Celebrating the Easter fish tradition

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

For many of us, Easter seems like a natural time to enjoy some salmon or other kinds of fish. Like many of our traditions, this originates in the Church when Good Friday – a black day in the Church calendar – was so also decreed a day of fasting.Louise Coulbeck handing out a fish parcel to factory op, Scott (more…)

Sir Alfred Bannister – in more detail!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Fish Tales Man Sign Off Device-03Somewhere in the JCS Fish archives is a reference to the renowned Grimsby businessman, Alfred Bannister.

There can’t be many old “Grimmies” or “Grimbarians” who had links to the Fish Docks who wouldn’t know the name …

Here was a man who started with little in a working class household and who climbed the ladder of success due to his keen eye for a business deal, his innovative skills – and bloody, hard work.

Like many towns, the area around Grimsby had good brickmaking resources. My old Dad, ex regular army, became a brick yard labourer. It was a real slog of a job. Yet this was the first job that the young Alfred undertook, probably around the age of 13 or 14.
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Tradition – does it have a future?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Whether one is religious or not, many of our traditions are inexorably linked to the Church.

Christmas gifts are exchanged as a representation of the gifts given by the Wise Men.  Whether they envisaged getting themselves into debt because of over-indulgent gifts is a matter for another day!

In the Church calendar, Easter has even more meaning than Christmas.  Good Friday saw the trial and crucifixion of Jesus – a black day for his followers, and thus a day of fasting.

Though Fridays had always been intended as a day of fasting from meat, Good Friday took on extra significance.  Virtually everyone would make the effort to eat fish.
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The Dogger Bank Darts & Balloons Addendum

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

A few facts about the Dogger Bank Public House.

It was trading in the year 1879 and was a men only pub, possibly known as The Skippers’ Pub.

It was a one roomed pub with accommodation above.

It was listed I the Grimsby Directory at 40 Freeman Street, Grimsby

Taken over by Francis Dolan, great grandfather of Louise Coulbeck, one of the Directors of JCS Fish, in the 1880’s

Famous for darts, played on boards made locally from cross sections of elm or poplar.

The winning darts team featured in an article in the News of the World in the 1940s.

The 28 Double Board was unique to the Dogger Bank.

It is also said that Francis Dolan once designed and built a dartboard with a THOUSAND segments, which covered a wall of the pub.  “Just going for a game of darts, Edna – don’t wait up, I’ll see you in three weeks!”

The Dogger Bank Darts & Balloons

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

A Fishy Tale by “Fish Tales Man”

Dear Reader, you must be interested in fish otherwise you wouldn’t be logged onto this blog.  So, it must surely follow that you have heard of “The Dogger Bank”, even if only from some distant geography text book, where all Britons wore bowler hats and there was more of the colour pink in the atlas than any other colour!

The Dogger Bank: a shallow area of the North Sea, primarily the source of near water plaice”, so says the Complete Atlas of the British Isles circa 1970.

But what if I were to tell you there was once TWO Dogger Banks known to Grimbarians?  Grimbarians and Meggies of a certain age could certainly confirm the fact.

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Are The Foundations Really Cotton Wool….?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

From the window of our offices, we can see the Grimsby Dock Tower which for 137 years has dominated the town’s skyline – a stark and impressive sentinel known to seafarers around the globe.

The 309ft high tower has played a fascinating role in the town’s industrial history.

Many Grimbarians will tell you that the Dock Tower stands on a foundation of cotton wool – however fabulous this may sound, unfortunately it is not true!  The foundations of what must rank as one of the town’s best known buildings are of solid masonry – built upon a timber pile bearing.

The cotton wool legend is a story many are proud to tell.  It probably arose because someone said of the commercial trade in the Royal Dock that the foundations were laid on cotton.  In other words, the import of raw cotton through Grimsby for the mills of West Yorkshire a century ago paid for the building of the tower.

The tower’s real story is much more down to earth than that …. but we can save that for another blog post!

A Bit About JCS Fish

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

The Head Office of JCS Fish, the Company behind the Big Fish Brand, is based on the fish docks in Grimsby.  At its peak in the 1950’s, Grimsby laid claim to the title of ‘the largest fishing port in the world’; very few fishing vessels still operate from Grimsby’s once thriving docks, although it does maintain a substantial fish market, of European importance.

Today, Grimsby is home to around 500 food-related companies making it one of the largest concentrations of food manufacturing, research, storage and distribution in Europe.  As a result the local council has promoted the town as Europe’s Food Town for nearly twenty years.

JCS Fish Limited is a family run business founded in 2000 by Andrew Coulbeck and his wife, Louise.  Andrew has spent his whole career working on the fish docks and has many interesting stories to tell about the early days when there were plenty of interesting and diverse characters working on the fish docks.  Louise has made the unusual leap from fashion to fish, after spending 20 years owning and running a successful, independent fashion retail shop in Grimsby with her sister.

History of Grimsby

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Grimsby was home to 2 tramway networks, the Grimsby District Light Railway and the Grimsby & Immingham Electric Railway. The Grimsby Electric was a normal gauge tramway opened in 1912 between Corporation Bridge at Grimsby and Immingham. There was no physical connection with the railway system. The tramway served the town with a passenger service between Grimsby and Immingham until closure in 1961.It is claimed that once this was controlled by the Corporation, they were more interested in supporting the motorbus service, now number 45.

Days gone by!

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Pictured below is Andrew Coulbeck and 2 ladies from Young’s Seafoods holding a whopping 10kilo wild salmon at Jack Smith’s on Wharncliffe Road. The salmon was line caught in the Spey.

History of Grimsby

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Freshney Place Shopping Centre was originally constructed between 1967 and 1971 and was know as the Riverhead Centre. This development caused some controversy at the time as it followed the 1960’s trend of replacing old architecture with new. In this case it involved the wholesale demolition of much of the old town centre including the historic Bull Ring and streets going back many centuries including Flottergate, Brewery Street and East St. Mary’s Gate.