost shopping street. Even though the fishing industry declined in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Birds Eye still continued producing thousands of tons of fish fingers a day from their factory just outside East Marsh right up to the early the 1990’s. However, the real irony behind the story was the fact much of white fish was imported from Iceland via Europe. Unfortunately the frozen food industry never replaced the good times of the 1940’s and the 1950’s, mainly because the vast majority of labour was low paid and part-time. Even so most people who worked there still have fond memories of working for either Birds Eye, Findus or Ross Foods the three big employers – most people described them as family firms. Statistically, East Marsh Ward is one of the most deprived wards in the whole of the United Kingdom. Life expectancy is lower than in other areas of the Borough, there are high rates of unemployment, high rates drug misuse, high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, low levels of educational attainment and low levels of young people going onto university.
East Marsh is well served by public transport with good bus and rail links. The Grimsby Town Railway Station is only a few miles away, but the Grimsby Docks Railway Station is on the western ward boundary.
The famous landmark the Grimsby Dock Tower that many locals believe is the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ is just a few feet outside the ward boundary in West Marsh Ward. I am just pondering whether to call for Boundary Commission Review! For further information about our area please visit the following websites: