Industry across the West Marsh
To be able to understand how the West Marsh developed you have to start with a little history and the start of this had to be the coming of the railways in the 1840’s and the building of the new docks & the expansion of industry that followed.
In the 1870’s the Alexandra Dock was built and included the old dock around the riverhead. This required a bridge to connect the East Marsh with the West Marsh, the first Corporation Bridge. It was from this time that not only housing but industry developed in the West Marsh. Wood yards were established along the new dock to handle the wood and timber imported from Europe, this also brought saw mills, such as the one in Chapman Street.
The land in the West Marsh was owned by wealthy landowners and politicians. Most of the early build was of Victorian standards and were built as cheaply as possible with no inside water, toilets, bathrooms even kitchens basically two up and down with earthen floors and no damp courses. Houses similar to those in the East Marsh.
In the early 1900’s Peter Dixon’s opened a new paper mill on land in Little Coates, it opened in 1906. This development brought many essential jobs to the area and many families were employed over several generations. At its height, they employed over 800 people.
During this time, more homes had been provided and built by the Dixon family for the work force in Little Coates.
In time, further expansion took place over the Tip, Cleveland Bridge. The Fish Meal Co. established a factory and there were also fish curers and processors such as the Orwell Fish Curing Co. Even in the late 1950’s there was still farmland in the area but the development of heavier industry along the Humber Bank saw these disappear as firms such as British Titan Products, Ciba Geigy and John Bull Rubber built factories.
All of these had an input to creating a major network of jobs for not only the West Marsh communities but Grimsby in general our community grew.
Towards the end of the 20th centaury the Pyewipe industrial estate was established and Wold Farm Foods opened a vegetable processing factory on the site of Peter Dixon’s. Along Corporation road the houses were replaced by light industry, and a new housing development.