Goole on the Web
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Company Town

By the start of the nineteenth century, Goole was nothing more than a collection of cottages at the entrance to the Dutch River (where the current Old Goole is situated). When the entrance of the Aire & Calder canal was chosen to be at Goole instead of Selby or Airmyn, grand plans were made for the new town. These images show one vision of how the town might have looked. The plans were too ambitious and only part of them were built with the official opening of the town.

How the town might have looked

Only Aire Street and some of the side streets off it remain of the original town. Aire Street was very wide and grand and had huge imposing buildings such as the Lowther Pub. The A&C buildings has distinctive round corners. The conditions of the buildings of the main street were actually very poor with people living in cramped conditions and having to use unhygienic alleyways that were home to the rats.

In the early days, Bridge Street, along with Aire Street, was a thriving commercial area with shops and houses lining both sides of the road. There were also many pubs serving the dockworkers and visiting sailors.

An amibitious plan for the company town Goole around 1880 - drawn from a balloon

The aerial view of Goole was taken from a balloon around 1880 and shows how quickly the town and docks had developed. The town was now reaching out beyond the Hull to Doncaster Railway and would soon start to spread down Murham Avenue (now Boothferry Road) and Pasture Road.

Originally, Boothferry Road contained the private houses of professional people who didn't want to live in the Company Town. By the end of the nineteenth century it was becoming the commercial centre.

The narrow original streets of the company town Aire Street was the main commercial street The destinctive round corners of the company town

The boom time for expanding the town came between 1890 and 1914 when many magnificent buildings of hard red brick were built. Examples include St John's Buildings (1890), Trinity Methodist Church (1890), Bank Chambers (now the council offices) (1892), the L&YR offices (1892), Times Buildings (1894), Boothferry Road School (1893), the new market hall (1896), the United Methodist Church (1898), Goole Steam Shipping Offices (1903), Carlisle Street Library (1905), Pasture Road Baths (1906), Goole Secondary School (later GGS) (1909), Bartholomew Hospital (1912) as well as two cinemas and lots of new houses to the west of the railway line.

The old Goole Grammar School The old primary school Shuffleton Windmill

Goole has a windmill in the Shuffleton area of town next to the river. The mill was owned by George Heron in 1870, although the sails were taken down in 1893 and the original mill rebuilt when he died in 1912. Every year the 'Shuffleton Feast' took place on the river foreshore. This was a large festival the highlight of which was climbing up a greased pole to try and win a large ham stuck at the top of it.

A syndicate consisting of John Bennett, Ralph Creyke, John Rocket and T. Carnochan bought an area of land in 1874 and built Edinburgh, Alexandra, Stanley and Estcourt streets soon afterwards. This part of town was known as 'Bennett's Field.'

Goole had three cinemas. The Cinema palace was built near the town centre before World War I and had a distinctive arch outside. There was also the 'Cosy Carlton' further down Boothferry Road and the Tower Theatre became a cinema later on.

The water towers - past The water towers - present Tower View

The 'salt and pepper' water towers dominate the landscape for many miles around. An Act of Parliament in 1881 allowed Goole and the surrounding villages to have a piped water supply. To achieve this, the brick water tower was built and opened in July 1883. The new ferro-concrete tower was completed in 1926.

To celebrate the opening of the brick tower, which was one of the tallest brick buildings at the time, a row of houses, Tower View, were built on Boothferry Road where they lived up to their name. Every year, on the anniversary of the tower's opening, flags were flown from the top of the tower. When this coincided with Queen Victoria's jubilee in 1887, it was decided to have a firework display from the top of the tower as well. This ended in tragedy when one of the organisers was blown from the top by an explosion and fell down the inside of the tower to his death.

Visitor Comments

Posted by J drury at 23/03/2006 22:32
I lived near Heron's mill in 1970s. I was not aware that the area was formally known as Shuffleton.
Posted by GOOLE ACTION TREASURER at 26/04/2006 08:59
It has only been re-named Shuffleton by East Riding Council in its bid to identify this neighbourhood of Goole for its own purposes.
The historic Shuffleton was the name given in Goole's early days, when folks clustered around what was originally Murham staithe.
I believe Shuffleton was the bight or bay in the river then, where sailing vessels could land goods and passengers. The pilot's house was here - Spring Gardens - where he could overlook the river.

Did you live in one of the streets now threatened with demolition - Richard Cooper and Phoenix?
Posted by Sunny at 30/11/2006 15:09
Yes amazing it was Shuffleton! Now is hardly used I don't know why... As Old Goole is still used.....
Posted by Shuffleton Streets at 19/01/2007 22:24
and before Goole docks dug and port came to town, the parish of Hook extended across the muddy wasteland to join moorlands with marshland.
Posted by Kizzy Pudding at 07/03/2007 12:15
I don't believe in Goole.

I won't believe it til I see it with my OWN EYES!
Posted by Michael at 01/04/2007 21:40
I lived there briefly, I couldn't believe it either.
Posted by Brian Brierley at 10/05/2007 14:23
I can remember the Mill in the 70s as Timms Flower Mill
Posted by Brian Brierley at 10/05/2007 14:28
If anybody knows the whereabouts of David or Nigel Timm whose family owned the mill please could you email me. I am an old friend who worked with them at Thomas Robinsons of Rochdale back in the 70s. My adress is
Many thanks Brian
Posted by Geoff LeVoguer at 27/04/2008 12:09
I was born in 1945 and raised at 37 North St. I recall the cellar kitchens and gaslight in the terraced houses; the rounded corners of the little streets, the host of pubs and clubs in the neighbourhood. Some had 'thunderbox' toilets and a communal external standpipe tap.The more fortunate had w/c's and internal cold water. Life was much different then, less than a short lifetime away.So much has changed in the world since those innocent post war austerity years; I look around, smile and think, how much more comfortable the modern underprivelidged are in their 'poverty'.
Posted by nigel timm at 20/07/2008 16:09
Hi,this is nigel timm,im still here,firing on all cylinders,did I work with you at thomas robinsons,cheers.
Posted by Denise at 08/10/2008 21:32
I was born at 21 North St 1947, like Geoff (who I remember) I can still see the rounded corners, the passage leading to the back doors and toilets (McGeevers, McKones, Sandersons etc) Do you remember the rag and bone man who had a yard nearby, Kelly's fish and chips, the best in town, the arcade where it was dodgy to go at night! Icon Hepponstalls yard, later owned by Eastans builders who my dad worked for. I seem to remember a Mrs Thorpe who had lots of tortoises or have I dreamt that, does anyone remember?
Posted by John Lampkin at 21/10/2008 18:15
I also worked for Thomas Robinsons in Rochdale in the late 70s early 80s I know Nigel is still kicking. E mail me and I can give you his email addy
Posted by Barrie P Spink at 16/11/2009 23:29
Hi Denise,
From around 1952 I used to work after school at F.A.Bamforth's Radio and Cycle shop in North Street Goole. I can not remember the street number that was the shop but I can remember the places that you mention. I went to Eastan's builders yard to buy a piece of wood to make a model boat with.
Next door to the shop where I worked was a Sweetie shop run by and old fella and his wife and we all used to buy sweeties and lemonade in there. There street was relatively quiet and many kids played out in the street every evening.
Kind regards

Barrie P Spink
Posted by Denise at 24/02/2010 20:44
Hi, Barrie, the sweet shop you mentioned was Bottley's, they also used to run trips to the seaside and we all loved going with them as children. You also mentioned Eastons builders, my dad worked for them, I remember, when they altered the old billiard hall at the top of North Street, I loved going there to watch them and take his 'snap' as he called it (packed lunch). Did you go to Kelly's chip shop? Best fish and chips in Goole!
Posted by Barrie P Spink at 01/08/2010 23:26
Hi Denise,
Sorry that I have not replied to you sooner, I forget what I have put on the web site.
Around 1951 I went to Eastons builders yard for a off cut of wood to make a small sailing yacht, however the pond at West Park was a fair distance away for me from Woodland Ave and I did not get to sail it very often. I did eventually lose interest and became interested in Radio and Electronics, hence working in the Radio And Television shop after school.
I certainly must have gone to Kelly's fish and chip shop as I did visit such establishments on occasions.
I dont remember the trips to the seaside, however I may have missed them as I worked in the shop on a Saturday and usually went out with my parents on a Sunday.
There was a methodist church in the street and my music teacher, Mr Phillips was the church organist, I used to have the ocassional trip down to the church when he went down to rehearse his music for the Sunday service.
I remember the billiard hall but it was relatively primitive when I was there, I do believe that it did get modernised, perhaps around 1958.
It was sad to see how the place ran down so quickly, however they were talking about compulsory purchase orders for the properties around 1938 and it was only the onset of war that put a temporary stop on the process or delayed it for at least 30 years.
Underneath the shop an old fella ran a lodging house, he used to come up occasionally if the sink drain blocked up. I left Goole to work at the age of 16 in 1955.

Barrie P Spink
Posted by jo england at 20/04/2011 21:58
my great grandma maria jackson lived at 7 north st and my gramdma and grandad goodworth lived at 16 north st my mum was christine goodworth i think my grandma worked in the chip shop
Posted by Denise at 04/12/2011 21:04
Hello Jo England. I remember your mum Christine, she was so pretty, your grandparents lived on the other side of the street to us and was friendly with my mum, we lived at 21. I can't remember if mum made dresses for her, she made clothes for lots of people in the area especially for ladies who went ballroom dancing at the Crescent Club and our front room was always a no go area when ladies were being measured or having fittings. Mum also had another talent, she could wallpaper, and I often had to trail round with her to peoples houses. I wasn't very old at the time but would think it was 1954 or there abouts.
Posted by Norman Roberts at 26/04/2014 20:40
Posted by Keith at 27/04/2014 08:57
I wonder what the A&C would say if they could see what the town looks like today !!! Buildings knocked down , Clock tower moved, pedestrian precinct, trees gone, to name a few.
Posted by Corby Bunting at 27/04/2014 11:23
Hi Keith I consider myself lucky to have lived in Goole during the good years Especially the War years when everyone pulled together. a few years ago I sent this article to the goole times in the hope that it may be of interest It was not published
Waxing Lyrical
I was born in 1934 and reared in the terraced streets of Goole
My mother passed away when I was 8. My father was a dockerI left goole in 1957 when I married a local girl Audrey Pearce
We moved to Southampton where the prospects of work there suited my profession as a Boatbuilder
Over the years we have made many friends down here. But have never forgotten our home town and returned many times over the years Mainly for the cemetery run and also fleeting visits to friends and family oth now a little thin on the ground
I have recalled many of my memoriesto friends over recent years and just lately a lady asked me ."Why do you Wax Lyical over a dump like Goole?" I had no immediate answer o this question Until whilst seated in my garden one day this thought came to me. Last year I counted 32 varieties o birds flying into or over my property. Each year the frogs arrive to spawn within my pond.much of the spawn and tadpoles are eaten by my fish. The yunf fogs who then survive on exitinf from beneath the protection of the netting then fall victim to the Heron and Grass snake. The Stag Beetle and Elephant Hawk moth(the caterpillar with the trunk) have been constant visitors
The point to all this is. Life has not changed for all these creatures. they still choose to return. for it is where their roots lie

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