Things not to do in Grimsby

I will openly admit that I was very much a late-comer to social media, and in fact have never had a personal Facebook account. However, the ubiquitous nature of the giant social media platform, meant that it eventually became essential that this project have at least a presence there.

One of the aspects that Facebook does very well, is that it allows people to create community groups that bring together sometimes 10,000s of people who live in towns and villages along with the much smaller parish groups, that might for some people form the only direct line of contact to events and news at a local level. And so conversely, it's a wonderfully simple way to put a query or question to a potentially huge group of people who share the same geographical location. And so it was interesting when a user called Stuart Martin, asked the following question on the Grimsby Memories - Lincolnshire UK group.

The original post on the Grimsby Memories Facebook page that resulted in the list.

Responses flooded in, and while a few country-wide superstitions that are common enough most people will know appear. A maritime theme appears, that reveals Grimsby's heritage as a port, and the role and deep power of superstition among fishing communities, who often faced danger, and sadly death in the course of their work. 

A few of the ones listed, were expanded or discussed in the replies, and I have included those further explanations at the bottom. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. And of course if you know other similar superstitions warnings to caution, either from Grimsby or elsewhere in the county, please leave a comment.

  • Don't put new shoes on the table.
  • Don't flit salt.
  • Don't leave the house and go back for something without counting to ten.
  • Don't cross knives.
  • Don't cross a knife and fork.
  • Don't put elbows on the table.
  • Don't swing doors.
  • Don't walk under a ladder.
  • Don't forget to put coal and coins out on New Year's Eve.
  • Don't do washing on New Year's Day.
  • Don't do washing on a sailing day.
  • Don’t hang washing out on Maundy Thursday.
  • Don't give a gift of a purse without putting a penny in it.
  • Don't cut your nails on a Sunday.
  • Don't cut your hair on a Sunday.
  • Don’t use scissors on a Sunday.
  • Don't cross on the stairs.
  • Don’t raise an umbrella indoors.
  • Don't put food on a coal fire. 1
  • Don't forget to bury a piece if you smash a mirror.
  • Don't go out one door and in another without sitting down first.
  • Don't go to bed on an argument.
  • Don't have the colour gold in your garden. 2
  • Don't combine red and white flowers. 3
  • Don't say goodbye to your man when he goes to sea. 4
  • Don't say rat, it's a long tail.
  • Don't use the word Pig. 5
  • Don't say rabbit on a boat.
  • Don't whistle at sea.
  • Don't wear green at sea.
  • Don't wear blue and green.
  • Don't overtake a funeral procession.
  • Don't say thank you if you drop something & it's handed back by another person.
1. As this would feed the Devil.
2. Doing so would mean there would never be gold in the home.
3. Unlucky in their appearance being similar to bloody bandages.
4. Instead say "See you soon"
5. One reply to this was if anyone says it. You say "cold iron" in response.


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