Goole on the Web
Goole-on-the-Web - for all the news in Jefferson Street

The Canal

In the 1690's West Yorkshire had a booming textile industry but struggled to get the cloth to markets across the country. A plan was therefore hatched to make the Rivers Aire and Calder navigable to link Leeds and Wakefield to the River Ouse at Airmyn. This work was completed in 1704. This navigation was one of the first in the country and similar ideas were copied across the rest of the country, helping the booming Industrial Revolution.

In the 1760's a rival scheme proposed a canal linking the new Leeds & Liverpool Canal with Selby. To avoid this competition and to accommodate larger loads, the navigation owners proposed building their own canal parallel to the Aire which linked to Selby rather than Airmyn.

By the early 1800s, coastal ships were increasing in size and had problems navigating the twisting Ouse up to Selby. To overcome this, the Knottingley & Goole Canal was opened in 1826. The brand new town of Goole was built at the eastern end where it joined the Ouse. This was the boom time for the canal and shareholder dividends were 150% each year.

In 1825, Thomas Bartholomew became an engineer for the navigation. He, along with his son William, modernised the navigation, by lengthening locks, introducing steam power and designing the compartment boat or 'Tom Pudding' system. This was highly profitable carrying millions of tons of Yorkshire coal to Goole for British and continental markets.

The Act of Parliament which allowed the A&C to be One of the many locks on the canal Opencast mine/lake

A 1699 Act of Parliament allowed the navigation to be constructed. The Aire was to be improved upwards from Weeland with the river below remaining in its natural state. Shallow water and sandbanks on this stretch became a problem and canals, first to Selby and then to Goole were built to bypass it. Unlike previous navigations, the backing was from merchants rather than landowners. This increasing importance of trade and industry was an early step in the start of the Industrial Revolution.

The canal was continually improved. Many locks had odd shapes after the repeated enlargements. In the distance is the Stanley Ferry aqueduct. The low headroom of the aqueduct was a limiting factor to boat size and was replaced in 1981 be a new concrete one.

Just upstream of Castleford, a large opencast coalmine was opened close to the navigation. However it was built too close, the banks gave way, and for four days the Aire ran upstream from Castleford into the hole was filled. The canal and river had to be moved westwards to avoid the lake.

The canal looking away from the docks The canal looking towards the docks Goole Boat House

A barge carrying flour at Whitley Bridge A barge carrying sand A barge carrying oil

The company was nationalised in 1948, becoming part of British Waterways in 1973. In the 1970's, locks were lengthened to the 700-ton standard and new cargo handling facilities were built at Knostrop near Leeds. The canal managed to stay competitive with the railways of the late 19th Century and still continues to carry a large amount of cargo today.

The canal is becoming increasingly important for its leisure use and better facilities, landscaping and water quality has attracted pleasure boating, towpath walking and fishing. Waterside museums, wildlife reserves pubs and restaurants are also adding to the tourist appeal.

Visitor Comments

Posted by Finn A. Thorsen at 18/01/2006 19:26
On the 23 December in 1922 my father and grandfather left Goole bound for Arendal, Norway, with sailing vessel, a bark, Glenshee. Will there be any information to find in archives from the visit in your town? They got 1,380 tons of coal on board. Arriving Arendal the ship sunk in a storm, but the crew survived.

Where in the docks did the sailing vessels get coal on board in 1922?
Posted by joy calvert at 04/03/2006 13:32
Any trace of barging company owned by James William Calvert? Thank you
Posted by George Robinson at 25/03/2006 21:48
Joy, I wonder if you are related to the shipping company Alfred Calvert which was quite a big Goole shipowner mainly in the 1920's, they bought and sold a lot of second-hand (one careful owner!) steamers, I have a fleet list.
Posted by GOOLE ACTION TREASURER at 26/04/2006 09:04
Re enquiry from Norway -
See the webpage Tom Puddings on this site for coaling information.
Also, try email to Waterways Museum, also listed on Goole on the Web.
Posted by d wills at 15/07/2006 13:18
Does anyone know any history of my grandfather mizpah holt? he had barges running from hull to goole + selby and various other routes, his son james holt- my uncle- also joined the family buisness.
Posted by joy Calvert at 23/07/2006 20:06
Dear George, No. It has to be James William Calvert born 1879. I beieve the firm was owner or agent for barge operations. Thank you.
Posted by Alex Forsyth at 26/08/2006 10:47
Hi, nice site.
Just wondering if Geroge Robinson of the wonderful Riversea has any photos of my old ships: m/v Cherie: German flag; m/v Susan Mitchell - UK flag, or anyone else might have any.
I sailed aboard German coasters and British coasters, from Selby B.O.C.M. then out to Europe and beyond. I was a decky, rising to a.b. All our ships were Domino hatch covers with tarps and everything that went with them.I crewed one ship, the m/v Tower Helen, with tin lids. A lot easier.
Now disabled, I miss the sea every day but it is still like yesterday.
Kind regards, Alex.
Posted by GEORGE ROBINSON at 12/09/2006 07:55
Alex, if you send me an e-mail to then I might be able to find photos for some of your old ships.
Posted by Roger Hicks at 17/09/2006 22:51
I'm one of Alfred Calvert's great-grandsons and have some details of the workings of the shipyard.
Posted by GEORGE ROBINSON at 05/10/2006 12:32
Re Alfred Calvert.

Roger, were Calverts involved with the Ouse SB Co at Hook (approx 1918-1923), I think they later used the jetty there for repairs but am not sure who actually owned the short-lived shipyard which was an emergency yard set up in WW1.
I intend to add an outputs list for Ouse SB to the Waterways Museum website as soon as I get some time to do it.
Posted by Terry at 02/12/2006 01:15
I am at present working on a book on the London Rochester Trading co ( Crescent Shipping) any info would / may be of help
Posted by Some Random Bloke at 06/12/2006 23:27
i was told that the canal has digging equipment at the bottom of it from the building of the waterways museum, and that next to the museum, there is 2 sunken barges. Anyone know any more of this, because apparently my friends great uncle worked on one of the barges.
Posted by Shuffleton Streets at 19/01/2007 22:28
Think Hook Shipyard site was bought by Fred Taylor, and owned by his descendents - later "let" to Ingleby.
Taylor family garage in Jackson Street might be your link for present owners of land now developed for Exec. housing.
Posted by Natalie - Centini Productions at 04/06/2007 12:55
Posted by Shuffleton Streets at 06/06/2007 12:14
Info. sought on The Cooperage, once sited where Goole Boat House is now.
There was a Works and at least one dwellinghouse, occupied in 1891.
Posted by Shuffleton Streets at 06/06/2007 12:17
Info also appreciated on other dwellinghouses and farm cottages too - along the railway and the canal, and the Dutch River Side - between Rawcliffe and Goole.
Many shown on early census data - some occupied by farm workers, others by railway employees, and presumably canal lock-keepers.

Anything that anyone knows about this particular stretch with names and dates if possible.
Posted by Shuffleton Streets at 16/06/2007 08:48
Transferred info from Pedro - re site formerly The Cooperage, later Smiths Boatyard, currently The Boat House - any more ideas about personnel, dates, or possible clues, please add to this trail:
"I remember Smiths yard moving but believe by this time Aire and Calder were involved in the Buisness.Eric Hepponstall living at Airmyn was running the show Eric served his time as a fitter at Goole Shipyard.I feel sure George S can furnish more info."
Posted by Robert Ward at 19/06/2007 17:40
In the 1930s a couple called Watson and Sophia Tasker lived in one of the canal cottages near the engine sheds on the Airmyn side. I've just emailed you directly about them.
Posted by Shuffleton Streets at 19/06/2007 20:42
Thanks owed to Robert for his very detailed background post-1901 to what was simply a name on my lists from the GT Almanacks.
Just goes to show that Goole on the Web is the best place to advertise!
Keep it coming. There's a whole world in that small area that is Oakhill, Engine Sheds, Sidings and Canal-side.
Made my day.
Posted by Goole Book at 20/06/2007 15:51
The Goole Times 1935 directory is now online. Scans of the pages listing all the householders are on facebook - You first have to register to use the site, then search for "Goole Book" and you should find it. You will have to add me to your friends to see it all. I wonder how many friends it will bring.
Posted by pedro at 22/06/2007 14:22
Re-facebook I registered 2days ago still awaiting confirmation email So registerd again tells me an email has been sent to me still waiting ??
Posted by pedro at 24/06/2007 20:07
facebook sorted today
Posted by Shuffleton Streets at 07/07/2007 09:16
Have you seen the destruction across the canal from Waterways Museum. Trees being vandalised by developer, it seems, in name of progress - Renaissance, Advance Goole, whatever it's called or wherever we are going, it seems that it does not include a "green" future, global warming come what may. And this part of the country flood-prone.
Posted by bob at 23/09/2007 08:30
are there any barges still using the canal for trading say between knottingley and goole?
Posted by corby bunting at 28/11/2007 19:37
RE. Shuffleton streets 16/6/07 Smiths boatyard, timberpond. I had the pleasure of serving my apprenticeship as Shipwright /Boatbuilder 1949-1956.Under Jack Smith,Walt Smith ,Alf Smith & Thomas Greenfield Smith. George, son of Jack being the engineer.Harold Lockwood, joiner.Norman(Slogger) Slieght Boatbuillder. Harry Fielder boatbuilder, boatbuilder.Apprentices were Bernard Nichols,Rowland Palmer, Alan???? and myself. Is George still around?
Posted by pedro at 21/12/2007 22:08
Corby yes George Smith is still alive and kicking saw him last week having his MOT at the doctors he can usually be found at the waterways museum.Now well into his 80s retired as chief engineer on the abbey boats now a widower alas he still resides on Rawcliffe Rd
Posted by Mike W. at 30/12/2007 12:47
I can help with info needed by the person who made this post:


Posted by Terry at 02/12/2006 01:15
I am at present working on a book on the London Rochester Trading co ( Crescent Shipping) any info would / may be of help


Can the webmaster put us in touch? Thanks.
Posted by corby bunting at 10/01/2008 09:23
Thankyou Pedro for putting me in touch with George.I do appreciate it
Posted by pedro at 12/04/2008 20:44
Great programme enjoying it immensley
Posted by Robert Ward at 13/04/2008 17:41
Series now being broadcast on Thursday nights on Yorkshire, but programme 1 has now been shown. It's still on the Granada web site though. Watch out for programme 10 which has an interview with Bob Watson.
Posted by Gail at 10/05/2008 14:33
Hi I'm researching the Lyalls?Ryalls (and other various spellings) family who lived on barges and worked the canals from Knottingly to Goole. Their barges were built in Thorne, they had "George and Mary", Four Brothers" "Three Sisters", and "George and Ann" which was one of the first iron barges to be built (I have a photo of this one at its launch). If anyone is researching the same family, or can give me some idea of how they lived on the barges, I'd be very grateful!
Posted by les Reid at 02/06/2008 23:09
I noticed the comments re. the new Locks & Quays series. As a commercial boat enthusiast I reckon Mathews furry friend might have done a better job. They must have done a lot of research to make sure they missed what commercial traffic there still is on the canal. Places like Harkers yard should have got a mention.
Posted by johnn howard at 10/09/2008 23:25
harry dickson and his family lived in cottage near museum on dutch river side were road ends he lived there in 70s he used to look after canal he was a fine gentleman too old harry we called him
Posted by Helen Warwick at 26/11/2008 12:58
I'm researching the Ashburn family into which my great-great aunt married. They came from Doncaster but between 1851 and 1901 worked between Hull, Mexborough and Newark via Goole and all points between such as Keadby and West Stockwith. As other family members were Coal merchants and lightermen I suspect they were mainly in the coal trade; the Ashburns also married into the Batty family of Doncaster who were mainly Boat haulers by trade. Two of their boats were the Zulu and the Sly Fox - does anyone have any pictures or more info besides the Censuses?

Incidentally, if you click on the Boat name on the Ancestry Screen header path, you can see the details of the boat type, ownership, weight, registration and type of trade as well as where the Census form was handed out and picked up
Posted by corby bunting at 02/01/2009 14:31
Can anyone help? My Great grandfather Thomas Taylor 1830. was a waterman. Hailing from Royston, Barnsley. In 1850 at Goole parish church he married Mary Jeff of Mexborough who also worked the waterways. In June 1871 he suffered a fatal accident when he had his leg crushed between his vessel and the quay wall in Goole docks.Where he bled to death. I have been unable to find any record of this accident in the Goole Times Archives. I would like any information about this mans life on the water(name of vessel,what he carried, who he worked for) or any pointers as to where I could glean information
Posted by tyler at 22/01/2009 09:44
goole is the best town ev@r
Posted by Tony at 09/04/2009 10:17
This is for "Pedro" or "Hamish" who have conversed here many times in the past. I am from Blisworth, Northants, and seek confirmation of the owner of a ship called "Blisworth" that was the first sea-job that Hamish had. Can he confirm that "Blisworth" was operated by the Grand Union Shipping Company? Else who? I'm just doing the history thing - unfortunately kettlewells destroyed their records. Please help if you can. Regards Tony
Posted by Top Lock at 09/05/2009 09:27
Did anyone who read the piece about Spider T in the telegraph think it was a load of dribble? Or am I the only one? "Super" sloop the only one left, were did he get that one from? So could someone who use's this site and has a good idea about barges tell me what make's a sloop "super"? I have never in all my years heard of such a thing. As for going abroad in the 20's or 30's, well, what can you say apart from rubbish!! Tomlinson sending cargo abroad, never. I've read other artical's on this barge and don't think the chap know's what he's talking about. However can somone put me right if I am wrong.
Posted by Pedro at 22/05/2009 21:51
For Tony
Blisworth Built as the Kathleen 1902 for Milligans of Belfast
builder Ailsa yard at Ayr 708 tons gross
sold to Grand Union and renamed Blisworth 1940
sold to Holderness steam shipping and renamed Holdernidd 1950
broken up at Gateshead 13th Jan 1956
Posted by pedro at 22/05/2009 21:58
may I suggest any ship info for Goole please visit ships page
I view canal page occasionally but your more likely to recieve a reply on the ships
Posted by pam at 29/06/2009 23:59
I am trying solve a mystery about my grandmother Ethel Dixon ( nee Todd) who was born in Thorne ( in 1883) but moved to Goole and lived with her step grandmother Sarah Roberts who ran the Free Gardeners Arms Hotel either in South Street or Dock Street. Ethel took over running this pub when Sarah died. She married John Thomas Dixon who seemed to disappear after 1916. Eventulally she went to live with a William Harrison in Newcastle.

Does anyone know what happened to John Thomas Dixon?

Ethel's father and generations of ancestors were all mariners. Her father named his last barge - built at Dunstans in 1913- 'Kathleen ' after the first born of my grandmother who died when she was only 3 years old.

Any clues welcome.
Posted by FamilyHistorianNeil at 31/07/2009 20:44
Would anyone be able to help I wonder? I am researching all the VANSON family of Goole (and Hook) who were boatmen, tugmen and general canal boat workers from early 1800s through to 1950s!

Any information - particularly about William Robert Vanson or his son Thomas Valentine Vanson would be amazingly helpful. Also trying to track down a barge they owned/ran called simply No.96 Goole - in the 1881 Census.

Grateful for any snippets. Love the site and can't believe I've just stumbled across it looking for something else altogether.

Posted by stella smith at 21/02/2010 00:47
Ryalls - I would like to get in touch with Gail re the Ryall (Lyall) family. My great grandmother was mary jane lyall (or Ryall). My grandfather Henry Ives was on the barges, and they lived in Blast Lane Sheffield for many years.
Posted by Rachel at 31/03/2010 11:26

I found this by chance. I know nothing about barges (although i'll be looking into that now) but am researching the Lyalls family in Sheffield. My lot were around the Park area of Sheffield.
Posted by Alan Gardiner at 02/10/2010 10:46
Does anyone have any info about a keel or sloop named "ANN" or her captain in 1861 Henry Richmond of Thorne who's family later moved to Barton? I think Ann was his first wives name. Anything would be appreciated.
Posted by technobrit at 19/10/2010 16:08
My grandparents moved to Goole in about 1910. At the 1911 Census, they were living in George Street. My last uncle was born in George street in 1918.

However, one uncle died in 1913 at "19, Barge Dock Side" and another was born at that same address, 2 months later.

My question is, what was at Number 19, Barge Dock Side?
Was it a hospital or similar institution?

All help much appreciated (-:
Posted by pedro at 25/11/2010 06:58
I dont think theres was any institution or such around barge dock.However numerous residential properties exsisted in the area possibley No19 was one
Posted by technobrit at 25/11/2010 21:49
Thanks for that, Pedro !

Effectively, I took a look at the 1911 Census, it looks a pretty built-up neighborhood...

Can you drop me a line with your E-mail on, via the Webmaster, I did some hunting around for your old shipmate you referred to before & wanted to send you some info...

Cheers for now,

Posted by pam ives at 14/01/2011 21:35
racheal i am also researching the lyall family as mary jane lial who married henry ives was my g.grandparents. can you help as i cannot find any information about mary jane.
Posted by pam ives at 14/01/2011 21:40
gail i am the great grandaughter of mary jane lial and henry ives would like to make contact with you
Posted by nick alcock at 13/03/2011 20:58
can any body help am looking for some boats my dad wos on threre wos the northcliff /waincliff/southcliff/staincliff if any body no were they are can you email. thanks
Posted by Jojo at 18/03/2011 13:05
I wonder if anyone can help. My great grandfather is listed as residing at Cobblers Bridge on his barge. His name was Daniel Proctor and it is the last I hear of him, then my grandfather, Richard Proctor was working on barge 711 in 1901 and nothing after. I would be so grateful for any news
Posted by chris.sherburn at 22/05/2011 18:26
Hi nick,

Did your Dad work for W. Bleasedale of Hull..?

If so you'll know most of the 'Cliffes'. Sadly only a handful are left now (as houseboat/pleasure craft rather than still commercially operating) to my knowledge.

The Southcliffe is privately owned but based at the Waterways Museum at Goole, still under full sail (hopefully as your father would remember it) and would gladly give you some more info. if ever you're passing.. (The Shirecliffe's down in London, and the Beecliffe's on the continent as far as I'm aware too)

hope this helps

Chris Sherburn (owner of Southcliffe)
Posted by Tricia258 at 02/06/2011 07:15
I'd like to update Robert Ward's comments on the Locks and Quays programme. They can be accessed via You Tube and the episodes to watch are Series one episodes 1,2 and 3. Essential viewing for anyone interested in Goole. I've recently found out that my greatgrandfather died at sea after working as marine fireman. If anyone goes to Goole library regularly and would like to help me then please get in touch! Thank you.
Posted by hamish mckenzie at 10/10/2011 19:56
Any chance there might be knowledge of the boatbuilders 'Smiths' of Goole. I have recently undertaken the renovation of a 32ft 8 ton cabin cruiser called the 'Opinio' (whether the original name I do not know) which was in very poor condition and sunk for 18 months. I do not know what year she was built or any subsequent history apart from turning up in Shoreham by Sea around 2008 where she was abandonned. Any information gratefully received. Hamish
Posted by Corby Bunting at 08/11/2011 20:07
Hi Hamish.I served my apprenticeship for Smith Bros 1949-1955 and have knowledge of many of the boats built in the latter years.I have had a word with the bosses son who cannot recognise the name Opinio. He suggests you take note of her Registration number which can be found on the main beam.Let us know this and it may help solve the mystery.I have a number of photographs. You are welcome to copies.One in particular the "Therne" which was owned by a doctor who took it to Dunkirk. Sadly he did not return. Good luck with your project
Corby Bunting. Southampton
Posted by jackie hall at 18/11/2011 09:12
my great grandfather owned canal boats in the late 1800s and im trying to trace them his name, john raymond carter, I beleive he was the lord mayor of thorne twice or three times, one of the boats was called the ethel but i dont know the others, do you hve any information please.
Posted by Corby Bunting at 23/11/2011 12:09
Hello Hamish. My fidings are that "Opinio" was built in 1963.which was long after my time in Goole The original owner was Charles Douglas Bramall of Bamford Derbyshire
Posted by dave arnold at 24/11/2011 20:02
hi, my father used to own opinio in the 70s, lovely 20ft deck and a parsons barracuda engine. we bought the boat from marine auctions in christchurch dorset and i have many different memories of her.i think she was based on a scotish fishing boat hull and was lloyds registered,rolled like a pig?.
Posted by Corby Bunting at 24/11/2011 22:46
So Hamish .there we have two owners already. But these boats were built to withstand North Sea I shouldn't think that there will be a problem where you live.
Posted by Pat Letten at 01/12/2011 00:11
Charles Henry Fletcher Born:June 1897/9 (?)

Researching family tree. Could anyone help to locate the above. Last heard of living as lock-keeper on Thorne canal at Two Bridges Road in late 70s early 80s. He and Ivy had large family. Are any of his relatives around?
Any help appreciated.
Posted by Larry Hopkins at 22/12/2011 12:28
Would Corby Bunting please contact me. I am aware of a 35 foot twin engined motor cruiser "April Wave" which is reported to me as the last wooden boat built by Smiths. My particular interest is in the engines fitted but I have been made aware that the boat may be for sale and is in need of a "sympathetic" new owner.
Posted by Corby Bunting at 23/12/2011 16:00
Thank you for the thought Larry. But my sympathies are now elsewhere at my time of life. For me to take on a engineless craft is now is out of the question. Although not yet out of my capabilities
Posted by Larry Hopkins at 23/12/2011 16:53
April Wave is complete with two functional engines but needs some TLC. If I take the engines only (Turner-List 2 stroke blown diesels) then the rest will be broken up. I would prefer to see the craft kept intact as it is the last wooden boat built by Smiths (about 1968?) and the engines are the original installation. Current owner just wants some financial return for the space that has been occupied. Any thoughts on who would be interested? (web master has my phone numbers)
Posted by Corby Bunting at 24/12/2011 09:07
Interesting choice of engine.I am now intrigued enough to know more/Where is she laying . I should imagine people in Goole are also pricking their ears up at this mail. Only a few years ago there appeared at the Waterways museum a clapped out Coble. Which I would have loved to take on for restoration. A labour of love so to speak A local man was given the task and it appeared to be a success. Perhaps someone similar will contact you.
But if the webmaster will kindly forward me your contact details. I would love to know about this vessel
Posted by kevin stevenson at 23/01/2012 22:44
I have recently purchased the "April Wave" and would be grateful for any information concerning this vessel, when built,
previous owners etc. Would like to contact Larry Hopkins and Corby Bunting and any other interested parties.

Regards Kevin
Posted by anna j dixon at 24/02/2013 04:43
some one need to know how to spell Dixon . Not Dickson . William Henry Dixon Know as Harry Dixon Was My Father . We lived at No5 Swing bridge . And later Orchard Cottage near Number 1 drain Ayrmin district lots of people think its part of old goole but its not . its Ayrmin District County Council to vote we had to go all the way to Ayrmin over 3 miles way to get to school we had a 2.1/2 mile walk no buses could get up that narrow road , it took the farmer all he time to get his tractor up the lane . you could set you watch or clock by the WD 2-8-0 (90000) Class Steam Locomotive ,they pulled 60 x16 ton coal wagons out of goole marshaling yard and the most funnest thing was two barges get stuck in No5 bridge hole .the skippers were too busy watching my mother putting the washing out on the washing line it took 4 hour to get them free . there was a big argument to who's fault it was. happy day yours AJD
Posted by Barrie P Spink at 01/03/2013 23:04
Exactly where was no 5 Swing bridge and was there a house next to the bridge or was that for the bridge keeper.
Thanking you

Kind regards

Posted by anna j dixon at 12/03/2013 19:22
No 5 swing bridge Ayrmin ,on the Aire And Calder Canal The House Was located at the side just back from the swing bridge way ,and it was abandon Because of Flooding in the seller , We were the last to live in this house, It was ashame to see it pulled down , as inside was real special with tung and grooved polished sealing and floors there were no plaster sealing anywhere in the house it was all tung&grooved Boards all varnished and polished so you could see your self in the shine there was a big Doncaster stove Built in the chimney Brest , and there was the oven on the left hand side and the boiler on the right hand side fire in the middle there was a big fire guard around it all and my father got up at 6am made the fire and then left the front door open a our hens and cockerel got in and sat on the fire guard, sometimes it was the pig that got in he got under the big table we had in the middle on the front room he would then carry on his back round the room trying to get it off. I could write a book of our young lifes living there. happy days never to come back, we are very happy living in this nice house. I not seen a House like it since , Yours Anna J
Posted by Barrie P Spink at 18/03/2013 23:27
Hi Anna Did you walk across the two wooden bridges across the railway at Oak hill Junction and up the Lane towards the main road.
I was friendly with the signalman at Oakhill Junction and cycled up that road many times around 1953 as a 14 year old schoolboy.
I remember that the Signalman told me that the Railway wanted rid of the bridges but they were used regularly by some one who lived in a house near to the canal.
Posted by julie ward at 26/03/2013 18:38
id love to find photos of my grandfather and great grandfather alfred and william steinston hinchsliff who were keelman and lighterman
Posted by Mike at 09/04/2013 18:34
Hi Hamish, The Opinio was owned by my stepfather from about 1990 to 1993. If you email me the boat's number I can confirm or otherwise if it's the same "Opinio".
Posted by anna j dixon at 11/06/2013 17:28
Posted by anna j dixon at 11/09/2013 17:07
yes we did cross the wooden bridges up near Rawcliffe signal box and I knew and the signal men and the loco drivers and firemen too I remember the steam locos running on all the lines around there and the one that went to Selby too , we went on the last push and pull train form Goole to Selby in the Steam days , I remember the round house At Selby Too and the one At Goole its was my play ground and very happy days we had back then you can bring back Steam for me any-day we Loved The Steam loco's even if they were black mucky things
Posted by Bill Ligg junior at 17/02/2014 01:47
Hi Anna i rember going down to your mum and dads house as a nipper and what a place it was. It's ashame its no longer there it would have made a great place for folk to visit to see how they lived in those days.
Posted by Gail at 23/03/2014 19:00
I have not looked at this site for ages and I have just seen that someone wanted to contact me re the L/Ryalls family. I am still interested in making contact and sharing information with anyone researching this please get in touch !
George Lyalls married Ann Dukes and they owned several barges including the George and Ann, which was an iron barge, built in Thorne. I have a photo of this boat with family members on bord, along with, I think, the people who made it.
Posted by Ken Law at 04/06/2014 12:00
I am interested in finding out if anyone knows of pictures of the barges Theta, Beta, Gamma, Delta, used to run from Hull to Leeds - Trent. Wonder if any of them are sill in the water somewhere?
Posted by suz at 21/06/2014 15:41
Hi I am very interested in Gail's message as my family had the barge "George and Mary" in 1861.John and Hannah Naylor who later had the Elizabeth.
Posted by Jill Moorhouse at 02/01/2015 17:07
The farm i grew up on in Rawcliffe was owned by the Aire and Calder Navigation Co in 1910, could anyone help with any more information please,many thanks.
Posted by anna j Dixon at 15/06/2015 18:46
Barges I worked for Wilfred Acaster on the Radius and Dumbuck and staincliffe sometimes the Easdale.h or Kirkby and the Delivery too I rember most of the Humber barges runing from whitiker oil tankers to cory tanks and Harkers tanks and Esso tanks I can name them all and BWB barges to and most others old wilf was one of a kind of old school bargemen he worked barges all his working life and a good man to work for too, he would allway see you right, he much missed by me anyway and the barges too happydays we had but hard days too
Posted by Karlie at 13/07/2015 16:52
Wilf was my Great Grandad and Graham is My Grandad... Karl Is My dad and he now runs Acasters Water Transport. They still have the barges and tugs.
Posted by tracey smith at 31/07/2015 10:22
Helen warwick I don't know if we are related..i am also related to the batty family from Doncaster who were up and down on the barges..Elizabeth and Beatrice I think were the names....Stephen batty and Andrew batty were my great great grandfathers..
Posted by Corby Bunting at 22/08/2015 19:37
Help needed. does any one know of Willy Cook 1920 who married Lillian Morrit nee Flatters. Lillian passed away After which Willie then believed to have married Jennie Horstead
Willies family worked the Waterways Last known residence Lime Tree Avenue. Goole
Posted by Corby Bunting at 30/09/2015 11:49
Hi. It is a little known fact of a small vessel built at Goole by Smith Bros. Saw action at Dunkirk.
when new the MY Thurne was moored at Teddington Lock when it's owner a Dr. Schofield, metallurgist decided to go to Dunkirk. Waiving all suggestions of a naval crew He went alone. After six successful trips between shore and ships which stood off in deep water. His prize possession was lost. He escaped but later died from a heart attack.
I have many books with records of the "little boats" Even one printed by the RNLI Yet nowhere can I find a mention of this!
Could it be,by waiving the Navies help he also waived the right for inclusion to all the brave men who took part?
Anyone who is interested. Or would like to add anything.Please feel free
I have also a A4 size print from a naval artist's painting of the Thurne. Which I can email
Posted by Christine Phillips at 03/05/2016 11:18
Helen, I've only just come across your post. I too, am researching Ashburns and found your post by putting 'Sly Fox' into Google! My mother was an Ashburn. Her father, John Clifford Ashburn was descended from Ashburns who were lightermen in Hull in the later part of the 19th C. and before that on the canals. I know little about them other than 'Sly Fox' is part of our family mythology. I'm afraid I have no photos, but your post has galvanised my research.
Posted by Spellweaver at 06/06/2016 11:56
If it's of any interest, I have been collecting newspaper articles about boatmen and boat families over the past couple of years, which I have made available on a website, spellweaver-online, I have just added a selection from the Yorkshire Evening Post which includes some articles from the Goole area. My own family were boat folk, though in the Midlands rather than Yorkshire.
Posted by pat dawson at 28/03/2017 14:29
Wendy -- I have enjoyed looking through this site again. This is the page your link took me to. ---- feeling like Miss Maple! Do you have a personal contact address on here?
Posted by Roger Brotton at 02/12/2019 17:59
A Mr Corby Bunting seems to have records of craft built and repaired by Smith Brothers of Goole.
I am now the owner of the Norok, originally built as a 50 ft Naval Steam Pinnace in 1910, but later converted after WW2 by SB in1950 to a motor cruiser and registered with Lloyds as 181205. She was then used by the Dewsbury Sea Cadets for a few years, but after that the records go a bit thin until about 1990; when the cabins and wheelhouse are again replaced. Any information/memories / photos of the boat would be much appreciated. She is currently in a poor state, but I have bought her to restore.
Posted by Philip Waring at 02/12/2019 19:21
I am in the process of buying a Smith Brothers yacht called Blade. She was commissioned in 1938 by Sydney Kirkham, the owner of the Sheffield Hippodrome Theatre and cinema. She is in very good condition and I wonder if anyone has any photographs or information about her. She was designed by a well known Glasgow naval architect WG McBryde and tracking down his drawings is proving difficult so perhaps someone connected with Smith Brothers may be able to tell me if they still exist and where they are. I'd be grateful for any leads
Posted by fred plews at 09/12/2020 07:52
i would love to here from any one who , worked and sailed , on barges in the 1950, 1960 s, with bleasdales of hull, to mainley sheffield, i did,,, and was at that time known to be the youngest skipper on the humber, i,e 17,,my main keel i worked on , was shirecliff, i left the company , and worked on tollman , united deap sea tugs, then the army , and so on and so on, living diferant countries, i am now 87, and just returned to england , and i have so many good memories of my time on the barges, and would love to hear from any one who can remeber these times,
Posted by Bill at 09/12/2020 17:15
Hello Fred, welcome to this site, it's nice to have a new contributor. Sounds like you have had a very interesting life, I hope you are able to make contact with others from the barges. For some reason your surname rang a bell with me. On checking some records I found that I was thinking of the name R (Robert?) Plewes who was mayor of Goole 1962/3 and a member of the Parochial Church Council in 1949 (I have a photo). Possibly he was related to you.

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