Provincial Letters

Far from the mad crowds of the city, Blaise Pascal passed comment on the strange behaviour of this urban contemporaries in his Provincial Letters. The connection between them and this blog is somewhat tenuous.

My Photo
Location: Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

My star sign in Superstition. And I didn't believe in reincarnation last time, either. The only thing I can't tolerate is intolerance. I am a fanatical ant-fanaticist. I am bigotted only where bigots are concerned. I am a fundamentalist atheist. I'm proud to be a product of evolution; I know it in my genes.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Posted @ 13:00The Real & Reliable History of Grimsby I

1. Introduction

For some time now (and just how much time you would be astonished to discover) I have been researching the history of Grimsby and the surrounding area in an attempt to assemble that material into a reliable source text for all those who wish to know the true facts regarding the origins and development of this town. This research has, I may add, involved not a little effort, expense, personal danger and the consumption of quantities inebriating beverages, not to mention...[1] The research has been painstakingly meticulous but where - as sometimes happened - a fact could be verified or evidence was missing, I have not hesitated to make things up.

Some may feel that I am not qualified to carry out this enormous task, but may I point out the following:

  • I live in Grimsby.
  • I am a founder member of the Grimsby Institute of Local Historians & Cheese Fanciers (and lifetime president, secretary and treasurer)[2].
  • I am untrammelled by popular and traditional historical theories and am not constrained by ridiculous notions of verifiable evidence and plausible hypotheses.

I think that is sufficient - more than sufficient - to qualify me as the one true recorder of the real and reliable history of the port of Grimsby.

2. Origins: The Myths

There are many stories about the origins of Grimsby. Some of them are obscene, others simply children's tales, some are figments of the imagination, whilst others deserve serious consideration. We shall concentrate on the more outlandish here (and come to the obscene ones some other time).

There is a story doing the rounds that Grimsby was founded by one Grim who was carried across the North Sea by the giant Havelock. This is, of course, utter balderdash. It is the result of a propaganda exercise by the Vikings when they unashamedly invaded this part of the world between the 8th and 10th Centuries CE[3]. It means about as much as painting "Freedom Wagon" on the side of a Pershing or Chieftain tank before it is sent across the sands of Iraq to blow things and people up.

Another common misconception - based on extensive and exhaustive numerological, structural, architectural, astrological, philosophical, anthropological, copraphilic and psychic analyses of the layout of Grimsby's streets carried out one Saturday night after a few beers - is that Grimsby was founded by extra-terrestrials from Tau Ceti as a inter-galactic service area for tourists on their way to the Hyades (this story is used as an explanation for the extraordinary large number of fast-food franchises in the town and the insipid nature of the coffee they serve). This is only a misconception in time: Grimsby is indeed associated with this activity but this happened after its founding[4].

3. Origins: The Facts

Recent archaeological discoveries have revealed the true origins of Grimsby. The location, nature, composition, extent and precise details of these discoveries must, for various reasons too complex to detail here, remain secret[5]. The interpretation of this remarkable evidence by a crack team of specialists (who wish to remain annonymous until the cheque arrives) has revealed hitherto unsuspected complexity and historical depth to the story of the origins of Grimsby.

The earliest inhabitants of the Grimsby area - radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology and guesswork place this around 50,000 BCE - were hominids with a passing resemblance to modern human beings[6]. Indications abound that they called themselves (or, more likely as they had little language above grunting and ordering kebabs, were called by others) "Yms". The earliest reconstruction of their lives involves one of their religious rituals.

The Yms (adult males and females together with any youngster who imagined they could get away with it) would gather on the banks of the river Freshney, close to the modern Riverhead area in order to fish. During the day they would gather naturally fermenting berries from the bushes which grew there, rather as modern chimpanzees do (obviously, I mean in their homeland in Africa; obviously there are no chimpazees in modern Grimsby; but there are one or two gorillas on the door of Chicago Rock). Two types of berries used for this purpose have been identified, known technically as red berries and green berries. The red berries were consumed in rough bowls made from clay; the green berries were consumed from hollowed out lumps of wood. There appears to have been a minor ritual whereby one of their number would eschew this convention and consume green berries from a clay bowl. This individual was known as the "Ian".

As the day progressed, the Yms would become intoxicated and make offerings to the gods by throwing rocks, sticks, broken clay bowls, fish heads and each other into the river. As night fell they would stage fights between themselves (the males - starting first - would fight over the females; the females would start later after one had made the traditional incantation of "You're a fucking slag, you are!"). Later they would all shag each other senseless[7].

This ritual was known as "A Saturday Night Out".

The Yms hunting techniques are well documented in the evidence (the recovered artefacts include material from the surrounding tribes). Their standard technique seems to have been wandering up to a hunting party from one of their neighbours, thumping them in the face, grabbing their catch and running away[8]. In time (about three days), the neighbouring tribes became wise to this and would keep their distance from the Yms and shout a warning to all other non-Yms in the area: "Grrr, Yms". This, obviously, is the real origin of the name "Grimsby".


[1] This cannot be mentioned.

[2] Membership is open to anyone with suitable qualifications (i.e., £100 in used tenners).

[3] Current Era. Like AD but without the religious associations. It follows that BCE is Before the Current Era. Knowing these things helps a bit.

[4] We shall return to this subject later when the evidence has been thoroughly invented analysed.

[5] The excavations (carried out at night by specialists using infra-red glasses and dressed in fetching all-in-one black body suits) came about as the result of certain unauthorised explorations by a large, bearded man with a metal-detector on certain "fields" in or about the Grimsby area. Since these "fields" are of some importance to their owners, we have agreed not to reveal their location until such time as (or is it "as long as"?) large quantities of cash are deposited in certain bank accounts. The unfounded rumours that the retrieved artefacts contain precise prophecies for the future of the human race, titillating revelations about the British Royal Family, the occult associations of the Roman Catholic Church and the exact locations of certain "mythical" objects (such as the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant and Rob Lowdon's capo) will be the subject of a book by Dan Brown.

[6] They resembled modern human beings in the same way that members of British National Party resemble sane, rational people.

[7] There is no direct evidence for this and there are indications that it was simply wishful thinking or, at least, incoherent, unreliable, boastful memories on the morning after.

[8] There are those who say that this practice is still carried out in certain areas of Grimsby, but that's just because of their antipathy to Nunsthorpe residents.


Post a Comment

<< Home