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Utilities and Services

The continued expansion of our area of Cleethorpes meant that services had to be increased and as the majority of people living in Cleethorpes in the 1920/30s were in our area, it seemed reasonable that the majority of the utilities should be built here also.

In the case of electricity for example, the customer base increased from 32 in 1913 to 973 in 1929.

Electricity showroom building

Electricity showroom building

After the Council gained the power to lay mains cables and build sub-stations in 1928, the customer base increased rapidly to 6007 by 1937.

Consequently in that very year was built the new art deco electricity showrooms at the bottom of Issac’s Hill. At the time of writing this is now a fancy dress outfitter’s establishment (2014). This beautiful building was designed by Leonard Pye who was the Borough Architect at the time. Many of the original features remain.

In the case of gas, the Cleethorpe Gas Company started to supply gas as early as 1864.

Gas supply also grew due to demand and eventually a large new gas holder was built in our area near the railway line. However at the beginning of the Second World War, there was a lot of fear that it would be a target for enemy aircraft and they did attempt to drop bombs on it. Thankfully the bombs missed but they landed very close on the beach near Wonderland.

The gas holder eventually became redundant and was demolished in 1967.

Gas Works at the bottom of   Tennyson Road

Gas Holder at the bottom of Tennyson Road

The old Library is an important landmark situated on Issacs Hill. Built in 1901 it was originally also a girl’s school but nowadays is a residential home.  The library itself was moved to the seafront (Alexandra Road) in 1984.

As regards water, previously obtained from wells, it was decided by the local Board of Health to request the Grimsby Waterworks Company to assist and water mains started to be laid in 1883. Eventually a water tower was built in Pelham Road by this company in 1908.  It housed a large ornate pump in the engine room at the foot of the tower. At night, the engines were shut down, the head of the water in the tower providing the town with its water supply. This sequence of operations would be repeated each day. The tower held 250000 gallons and was originally erected merely as a reserve for use during any possible shortage of water. The water tower still stands today (2014), although is non-operational as it became saline.

Beaconthorpe Water Tower

Beaconthorpe Water Tower built in 1908

Telephone communication came to our area in 1900 but initially there were only a few subscribers.

Cleethorpes Fire station was established in 1939 and extended in 1968. It is crewed by ‘on –call’ firefighters.

The Cleethorpes Police Station was first established in 1878. It was manned by four constables and a sergeant. By 1900 there was an inspector, a sergeant and 10 constables.

In the 1800s drainage was also a main problem. The main drains for the entire area ran under Grimsby Road and eventually to an outflow at Grimsby docks. As the town grew this proved to be far from satisfactory and consequently a new system was built in 1871, which discharged into Humberstone Beck.

Various other works were completed but the drainage was never really satisfactory, particularly during heavy rainfall.  Consequently huge works were undertaken in 1992-5 by Anglian Water which improved matters considerably. These improvements were rapidly followed by necessary changes to the resorts bathing water arrangements.

The biggest change in services came with the amalgamation of Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Immingham and surrounding area into North East Lincolnshire in 1996.

Undoubtedly our area and Cleethorpes in general had, for many years, viewed Grimsby as a competitor. Some would argue that this was a good thing, as it encouraged a spirit to become better. It helped our area to stand on its own and develop from the three original tiny ‘thorpes’ to become a pleasant, desirable town in which to live.

However once Grimsby expanded and New Cleethorpes was built to accommodate the workers the port area demanded, this began the connection of the two towns. Nowadays, of course, newcomers cannot easily see where one town ends and the other town starts.

Consequently others would equally argue, that though in recent years the tourism and entertainment business has been further developed, as far as Sidney Sussex is concerned, work opportunities have increased through being more easily available in the wider area of North East Lincolnshire as a whole.