The premier for Sacha Baron Cohen's latest offering has been all over the headlines this week, the 'hilarious' image of its lead character 'Nobby' in his underwear and flip flops splashed everywhere. But for those of us actually in Grimsby, the film's namesake, it's been a somewhat odd experience.
I'm sure my fellow Grimbarians won't mind me saying, we're a pretty average mid to large sized town. Big enough that there's a fair amount to do, but small enough that it still feels friendly. Born and bred here, I have moved away several times for work but now firmly back in its bosom, I have always felt somewhat protective of my little town.
When he of the Borat fame came along to a football match a couple of years ago, our curiosity was piqued , why would that bloke with the funny double barrelled name be interested in old GY? Was he making a film? How exciting, imagine what it could do for the economy if he filmed it here, using the locals as extras, paying location fees and the like...
Well sadly it didn't turn out that way and maybe, just maybe, that smarts a bit. Fine, take the mick out of our little town, you wouldn't be the first. Paint us all as benefit scrounging, foul mouthed drunks, but you could have at the very least pumped a bit of money into the town!
So here I stand, a proud Grimbarian, to tell you 10 great things about Great Grimsby you definitely won't see in the film.
1. Something Fishy... Let's set the record straight right here, right now. We don't eat cod, we wouldn't be caught (haha get it) dead eating cod, it's haddock or nothing and it's the finest in the world. Battered and fried, with chips and mushy peas.
2. It's Always Sunny in Grimsby... Okay, not always but we do have our own bonkers micro climate. Located on the banks of the river humber and sheltered by Hull and Spurn Point, we somehow manage to avoid the very worse of the UK's weather. It's never particularly cold, we don't seem to get it half as bad as everywhere else weather-wise and forget about Sunny-Scunny, Grimsby is where it's at.
3. Shake your Pasties... We are home to one of the most respected Burlesque nights in the UK. The Cats Pyjama's Burlesque Cooperative has been running successfully for over 10 years now and has hosted some of the world's most diverse and renowned performers.
4. It's all in the History... We have a rich fishing history that is celebrated in our fantastic National Fishing Heritage Centre, an awesome educational resource and all round fab family day out!
5. There aint no party like a Grimsby party... The hugely successful Better Days club night has been running for over two years now and has played host to huge names in dance music like Seb Fontaine, Todd Terry and Graeme Park but to name a few. If you like getting your old skool rave on, this is the place to be.
6. Location, Location, Location... Not only is our property ridiculously cheap (hello five bedroom, luxury period property for £200K) with the average 2/3 bedroomed house coming in at around £300 a month in mortgage and £400/500 in rent, but we have the picturesque Lincolnshire countryside on our doorstep and the golden sands of Cleethorpes right next door.
7. It's good to be green... Grimsby has been named the green energy capitol of the UK with ours being the highest percentage of electricity consumption met by renewable generation. (Source: Green Alliance).
Credit: Made By
8. Keeeep Dancing! Our very own Strictly Dancing superstars Kevin and Joanne Clifton are proud Grimabrians and proudly fly the flag on prime time telly!
9. Other famous folk include... Ella Henderson, Thomas Turgoose, Patricia Field to name a few... well to name the ones you might know to be precise.
10. Did I mention the fish? Okay so I might have been a little optimistic going for ten, but what I truly love about Grimsby, fish aside, is the humour, humility and character of its inhabitants. The resilient nature of the town and its willingness to evolve, even after the decline of our core industry (yes the fish) we are establishing ourselves as the renewable energy capitol of the UK. Despite being the brunt of many a joke, we continue to strive for better.
Oh, and did I mention we're fiercely proud?
Trust me, it's far from grim in Grimsby.