Thank goodness for Aunt Mabel, for it is she who thought a copy of ‘A Gossip About Old Grimsby‘ was an ideal gift for her niece, Evelyn, in 1933! I should point out that neither of these ladies are related to me, but they are part of the history of the volume that has been in my possession for the last forty years or so. Published by Albert Gates of 13 Old Market Place, Grimsby in 1893, a shop that I remember well, being an ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of my youth in the 1960’s, it is now sadly gone.
The author, Anderson Bates was a stalwart of Grimsby in the latter half of Victoria’s reign. Born in the town in 1823 to William, (a yeoman), and Hannah Bates he was baptised in St. James’ Church Grimsby, on 7th. January 1824 by the curate, Rev. George Oliver!
Young Master Bates attended Grimsby Grammar School, (see map), where the head at one time was; have you guessed?, George Oliver! (Though not in young Bates’ time).
Anderson’s working life began when he found employment as an Office Boy with the Grimsby solicitor William Daubney, who’s partner he eventually became. As his career progressed, he moved on to be a founding partner in the firm of Bates & Mountain, who are still practicing in Grimsby today! Our author died in 1899.
He was wholly supportive of the development of the Grimsby community for all of his working life, being at various times: A Freeman of Grimsby and a member of the Pastures Committee, Clerk to the County Magistrates, Secretary to the Permanent Building Society Solicitor to the Grimsby Gas Board, as well as being involved in the routing of the Grimsby to Cleethorpes railway, supportive of local education and a fund raiser, via the sales of this book, for the establishment of the Grimsby General Hospital.
Fortunately for us, our author also had a life-long interest in local history. This is wholly demonstrated in the preface of his book:
” In the production of this Book I have availed myself of some articles I wrote for the Grimsby News a few years ago and a lecture I delivered in the Mechanics Hall for the benefit of the Grimsby & District Hospital. Its publication is with a view to preserve old landmarks of Grimsby, which are being rapidly removed by the improvements of the town; and as the last generation of Old Grimsby is passing away no one will soon be left to record them. I am indebted to several Old Grimsby friends for their information and assistance, and also to Mr. George Skelton, junior for the loan of the copper-plate from which the Frontispiece is taken; to all of whom I tender my thanks.
And here is the said Frontispiece, the copper plate of which I suspect was rather worn, as the numbers relating to the ‘key’ are somewhat obscure. I have therefore, for the purposes of this thread, identified all but two and have re-labelled them in bright red. The missing two are ‘Thorp’s Brewery’ and ‘Whittaker’s Brewery’ which I cannot spot at the present time. No doubt in due course this will be rectified and the map updated accordingly.
This map will be particularly useful in other threads which are to follow.
The Grimsby Police