“Hull is other people,” said Stan Smith, who runs the Oh My Cod fish and chip shop in central Grimsby. “So many of my customers have said this to me over a pickled egg or a battered saveloy, recently. It’s typical Grimsby wit. Paraphrasing Jean Paul Sartre, and at the same time gently satirising our near neighbour with an amusing homophone.” But Grimsby folk are denying they are suffering from Hull envy.
Meanwhile many chip shops in the city of Grimsby are offering balsamic vinegar alongside the traditional malt condiment, to demonstrate “a wider understanding of 21st century tastes in the context of a re-evaluation of proletarian fish and chip aesthetics”. But Grimsby based artists, craftspeople, chippie owners and essayists say this is nothing to do with their neighbour’s recent triumph as the new city of culture.
Chippie owner and critic Smith is one of many who think Grimsby is as cultured as Hull or even Immingham. He said: “Don’t forget the late Molly Sugden’s triumph here with her own Mrs Slocombe-inspired take on the Vagina Monologues. Went down brilliantly in Scunthorpe, as well, for obvious reasons. But she didn't do the ping pong ball routine there. That was a Grimsby exclusive, we're proud to say. Don’t forget, too, that Freddie Parrot Face Frinton was also born here. Grimsby’s probably too edgey to host a mainstream cultural festival. Anyway, to paraphrase Hull's own pet poet Larkin, ‘They fuck you up, the Arts Council, they do not mean to, but they do.’ Although I think they probably do mean to. Anyway, we’re doing a special parmesan-cheese infused mushy peas this week – would you like to try it? And organic sea salt to go with the ethically produced rock salmon. It's part of a pre-theatre special sponsored by Spearmint Rhino.”