Throughout her life, Emma Lingard has combined her passion for history, seafood, and storytelling with her profession, leading to a career that always has Grimsby at the heart of her focus.
Born in Grimsby, Emma grew up in Scartho where her love for the past began as her father created miniature historical memorabilia. She started working as a Crew Member at the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre when it first opened, acting as a ‘Fish Wife’ and entertaining the hundreds of visitors to the new museum. Here, she heard first-hand the stories of the Ross Tiger tour guides, learned about their experiences of being out at sea and how it felt to return home to Grimsby.
Talking to people and listening to what they have to say continues to play a huge part in Emma’s career.
At University, Emma trained as a Journalist and completed her degree in English and Publishing, leading to journalistic roles at a Northern Lincolnshire newspaper, BBC Radio Humberside, and Channel 7, North East Lincolnshire’s dedicated local TV channel. Here, Emma ran the newsroom and incorporated her enthusiasm for heritage into regular historical features and programming from around the area.
“I am interested in what is around me and sparked by people’s stories. They open your eyes to the world around you, and from there I can find out more, do more research, I love it.”
Today, Emma is the PR & Communications Officer for Seafish, the public body representing the UK’s £10bn seafood industry, playing a key role in getting the organisation involved in the Grimsby community. She is also a published author; her book, ‘Grimsby Streets’, details the fascinating tales behind the town’s names. In addition to this, Emma leads walking tours around the Grimsby area to share the history of the area, from Danish settlement through to Victorian development and the rise of the iconic fishing industry.
“I like to encourage people to look up and see the old around them. Most people are surprised by Grimsby’s history because you can’t always see it in front of you. We all have our own stories to interweave, everyone has an interesting story to tell. By researching and leading these walks, I want to pass this sense of history onto the next generations.
“You can’t live in the past and you can’t bring it back, but by talking about it, we can help people to understand why we lost it and understand who we are as Grimbarians, giving that sense of identity. We can use the lessons of the past to shape the town for the future, and that was evident when I was researching my book. Industry has changed throughout the town, probably every century in one way or another. It’s about having hope.
“I’m proud of what Grimsby has done. It’s not so different to other towns because we have hope. We are earmarked for great things and we will see a difference in the town over the next 10 years. We should all have pride in our town and all we are achieving. I will always bang the drum for Grimsby.”