I want to tell you a story: Some time ago, a couple were browsing my Made in Grimsby products when my Mum overheard the lady exclaim “I bet they weren’t made in Grimsby”. At first I was a little annoyed, but it’s hard to stay annoyed when you know that they are absolutely correctly.
My key rings, which ironically are the products the lady had been specifically referring to, I source from JD Print who are of course, a local business however there is a sticker on the box – that I hid because it was a little embarrassing, but I am 100% going to be frank with you – reads MADE IN CHINA! Yup, the absolute irony of Made in Grimsby keyring that are actually Made in China, which lets be honest, is how things are these days. Everything seems to derive from China, or Turkey, or Thailand…however, that’s a whole different issue that we don’t want to dwell on too much today.
So, yes, the lady was correct, and it made me question…
What does Made in Grimsby mean?
This is a conversation I had recently with Becky of Culture House. We both sell and promote the term “Made in Grimsby”, including products but we are both hyper aware that none of the products we sell are technically “made” in Grimsby. Does that make us frauds?
No, I don’t think so.
Whilst both The Culture House and I would love it more than anything, if we could source all of our products locally, it unfortunately isn’t possible in a world where we rely so much on imports. That is of course changing, but I feel that we’re so deep in our obsession with “cheap” it probably won’t be a quick or easy transition for most of us.
So if Made in Grimsby isn’t about where the products are physically made, what is it?
For me, and I think The Culture House, Made in Grimsby isn’t about where it’s were made. It’s about us; the people who live here. We are the entities that are literally Made in Grimsby; of course it has slightly crass undertones but it’s all in light humour – in most cases anyway.
Made in Grimsby is about the people who were born in Grimsby and who live here. It is, quite simply, Grimbarians. Just as Made in Cleethorpes refers to people who identify as Meggies.
Why is Made in Grimsby so important?
I am not the first person to use the term Made in Grimsby and I will without doubt not be the last. I don’t want to be the last; in fact I hope that everyone will acknowledge their pride in being literally Made in Grimsby.
Celebrating being Made in Grimsby and Cleethorpes is incredibly important, because it is part of our DNA and it makes us who we are.
Of course we are English, British, Human Beings but digging deeper we are Grimbarians and Meggies and I think that is something we should all be proud of.
Okay so our Fishing History is very far behind us now, and it might feel that our towns have been seriously forgotten about but there are actually a huge number of things that we should all be fiercely proud of:
- We boast the largest offshore Wind Farm in the WORLD.
- We are chock-a-block with amazingly talented individuals from artists (Fran Young, Sarah Palmer, Eve Leoni to name just three) to pioneers in fitness (Bailey of Be Great Fitness) who are helping to return Grimsby and Cleethorpes back on the UK map. We have
- There is so much support for small independent businesses from a variety of different sources from E-Factor to Grimsby Creates / Spark Grimsby.
- The number of small independent businesses vastly outnumbers the number of larger businesses.
- We are home to MyEnergi, the brainchild of Lee Sutton and Jordan Brompton, which is “at the forefront of British renewable eco-smart technology innovation and manufacturing. Their brand new innovations complex is at the heart of the Humber Freeport, the epicentre of green technology in the UK. myenergi’s renowned zappi product was the world’s first solar and wind compatible electric car charger, well and truly putting British manufacturing back on the world stage!”
- Famous Grimbarians also doing us proud further afield include Kevin [of Grimsby] and Joanne Clifton, Thomas Turgoose and Lloyd Griffiths.
These six things are just the tip of the iceberg of things we should be bragging about.