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The Town of Goole

Taken from Goole - the Official Handbook, Goole Corporation, c. 1963...

The history of Goole as a town commences in 1826 when the docks of the Aire and Calder Navigation were opened and Goole received its charter as a Port. A century of progress is commemorated by the Clock Tower erected in the Town Centre after the celebration of the Centenary in 1926. For many years after 1826, however, the town might almost have been described as part of the Navigation's undertaking, as they built it on their own land and provided roads, sewers and a gas supply. It was not until 1875 that the town was constituted a Local Government District out of the civil parishes of Goole, Airmyn and Hook, and a Local Board elected. This may be regarded as the first step towards modern local government, and was followed by others in 1894, when the Local Board became the Urban District Council, and 1933 when Goole was granted a charter of incorporation as a municipal borough.

Boothferry Road From 1875 onwards, there was a gradual improvement in conditions and expansion of public control. By arrangement with the Aire and Calder Navigation, the Local Board accepted responsibility for the sewerage system (a Sewage Pumping Station being erected in 1913), roads were made up and paved and street lighting extended beyond the Dock Estate.

One of the last acts of the Local Board was to purchase the joint gas and water undertaking, following which it became necessary for the Council, in order to furnish a plentiful and pure water supply, to sink bore-holes and install pumping machinery at Pollington, eleven miles to the west of Goole, which works were completed in 1902. There was continuous extension and modernisation of the water undertaking after that date, including the erection of a large water tower with a capacity of 750,000 gallons at Goole, a further bore-hole at Pollington, and the installation of up to date electrical pumping machinery. The Gas Undertaking was developed by the local authority until 1948, when it passed into the control of the North Eastern Gas Board.

An example of post-war housing at Goole Between the two world wars, the Council provided a total of 887 houses (of which fifty-five were sold) on estates at Westfield, Mount Pleasant, Potter Grange, Marshfield and Old Goole, and since 1946 they have provided or have under construction some 1,150 houses, fiats and bungalows, the main post-war development being in Old Goole and the new Western Road Housing Estate.

The estates are attractively laid out with gardens and tree lined roads and grass verges. Bungalows for aged persons have been provided at Western Road and Clifton Gardens. One housing project has been the erection of 120 new tradition four-storey flats in the redevelopment of an area near the centre of the town which has been re-named Eastgate, and at Western Road, an area of lowlying land has, after reclamation by tipping, been sold to the Goole Grammar School Old Boys RUFC. for a rugby field.

Four storey flats at Eastgate The Urban District Council was one of the prime movers for a bridge over the River Ouse near Goole, a project which was completed in 1929 with the opening of Boothferry Bridge, as a result of which the road distance from Goole to towns in the East Riding was reduced by twenty-eight miles.

Goole, which besides being a port is also the market town for a wide agricultural area, has had a market since the first ship bound for the continent cleared the port in 1826. An imposing market in which the Local Board had their offices was erected in 1876 and destroyed by fire in 1891. The present Market dates from 1896, and accommodates seventy-four stalls inside and thirty outside, which are thronged on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the market days. The Corporation also own a Cattle Market and Slaughterhouse off Bridge Street, the Cattle Market, where regular auction sales are held on Mondays at 1.0 a.m., having been recently improved and extended.

Market day at Goole The Public Library in Carlisle Street (which serves Hook and Airmyn as well as the Borough) was opened in 1905, the site being provided by Ralph Creyke of Rawcliffe Hall, and the expense of erection defrayed by the Carnegie United Kingdom Trustees. All Departments are open on weekdays from 9.30am, closing at 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 8pm.on Wednesdays and Fridays, and at 5pm on Saturdays. A branch library at Old Goole is open on Tuesday evenings from 6.30 - 8pm. A bookstock of 22,000, including a Junior Section catering for children from 7 - 14 and average daily issues of over 600 show the progress and popularity of the library service.

Growing civic consciousness was shown in the erection in 1906 of Public Baths which were replaced in 1936 by a modern building in Pasture Road comprising a swimming pool (100ft by 30ft with a depth from 3ft to 7ft), dressing rooms, slipper and remedial baths and laundry. The baths are open in summer from 8am to 8pm, and in winter the slipper and remedial baths from 1pm to 7pm. During the winter months the main bath hall is converted into a public hall with a floor space of 114ft x 46ft, complete with a stage, refreshment room and a balcony. The hall is extensively used for dances and social functions and has a capacity of 650.

The municipal baths Riverside Gardens, now provided with bowling greens, tennis courts, pavilion and bandstand, were laid out on a three-acre site between Hook Road and the River Ouse in 1914 / 15, and will ultimately, it is hoped, link up with Lock Hill Coronation Gardens on the adjoining stretch of the river bank which the Corporation, with the aid of public subscriptions, commenced to lay out as gardens in commemoration of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Between the Grammar School and Bartholomew Avenue are the beautifully laid out Memorial Gardens with bowling greens and Cenotaph, which forms the town's Memorial to its sons of the 1914 - 18 and 1939 - 45 wars. The gardens were opened in 1922 following a public subscription and the gift of the site by the Aire and Calder Navigation.

West Park (where the late Duke of Kent as HRH. Prince George planted an oak tree when he visited Goole to present the Charter of Incorporation in 1933) came into being in 1923, and is Goole's largest park with an area of thirty-two acres, the facilities provided including bowling greens tennis courts cricket, football and hockey pitches model yachting pool and children's play-ground, bandstand, shelters and pavilion. Old Goole was provided with a Park in 1923 when South Park, off Swinefleet Road, was opened, with most of the above facilities.

Victoria Pleasure Grounds The Victoria Pleasure Grounds, a fine sports arena, were acquired in 1933 and are used for the home matches of both the Midland and Yorkshire League sides of Goole Town AFC.

Excellent health services were developed by the Council and these continue to serve the Borough although some are now under different management. From 1910 onwards, the Council, in conjunction with the Goole Rural District Council, maintained an Isolation Hospital, and in 1926 they opened a Maternity Home. These, along with the Bartholomew Voluntary Hospital which dates from 1912, and St. John's County Hospital, are now administered by the Goole, Howden and Selby Hospital Management Committee. A Child Welfare Centre was opened in 1915 in Victoria Street, and later the Council built a commodious and well equipped Maternity and Child Welfare Centre which, opened in 1938, was taken over in 1948 by the West Riding County Council, who also provide the School Health Service, Tuberculosis Dispensary, VD. Clinic, Domiciliary Midwifery Services and Ambulance Service, the latter being operated from an Ambulance Depot in Dunhill Road.

Goole Grammar School A Goole School Board was responsible for educational facilities until the schools were taken over by the West Riding County Council under the Education Act, 1902. The admirably designed Grammar School, with beautiful grounds and well equipped playing fields, faces the similar but more recent Goole County Secondary School across Boothferry Road, and the two present an extremely distinctive and attractive feature at the entrance to the town. Opened in 1909 and extended in 1929, the Grammar School houses some 770 scholars, whilst the Secondary School erected by the West Riding County Council in 1936 has up to date accommodation and facilities for 510 boys and 500 girls. A new junior school at Kingsway was opened in 1952, the other schools in the Borough being at Alexandra Street, Boothferry Road, Old Goole, Pasture Road and St. Thomas's RC. Further education in Goole through the Vermuyden Institute is centred in the premises of the Secondary School.

Goole County Secondary School The Borough is surrounded by the Goole Rural District, comprising fifteen parishes with a population of 8,665 and an area of 26,776 acres, mainly devoted to agriculture, where the rich warp is particularly suited for growing potatoes and other root crops.

With the support of the Goole Rural District Council and in order to bring diversity to the area's industrial structure, the Corporation have established a light industrial estate at Rawcliffe Road, partly within and partly outside the town's western boundary. The opening in 1949 by HRH. the Princess Royal of a clothing factory on this site, which was largely extended in 1956, went a considerable way to solving the town's growing problem of female labour. The estate also accommodates an oxygen filling depot, transport warehouse, egg packing station (likewise extended in 1956), lager distribution depot, paint depot, concrete frame building manufactory and glass fibre factory, and the combined efforts of the Councils to attract further light industries will, it is hoped, shortly result in the establishment of a further new factory.

The estate adjoins the trunk road, affording swift and easy communication with Hull, the West Riding, Lancashire, the Midlands and the Great North Road. The Hull - Doncaster branch of the railway passes the southern boundary of the site.

Supplies of gas, water and electricity are available. There is a considerable amount of resident but migratory male labour in Goole which would be available to new industry on the industrial estate. The potential female labour reserve is sufficient to accommodate further female employing firms.

For enquiries and further information apply to the Town Clerk, Municipal Offices, Goole.

Public buildings, parks, houses and industries do not, however, make a town, the stature of which can only be as great as the character of its people. The spirit of a town, whilst intangible, is yet very real and finds its expression in its corporate and community life and its local organisations and associations. A list of these will be found under the heading of Useful General Information, so that the reader can form his own impression of the social and recreational life of the town.

Visitor Comments

Posted by W E CARTER at 27/06/2006 12:35
I am trying to locate the hospital! Where is the street map?
Posted by john rooney at 15/09/2006 21:13
my mum was born at the oval(1) goole 1929. father frank rooney(mayo ireland). mother flo rooney(ashton-under-lyne-m/cr) trying to find local churches in the area to this address. my granddad worked in the coalmines. any info would be grateful. john rooney
Posted by peter exley at 24/03/2011 13:00
lived for 10 years,now living in rio de janeiro-brazil.
visiting goole in may,2010, looking for b&b in town.
Posted by emmo at 30/03/2011 12:54
pete did you work at goole shipyard and have a brother called john
Posted by ROBERT JACKSON at 19/09/2012 13:32
Hi Peter are you ok
Posted by anita rockett at 20/04/2018 18:00
where was calder road, rawcliffe, goole date 1923?
Posted by Keith at 20/04/2018 19:31
Just perused the photo of Goole Baths (pasture Road ) This brought back some memories, I remember the slide which was removed around the mid 1950s and the diving stages. Unfortunately they were not high enough so when the life guards were not looking we used to dive from the balcony hand rail. But as you get older you realise what silly things you did when young. These baths were fantastic as they doubled as a ballroom in winter.
Posted by Corby Bunting at 21/04/2018 11:20
Hi Keith. I recall an incident involving the rail you speak of.workmen had to somehow attach drapes of some kind along the front of that hollow hand rail. At the time it was used as a Dance hall. A workman was drilling the front of the rail. when there was an explosion Which threw the guy backwards into space. I don't know how he suffered .but the investigation proved that there was a huge build up of Chlorine gas. Hence the explosion.No, I'm not dreaming this. It happened

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