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Unlocking the collection - arrival of the railway in Cleethorpes

Carnival Beauty Queen 1937

It’s 150 years since the railways arrived in Cleethorpes and brought tourists to the new coastal resort. And to celebrate this, the latest “Unlocking the Collection” exhibition focusing on the town opens next Tuesday (October 1) at the Fishing Heritage Centre.

The exhibition will feature photographs of Cleethorpes through the years – a nostalgic look at the people, places and changes in the borough. From trains and travel to beauty queens and the Beasley Troupe, the exhibition promises to take you one a journey through the history of the town.

Councillor Mick Burnett, portfolio holder for Tourism and Culture, said, “This is yet another fantastic exhibition in the series. We’ve been digging through the archives and found some great photographs – particularly ones of the old station at Cleethorpes which even I remember!”

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer at the Council, said: “As part of the exhibition, we’ve a couple of photographs where we’d like to identify the people taking part. One is of a beauty pageant from 1937 which we think was part of Cleethorpes carnival, and the other is members of the Beasley Troupe performing a stunt. If you’ve any recollections, we’d love to hear about them.”

The exhibition runs from Tuesday, October 1 to Sunday, November 24 at the Muriel Barker Gallery in the Fishing Heritage Centre. Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm, Winter opening times from Friday 1 November, 10am to 4pm. The exhibition is closed on Mondays.

Entry is free. All ages are welcome but children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

This is the tenth in the series of heritage Lottery Funded “Unlocking the Collections” exhibitions.

For more information, call Rachel McWilliam on (01472) 323004,

Local history notes:
Three small farming and fishing hamlets on the Humber Estuary, Oole, Itterby and Thrunscoe eventually combined to become Cleethorpes, joining an increasing band of coastal resorts called “Watering Places” or “Bathing Places”. These places grew in popularity and although they still stressed their basic function as healthy resorts, they also began to provide diversions for visitors.

By 1819 Cleethorpes was being mentioned in national directories as “A small township of good resort in the bathing season.” It was not an easy place to get to; it provided little in the way of winter attractions and served a small clientele of mainly middle class visitors. It had managed to build itself up, largely by its own efforts. However, this was to be changed by the most important single event in the resorts history – the arrival of the railway.