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Difficulties are overcome

Taken from 150 Years of the Port of Goole, British Transport Docks Board, 1976...

What temporary setbacks the port has experienced have occurred for reasons outside the Board's control. The years 1970, 1971 and 1972 were lean ones, and the port passed through a very difficult period.

Discharging steel and packaged timber Traditional traffics had for numerous reasons fallen away and in 1972 what had been for many years the major traffic of the port, the export of solid fuel, coal and coke, appeared to be in jeopardy. By 1973, however, the corner was turned. The solid fuel position became more stable and a number of new traffics emerged. General cargo handling increased as the conversion to container traffic was resisted by some operators when it was discovered that there remained a demand for conventional traffics. In addition, benefits have accrued from the bulk carriers which discharge in the deep water continental ports and tranship merchandise in smaller vessels to UK. ports such as Goole.

Entry into the Common Market has benefited the port, which is traditionally so largely dependent on short-sea traffics.

In the latter months of 1974, international trade was seriously affected by the oil crisis. The rapid escalation in the price of oil exposed the vulnerability of dependence on this commodity as an energy source, and highlighted the need for an alternative and more comprehensive fuel policy for the current emergency and the future. Coal was the obvious immediate solution and will continue to be until such time as North Sea oil is produced in sufficient quantities, or some other energy source is found. The revival in the use of solid fuel considerably boosted the port's tonnages, and it is anticipated that the export of coal and coke through the port will continue for many years to come.

Imported cars waiting despatch from Ouse Dock The port's bulk loading appliances are capable of handling substantial cargoes of coal and coke and various other commodities. Some of the appliances are operated on a two shift basis covering a period from 6am. to midnight, ensuring quick turn-rounds. On spring tides vessels of more than 2,500 tons can be handled, the port record to date for export cargo being made when the mv. 'Raknes' sailed from Goole for Mo-I-Rana in Norway on the 17th October, 1970 with 3,296 tonnes of coke on board.

Inward bulk cargo is also well provided for, and on the 24th October, 1972 the port's record for inward cargo was established when the mv. 'Beeding' arrived with 3,093 tonnes of coal on board for discharge in West Dock.

In the interests or the port's future trade and prosperity it is essential that a diversity of traffic should be encouraged to provide stability and a broader base for continuing security.

Over the past few years imports and exports of general merchandise, excluding coal and coke, have been building up until for the year ended 31st December, 1975 imports reached the highest tonnage for 49 years and exports, excluding solid fuel, were the highest ever. In all about 1,800,000 tonnes of imports and exports passed through the port of Goole during the year, over 1 million tonnes of which was general merchandise. Included in the latter were substantial tonnages of steel, timber, grain and vehicles.

Trade at Goole is carried out with all the continental countries and many liner services operate from the port. While it is true that the short-sea traffics predominate, merchandise from or to destinations as far afield as the Americas, Iceland, South Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East passes through Goole highlighting the versatility of the port in spite of its relatively small size.

With the continuing support of everyone concerned with the progress of maritime trade in Goole it seems reasonably safe to predict that this most inland port on the east coast of Britain - this hub of Humberside - having survived and prospered over 150 years of domestic and national upheavals, slumps, general strikes, wars, political vagaries and other crises, can look forward with confidence to its bi-centenary and its third century.

Shipping routes out of Goole

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