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A Review of Industry

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

Coal, ships, shipowners and brokers, shipwrights and shipbuilders, paint manufacturers, the production of foodstuffs and fertilizers, plus a host of ancillary enterprises serving each major industry - that briefly sums up the industrial life of the borough and port of Goole.

Inevitably the docks and the water front have played an important part in the industrial life of the town and the surrounding area, and today it is still true to say that under the classification of transport and communications the Docks, with their associated shipping and warehousing and traffic by river, canal, railway and road, are the dominant industrial feature in the town. Since the shipyard was established in 1902 over 500 vessels of various types for the Admiralty, British and foreign owners have been built and launched at Goole. A comparatively new industry linking up with the port is that of dextrine manufacturing.

The handling of coal for foreign and coastwise shipment plays an important part in the trade of Goole. Large quantities arrive each day by canal and rail to be dealt with by the remarkable coal hoist facilities and cranage. Besides being a port, however, Goole is also the centre of a fertile agricultural area for which it is the market town. Naturally, agriculture is the chief industry, others being paper making, clog soles manufacturing, tar distilling, refining and distributing wool fats, and paint manufacturing.

From a village of 450 to a town of 19,000 in less than a century and a half is by any standard a flourishing growth, and as the town itself has grown away from the docks, the need has arisen for new industrial development to provide employment for those who are not absorbed in the primary industries stemming from either the port or agriculture. This unity between town and country prompted the Goole Corporation, with the support of the Goole Rural District Council, to set aside a site at Rawcliffe Road on the town's western boundary for new industries in an endeavour to widen the pattern of employment for school leavers, and also for those people who at present travel outside the town for employment. A clothing factory, which was opened on the Rawcliffe Road site in 1949, immediately absorbed some 500 women and girls, and has prospered so as to necessitate a considerable extension which was completed in 1956.

Other concerns accommodated on the Estate are an Oxygen Filling depot, Transport Warehouse, Egg-Packing Station, Lager Distribution Depot, Paint Distribution Depot, a concrete frame building manufactory and a factory for glass fibre manufacture.

The history of most industrial enterprises makes stimulating reading, and whilst it is not possible in the space available to describe all the industries to be found in Goole, the following particulars of a cross section of local trades will, no doubt, be found interesting.

Regular liner services are operated by the Associated Humber Lines Ltd. (Goole Steam Shipping) to and from Amsterdam, Antwerp, Copenhagen, Ghent, Rotterdam, Bremen, Hamburg and Dunkirk. Although these are primarily freight service, limited passenger accommodation is provided. The Bennett Steamship Co. Ltd. operate regular liners to and from Boulogne, Messrs. J. Ward & Co. Ltd. to and from Harlingen, and Lep Transport Ltd. to and from Delfzyl.

Goods are cleared quickly through Customs by the Associated Humber Lines Ltd., Goole Steam Shipping's own staff, and through quotations and bills of lading issued, as requested, to places in the interior of Europe. By its regular liner service at Goole it gives every facility and accommodation to importers and exporters. Representatives are stationed in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, and at principal railway stations and also at the Continental ports named above.

B James Barraclough & Co. Ltd. have been owners of river and canal craft since 1890. Starting with sailing sloops and keels, most of their vessels, which have cargo capacities of 100 - 200 tons, are now powered with motor engines and the Company owns an up-to-date fleet of first class steel vessels.

In addition to receiving cargo from import steamers coming into the Port of' Goole and carrying exports to out-going steamers, their vessels trade regularly through Goole on the way to Knottingley, Leeds and Wakefield on the canal with general cargo from Hull, Grimsby and Immingham, etc. On the return voyage the craft usually load coal from West Riding pits for delivery to Hull and other points on the Humber.

While nowadays nearly all river and canal vessels are motorised it is interesting to note that James Barraclough & Co. Ltd. owned the last sailing sloop in the Humber area this was The Sprite and she was unrigged as recently as 1950.

A steamship service to the north of France has been operated by the Bennett Steamship Company Ltd since 1880 without interruption, except for the war periods.

At the present time the Company runs regular weekly services between Goole and Boulogne and vice-versa, calling at Hull on the return journey if sufficient inducement offers. They also operate services to Calais and Dieppe as and when required, and also a weekly service Goole / Brussels.

The Goole to Boulogne service is the fastest and cheapest route from the north and midlands of England to France, Italy and Switzerland. Fast modern vessels are on the service and these can be augmented as and when required.

The company, in addition to being shipowners, act as merchants, shipbrokers, and customs and forwarding agents.

The distribution centre for Carlsberg lager beers In 1847 Denmark's first lager-beer brewery was started by Capt. J. C. Jacobsen, who called it 'Carlsberg' after his son Carl. In 1870 the 'Mellembryggerlet' (the Middle Brewery) was built, and Carl Jacobsen, now a fully-fledged brewer, operated on lease until in 1881 he built one of his own, the 'Ny' (New) Carlsberg Brewery. Gamle (Old) Carlsberg and Ny Carlsberg were merged together in 1906 under the name of The Carlsberg Breweries.

Carlsberg Lager Beers have been imported into the British Isles for over half' a century and since 1957 have been shipped into the Port of Goole by Carlsberg Sales Limited, who are responsible for the distribution of' their products through the North of England and the Midlands. The central position of the Port, as well as the fact that it lies fifty miles inland, made it an ideal location to build the main distribution depot. The five-acre site allows for expansion and the type of structure of the building is such that this can easily be achieved.

Craggs & Jenkin Ltd. of 10 Adam Street, have an established reputation as shipbrokers, shipping and forwarding agents, dealing in all kinds of traffic. They are also managers of the Hull Gates Shipping Co. Ltd, and operate a fleet of nine modern motor vessels with capacities ranging from 250 to 850 tons deadweight cargo. These vessels are engaged in the coasting and near Continent tramp trades, and are regular callers at Goole, which might be termed their home port. In addition to the management of this fleet, which is carried out by the company's head office at Hull, Craggs & Jenkin Ltd., through W. M. Brown Atkinson, are sub-agents for Lloyd's at Goole. They also have branches at Goole, Grimsby and lmmingham.

The Croda works at Goole One of the most famous names connected with the Port of Goole is that of Croda Limited, familiar the world over, throughout all armed services, in the chemical industry, and generally in the engineering industry, as producers of emulsifiers, lanolin, lanolin alcohols, plasticisers, and anti-rust and protective preparations. It is also well-known for its vast range of paints, finishes and oils for all purposes, and for hydraulic and de-icing fluids.

The firm was established for the extraction of wool-grease from seed-cake produced by the Bradford wool-scouring mills, and soon after lanolin was produced from this source, Croda Ltd. was supplying it to no less than fifty-one countries throughout the world.

The company was founded in 1925 by Mr GW. Crowe, a retired shipowner, and his nephew, Mr AP. Wood. Mr Wood was managing director until his early death in 1949. Croda Ltd. is now one of a group of companies which are subsidiaries of the Croda Organisation Ltd.

Richard Earnshaw & Son, of Bridge Street, was established in 1893 by Richard Earnshaw, a master mariner and schooner owner. The present owner is Richard Earnshaw, the grandson of the founder.

The firm trades mostly in marine hardware and paint, including retail lines. Coastal shipping and inland waterway craft are supplied along with local industrial firms. Everything from kettles to oil is kept in stock and the firm are agents for Mobil Oil Co. Ltd., Benj. R. Vickers & Sons Ltd., International Paints, Goodlass Wall Paints, and many other popular brands.

Bagging granular compound fertilizer at Fisons Fisons Fertilizers Ltd, of Felixstowe, have their fourth largest factory on the River Don at Goole. The factory receives its raw material via its own wharf and Goole Docks from such places as the United States of America, Germany, France, Israel and North Africa. They are manufactured by the most modern chemical processes into concentrated compound fertilizers in granular form. These can be despatched at rates of over 1,000 tons per day, when required, and are sent by road and rail to all parts of Yorkshire, Durham, Cumberland and Lincolnshire. Sulphuric acid is manufactured in quantity from sulphur, and superphosphate and its by-product fluosilicic acid are an important part of the production of the factory.

The Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd. became established in Goole in 1902. Since then they have built over 500 ships including forty trawlers for one firm and the number of employees has risen to over 600.

In its early days the shipyard was situated on the Barge Dock side and the ships were launched into the Dutch River. The present yard was obtained in 1914 and covers over ten acres, with seven building berths for the construction of vessels up to 350 feet long. The yard is equipped with the most modern machinery and the berths are laid out with electric travelling cranes for lifting up to ten tons. All the berths are fitted with electric welding equipment, and a considerable amount of pre-fabricated work is carried out. The vast fitting shops, forges and carpenters' and joiners' shops are also capable of dealing with repairs of every description down to panelling and furniture. Associated with the Company are Brown's Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company of Hull and Clelands of Wallsend on Tyne.

Hargreaves Coal & Shipping Ltd. is part of the well-known Hargreaves Group and has been established at Goole for over sixty years. During this time their interests have grown from fuel export to the near Continent and Scandinavia to every conceivable aspect of shipping from shipowning to forwarding. In the widening of their activities the firm took over Wm. France, Fenwick (London / Goole) Ltd., who have operated a general cargo line between London and Goole ever since Goole became a port. Coastal steamers are loaded at Middleton's Wharf, London, emptied at Goole and their cargoes sent by rail, road or canal to destinations in Yorkshire and Lancashire.

The company has its own warehouses and mobile cranes and is particularly well placed in arranging canal craft and road transport owned by its associate companies. The firm acts as agent for the Brook Line Steamers which trade regularly to Goole.

The firm is up to date in all respects and is proud that it can handle any aspect of shipping with confidence.

John Harker Ltd are owners of coasting vessels and of a large fleet of tank barges on the rivers Humber, Ouse, Trent and inland waterways connected, carrying all kinds of liquid products. They also own a number of modern bunkering tank craft engaged in the bunkering of ships at all Humber ports.

Their shipyard at Knottingley, which is some seventeen miles inland from the Port of Goole, is engaged in the building of barges for their own fleet, the maintenance of their own barges, which are employed in the Humber district, and also undertaking building and repairs for other owners.

The firm's activities in inland-waterway carrying also extend to the River Mersey, Manchester Ship Canal, the River Severn Estuary and inland as far as Stourport-on-Severn, and also to the Tyne and Tees. Barges for these districts are built at the Knottingley Yard and transferred by sea. The Company is also served by two associated ship and barge repairing companies in the Severn area, namely Gloucester Shipyard Limited and Sharpness Shipyard Limited.

On the routes served by the firm's barges in the North East, the Port of Goole forms a focal point for vessels working from Hull up to Leeds on the Aire and Calder Navigation and to Doncaster via the New Junction Canal.

Closely connected with John Harker's shipyard at Knottingley are the workshops of Stainsby & Lyon Ltd, marine and general engineers. While repairs and maintenance work for the shipyard account for a considerable proportion of the workshops' output, more than half its capacity is taken up with general and precision engineering for outside customers. The wide range of machinery installed enables all types of work, from repetition machining to prototype construction, to be undertaken.

John H. Heron Ltd. are makers of Froment, the renowned vitamin B health food prepared from the germ of the wheat grain. Heron's Hook Road Mills occupy the site where George Heron started business in 1870 with a windmill, and they are an interesting example of the growth of a one-man business.

GD. Holmes Ltd. are motor barge, tug and keel owners and offer many port services. The firm is engaged in the carriage of mainly mineral bulk cargoes from the Humber ports to chemical works on the Humber, the canals in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and to fertilizer works at Goole, Flixborough and York. The traffic is composed mainly of sulphur pyrites, phosphate, potash and fertilizers sampling, superintending and weighing being undertaken when necessary. With a fleet of thirty vessels (motor barges, motor tugs and steam keel fitted with Priestman grabs) a towage service is maintained in the rivers Humber and Ouse, and sand is dredged from the river. A number of salvage pumps are also available and salvage and dredging work is carried out by experienced staff.

A subsidiary company, Goole Docks Fresh Water Boat Co. Ltd, have two water boats in Goole Docks and undertake the supply of fresh water to steamers using the port.

Hudson, Ward & Co. Ltd. are flour millers and manufacturers of animal foods of all kinds. The major part of the wheat used for flour milling is brought up the river in the firm's fleet of barges direct from trans-Atlantic ships in Hull and discharged in bulk into the large 4,000-tonsilo on Goole Docks.

As Goole is placed in the midst of a vast grain-growing area, Hudson, Ward & Co. Ltd. are ideally placed for the economic intake of home grown cereals. Flour, sharps, bran, flaked maize and a complete range of compounded foods for pigs, cattle and poultry are distributed over a very wide radius - up to 100 miles from Goole.

Since the start of business at Goole in 1885 many changes have been made to keep both the flour milling and feeding processes completely up-to-date.

In 1919 the late Mr TE. Kettlewell commenced business as a shipping agent. From this has sprung the firm of Thos. E. Kettlewell & Son Ltd, who have connections all over the world. The head office is at Goole, but branch offices have been opened at Hull, Grimsby and lmmingham, whilst in 1960 a further extension was made when an office was opened at Whitby.

Specialised departments deal with chartering, agency work, forwarding, and in fact every service that shipping calls for. The firm also has a number of liner agencies at the other Humber ports.

At Goole they have always specialised in the handling of bulk cargoes, particularly iron and steel in all its forms, whilst they also deal with large quantities of pitch, bricks, and chemicals, including fertilizers.

In such centres of ships and shipping, a complete ships stores service is an obvious essential and this is provided in the Port of Goole, in fact in all the Humber ports, by S. Lambert & Co. Ltd. and its associated companies, Lambert's Marine Supplies Ltd., Hackforths Ltd., and Calvert & Co. (Goole) Ltd.

These companies are well-known to a very large number of ship owners, masters and superintendents, both British and foreign. S. Lambert & Co. Ltd. is very old established, the business being commenced by the late Samuel Lambert at 19 Whitefriargate, Hull, in June 1838. In 1948 the shipping department was moved to the present premises at 51 / 52 Market Place, Hull, which have been modernised and altered to meet present-day requirements. Very large stocks are held and quick deliveries can be made of all ships provisions, bonded and duty-free stores, also deck, engine, cabin and galley stores, and all ship chandlery goods. The Company operates its own bond, holding large stocks of duty-free goods including tobacco, cigarettes, wines and spirits, etc., available for stores, duty-free, direct to the ships.

With the increased expansion of the shipping activities in the Port of Goole, it is very essential that the requirements of all the various types of vessels should be met quickly, owing to the very quick turn round in this port. Hackforths Ltd. and Calvert & Co. (Goole) Ltd. can now provide a first class service, supplying at short notice all ships stores and provisions including bonded stores, deck, engine, cabin and galley stores. In addition a large retail grocery and provisions business, including wines and spirits, is carried on at the same premises, with a cafe above.

The Chairman of the group is W. J. Austen Hudson, formerly M.P. for Hull North, and the Director and General Manager is Mr James Tune, who took over this appointment on the death of the Managing Director, Mr H. Ansley Lambert.

Lep Transport Ltd. is one of the famous names connected with modern transport. It has made good use of the possibilities offered by Goole on account of its excellent geographical position and as a world wide organisation with expert staff and facilities; it has the complete answer to all transport problems facing the exporter and importer.

A measure of this success is shown by the growth of the company in the last thirty years. Today, with ten premises in the town and docks, it is one of the largest employers in Goole and has a prominent share of the shipping trade between Goole and the Continental ports. Lep Transport Ltd. also owns a large fleet of up-to-date motor vehicles which collect and deliver merchandise daily in important towns, the lorries being maintained and serviced in its own repair shops.

Apart from general forwarding and shipping, Lep Transport Ltd. functions as stevedores, cargo supervisors and charterers for bulk cargoes. A separate department is devoted to packing and preservation to withstand tropical conditions.

With road transport, lighterage, packing, shipping and chartering, insurance and travel sections, each offering a specialized service or combining together according to the requirements of the client, Lep Transport Ltd. has made Goole known in many countries.

Saphir Shipping Ltd have been established in London, Liverpool and Manchester for some years now, and two years ago decided to develop their interests in the Humber area, by establishing branches at Goole, Hull and Bradford.

The company are specialists in all branches of shipping, forwarding, international transport, warehousing, and distribution. Special emphasis is placed on the quick movement and clearance of traffic.

The branches at Goole, Hull and Bradford are under the management of Mr J. Gardner, and the company recognised the exceptional possibilities at Goole for the development of traffic to and from the Continent.

Associated with Saphir Shipping Limited is The Viking Stevedoring Company Limited, which is designed to offer those facilities of chartering, stevedoring, supervision, etc., essential for the larger traffics. Special facilities are available for carriage by water, including overside reception or delivery.

T. Ward & Co. Ltd. have been established since 1880. For over fifty years they have been agents for the Shipping & Coal Co., Rotterdam, who maintain a general cargo liner service between Goole and Harlingen (north west Holland). They have two sailings per week using modern refrigerator equipped motor vessels which do the crossing in under twenty-four hours.

The company are also stevedores and carry out the discharge of their vessels. They have large exclusive shedding facilities on the docks and are fully equipped with a fleet of fork-lift trucks for speedy handling of all types of merchandise, including dairy produce and goods of a perishable nature. They are expert in handling and forwarding bacon, butter, cheese, milk and all kinds of meat fresh, frozen and tinned. Over the years large quantities of strawboards (cardboard) have been carried by their organization and they are now most expert in sorting the consignments to size and thickness as required by the merchant before delivering to the final customer. Farina (potato flour) and its derivatives - dextrine and starches - are also commodities handled by the company in considerable quantities.

Through rates are quoted from mill or factory in Holland or North West Germany to delivered domicile England by road, rail or canal, also similarly in the reverse direction. T. Ward & Co. Ltd. possess an efficient forwarding organization able to deal expeditiously with customs clearance and despatch of goods to any part of the United Kingdom.

The agricultural engineering firm of J. Wardle & Son Ltd. is situated about half a mile from Boothferry Bridge on the Howden side of the River Ouse, and they have been main Fordson dealers since 1925, recently adding the main dealership for Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies agricultural equipment, covering the same dealership area. They have also been successful in obtaining the distributorship for County Commercial throughout the whole of Yorkshire, and have made showroom extensions to cope with this extra business.

Amongst their many activities in the agricultural field is the installation of grain drier equipment, and they employ expert workmen and technicians capable of dealing with these complete installations.

The waterway facilities of the Humber ports linking them to the heart of Yorkshire, make them an ideal outlet for many vigorous enterprises. One well known user for example is Yorkshire Tar Distillers Ltd, who export pitch, creosote and road tar, produced by its plants, in particular those at Knottingley and Leeds, which have been extensively modernised. Yorkshire Tar Distillers Ltd. also own and operate an ocean tank storage installation at Killingholme to which liquids can be sent by barge and stored for ultimate export in tank steamers.

Crude tar, collected by barge, road and rail tankers from gas works and coke oven plants in the West Riding, is distilled and the distillates subsequently refined give a wide range of tar distillation products. In addition, crude benzole recovered from the gas at coke oven plants and gas works is refined to yield motor benzole and other products which, together with those from tar distillation, are used in the manufacture of many articles in everyday use.

Visitor Comments

Posted by Thomas Hudson at 15/03/2013 21:09
I am the son of Raymond Hudson who, with his cousin Robert Hudson were joint managing directors of Hudson Ward & Co Ltd. it is lovely to read about Goole, its local businesses and family names in this article, many of which are familiar to me. I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who had any connection with Hudson Ward & Co ltd.
Posted by Anon Old Codger 70 plus at 10/08/2014 12:00
I worked for L.E.P. Transport in the 1960, I was a lorry driver working out of fifth avenue, the amount of work that was done in Fifth avenue was unbelievable,the depo opened midnight Sunday work carried on for Twenty Four hours a day until Saturday lunch,then all the Lorrys was put away until Midnight Sunday it all started again unloading and loading for the days diliverys.
Lorrys wher in and out of Fifth Av day and night after our days work we would return back to depo to be greeted by bump and scratches to see if you had done any damage to the vehicle Charley Gell took over and fuelled the vehicle wee just handed our notes to the Forman who was Slippy Marshall he was nice chap.
Also in the Avenue was the transport House it was the place for Lorry drivers to overnight after delivering ther loads to the docks believe you me Fifth Av was hive of activerty in the 60s the only peace the people in the Avenue got was Saturday lunch to Sunday Midnight I hope someone fines some interest in what I have wrote for future reference.
Anon Old Godger 70 plus.

Posted by Keith at 21/10/2016 19:30
Hi codger,
Think Charlie Ransom and his wife ran the Transport house B and B for the drivers. Later Charlie and his Wife ran the Globe Cafe on Aire Sreet in about the late 50s/ 60s.
Posted by Bill Stewart at 21/10/2016 20:03
Ah yes. The Globe cafe in the early sixties. The clientele could at times be a bit like in the Sydney, with foreign sailors and 'dock fairies' - feeling a bit exotic and dangerous for us naive teenagers. Also each year a special promotion when you could buy bottles of coca-cola for only 2d.

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