Immingham (sometimes known locally as Ming-Ming or simply Ming) is a town in the North East Lincolnshire unitary authority of England, located on the south bank of the Humber Estuary. It is six miles (10 km) north west of Grimsby.
Immingham is sandwiched between the A180 to the south and the A1173 (Manby Road and Kings Road) to the north, which is also the access road between both gates of the port. From the west, it has no direct link to the A180; access is via the A1173 towards Grimsby, or more conveniently via the Brocklesby Interchange and the A160 and through the petrochemical works at South Killingholme (in North Lincolnshire). The A1173 has a spur for the east gate of the docks – Queens Road. The B1210 carries traffic to the west of the town, from Stallingborough to Habrough.
The medieval village of Immingham is on the outskirts of the town to the north west near St Andrew’s Church.
The north-west corner of the civil parish is at End End Farm, next to South Killingholme and North Lincolnshire. The boundary with Habrough crosses the A180 just west of both Luxmore (Total) service stations, named after Immingham’s Luxmore Farm, just to the north on the B1210. The boundary passes to the west of the medieval village of Roxton, now part of Immingham. The south-west corner of the parish takes in the east of Roxton Wood, and borders Lincolnshire in the wood, extending as far south as New Beck Drain. Eastwards from Roxton Wood there is a boundary with Stallingborough. This boundary crosses the A180 just west of the A1173 junction and follows North Beck drain along the western edge of the Kiln Lane industrial estate, and is also the postcode boundary (DN41 and DN40), and meets the Humber just east of Cray Valley Chemicals (owned by Total).
The European route E22 apparently passes through Immingham (this actually refers to the nearby route of the A180 and the A160 via Immingham Dock) and thence on to Amsterdam which implies there is a ferry to Amsterdam. No car ferry of that nature exists but freight transport (lorries) can go with the DFDS Tor line via Immingham Dock to Gothenburg on the AngloBridge line, to Esbjerg on the BritanniaBridge Line, to Cuxhaven on the ElbeBridge line, and to Rotterdam (for Route E22) on the ShortBridge line. Sailings go from the DFDS Nordic Terminal which has six Ro-Ro berths; DFDS has been operating from the port since 1992. Immingham is the busiest freight ferry port on the east coast of England. The Stena Line has a route from the Hook of Holland to Killingholme (Humber Sea Terminal).
The name means “Homestead or village of Imma’s people’. Research into families with the surnames associated with “imma” or “emma” show that many seem to have begun their migration across England (mainly northward) from this part of Lincolnshire.
The town, Immingham, has a completely English name which is unusual in an area noted for large-scale Norse settlements. This suggests that the name of the town dates from before the Viking invasion of this area. Bede mentions a Northumbrian nobleman called Imma, who fought in the Battle of the Trent in 679 CE.
Bede tells us that in 679 Imma was a Thane (a type of King’s bodyguard) in the service of the 18 year old brother of the King of Northumbria, Aelfwine.
In the Battle of the Trent in 679 CE Aelfwine was killed and Northumbria lost control of the area of modern Immingham. Imma was left for dead. He later revived and was taken into captivity (being careful to keep his name and title secret). The Mercians who had captured him treated his wounds and when he got better chained him up each night to prevent his escape.
Meanwhile his brother, Tunna, a priest and abbot of a monastery, assuming his brother dead, had regular prayers and masses said for him.
The Mercians had great trouble keeping Imma in captivity and guessed he was more than just a peasant. The Mercian Chief had him closely questioned. Imma agreed to speak if the Chief promised not to kill him. On learning that Imma was a King’s Thane he was furious but could not go back on his word. The Mercians believed Imma was using black magic to escape. But Imma pointed out that his brother was Christian and was probably praying for him and that was the reason for his near-success.
Because he was such a problem the Mercians sold Imma in London as a slave to a Frisian. This Frisian also found it difficult to keep Imma captive so he allowed him to arrange for his ransom. The King of Kent eventually paid the ransom because he had connections with Imma’s family. Imma went through a number of other adventures before he got back to his own country. On reuniting with his brother, the abbot confirmed that he had indeed been praying for his brother.
The town contains a memorial marking the site of the 1608 departure of the Pilgrim Fathers to the Netherlands. The vessel anchored off Killingholme Creek but suffered very bad weather. Due to this the wives asked to be put ashore for the night. The vessel was sailed up Killingholme Creek to just below St. Mary’s Parish Church in Immingham – a small depression probably marking this site can still be distinguished at the end of Washdyke Lane. The inhabitants of Immingham agreed to the wives and children sleeping in their parish church overnight. But news of this group reached the authorities, who proceeded to come to Immingham and arrest the dissenters. On hearing this, the captain of the vessel insisted on sailing away before the wives and children could embark. Hence the wives and children were arrested and jailed. Word of this spread throughout the country, and very soon a popular protest against this inhumane treatment arose. Due to this popular feeling the wives and children were released and allowed to join their husbands and fathers in the Netherlands. The vessels sailed to Boston (Lincolnshire) and on to the Netherlands, then to Southampton and finally Plymouth, from where history records the sailings of the Mayflower. From 12 July 2008 until 19 July 2008, the town held a number of celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers’ arrival and departure.
During the First World War, Immingham was a submarine base for early submarines.
During the Second World War, Immingham became the shore base (for a time) of Lord Mountbatten and the docks hosted his famous vessel, HMS Kelly. He roomed at the County Hotel.
Squadron Leader John Dowland and Leonard Harrison received the George Cross for defusing a bomb that had fallen onto the grain ship SS Kildare in February 1940 in Immingham Dock.
The Humber Force, part of the Home Fleet which had two cruisers and a destroyer flotilla (including HMS Afridi) was based at Immingham during the war, as well as submarines (including HMS Seal).
Up until the turn of the 20th century Immingham was a rural village, dependent on agriculture. The advent of the railways encouraged speculators to utilise its location on the coast to build a deep-sea dock to rival that in nearby Hull.
This caused the area to grow as workers moved in; much of the growth in living accommodation was centred around in a narrow strip (now known as Pelham Road) between two public houses at opposite ends of the town, the Bluestone and the County Hotel. The advent of the First World War caused the area to suffer some decline: This was not reversed until the 1950s.
In that decade the docks began to grow as the country recovered from the austerity of the Second World War and the post war years. The expansion of chemical and petroleum industries along the Humber Bank over the next twenty years also fuelled the economic growth and level of population of the town, evident in the architectural style of many houses. This new residential growth expanded on both sides of Pelham Road and in the 1960s a comprehensive school and shopping centre-cum-office complex (Kennedy Way) were opened to facilitate this increase.
Opened in 1965 the Kennedy Way centre was host to a supermarket, many independent traders and several banks; in 1979 it was extended to house a further supermarket and other shop units. However in recent years the centre has been in decline with several outlets remaining empty for many years. Both supermarkets (Kwik Save and Tates) have moved out along with the Midland Bank, although a further supermarket development operated by the Co-operative Group on Washdyke Lane is still operational.
Plans for the redevelopment of the area were published in January 2009. Plans drawn up by the owners, Wellway Properties Limited, and the supermarket chain Tesco show the partial demolition of the existing area and the creation of 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2) superstore in its place, with the rest of the area being upgraded. The proposed demolition covers properties leased by three banks, several national chains and a number of independent businesses.
One leaseholder, the Yorkshire Bank, confirmed they would not be taking up the option on new premises in the development and closed their branch in August 2009 after 40 years of operation. In late 2010 Barclays closed their branch in the centre as a result of the planned redevelopment. Another tenant, the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society closed their Immingham office in March 2010 as part of a national re-organisation rather than as a result of the redevelopment. It leaves just two banks in the town, NatWest and Lloyds TSB, the latter in premises scheduled for demolition under the proposed plans.
North East Lincolnshire Council has one council ward within the area of Immingham.
Being 200 miles (320 km) by road from London, Edinburgh and Rotterdam, means that Immingham is central to the UK and Europe. Local motorways connect to all parts of the UK placing 40 million consumers within a 4-hour drive. Access from the south is hindered by single-carriageway roads, but most heavy traffic comes from the M62, M18 and M180.
The A1173 is due to be improved to bypass Stallingborough, and join the A180 junction from the south. Much heavy traffic heading north for Immingham uses the B1225 and then the A1173. The route of the A1173 has changed, with a gap between the B1210 roundabout at Stallingborough and the A180 roundabout, in preparation for direct access to the roundabout from the southern and of the A1173, which will not be built for at least five years.
The nearest railway station is at Habrough, approximately 3 miles (5 km) away on the Cleethorpes to Manchester line.
This area is the busiest in the UK for rail freight with a choice of specialist terminals serving destinations across the country.
Humberside Airport, situated 6 miles (10 km) to the west of Immingham, and 3 miles east from the M180/A15 junction, is a national and international gateway connecting over half a million passengers to 30 destinations every year, with daily flights to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the world’s third largest international airport. Humberside Airport is accessed from the junction of the A15 and M180 via the B1210 through Habrough.
With Grimsby and Cleethorpes, Immingham is part of the economic area known as Greater Grimsby, which, in turn, forms part of the wider economic partnership of The Hull and Humber Ports City Region The main sectors of the Greater Grimsby economy are food and drink; ports and logistics; renewable energy; chemicals and process industries and digital media. Along the A1173 is the Knauf UK GmbH plant that makes plasterboard.
In 2008 the Port of Grimsby and Immingham was the UK’s largest port by tonnage.It is owned by Associated British Ports and is a constituent port in the Hull and Humber Ports City Region. Its prime deep-water location on the Humber Estuary, gives companies direct access to mainland Europe and beyond.
Building of Immingham Dock began in 1906, and it as opened by King George V on 22 July 1912. In part funded by the Great Central Railway, the dock property was 2.5 miles (4.0 km) by 1-mile (2 km); covering 1,000 acres (4 km2), with 45 acres (180,000 m2) of water. The docks were connected to the town and mainline by the Grimsby & Immingham Electric Railway, with locomotive servicing at Immingham TMD. Now owned by Associated British Ports, Immingham is home to the largest deep-sea docks in the country. A large port and industrial complex, coal is imported through the port by SSM Coal Ltd. The port partnership of Grimsby & Immingham is the largest port in the UK in terms of tonnage, with a total traffic of 57 million tonnes, 10% of the total, in 2006. Much overseas coal for the Trent Valley and Aire valley power stations arrives in this country at Immingham and is transferred via FirstGBRf. The large Immingham Railfreight Terminal to service the docks, also acts as a storage point for excess locomotives and wagons, as well as a scrapping location.
Close to Immingham, oil is refined at the Lindsey (at North Killingholme) Oil Refinery by TOTAL and at the Humber Refinery (at South Killingholme) by ConocoPhillips. They both own the Associated Petroleum Terminals. Oil began to be imported in 1970. The Killingholme Refineries opened in 1969, owned by Total and PetroFina. The refined fuel was transported to the rest of the UK by rail. 70% of the refined oil from the Humber Refinery goes to the UK, the rest is for Europe. It is the only coking refinery in Britain, produced by catalytic cracking. In the second half of 2007, an £80m bioethanol fuel plant will be constructed close to the town. The plant will use locally-grown wheat from which to synthesise fuel.
Immingham Power Station powers both petrochemical works to the north, being owned by ConocoPhillips. To the north of the petrochemical works is Killingholme Power Station owned by E.ON UK and Centrica and 3 miles to the east on the Humber bank is the South Humber Bank Power Station, owned by Centrica. In April 2009 Drax Power held public exhibitions in the area that detailed their proposal for a 300MW renewable energy plant to be fuelled by biomass.
Immingham is the centre of digital media in Greater Grimsby, with award-winning companies and state-of-the-art facilities. Partnerships with Sony, BBC, ITV and the Press Association enable the area to deliver programming across Europe.