in Personal

Grimsby, a thousand delights

Having identified lots of reasons why I had, effectively, stopped blogging and deliberately taken several weeks off I found myself faced with another hurdle: what on earth do I post first if I am to attempt blogging again?

Should it be council or ward related (despite my feeling I should be less Wandsworth-centric), should it be personal (given that I’m keen to start making it a slightly more personal blog), or should it be a tedious navel gazing blog post about posting on a blog? Or perhaps a topical post about snow? (You’d be better off looking at wandsworth.gov.uk/snow, or just re-read some of my old ones.)

In the end, I decided it would be none of these. Instead it would be dedicated to my (sort of) home town. A simple and frivolous proof that it is the greatest place on earth: because Lego say so.

That hometown is Great Grimsby. Often the butt of jokes, but if you have ever been to Miniland at Legoland Windsor you will see no fewer than four Grimsby buildings memoralised in brick form.

The Grimsby Dock Tower – a local landmark built by the Victorians to provide hydraulic power for the dock gates but made redundant by technology almost as soon as it was complete.

Grimsby Dock Tower, in bricks and in Lego bricks

In real life (photo credit Paul Stainthorp) on the left, and in Lego.

The dock offices – a rather imposing building spoilt by pointless construction of a road bridge made redundant almost as soon as it was complete because hardly any trains use the line it crosses. (My main memories of this are going with my father to collect his wages and a rather striking warning poster of a crane driver having his fingers amputated by his crane door.)

Different angles, but both unmistakable Grimsby dock's offices

Different angles, but both unmistakable Grimsby dock’s offices

The flour mill – a huge building on the side of the almost entirely disused Alexandra Dock. I very nearly rented a flat here when I was narrowly losing (by 11,000 votes, give or take) the Grimsby seat in 2000-2001, but was put off by tales of rat infestation.

Grimsby flour mill. Left: with rats (allegedly). Right: without rats (unless they are tiny Lego rats).

Grimsby flour mill. Left: with rats (allegedly). Right: without rats (unless they are tiny Lego rats).

Corporation Bridge – allegedly functional, but sadly unused, lifting bridge that spans the aforementioned Alexandra Dock.

Corporation Bridge (with the flour mill in the background. Photo credit: David Wright/Wikipedia)

Corporation Bridge (with the flour mill in the background. Photo credit: David Wright/Wikipedia)

And there you have it. Independent evidence that Grimsby is the greatest place on earth.

I suspect that excluding capital cities, nowhere else can boast that sort of representation at Legoland. I also wonder if on a landmark per capita basis it even beats London.

As Elton John said: “Grimsby, a thousand delights couldn’t match the sweet sights of my Grimsby. Oh, England is fair, but there’s none that compare with my Grimsby.”

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