Just yesterday, there was a good news story coming out of Immingham about a baby minke whale which had become stranded on mudflats in the Humber estuary on the edge of Immingham, which houses one of the UK’s largest docks. Firefighters braved torrential rain to dig a trench around the 30-foot 15-tonne whale and with the help of marine specialists managed to heave it loose and refloat it, although it seems to have taken a liking to Immingham, because it loitered in the area for a while before disappearing from view. In 1965 there was another whale story about two whales being transported from Canada to Immingham docks from where they were to be moved to a zoo; the whales had become sick en route and it was thought they would die, but according to the Montreal Gazette it was sea-sickness the whales were suffering from, and as they approached Immingham they were showing signs of recovery. So there we are: two good news stories for the price of one, something which is badly needed in present times.
Immingham is not all about modern docks: there is a medieval village on the outskirts of the present-day town with the church of St Andrews. It was from Immingham that the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for Holland in 1608 for the start of their journey to the New World, and there is a 20-foot monument to the pilgrims opposite the church. There is a local history museum in a former chapel full of fascinating artefacts, including many from the railway age. Today the town, which is sometimes referred to locally as ‘Ming-Ming’ or ‘Ming’, is dominated by a huge docks and industrial complex including the nearby Humber Refinery.
Map of the area.