Rock the Kas­bah

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

THE his­toric fish­ing docks at Grimsby, Lin­colnshire— known as the Kas­bah and made up of old ware­houses, smoke­houses and shops dat­ing back to the 1870s, when Grimsby was ‘the great­est fish­ing port in the world’—have fi­nally been granted con­ser­va­tion-area sta­tus (see Prop­erty com­ment, page 110).

The news fol­lows in­clu­sion in the World Mon­u­ments Fund’s 2014 Watch list and a long-run­ning cam­paign for the docks’ preser­va­tion by SAVE Bri­tain’s Her­itage, which came to a peak last year, in a high-pro­file protest against de­mo­li­tion.

Sadly, the street in ques­tion, the Cos­alt Build­ings, was lost, but the cam­paign did draw the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion, as well as that of the Court of Ap­peal and na­tional her­itage or­gan­i­sa­tions, to this ne­glected dock­lands, which is one of the most im­por­tant sur­viv­ing ex­am­ples of in­dus­trial-scale fish­ing trade in Eng­land. There are 80-plus build­ings in the Kas­bah that have fallen into dis­re­pair and eight re­main­ing listed build­ings, in­clud­ing a Grade Ii*-listed ice fac­tory (not in­cluded in the con­ser­va­tion area), two tra­di­tional smok­eries, still op­er­at­ing, and a Grade I-listed dock tower (left) mod­elled on the Palazzo Publico in Siena. ‘SAVE salutes North East Lin­colnshire Coun­cil for tak­ing this im­por­tant de­ci­sion to change the for­tunes of Grimsby’s fish­ing dock,’ says Hen­ri­etta Billings, di­rec­tor of SAVE. ‘We look for­ward to a new chap­ter of in­vest­ment and cel­e­bra­tion in the his­toric Kas­bah build­ings. There are ex­am­ples across the coun­try, such as the Al­bert Dock in Liver­pool and Glouces­ter Docks, that show that her­itage can be a prime driver for re­gen­er­a­tion and for the lo­cal econ­omy. It is en­cour­ag­ing to see the Coun­cil and owner of the docks As­so­ci­ated Bri­tish Ports now recog­nise this.’ Mar­cus Bin­ney, SAVE’S pres­i­dent, adds: ‘Just across the Hum­ber, Hull has achieved a re­nais­sance of city ar­chi­tec­ture dur­ing its year as City of Cul­ture. Grimsby must fol­low suit and help re­vive the smok­eries, which make the Kas­bah such a spe­cial place.’

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