The Watkin Project

About the Project: Mr Grimsby & Mr Cleethorpes: The astonishing legacy of Edward Watkin

Duration: Until July 2025

We are working on an exciting educational project to share and celebrate the largely unknown legacy of Edward Watkin - “Mr Grimsby & Mr Cleethorpes."

Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery Players, and partnering with the Watkin Society, we will over the next two years be working to promote and highlight the significant contributions made by Watkin in Grimsby and Cleethorpes. Some of these contributions include financial investment into Grimsby docks in the 19th century and connecting the docks with the railway through his role as chairman of the MSLR (Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway), supporting its development into the world’s largest fishing port at the time. Similarly in Cleethorpes, Watkin’s investment in the railway and the creation of a sea wall and the promenade, supported the small fishing village to flourish into a popular seaside resort with some even nicknaming it ‘Sheffield-On-Sea' as the railway.

The project's outputs will include a series of educational and digital resources focusing on the astonishing legacy of Edward Watkin. The educational resources will support educators and schools with a bank of resources to support them in their teaching of the Victorian period and the local history of Grimsby and Cleethorpes. The digital resources will include a film about the wider area of Grimsby docks, past, present and future and a digital trail based in Cleethorpes.

Cleethorpes Sea Defences
Grimsby Platform One Bar

Cleethorpes railway station, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.

Cleethorpes sea defences, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.

Grimsby railway station, Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

Volunteers Needed: Research & Archive Volunteer

We need research and archive volunteers to help us form both the educational and digital resources. As a volunteer on the project you will review existing research materials, provide feedback on the drafted resources and attend free training workshops. These workshops will cover a series of themes providing you with an insight on how digital tools can be used in the heritage sector.

This role is perfect for individuals wanting to expand their experience on archival research, working on community heritage projects, understanding IP ( Intellectual Property) and copyright.


The Watkin Soc