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Coordinates: 53°41′57″N 0°52′09″W / 53.699217°N 0.869171°W / 53.699217; -0.869171

Goole Docks.jpg
Goole Docks
Goole is located in East Riding of Yorkshire
 Goole shown within the East Riding of Yorkshire
Population 19,518 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid reference SE746231
Civil parish Goole
Unitary authority East Riding of Yorkshire
Ceremonial county East Riding of Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GOOLE
Postcode district DN14
Dialling code 01405
Police Humberside
Fire Humberside
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Brigg and Goole
List of places

Goole is a town, civil parish and inland port located approximately 45 miles (72 km) from the sea at the confluence of the rivers Don and Ouse in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, although historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire. According to the 2011 UK census, Goole parish had a population of 19,518,[1] an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 17,600.[2] The port is highly versatile and capable of handling nearly 3 million tonnes of cargo per annum, making it one of the most important ports on the east coast of England.[3]

Goole is twinned with Złotów in Poland. Goole was informally twinned with Gibraltar in the 1960s; at that time, Gibraltar Court was named in Goole and Goole Court was named in Gibraltar.


St John's church, Goole

The Dutch civil engineer Cornelius Vermuyden diverted the River Don northwards to the River Ouse in 1626-1629[4] to drain the marshland of Hatfield Chase at the behest of King Charles I. It made the lower Don navigable for barges so that coal from the South Yorkshire Coalfield could be transported to "Goole" at the new mouth of the Don (or "Dutch River") for transfer to seagoing vessels.

The Aire and Calder Navigation Company opened its broad canal from Knottingley in the northern sector of the coalfield in 1826, and built eight transshipment docks and a company built town. William Hamond Bartholomew the chief engineer introduced the Tom Pudding system of compartment boats, which could carry around 40 long tons (41,000 kg) of coal in 1863.[5] In the docks, Bartholomew introduced large boat hoists to lift the Puddings and discharge them directly into seagoing ships to export the coal to all parts of the world. They successfully competed with rail and were used until 1985.

For most of the life of the port, coal was the dominant commodity handled. Another commodity associated with the mining industry was pit props which were traditionally stored floating in the water at the Timber Pond. With the decline of the mining industry, pit props are no longer imported. The Timber Pond is now a marina, trading under the name Goole Boathouse. It has berths for 150 boats and is the largest inland waterway marina in Yorkshire.[citation needed]

Three locks keep the water in 37 acres (150,000 m2) of floating docks at a constant depth of six metres by preventing the level from rising and falling with the tides in the River Ouse. Ships and barges entering the port must first pass through the locks. Once they are inside, eight docks provide a total of three miles (5 km) of quayside at which they can berth. Beside the docks are transit sheds where cargo is stored, many of which are equipped with overhead cranes. Goole has regular cargo liner services to Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Morocco and South Africa. There is also trade by charter vessel to and from many other countries, including Russia, Denmark and Italy. Cargo from other parts of the world such as United States of America, China and Australia reaches Goole by transshipment services from Rotterdam.

When Goole opened as a port, it was a new community of about 450 people.[6] Now it is a town with about 18,000 inhabitants.[7]

A Tom Pudding hoist in Goole.

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway built a line from Pontefract and Wakefield in 1848, and the North Eastern Railway connected the port with Doncaster and Hull in 1870. The prosperity from the coal and general cargo trade with the West Riding industrial area continued for 150 years after the opening of the canal.

After a period of decline, commodities were replaced by containers, the export of steel, and the import of timber from north-eastern Europe. The two original 1826 docks, and the six built later, are still in operative. Goole railway station is on the Sheffield to Hull Line and is the terminus of the Pontefract Line.

Glass and clothing are produced in Goole, which is also the centre of an agricultural district.


Unusually in terms of English place-names, "Goole" has its origins in Middle English. It derives from the word goule, meaning "stream, or channel". Goole was not recorded in the Domesday Book. Its first mention was in 1362 as Gulle.


Goole is south of the M62 linking it with Kingston upon Hull in the east and the West Yorkshire urban belt in the west. The M18 runs west of the town, connecting it with South Yorkshire, the South and the Midlands.

Goole has a railway station with services to Hull Paragon Interchange, Doncaster, Sheffield and Leeds, and the commuter stations in between. There are bus services to surrounding towns and villages.[citation needed]


Before the reform of local government in 1974, brought about by the Local Government Act 1972, Goole was in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It was then placed in the Boothferry district of the county of Humberside, until that was abolished in 1996. Since 1996, Goole has been in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is represented by six councillors on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Goole is in the parliamentary constituency of Brigg and Goole. The constituency is represented by one Member of Parliament in the House of Commons.


Boothferry Road, the main shopping street

Goole has a modestly sized town centre with many high street shops, independent retailers and public houses. The main shopping area is Wesley Square, off Boothferry Road (which has been pedestrianised around the main shopping area). There is a modern retail development in the town centre, a leisure centre next to the docks, and the Goole and District Hospital, to the north of the town.

Goole has a several junior schools and a High School with a Sixth Form College attached to it. Goole College is affiliated with Hull College. There are Further Education colleges in Selby, Scunthorpe and Bishop Burton.


Goole's twin water towers, dubbed the "salt and pepper pots"

Goole's most prominent landmarks are its twin water towers, dubbed the "salt and pepper pots". In the winter months, Goole's gas holder on Anderson Road is visible across the north of the town. Many of the hoists and cranes on the dockside can be seen across the town. The steeple of Goole Parish Church is tall enough to be seen across the town. The town's landscape is made up mostly of utility and industrial structures. A clock tower is within the main shopping district of the town on a roundabout.

Goole's Clock Tower surrounded by shops and pubs.


View over Kingsway Bridge after snowfall

Goole's industrial park, Capitol Park,[8] has attracted two large employers: Guardian Industries, which built a glass manufacturing plant, and Tesco, which built a distribution centre. The arrival of these employers resulted in hundreds of new jobs being created.[citation needed] A new Morrisons store opened in Goole on 2 August 2010, built on land previously occupied by Timms Mill on Boothferry Road.


Goole Town Cricket Club supports local cricket teams. Of its three teams, the first team play in the club cricket York & District Senior League. A new clubhouse was constructed in 1996 providing facilities and a bar. [9]

Rugby Union is played close to the cricket club at Westfield Banks, sharing facilities with Goole Tennis Club. Goole RUFC currently field two teams, the first team playing in Yorkshire Division Two.

Goole Tennis Centre is a 9 court tennis club based on the Westfield Banks site.[10]

Goole has two football teams these been Goole A.F.C., and Goole United A.F.C. They currently they play in the Northern Premier League Division One South and the Humber Premier League Division One respectively. They both play their football at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds which is located on Marcus Street. The nearest professional teams are Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Leeds United, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and York City.


Radio Medica is Goole's hospital radio station. At one point BBC Radio Humberside had an office at the market, but this has now closed. Other stations received in Goole on FM include Vixen 101, Viking FM, KCFM, Hallam FM, Pulse FM, Minster FM, Capital FM Yorkshire, Real Radio Yorkshire and the national BBC services.

Goole well placed to receive a wide selection of DAB Radio Stations. On Sky Digital Look North for Goole news is on EPG number 977 whilst the main BBC One Look North (101) is mainly the West Yorkshire Edition.

Notable people[edit]

The Dale Sisters, a vocal trio who had limited chart success in the early 1960s were born in Goole, as Betty, Hazel and Julie Dunderdale, a name they later shortened to become the Dale Sisters.[11][12]

Teena Rochfort-Smith, a gifted young editor of the works of Robert Browning and of the Old Spelling editions of Shakespeare, who was staying at her uncle's home in Goole, on 28 August 1883, when she was killed when her clothes caught fire while she was trying to light a candle.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics: Area: Goole CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Area: Goole CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  3. ^ "Goole". Associated British Ports. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Porteous, J.D. (1969). The Company Town of Goole: An Essay in Urban Genesis. Hull University Press. Pages 5-6
  5. ^ "Tom Puddings". Goole on the Web. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Porteous, J.D. (1969). The Company Town of Goole: An Essay in Urban Genesis. Hull University Press. Page 6.
  7. ^ H. Tolley and K. Orrell (1978) Yorkshire third edition ISBN 0-521-21918-3
  8. ^ "Capitol Park". Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Franks, Simon. "Goole Town Cricket Club". Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Welcome to Goole Tennis Centre". Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "VARIOUS ARTISTS / SAY WHEN - EMBER SIXTIES POP VOLUME 1 (1960 - 1961) CD". Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "10 - Dale Sisters | Flickr". Flickr. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Anon., Teena Rochfort-Smith, A memoir, Suffolk:Clay & Taylor, 1883, page 8.
  • Gazetteer – A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 6. 


  • Ferriman, Earnest and Leach, Rev. Tim (1988) Glimpses of Goole, Goole: Rev. Tim Leach, The Vicarage, Goole.

(The then vicarage is now a brain injury rehabilitation unit.)

External links[edit]



Newspaper and media[edit]

Port and shipping[edit]