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Princes, Paupers and Paper Mills

Peter Dixon - 1910 West Marsh Paper Mills, Grimsby, 1910

PETER Dixon’s Paper Mill, once one of the largest paper mills in Britain, will feature as part of a free local history exhibition celebrating the heritage of the West Marsh area of Grimsby.

Shanty Town – Armstrong Street School
The Grimsby Adventure Playground (“Shanty Town”), West Marsh, c1955. Armstrong Street School can be seen in the background. North East Lincolnshire Archives Reference: 1044.
Grimsby Hospital and South Parade Wesleyan Chapel
Postmarked: December 1914.

The exhibition will also tell the story of the “Shanty Town”, an adventure playground which was located off Armstrong Street. The playground opened in 1954 and was often referred to as “Shanty Town”, as the children were encouraged to build dens using waste materials.

On display will also be items relating to Jack Cornwell, the youngest Victoria Cross winner of the First World War. Jack died in Grimsby & District Hospital in West Marsh on 2nd June 1916 at the age of only 16.

Two royal visits to the area in 1928 and 1949 will also feature. In 1928 the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII) visited West Marsh and opened the Corporation Bridge, toured Dixon’s Paper Mill and laid the foundation stone of Armstrong Street School. In 1949 it was the turn of Prince Philip to visit the area, when he was given tours of CIBA Laboratories Limited and British Titan Products.

Finally, there will also be a display relating to places of worship in the area, including the churches of St Paul and St Hugh and South Parade Methodist Chapel.

Adrian Wilkinson, Archivist, Lincs Inspire, said: “This exhibition is being held to celebrate the heritage of West Marsh. The area has an interesting history, as it was once the location of Grimsby’s principal hospital, a purpose-built cycling arena and one of the largest paper mills in Britain.”

This free exhibition is part of local history project Streets and their Stories led by Lincs Inspire Libraries and North East Lincolnshire Archives, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The exhibition will take place at West Marsh Community Centre, Beeson Street, Grimsby on Saturday 9th April, 10:30am to 3:30pm. For more information visit lincsinspire.com or call North East Lincolnshire Archives on (01472) 325389.

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