In the Early Years


Before Cleethorpes had its very own Police Station, prisoners were taken to Grimsby to appear before the Magistrates at the County Court which covered all of the rural villages surrounding Grimsby. The Magistrates Court met at the Town Hall in Grimsby. The County Police Station was situated at No. 182 Victoria-street Grimsby from the mid-Victorian period until 1902 when a new County Police Station was erected in Brighowgate. (The picture above taken c 1903 shows the old County Police Station in Victoria Street which when closed became C.G. Smith & Sons, Soap Manufacturers). Superintendant Walter Woolven was the Superintendant in 1863; in 1871 Superintendant Alfred Richdale was in command, in the 1880's George Stennett took over and was there until at 1902 when he took command of the new Police Station. In 1896 he also had a sergeant and 14 constables under his command. A new County Police Station was built in Brighowgate Grimsby around 1902 which also had a cottage in the Police Station yard, I presume for the Superintendant and his family.

In 1906 as well as the Superintendent there was also the Deputy chief Constable for County stationed there. In 1910 Superintendant W. Osborne and the Deputy Chief Constable were at Brighowgate, in 1923 Superintendent Falgate was in command, with T. Cooke, sergeant and F. Booth Police Constable. The County Police Station was later used as a Coroner's Court from the 1970's and is currently occupied by the firm of Solicitors.

At a meeting of the Lindsey Quarter Sessions held in July 1870 The Chief Constable said "I feel it has now become my duty to ask the Court to order the erection without delay of a constable's cottage and two cells at Cleethorpes. This place has become a favourite resort of the lower classes from Sheffield and other large manufacturing towns, and the railway frequently brings many thousands of persons there for a trip. They are followed and accompanied by many thieves and pick-pockets and when such persons are apprehended there is no place of security in which to deposit them nearer than Grimsby." The estimated cost Captain Bicknell gave as £320. He reported the cases summarily disposed of during the year had been 700, and the total number of cases dealt with was 863.

The County Police Station situated at No. 182 Victoria Street, Grimsby which later became the soap manufacturer shown in the photo.

A comparison with the preceding five years was given and showed a greater number of offences during 1870 than in any of the previous years except 1868 when the summary cases stood at 725 and the total at 893. Captain Bicknell's report led to a lengthy discussion and eventually it was resolved that a letter should be written to the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company asking if they would furnish a site for the prison should the court agree to build one.

First Chief Officer Captain Bicknell

County Police Station, Brighowgate, Grimsby, built 1902

In early 1871 it was ordered that the Magistrates acting for the Grimsby Petty Sessional Division (with the assistance of the Chief Constable) be authorised to erect a lock-up in accordance with plans and estimates laid before the Court at a cost not exceeding £360.

In April 1871 CLEETHORPES LOCK-UP: The plans for this lock-up subject to some trifling alterations as suggested by the Home Office were passed.

Then in July 1871 The Lock-up at Cleethorpes, it was stated had not been proceeded with, the plans having been sent back disapproved from the Home Secretary's Office more than once.

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