The Postbag

Cod Almighty | Postbag

The one with the endless history of the Dock Tower

20 August 2003

In this week's Postbag: bladdered and bladders in Brum; la torretta del bacino; tea time; rhyming slag; oh Siena; bag off; um, Dock Tower letter; er, um, other Dock Tower letter; and transmission vamp


My friend Darren Tucker ought to pay me a visit before I leave Birmingham for a quieter life and cheaper beer, and I will demonstrate to him the interesting architectural similarities between the Dock Tower and Birmingham University's clock tower. For me, the chief difference between the two is that I have never got steaming drunk after playing a gig and pissed up the Dock Tower.

from Pete Green


On a serious note for a change. A letter last week mentioned the design of the Dock Tower being based on an Italian Design. This is infact true. The design of the Tower is based on the Clock Tower of the Palazzo Publico in Sienna.

from Mr B.L.Ackandwhite-Barmy


Please, Richard, this is the 2First century, and tea-making protocol has moved on.

Until the tea is in the cup, the maker has no way of knowing the quantity of milk required. Putting the milk in first is quite literally a shot in the dark. It's like signing 10 new players for a new season in a division you haven't played in yet.

As the results of my investigation take shape, Diary readers will see that MIF not only contravenes several United Nations resolutions but is chiefly the practice of rubbish dysfunctional southerners who don't even like tea but just want something to hold and sip until their mummy comes to visit.

from The Diary

Letters Ed responds: Damn straight. Huh! Yeah! Good God y'all.


I can't help but notice that your resident poet doesn't in fact write poetry, but merely writes prose arranged on the page in a strange way. This is doubly disturbing in that a real poet would never have let a referee called "Prosser" get away so lightly. I remain yours, sir, etc.

from Mr Steve


Everthing you ever wanted to know about the Dock Tower can be found here, including the following passage. All fascinating stuff.

from "The commission to build the Great Grimsby Hy

Letters Ed responds: I found several pics of the Siena tower by doing a Google image search. Lovely. Miles

Bagwash beeroff

In response to Glenn Bateman's letter of 13 August referring to the bagwash - I do remember the word 'bagwash', but does he remember the word 'beeroff'?

from Bob Santich


In response to the Letters Editor's call for more information on the Dock Tower of Grimsby I have attached below a brief summary of it's history:

The Dock Tower is modelled on the Torre del Mangia of the Palazzo Publico in Siena, Italy, successfully marrying the schools of British Industrial architecture with more classical Renaissance and Moorish influences. The tower was designed by Mr. James William Wild. It was built in 1852 by Mr. J.M.Rendel, who was the engineer for the Royal Dock, and stands 309 feet tall, at the time of construction it was the tallest brick built building in the country, while its single cast iron spiral staircase was the longest in the world. The main body of the Tower housed the pumping mechanisms for the dock's hydraulic lock gates and the function of the tower was to provide water pressure to the lock gates to the docks. A wrought iron tank capable of holding thirty thousand gallons of water is fixed at a height of two hundred feet and it is this which provided the pressure needed to work the lock gates, aswell as providing fresh water to ships and houses on the dock premises. A new system to provide the hydraulic pressure was introduced in 1900, deeming the tower redundant. In recent history it has been proposed that it be dismantled, and only the prohibitive cost has prevented it.

from Professor Mario Vivaldi


The Dock Tower was based on the Torre del Magia in the Plazza del Compo in Siena, Italy - this and a complete history of the Dock Tower, its construction, all the facts and figures etc etc are in 'Grimsby's Torre del Magia' a 28 page booklet (well written but less well proof read and edited) by S K Hullett - available from the author at 9 Haigh Street Cleethorpes. Tel 01472 602754

from Swin

Letters Ed responds: Excellent. I think that's the history of the Dock Tower well and truly covered. Next week: the old theatre that was knocked down and replaced by a drive-thru McDonalds on Grimsby Road...


Sorry to bother you again, but could you use a different photo of Tony Butcher on your site please? In real life I know he doesn't resemble Nosferatu, but in your picture he does, and its giving me nightmares. Thanking you in advance.

from Mr Steve

Letters Ed responds: Try reading the site from behind a pillow, or being less of a blouse.

Enough with the Dock Tower already. Although we'd welcome your feedback on any other Grimsby related matters. Or anything really. Who you gonna call?