Goole on the Web
Please don't publish site comments in any football programmes

Commercial Advantages

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

Few visitors to Yorkshire expect to find a port capable of handling sea-going vessels so far inland as the head of the Humber Estuary, fifty miles from the North Sea. Yet for over one hundred years the small compact port of Goole, which stands some nine miles inland of the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Trent, has been an important gateway for the industrial areas of West Yorkshire and the North Midlands, and is in fact the most inland port of the East Coast. The port of Goole developed as these areas grew.

The dock system was built by the Aire and Calder Navigation Co. Ltd., subsequent to the cutting of the Knottingley-Goole Canal, and within twenty years of the opening of the first dock in 1826 the port had been expanded to include:

In 1846 an Act of Parliament was passed empowering the Railway Company, which was later to be known as the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company, to construct a station, jetty and coal staithes at Goole, and the resulting rail links between Goole and the industrial centres of Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Midlands did a great deal to open up the new port. Much of the mechanical equipment at the docks was introduced by the L&Y Railway Company and was an important factor in the growing ability of the port to deal efficiently with sea-going vessels.

In early days Goole was mainly engaged in the exporting of coal, lime, woollen and cotton goods, ironware and cutlery, and in the importing of grain, timber and raw wool. Today by far the largest tonnage of any of the commodities handled is that of coal and coke, but outward traffic also includes pitch, machinery, iron and steel manufactures, oil and spirit, textiles, chemicals, vehicles and potatoes shipped in bulk. Imports today comprise grain, flour, food and provisions, iron and steel including scrap, ores, timber, chemicals and chemical fertilisers, raw wool, dairy produce, bacon, cheese, farina, preserved meat, lager beer, pyrites, timber and special types of coke. Some measure of the development of trade at the port during the century of its operation may be obtained from the fact that in 1846, 163 vessels over fifty tons berthed with an aggregate tonnage of 14,640, were dealt with whilst in 1959, 2,476 vessels with a total net register tonnage of 1,091,061 used the port.

Today, Goole has nine docks, with a total water area of thirty-five acres, four lock entrances, three miles of quays and three graving docks. Under Nationalisation, ownership of the docks passed to the British Transport Commission and the port is now a self-controlled unit under the BTC. Docks Division.

The export of coal and coke is at present taking place at the rate of over one and a half million tons a year. Whilst the greater portion of this trade is coastwise a proportion of the total outward shipment of coal and coke from Goole is now destined for Continental ports, and the town thus takes an increasingly important place in the export of at least one of Britain's best sellers. As a shipping point for coal, Goole has the advantage of being comparatively near many large collieries, and traffic moves down to the export vessels by both rail and canal. Besides being equipped with the conventional type of rail wagon coal hoists, canal compartment boat hoists are also provided. Goole is the only port where canal-borne coal is dealt with on this system, which is described in detail elsewhere in this publication.

Discharging the cargo of the 'Kirkham Abbey' Trade at Goole is by no means confined to the export of coal and coke. A considerable development of industries has taken place along the canal network, and many firms have private wharves at which their raw materials are received and manufactured commodities are despatched. Flour, oil, paper, tar and other by-products of the gas industry are examples of the traffics which are dealt with on the canals and find their way to the docks for export. There is also a seasonal trade of considerable volume, in pitch to France, and large quantities of this traffic are dealt with through the coaling appliances.

Whilst imports at Goole comprise a large variety of small articles classed as 'general cargo', there is an important trade in imported grain and provisions.

The vessels on the Copenhagen service are refrigerated, and bring from Denmark large quantities of bacon, butter, eggs, cheese and other foodstuffs. From the near Continental ports a vast tonnage of a wide variety of manufactured goods and raw materials are imported as well as fresh fruit and vegetables for the home market.

There is a heavy intake of the raw materials for the steel industry, including scrap metal and new steel from Europe. For the handling of all this general traffic, the sheds and quays are equipped with modern electric and hydraulic cranes, and heavy lifts up to fifty tons each can be dealt with. The loading and unloading of bulk traffic such as sand and ore is performed with modern type grabs which can be fitted to the quayside cranes.

A view of West Dock Modernisation of the Victoria and Ouse Locks has been completed and a new jetty has been built at Blacktoft opposite the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Trent, where vessels may moor awaiting high water. Additionally, the Victoria Pier at the entrance to the locks has been rebuilt to modern standards. Modern quayside cranes of up to seven and a half tons capacity have been installed together with a 50-ton electric travelling crane for heavy lifts and coal shipments. All quayside areas have been surfaced in concrete, to rail level where necessary, so as to facilitate the use of modern mechanical handling equipment including fork lift trucks and mobile cranes. Container traffic forms a considerable part of the Continental trade and is specially provided for. In addition, many of the transit sheds have been rebuilt or improved and some are equipped with inside overhead gantry cranes of up to 5-ton capacity. Electric lighting has been provided on the quayside in good measure to enable work to proceed during dark hours, whilst other general improvements are in the planning stage all of which are designed to improve existing facilities and encourage trade generally.

Shipbuilding and repairing forms no mean part of the port's activities and here again improvements have been made in the dry docking facilities so as to accommodate the larger up to date type of short sea trader using the port.

In addition to the interests of the British Transport Commission in the port, the development of business has resulted in the establishment of a community of freight and shipping agents who provide those specialised services ancillary to a general shipping trade. Details of these activities are dealt with in a later chapter.

A friendly and co-operative atmosphere exists at all times between those concerned in any way in the activities of the port. Labour problems have always been few and nothing which can be foreseen is likely to impair this fact and the important part which Goole will continue to play in the economy of the nation.

Visitor Comments

Add your own comment