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The south bank of the Humber estuary in England is a relatively unpopulated area containing large scale industrial development built from the 1950s onward, including national scale petroleum and chemical plants as well as gigawatt scale gas fired power stations.
Historically the south bank was undeveloped, and mostly unpopulated, excluding the medieval port of Grimsby and lesser havens at Barton upon Humber and Barrow upon Humber. Industrial activity increased from the 19th century onwards, primarily brick and tile works utilising the clay extracted from the banks of the Humber; this plus the addition of chalk extraction at the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds formed the basis of cement industries. Grimsby expanded during the industrial 19th century, and Immingham Dock was established in 1911, and a large scale cement works established near South Ferriby in 1938. Most of the brick and tile works ceased operation in around the 1950s.
From the 1950s onwards a number of chemical plants were built between Immingham and Grimsby, and two major oil refineries built south of Immingham Dock in the 1960s. Growth and development of the oil and chemical industries took place through the 20th century with some contraction of chemical works occurring in the late 20th century.
At the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century a number of combined cycle gas turbine power stations were built (see also dash for gas), some of which utilised 'waste' steam to provide nearby petroleum and chemical plants with heat energy. During the same time frame a large area of former clay workings from earlier brick and tile activity was converted into water parks in the Barton area.
The port of Grimsby, was a significant local town and market in the medieval period, with fish being the predominant traded good. From around the 14th century the port's importance in international trade diminished, in part due to competition from Hull, Boston, as well as the Hanseatic League; whilst coastal trade and inland waterway trade became more important. In addition to fish a trade foodstuffs also took place, as well as coals from Newcastle and the export of peat dug in Yorkshire. Grimsby's population declined from around 1,400 in 1377 to around 750 by 1600 and to around 400 by the early 1700s. In the late 1700s a new dock was built at Grimsby, under the engineer John Rennie, opened 1800. In the 1840s the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway constructed a rail line to the town, and a new dock was constructed in the same period; the town redeveloped as a port, and its growth re-initiated. Several new docks constructed between 1850 and 1900 with a third fish dock added in 1934. Rail connections linked the port to South Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Midlands; the net tonnage handled by the port increased from 163,000 in the 1850s to 3,777,000 by 1911. The port was also a major fishing centre, landing around 20% of the total UK catch (1934). The town's population rose consistently from 1,500 in 1801, to 75,000 in 1901, and to 92,000 in 1931. Neighbouring Cleethorpes also developed as a residential area for Grimsby as well as a seaside resort during the 19th century. In the 20th century, port based industries formed the main economic activities, with fishing being particularly important, influencing other industries in the town, specifically food processing, in particular frozen foods. In the late 1960s around 3,500 were employed directly in the fishing industry; 10,000 were employed in food industries of which 6,000 was fish processing activities; 2,500 in shipbuilding and repair; other lesser employment activities included engineering, and timber related businesses. Most of Grimsby's industries were concentrated on the Dock's estate, and later Pyewipe, west of the main centre.
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