In the last exhibition, I introduced Britain Boys, my next big series after The Months, with a three-page ‘mini-booklet’ of some of the Britain Boys characters. There, I briefly mentioned Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Humberston, and their destructive tendencies to cause accidents and disasters on a worsening scale. What I didn’t actually elaborate on back there was that they all together form a villainous band known as the ‘Humberside Boys’ (after the former English county they hail from, now North East Lincolnshire, which is where I was born). They act as the resident villains of Britain Boys along with Doncaster and his gang (yes, Doncaster does have his own gang, but that’s another story for later…)

As Grimsby is Cleethorpes and Humberston’s child, he is obviously the youngest of the troublesome trio. At only two years old, he may seem small, but he does have a huge inclining to causing trouble of the worst kind (though at least it’s not as bad as his parents). He’s only a toddler, so he just mostly has little accidents like knocking over a tower of bricks, spilling drinks down himself or having an accident of ‘that’ kind.

Cleethorpes is Grimsby’s father, and his bad deeds are slightly worser than his little son’s. He often deliberately runs into people to hinder their journeys somewhere or knock things out of their arms or hands so he can steal them and make a quick getaway while they recover from the bump.

Humberston, Grimsby’s mother, tops both Cleethorpes and Grimsby in causing the worst of the terrible three, because she can somehow set off earthquakes, tsunamis and fires using just her pure, concentrated strength and power. She’s definitely not a girl to be messed with, as she’s also a little loudmouthed and has a bit of a bad attitude.

Back in the day, these three got more air-time than Doncaster (who is supposed to be the main villain of Britain Boys along with his gang). Maybe because they were from slightly closer to my birthplace than Doncaster is (it’s 1 hour and 22 minutes from Doncaster to Grimsby, while it’s only 47 minutes from Scunthorpe to Grimsby. For Goole to Grimsby, however, it’s 52 or 53 minutes via either the Humber Bridge in Hull or going through Doncaster via the M62 and M180/A180.) As you can probably see, I obviously know my way around the former Humberside region (not least because it was my childhood home for 11 years)…


And that’s why I have a particular affiliation for the Britain Boys characters who come from around this region of England… even the bad-to-the-bones Humberside Boys.