New book on historyof Grimsby fishing industry published –

New book on historyof Grimsby fishing industry published Published:  13 December, 2010

A FASCINATING new book tracing the history of  Grimsby’s fishing industry over the past 100 years – and beyond – has gone on sale.

Published by Wyvex Media Ltd, whose other publications include The Oban Times, Fish Farmer and this website, it has been launched to mark the centenary of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association next April. The title is ‘Feeding A Nation – 100 years of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association’.

Written by Grimsby journalist Vincent McDonagh and lavishly illustrated with many hitherto unpublished photographs, the book looks back at Grimsby’s rise into what was once the world’s largest fishing port with a fleet of over 500 vessels, including 300 deep sea trawlers and its subsequent decline following the Cod War settlements.

But despite the decimation of the fishing fleet, Grimsby has now emerged as Europe’s primary seafood processing centre with companies such as Young’s, Coldwater Seafoods, Seachill, Sealord and Findus and Feeding A Nation tells the story some of those early frozen food pioneers like Carl Ross and Joe Sprott who not only made it all possible, but changed Britain’s eating habits. The war years are also fully explored with tales of trawlers braving mines and U-boats to bring back vital fish supplies to country desperately short of food.

There are many intriguing tales of individual fish merchants and how they overcame adversity and periodic crises like the decision by British Railways chairman Dr Richard Beeching to axe the fish trains in the 1960s – which could have ruined the fish trade at that time.

The future is not ignored with chapters on Grimsby’s new status as a centre of fish curing excellence and how the port is shaping up to meet the challenges of the 21st century. David Ross, co-founder of the Carphone Warehouse Company, and grandson of fishing magnate Carl Ross, has written the foreword.

Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby FMA, said: “Wyvex Media Limited and the author have done a brilliant job. This is a top quality hard back book which marks out the footprint of Grimsby and its fishing industry from that day in April 1911 when our organisation officially came into being. I am sure many in Grimsby and people involved in fishing in other parts of the country will want to secure a copy. This book, which has a  limited print, is timeless and a must for anyone interested in the fishing industry.”

‘Feeding A Nation’ by Vincent McDonagh is priced at £25 and copies can be obtained by contacting the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association at Wharncliffe Road, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 3JQ. Telephone 01472-350022 or e-mail: