Report - - Grimsby Ice Company Ltd - December 2017 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grimsby Ice Company Ltd - December 2017


28DL Regular User
Regular User
The Explore
A day over Grimsby way took us to the ice factory, another one of them thats been on the list for a long time, seem to say that with every report...

This place is in a bad way at the moment, with very little roof left the place is very open to the elements and almost every floor is pretty dodgy. That being said it was good wander for a few hours but lots of bird sh*t around, so much in some places you can taste the stuff..

The History
The Factory was opened on the 7th of October 1901 as a joint venture between the Grimsby Ice Company and the Grimsby Co-operative Ice Company. The Grimsby Ice Company was initially founded in 1863 by local fishermen to import ice from Norway to help them preserve the fish that they caught, by 1900 however it was obvious that they would have to begin to source ice from elsewhere as the for ice, what made matters worse was that the Norwegians began to charge more for exporting their ice and the supply of ice was unreliable... Hence the need for an ice factory at home.

The Original Refrigeration Plant on site where 4 steam powered Pontifex horizontal double-acting ammonia compressors which would operate at 50rpm. These where powered by vertical, triple-expansion steam engines, the steam for these engines where generated from six 30ft long Lancashire boilers.

A few changes where made between opening and 1931, changes such as the superheating of the Lancashire boilers and the purchase of a few more bits of kit from the Linde British Refrigerating Company however the majority of the facility stayed the same... Until 1931 when a modernization program under the direction of F A Fleming MBE, who was the General manger at the ice factory at the time was put into place. The program included the installation of four J&E Hall Compressors and Metropolitan Vickers Electrical equipment, replacing the Old Pontifex Compressors and Steam Engines. The specification for the new plant demanded an output of 1,100 tons of ice per day under ordinary working conditions, and by utilising the existing tanks without increasing the number of cans. The use of steam was to be entirely dispensed with and means to be provided for heating the thawing water without the use of electrical heaters. Much as today, this had to be achieved with equipment of the greatest efficiency.

Sadly the high demands for ice where short lived, episodes such as the cod wars and the general decline in the British fishing industry led to several units been shut down by 1976, and in 1990 the factory closed it's doors and shut down. Today it is owned by Associated British Ports and is left derelict, although preservationists have tried to save the building, their efforts have sadly so far been in vain. Even though the place makes a great opportunity for us explorers I would like to think it would be saved eventually as the factory is now a unique survivor of a now otherwise extinct industry, that said, I do have my doubts...

How the compressors looked back in the day...



28DL Regular User
Regular User
The arial shots are a nice touch…i reckon a lot more people will be heading over now, really nice report.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Great quality images from it, nice one
Yeah, it can get some really good images in good light.. its hit and miss in low light but with the portability of it you cant go wrong.. had a few DJI drones, had the P4 Pro before this but couldnt really do any exploring with it as the bag was huge with my camera gear as well haha


Super Moderator
Staff member
Grimsby doesn't give two shits about this stuff. It was a crime they demolished the sail makers that went last year. This will end up a rotten husk of a building and will be demolished on grounds of safety and un-economical viability to do anything with it.

Hull, Fleetwood and Grimsby have all failed to preserve virtually anything of the fishing industry, and what is left is probably doomed as I'm sure the youth aren't that interested in the fishing industry or it's decline as it's reaching the point where it's almost out of living memory now.

Hull have been saying they are going to restore Lord Line for almost fifteen years now and it's still a fetid pit of despair.

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