Rebecca Grays’ Grimsby

In this series, Rebecca Gray returns to her hometown of Grimsby, where she explored her families heritage within the town she grew up in.

“I grew up in Grimsby, my parents grew up in Grimsby, my grandparents grew up in Grimsby. As far back as I know, my ancestors were born and raised in Grimsby (or the surrounding villages). Grimsby has a bad reputation and I don’t disagree with it. But I suspect most people think that of the town they grew up in, anyone confined to one area for a length of time will grow to resent it in some way. 

By my second year of freedom, I decided to return and photograph all the places I had known when living there. A lot of the places had changed since; redecorated or knocked down. The biggest reason I wanted to photograph it was to see if it really did look as shit as I recalled. I didn’t really get an answer to my question. Even when I look at the photographs now sometimes I think the places are beautiful, yet next time the places look as bad as they always did. I think that’s why I kept a mixture of portraits and scenery, the people are what take me back there so it felt natural to include them. One of the portraits is my grandad who died about a year after I finished the project. I’m glad to have a photograph of him in his later years, it’s always the photograph people like most so it feels slightly more important. I’m glad to have been the one who took it.

 I’d like to continue the project again in a few years, see how things have changed again, or no doubt stayed the same.”

Words by Rebecca Gray