Kevin Clifton & Karen Hauer
Keith and Judy Clifton
“TOGETHER the ports of Grimsby and Immingham are the busiest in the UK,” says Grimsby dance star and film narrator Joanne Clifton.
And so she kicks off the Great Grimsby film created by former Labour MP Austin Mitchell, his wife Linda McDougall and their son Jonathan, a 27-minute picture designed to showcase the best of our great town.
As reported, the idea for the film was conceived as a reaction to the negative publicity Grimsby has received in recent months, first in Channel 4’s controversial second series of documentary Skint, as well as the upcoming Sacha Baron Cohen film Grimsby.
It shows Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton and fiancee Karen Hauer enjoying a stroll along the beach at Cleethorpes.
The latter describes it as her “home away from home”.
“The whole place is beautiful,” Kevin tells her.
The film then takes the audience on a journey through the town’s fishing heritage, and right up to the flourishing wind energy sector.
Martyn Boyers, chief executive of Grimsby Fish Market, tells how the town plays a vital role in feeding the nation.
“More white fish is bought, sold, processed, packed and dispatched from Grimsby than anywhere else in Europe,” the narrator says.
Local actress Patricia Hodge then recalls how the skippers would come off the trawlers with “their pockets stuffed with cash” before enjoying the fruits of their labour.
“It is a very honest town and that is what I have always loved about it,” she says.
Renowned local firms like Icelandic Seachill are “changing the pace” in the seafood industry, explains Simon Smith, chief executive.
“The knowledge and expertise in Grimsby in filleting is the best that there is,” he says.
It is then onto the high seas with CatZero, the Humber training scheme and locally financed charity which reaches out to people without jobs or training.
Sean Cahill, of CatZero, explains how young people in the area have to have the self belief and motivation and strive for jobs in the emerging industries.
Training partnership Catch is also celebrated for its work with young people, while small business owner Alex Scales explains how Grimsby is “fantastic”.
“I have been here all my life,” she says.
“We love Grimsby.”
David Hampson, CEO of the Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, tells the film: “The greatest problem is raising aspirations in young people, it is encouraging them to believe they can be successful and that has taken a lot of time and energy.
“We have overcome that and this is now one of the most successful schools in the country with students going to Oxford, Cambridge, medical school and the like.”
Sue Middlehurst, principal at Grimsby Institute, said: “I think Grimsby is a fantastic place.
“There are so many opportunities and there is such great positivity about this town for the future.”
Champion dancers Keith and Judy Clifton are shown teaching dance skills before we see a glimpse of a young Kevin and Joanne Clifton practising their moves. Keith tells us: “There is talent all over the area and that’s why we have got a really nice dance school and the teachers to nurture that talent.
“That has manifested itself in our own children being at the top of their dancing careers.”
TV presenter Guy Martin is seen at his place of work in Grimsby, where he is a lorry mechanic.
He says: “I like Grimsby, it’s the real world isn’t it?
“There is no one trying to be anything they are not. My whole life has revolved around Grimsby. I just like it because it is home. There isn’t a better explanation than that.
“I am not famous, I am a normal bloke with a normal job that has done a few different things.”
The thriving Grimsby renewables industry then gets a nod, with the huge operations and maintenance contracts worth millions bringing a huge number of jobs for the local area.
John Fitzgerald, director of Humber Ports, says: “For us this is a real watershed. We have invested in a new river terminal and there is huge investment.
“Hundreds of millions of pounds is being invested in this river that will keep Britain powered, create a lot of jobs and give lots of prosperity in the future.”
The film ends, fittingly, with the Clifton family tucking into a plate each of fish and chips at Steels restaurant in Cleethorpes.
Source: Grimsby Telegraph