Thousands enjoy Port of Immingham Centenary Open Day

July 23, 2012

Exactly 100 years to the day since King George V and Queen Mary opened the Port of Immingham, Associated British Ports opened its doors for its Immingham 100 Community Open Day. Thousands of people from as far afield as Bristol, Liverpool, and London flocked to the port for a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of the UK’s busiest port.

Over 5,000 visitors enjoyed spectacles such as Dragon Boat Racing and the chance to get up close to vessels and port equipment not normally seen by the public, including a tour aboard the HMS Tyne, a Royal Navy river-class offshore patrol vessel; UK Dredging’s UKD Marlin and UKD Seahorse; and restored Humber Sloop Spider T.  Tours of port equipment, which handle some of the largest cargoes in the UK, also proved popular, and the sounds of excited children in the cab of a Gottwald mobile harbour crane – almost 25 metres off the ground – rang out from its tannoy across the port estate. Immingham Museum’s exhibitions saw huge crowds as visitors got a chance to view an original tram which used to carry port workers from Grimsby to Immingham.

Local Police, Fire and Rescue services, and the RNLI were also on hand with displays and vehicles for the crowds to see as they wandered around the port throughout the day.

Local bands serenaded visitors while dock tours both on land and water provided guests with a glimpse of the scale of operation. One of the most popular attractions was the tours of Immingham’s Marine Control Centre, giving spectacular views across ABP’s Humber operations.  Guests were greeted at the door by Dockgate Foreman Tony Triffit, dressed as an Edwardian boatman.

ABP Commercial Manager Justin Atkin led the team of organisers which included huge numbers of ABP staff, suppliers, and customers who spent months planning the event.

Justin said: “The response was incredibly positive with most visitors wanting to come back next year! I’m really pleased so many people took the opportunity to visit the port on this special occasion. Given the comments we’ve received I think we gave a lot of people a really enjoyable day.”

The day was reflected in comments by Mark Reardon, Sales Director, Gottwald Port Technology Division: “We were delighted to be able to exhibit our cranes as part of the Port of Immingham’s open day. We would like to congratulate ABP and its team on the success of the event.  All of the visitors to our stand were extremely complimentary about the port and its decision to open to the public for the day.  Many visitors wanted to tell us all about their experiences and memories of either visiting or working for the port. There seemed to be a great amount of pride placed in either their working for or in association with ABP.”

ABP Port Director Grimsby & Immingham, John Fitzgerald, said: “The port and town have grown up together over the past 100 years and it was great to see so many people from the local community, and friends and families of staff here, come and see the port first-hand on this very important day.

“We couldn’t have wished for better weather, or a better turn out, and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in the organisation and to everyone who came along. Thanks to your generosity and enthusiasm we have managed to further bolster our Immingham 100 Legacy Fund.”

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To download a pdf version of the press release, click here