Balloon release signals ABP’s Port of Immingham’s ‘open’ invitation

May 16, 2012

One hundred balloons rose over the Port and Town of Immingham on Tuesday, 15 May, and port customers and their families set sail for the day on the sail training tall ship Maybe as Associated British Ports (ABP) announced an important public invitation. 

ABP is inviting the local community to join them for a Port Community Open Day and celebration party to mark Immingham’s official centenary on Sunday, 22 July 2012. The balloon release marks the 100th anniversary of the arrival of S.S. Max, the first vessel to visit Immingham Dock on 15 May, 1912. The port was formally opened by King George V two months later on 22 July 1912.

Excited children from Canon Peter Hall Primary School in Immingham released the balloons at the lock entrance to the port. They and the balloons’ finders will have the chance to win prizes when the cards they carry are returned.

ABP is confident the open day will prove to be a resounding success thanks to the delighted reactions from the young visitors on their brief visit. Ten year-old Caitlin Clark said of the port: “It is amazing – I have never seen so many ships before and everything is so big.”

The children, their friends and families and anyone who is interested in seeing life at what is now the UK’s busiest port will be given unprecedented access to its operations between 11am and 4pm on Sunday, 22 July. At 4pm, celebrations will turn to Blossom Way Sports and Social Club when Immingham Town Council and Immingham One Voice will hold a ‘Party in the Park’ with live music, food, and fairground entertainment, all of which will continue into the night.

Justin Atkin, ABP Commercial Manager Humber, who is heading up the organisation of the day, commented: “There will be plenty for everyone to enjoy, from those interested in the history of the Port of Immingham to those who wonder how it operates today. We aim to have a fun and informative day and we really look forward to welcoming the community.”

ABP Port Director Grimsby & Immingham, John Fitzgerald, added: “This will be a unique opportunity for the public to get behind the scenes at the UK’s busiest port, and is the centrepiece of our Immingham 100 year of celebration.” 

A Royal Navy vessel, fire tug display, historic vessels, modern working freight ferries and dredgers, and the Humber lifeboat will be alongside for the day and local crews of Dragon Boat Racers will need cheering on. 

On the quayside, port equipment including harbour mobile cranes, forklifts, shovels, excavators, and specialist lifting machinery will be on show. Visitors will be able to learn about the early days of the development of Immingham through exhibitions by Immingham Museum and artefacts including the original No. 14 Immingham tram (on loan from National Tramway Museum, Crich) that port workers would have boarded. 

Free entertainment during the day will include coach tours of the working port, music and street theatre from local performers, a children’s play area and live radio broadcasts. 

During the day a shuttle bus will be operating from Immingham Town Centre and for a £5 suggested donation, which will go to the Immingham 100 legacy fund, visitors will be able to park at the port. Most activities will be free and any funds raised will be used to support community work by Immingham OneVoice and the Oasis Academy Immingham. 

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For a pdf version of the press release, please click here