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The Ships

By the end of the Victorian days, most ships were run via commercial shipping companies. There were many based in Goole, each with their own offices and ensigns. Once of the largest ones was Bennet's Red Cross Line, running regular services to Boulogne. Their main cargo was fresh fruit and vegetables, although they once carried an entire circus troupe. Their ensign was a red cross which they had to change because it infringed the Geneva Convention Act. They lost several ships in both World Wars and finally closed down in 1946 after when John Bennett died. The company was taken over by the General Steam Navigation Company who continued to operate a Goole-Boulogne service until 1974.

The Goole Steam Shipping Company was formed in 1864 and had a black, red and buff ensign (or soot, blood and suet as it was known by the locals). Bartholomew was chairman of the company from 1880 to 1904 and the company was very successful. Originally their ships were named after rivers such as the Ouse, Aire, Calder, Derwent, Wharfe, Hebble, Don and Nidd. In 1905 they were taken over by the L&YR and the letters L and Y were added to their ensign. After this time, their ships were known as "Lanky Boats". As with other shipping companies, many of their boats were lost in the World Wars.

Goole also had the dry docks, maintenance and shipbuilding facilities required to maintain the traffic. Goole shipyard was based in Old Goole, south of the Dutch River, and its cranes formed a distinctive part of the landscape until it closed in the early 1980s.


Visitor Comments

Posted by Bill on 08/01/2006

Does anyone have any information about a cargo ship called the SS MARLWOOD? My dad (Joe Stewart) was ship's cook and I visited the vessel in the early 1950s. I've written up my dad's Merchant Navy war history, think my sister gave a copy to Goole library. Thanks.

Posted by Brian on 10/02/2006

My great-uncle Tom Collier was the captain of the Marlwood in the early 1950s. Tom lived in Reedness at that time - next door to the Half Moon pub.

Posted by Pedro on 08/03/2006

I last went on board the Marlwood to see a shipmate from Goole in 1954, she was discharging coal in Deptford Creek, Woolwich. The last time I personally saw the Marlwood was at Greenwich in 1955 discharging stone. She was coming to the end of her time even then. She would load coal at Goole for power stations on the Thames.

Posted by Geoff on 23/03/2006

My dad was also a master on the Marlwood in the late 1940s/early 1950s. His name was Sid Depledge from Marshfield Road in Goole. My brother, myself and my mum spent a holiday on the Marlwood when she was in dry dock in Sunderland probably around 1949 or so. I've just spoken to my brother and he reminded me that Tom Collier was the master and my dad was his relief master. There was an "uncle" Jack on board who we thought was the cook.

Posted by George on 25/03/2006

Marlwood details: 1924, 996grt J. Crown & Sons, Sunderland (174) as Fellside for Quayside Shipping Co. (Connell & Grace), Newcastle; 1930 Swandale, Yorkshire Dale S.S. Co. (Atkinson & Prickett), Hull; 1938 Marlwood, Wm. France, Fenwick; 1952 to Wm. France, Fenwick (London/Goole) Ltd; broken up at Dunston on Tyne, arrived 2/7/1957

Posted by Bill on 14/05/2006

I'm very grateful for all the replies I received but particularly impressed by George with the very detailed info you were able to give about where and when she was finally broken up. I have researched my dad's (merchant navy) war history in great detail but I never discovered a source that told me the eventual fate of the various vessels he sailed on.

Posted by Geoff on 01/10/2008

My dad left the Marlwood in 1951 and was discharged from the Merchant Navy at his own request to become a Goole Pilot (Hull to Goole). He first joined the Marlwood on 12 March 1946 and served as first mate continuously until 9 June 1950. At this time the Marlwood went into dry dock at Sunderland. Dad sailed on the Bestwood for one trip before re-joining the Marlwood while she was in dry dock. At that time my mum, brother and I spent a week on board in Sunderland. She sailed on 14 August 1950.

Posted by Mark on 06/10/2009

Tom Collier, my grandfather, was the master of the Marlwood. I have some plates retrieved from the ship with its picture on them. Unfortunately they have been broken and glued back together. I also have a brass ships clock from the Marlwood as well, though I believe my uncle Albert (Tom's son) has the one that chimes the quarter hour, etc.

My grandmother Lilly (Tom's wife) lives in Auckland New Zealand. She turned 100 on June 30th. My mother, Maureen, her husband Clive and I live in Invercargill New Zealand, at the bottom of the South Island. Grandfather always said New Zealand was his favourite place and wanted the whole family to move here. Sadly he passed away in 1970 and never made that move with us. He is sorely missed.

Posted by Christine on 27/12/2013

I once had a ride on the Marlwood. The captain was my great-uncle Tom Collier. I remember visiting his house in Reedness many times. Would love to hear from Mark. His mother was my mother's cousin. His auntie Lily still alive and living in New Zealand!

Posted by Robert on 24/03/2006

Regarding the above postings about people who sailed on the Lanky boats, you might be interested in pages from my great-grandfather's wages book - he was master of various ships, including in 1931/32 the AIRE, HEBBLE and MERSEY to which the pages relate.

We also have some of his scrap log books, which make you realise what a risky venture it could be sailing to somewhere like Hamburg in the dark in winter in the days before GPS. Basically, about six and a half hours out of Goole and an hour out of the Humber, you passed the Outer Dowsing light vessel, you pointed the ship "E half S", and then crossed your fingers because there was nothing else to see until, hopefully, some fifteen hours later, you saw the Borkum light off the Friesen coast. Occasionally they missed it, and had to look for the next sightings at Norderny, Elbe and Cuxhaven. Sometimes they see other Goole ships - eg. "Passed SS Blyth 2'N" (log of the SS Aire, Goole to Hamburg, Sunday October 28th 1934, 7.40 a.m., 5 hours from Outer Dowsing, ten hours from Borkum). Sometimes they didn't, such as when returning with the Aire from Rotterdam on the night of April 20th 1931 they should have sighted the Calder but, as we now know, didn't. I wouldn't want to do it.

Posted by Pedro on 25/03/2006

On Kingsway, there are three bay window houses. In one resided Captain Laverack, master on AHL Lanky boats. He was badly burned during the war, facial scars incurred when a bus with all the crew was hit by enemy fire. I seem to remember they were on the way to join a ship. I believe Capt Laverack received some sort of commendation. I was a member of his crew on the SS ALT in 1951; what a nice chap he was too and that says something, as most of the captains ruled with an iron fist.

Posted by Emma on 01/11/2006

I've read some of the comments that people have made. I was intrigued to find the mention of my grandfather Capt James Laverack of Marshfield Road. I was wondering if you had any more information or memories of him/his family that you could share as I never got the chance to meet him.

Posted by Pedro on 01/11/2006

I can't add much more but say Captain Laverack was most respected by all who sailed with him. Even today when us old salts are reminiscing we can we can always find fault with AHL skippers but he always comes out tops. No doubt you have seen his wedding photos and observed what a good looking man he was prior to his accident. Some years ago he was featured in an article in the Goole Times, these should still be available in the archives. I personally sailed with him on the SS Alt and SS HEBBLE - truly a gentleman.

Posted by Geoff on 03/11/2006

Emma, sorry I cannot add anything. My mum is still living and she can remember Captain Laverack but she cannot now add much as her memory is now very limited.

There is a difference which I cannot explain, Mum calls him Billy and he is certainly the same one that Pedro talks about. Mum knew him before his accident and says he was the most handsome man in Goole (mind you others may not agree).

Posted by Emma on 05/11/2006

I have just been talking to my dad after I got your replies. He would like to thank you greatly for the kind memories of his father. He added that his accident happened after gunnery practice in Berwick-on-Tweed. The plane that was towing the target drogue decided to buzz the bus that he and his colleagues were on. Unfortunately on the last pass it hit the bus and exploded. Billy Laverack was pushed out of the bus but suffered serious burns. He was in and out of hospital for the next three years. He was treated by Archibald MacIndoe who was a pioneering burns surgeon during the war. He operated on many burns-injured pilots who became known as his "guinea-pigs".

Dad tells me my grandad eventually passed away after a heart attack on his ship off North Cape (Norway) en route to/returning from Russia, in April 1978. He was airlifted off the ship but died before arrival at hospital.

Posted by Pedro on 05/11/2006

Many thanks Emma for the final chapter of Captain Laverack's life. I left Goole in 1970 and often wondered about his final years.

Posted by Fiona on 11/06/2007

I remember Captain Laverack, my grandma telling me about his burns. He used to walk a wire haired terrier call Jack on the riverbank.

Posted by Geoff on 25/03/2006

Did you know my dad? He had a foreign master's ticket and was relief master to Tom Collier on the MARLWOOD before becoming a pilot.

Posted by Pedro on 25/03/2006

I remember your dad as a pilot, also Lawson, Robinson and many more. All AHL masters had foreign tickets and were their own pilots. Pilots were required for foreign vessels and coasters like Everards, Whartons, etc. Captain Harold Lawson of Riversdale Drive was his own pilot. He had the LANCASTERBROOK for years; his son was a pilot with your dad; his wife was a school teacher at Goole Modern.

If the pilots left Goole with a ship and nothing for return journey, they had to take the train back, later supplied with a minibus. My uncle Walt Cawthorne took ships from Goole upriver to Howdendyke and Selby. I was a lowly AB on the Lanky Boats. Captain Crabtree, Frank Drury and many more come to mind. The river was a cow of a trip if I was at the helm and we passed Hull we couldn't be relieved and by the time we reached Goole my arms would be aching. Then drop anchor to swing alongside the jetty opposite the Victoria pub. If they didn't get that swing right it was onto the sandbank opposite the shipyard. Many lost on that bend had to be blown up by Van-Der-Aker a Dutch salvage company.

Also the Dutch ship Nottingham loaded with evaporated milk missed the swing and turned turtle opposite the cemetery. She was refloated later after discharging the cargo with divers - they used inflatable air bags and later she still carried on running to Goole. The river was awash with tins of evaporated milk and still edible weeks after. I used to fish them out!

Posted by Geoff on 25/03/2006

The pilots who took ships from Goole to Hull never had ships to bring back. The way the tide worked made that pretty well impossible. The ships went from Goole to Hull on the rising tide and were arriving at Goole as the high tide allowed vessels to leave Goole.

My dad worked from Hull to Goole and occasionally if there were too many boats leaving he would take a ship back. More often than not he had to get the train back to Hull or you would see the pilots thumbing a lift at the end of Boothferry Road on the main road to Hull.

Posted by Pedro on 26/03/2006

Captain Lawson often brought his ship up when they least expected him. The standing joke at the time was when she dry docked her hull was shiny due to sand friction!

Posted by Cliff on 16/04/2006

MV WARWICKBROOK owned by Comben Longstaff, what happened to her? Thanks.

Posted by George on 18/04/2006

Warwickbrook: Built 1956 by Koster, Groningen for Comben Longstaff. Later names 1972 Fibrook; 1973 Atlantico I; 1979 Esperanza No.2; broken up at Cartagena, Colombia March 1985.

Posted by Samantha on 12/02/2007

It was interesting reading above about my great-grandfather's boat Warwickbrook. If anyone knows anything about any other "brooks" or about my great-grandfather William Comben-Longstaff, I would be fascinated. Thanks.

Posted by George on 13/02/2007

Interesting to hear of your family connection. What you need is this book which might still be in print, "Comben Longstaff & Co. Ltd.", K.S. Garrett, World Ship Society, 1996, ISBN 0 905617 58 82 7. Otherwise check the WSS website - it has a foreword by Barbara Comben Strange, daughter of William, so presumably your aunt?

Posted by Pedro on 14/03/2007

Wow, what a famous great-grandfather you had, with many ties to Goole. Comben Longstaff ships ending in "brook", LANCASTERBROOK, LINCOLNBROOK, LEICESTERBROOK, LONDONBROOK, DURHAMBROOK to name a few, sailed out of Goole with coal for the power stations of London and elsewhere. I myself sailed on the above ships during the 1950s. The Lancasterbrook captained by Harold Lawson of Goole had a regular trade from Goole to Ipswich and Yarmouth. Happy days.

Posted by Ted on 20/06/2007

I sailed in the Lancasterbrook around 1950 at the same time that the Londonbrook sank when she missed the swing and finished almost blocking the lock gates. Captain Lawson was skipper, "Monty" was mate, John was boson, the chief engineer lived in Poole. He kept a pub on the dockside by the power station. Happy days!

Posted by Pedro on 20/06/2007

I was on her in 1952, Monty Rhodes was mate; Captain Lawson was a gent. Lofty Linnington was bosun; he originated from Shoreham area and was lost in Goole Docks around the 1960s while working as a boatman. The engineer I remember was called Wilson from Goole. Roy Hudson from Goole was cook/steward. The Lancasterbrook was one of the easier ships at the time having steel hatches unlike the others with wooden hatch boards. I was recently in Ipswich, met a guy in a pub who knew Captain Lawson and was invited on a trip to Goole. He asked if I could get him a photo of her but can't find one.

Posted by Ted on 21/06/2007

Pleased to see your signal. There must have been some changes after I left her (Lancasterbrook). That was some of the crew as I remember them. By the way, a chap called Les Depledge was cook aboard - that name seems to crop up a lot in your messages. I recently got a picture of the Lancasterbrook but it didn't seem to be the ship I remember. I have a snap so it was easy to compare I will see if I can find one or two. So what happened to the original one, was she sold on? I remember the steel hatches and I agree with you Captain Lawson was a gentleman.

Posted by Pedro on 21/06/2007

There was a second ship built in the 1970s. The old girl, built in 1948, was sold and renamed in 1962 as Loch Etive; in 1968 she became the Fair Lady; in 1969 named Elengo and yet again in 1969 the Greeks named her Fanaromeni. She was eventually broken up in Piraeus 1970. Incidentally I joined her again as bosun in 1960 - unfortunately on discharging dried fruit from North Africa in London docks, I trapped my thumb (amputated) in those same hatches. Happy days (sometimes).

Posted by Ted on 21/06/2007

Sorry to hear about your bad luck with the thumb. You've got good reason to remember the steel hatches and thanks for the information regarding the "old" Lancasterbrook. I was curious about the different photos and there was no one to ask until that is until I stumbled on Goole-on-the-Web. Very pleased to have made contact with you. Be in touch later. I am going to sit back now and soak up a few memories. Happy days.

Posted by Geoff on 03/02/2008

The Lancasterbrook skipper made a battery driven scale model of his ship, I do not know his name. It would have been around 1957 when he gave it to my dad. You can imagine the fun me and my brother had sailing it in the park ponds.

Posted by Pedro on 03/02/2008

The skipper of the Lancasterbrook was Harold Lawson of Riversdale Drive, Goole. The mate was Monty Rhodes of Goole. Captain Lawson piloted himself up and down the Ouse. His son was also a pilot on the river (wife a school teacher). Captain Lawson also had the SANFRY. He was decorated in World War II. Truly a gentleman that I had the honour to sail with in the 1950s.

Posted by FG on 31/08/2006

I am after information and photographs of the SS RYE, No. 2 that was sunk in World War II. In my file it mentions that the Rye had passenger cabins; they might have stopped carrying passengers owing to the war. I can't recall my mother saying they had to provide their own food and blankets, etc., which would have been a bit tricky owing to the rationing, especially if you were a family man. Thanks.

Posted by Pedro on 03/09/2007

The steward would have been cook/steward - he would see to the officers. The passenger service was cancelled because of the war as most passengers were travelling to the continent. Rationing was in force but merchant seamen received extra rations. Even in my days, late 1940s, we had the option of cooking for ourselves, ie. taking our own food, but the cook would see to it. I soon opted for them stopping me a couple of pounds a week and receiving three meals a day. After leaving a ship my mother was grateful for my seaman's ration book and claim the extra coupons. Some of the crew still had their own donkey's breakfast (straw paillasse) mattress up to 1950 when we were provided with foam dunlopillo. Ah Happy days.

Posted by FG on 03/09/2007

Thanks for the answer. I thought about a cook/steward, then thought if he had to look after the officers cabins and cook for the crew as well, it would be a bit of a tall order. Then when leaving and returning to your ship humping food, blankets and your clobber in the packed trains of those days would be a bit of a bind.

Posted by Pedro on 04/09/2007

Yes it was hard times indeed, even in my days, but the National Union of Seamen instigated major changes to shipping companies. I remember joining an old coasting vessel in 1950 with old wartime mattresses still on board; unfortunately we had an outbreak of impetigo (scabies) so all the bedding was took ashore and burned on the quayside (in this case Plymouth). In return we received the new ones plus sheets/blankets/pillows/etc. much to the annoyance of the shipowners.

Posted by Jo on 05/09/2006

I am interested in finding a vessel called the SHAH of whom my great-grandfather William Osburn (1851-1904) was the master crewman. The ship's number is 68529 and he was on the vessel on both the 1891 and 1901 census returns. I would be grateful for any help or even a pointer in the right direction. Thanks.

Posted by George on 12/09/2006

The Shah was a fine paddle tug, here are her details: 1874, 86grt J. Readhead, South Shields (99) for Joseph Martin, London; bought by Goole & Hull Steam Towing Co. in 1878; sold to George Alder, Middlesbrough in 1914; renamed DALES THORPE in 1916; broken up at Hylton in 1929. I have a rather faded photo of her from Charlie Hill's collection.

Posted by Jo on 12/09/2006

You are a superstar. I would love a copy of the picture if you don't mind emailing it to me. Also, sorry to be a pain, but could you explain the info a little further - I'm kinda new to all this history business let alone ships and tugs. Thanks.

Posted by George on 16/09/2006

The first line of the data means built in 1874 and her gross registered tonnage was 86 (a measure of her size). The next line is her shipbuilder (Readhead) and first owner, the rest should be obvious.

Posted by Christine on 11/09/2006

I am trying to find out as much as possible about the loss of SS MERVILLE in 1923 and SS COLNE in 1907. I do have newspaper cuttings but in particular I wanted to know the result of enquiries and also does anyone have the commemorative edition of the Goole Times from 1923? I am wanting if possible a picture of my grandfather John Townsley who was the captain of these ships. Thanks.

Posted by Pedro on 11/09/2006

Merville: 1903 built by Dundee Shipping Co as the EDIE for Goole & West Riding Steam Shipping; 1917 sold to Yorkshire Coal & Steam Shipping; 1919 renamed Merville (same owners); 15 March 1923 foundered 20 miles off Steenbank while on voyage from Goole to Ghent with a cargo of coal, only mention in Lloyds report is of severe weather. Twelve crew lost and two picked up by the Norwegian steamer Frithjof Eide. Afraid that's all I have. Maybe Goole Library archives can offer further assistance?

Posted by Tricia on 17/06/2012

SS Colne. Does anyone know where I can get further information about the sinking of this ship? I have seen a memorial postcard of it on the net and I would like to know why this postcard was produced - to raise funds for widows and dependents? Was there a memorial service held in Goole and was it reported in the paper? Many thanks in advance!

Posted by Glynne on 20/06/2012

I have some data given to me by Christine. I will send it to you. My distant cousin Ralph Snowden was one of those drowned in the disaster.

Posted by David on 11/10/2006

I was recently sorting through family photographs, as you do when you reach a certain age, when I came across a photo of a single stack, slightly raked, steamer named LIBERTY. She was well aground at the time the photo was taken which I think would have been in the early part of the last century. On the reverse side is the name Captain Proudfoot. I am aware of most of the ships my dad was on, also the ships my grandfathers captained but this one is to me a complete mystery. Any ideas? Thanks.

Posted by George on 11/10/2006

Liberty was one of the Goole-based fleet of the Cooperative Wholesale Society, Manchester. Built in 1890, 895grt by Earle's at Hull. She passed to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway then the LMS Railway before being broken up at Sunderland in December 1931.

Posted by Pete on 17/10/2006

I used to sail out of Goole in the 1950s and enjoy this site very much, also the wonderful Riversea site. Noted on the Riversea the ship YEW VALLEY lost off Cromer. This was a lucky escape for me as I was due to sign on in Goole with a shipmate from Goole, J. Brocklesby (or was it Brocklesbank?) Jack joined her and was lost with all hands. I changed my mind and opted for the ROMAN QUEEN (Queenship Navigation Co.). I have searched in vain for a photo of the Roman and TUDOR QUEEN but with no success. Just wondered if anyone could assist with these? I have fond memories of Goole and its pubs from the 1950s. Thanks.

Posted by George on 18/10/2006

Here are details for Tudor Queen, (Roman Queen was from the same class): 1941, 1029grt, Burntisland Shipbuilding (247) for British Channel Islands Shipping; 1947 Queenship Navigation; 1959 Coast Lines; broken up at Troon, arrived 25 September 1959.

Posted by Hamish on 26/01/2007

I too sailed out of Goole in the early 1950s, and in fact we were having a few pints in "Melodies" pub with the crew of the Yew Valley the night she sailed. We did not sail until the next tide and were sure taken aback when word got back to Goole that she had gone down.

I remember an AB who had just joined her, a short chap five six or so with tight curly hair, who had just been shipwrecked on the ship that had left Goole in thick fog and ran aground on the south bank, just down river from the shipyard. The pilot put her astern, and was off the south bank and hard and fast on the north bank before they realised they had moved. I remember him saying, nobody would believe he had been shipwrecked in a graveyard, but I don't remember the name of the ship, which became a total loss.

Posted by Denis on 22/04/2009

Regarding the Yew Valley - the sailor was my great-uncle Jack Brocklesby, cousin to my dad, Harry Mongon, who still lives in Goole.

Posted by Barry on 15/11/2006

Can anyone tell me about SS INDIA, registered in Goole? Master was Charles Powell. Moored in Lowestoft at the 1881 census. Thanks.

Posted by George on 15/11/2006

Here are basic details: built 1876, 364 grt by John Readhead, South Shields for Bennett Steam Shipping Co., Goole; sank in Ouse Dock 30 July 1896 but raised and repaired; sold in 1899 to Bennetts of Penzance (no relation to the Goole company); sold foreign after 1913 and sank in November 1928.

Posted by Jamie on 27/02/2007

I am trying to find out more information about a ship that my great-great-grandfather was captain on. His name was John W. Hutchinson and he was captain of the SS BROOMFLEET, part of the Ebor Line fleet. Which unfortunately went down during a storm on 13 December 1933 off the coast of Norfolk. Does anyone have any further information or photos of this ship? Thanks.

Posted by George on 11/03/2007

She was built in 1912, 864grt by W. Harkess at Middlesbrough as Avonwood for local owner Joseph Constantine; bought by Ebor S.S. Co. (E.P. Atkinson) in 1924 and renamed Broomfleet. Missing as you mention on 13/12/1933 on a voyage from Goole to Ipswich.

Posted by Val on 04/03/2007

I am trying to find information/photographs on the Aaron family. My great-great-grandfather James Aaron (1819-1892) was a master mariner and part owned ships called the ELIZABETH AARON, The WAVE and The EMMA SHARP. Most of his siblings were mariners and lived and sailed out of Goole.

Posted by Barrie on 24/06/2009

Captain Aaron lived next door to us at 7 Woodland Avenue and he later moved to another house in the Centenary Road area. He was a master mariner and worked for Associated Humber Lines which was part of the Railway Empire. I am not sure of ages but I think that he would be born around 1908. It is an unusual name so I think that he would be a descendant of the family that you mentioned. His son trained as a naval architect and worked for Yarrows up here in the Glasgow area. Hope that this helps you.

Posted by Richard on 13/12/2009

Stumbled across this website by accident.

Howard Aaron was my grandfather, and as you say his eldest son, Phillip, (my father) was a naval architect who worked for a time in the Glasgow area. Phillip eventually ended up as managing director of a shipyard on Merseyside. Sadly he passed away in 2001.

Howard's youngest son, Roger, is a retired quantity surveyor living in Lincolnshire. As for myself, I in fact live back in East Yorkshire.

Posted by Peter on 15/12/2009

Read the post by Richard Aaron and the reference to Roger Aaron. Grateful if you could pass on my e-mail to Richard since I would like to make contact with Roger who I have not seen for the best part of half a century! We used to knock around together in the Clifton Gardens/Centenary Road area. Thanks.

Posted by Ed on 17/04/2010

Philip Aaron and I were very good friends in our early teens and have often wondered what happened to him. I left Goole in 1957. We spent a day on the SS FELIXSTOW with his dad, in turn we spent a day on a locomotive shunting in Goole Docks. Sorry to hear he passed away. I did sail with Capt Aaron on one trip.

Posted by Ian on 31/08/2010

Barrie, I was a good friend of your neighbour Philip Aaron who died a few years ago. He was a naval architect, designing ships for a number of yards, including on the Clyde, and ending up in the Wirral/Birkenhead area. His father was skipper of the SS AIRE of Associated Humber Lines, pride of the Port of Goole. Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

Barrie, I was a good friend of your neighbour Philip Aaron who died a few years ago. He was a naval architect, designing ships for a number of yards, including on the Clyde, and ending up in the Wirral/Birkenhead area. His father was skipper of the SS AIRE of Associated Humber Lines, pride of the Port of Goole. Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

Posted by Barrie on 07/09/2010

Ian, I am sure that I remember you at school. I think you were a prefect when I was in my final year there in 1955. I remember Philip Aaron and I believe that at one time he lived quite near to me at a place called Duntocher and worked at Yarrow's ship yard on the Clyde. I also remember his father, Captain Aaron, who sailed on the SS Aire for many years.

Posted by Pedro on 30/03/2007

In my seagoing days all the pilots I knew were ex sea captains or at least held a masters certificate minimum HT (home trade). The AHL Lanky boats, as stated earlier, piloted their own vessels to Goole. The DON, DEARNE, etc. running to Scandinavia (Copenhagen), was classed as FT (foreign trade) and consequently the masters of these vessels held a deep sea masters certificate.

The only uncertified pilots I knew on the river were taking ships up to Howdendyke and Selby. Namely W. Cawthorne and Eastwoods, whose knowledge of this part of the Ouse was gained by employment over the years on barges and tugs going up to York. These Selby and Howdendyke pilots only took small ships from Goole up river and vice versa after the certified pilots brought them up from Hull.

Posted by George on 02/04/2007

Since the changes in 2001, the "Selby Pilots" can take ships to/from Blacktoft Jetty, so there is no longer a need to come alongside on Victoria Pier to change pilots.

Posted by Hamish on 03/12/2011

In my day (early 1950s) the pilots were changed in Hull. The Goole pilot was dropped at Hull and the "deep sea" pilot came aboard to take us to the Spurn. The same inbound, drop the pilot in Hull and pick up the Goole pilot.

Posted by Mally on 23/12/2011

Quite right about the pilots changing in Hull Roads. My first job as a fifteen-year-old upon leaving Boulevard Nautical School in Hull was as an apprentice river pilot with the (then) Humber Conservancy Board. That was in 1968 and part of my duties was two weeks on station on board the Frank Atkinson pilot cutter at Spurn, our feet never touched land as we just steamed around Spurn and out to the Humber light float, putting on and taking off pilots. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe the cutters had berths for up to 80 pilots.

There were two watches of four apprentices each working four to five hours on/off for the two weeks. The William Fenton cutter would then relieve us for their two week stint. After that it was two to three weeks at Trinity House College followed by a week or so on the William Prickett pilot launch, stationed at Minerva Pier in Hull, engaged in changing sea and river pilots in Hull Roads. (I sometimes hitched a ride on a vessel back home to Goole). After that it was back on board the Frank Atkinson and the cycle would start again.

My abiding memory of those times is of being on the dog watch anchored in thick fog at the mouth of the Humber, As the most junior apprentice it was my privilege to be forward, rapid ringing the bell for five seconds every minute ("Rules of the Road"), my timing being taken from three blasts of the Spurn light float fog horn (which sounded every 20 seconds). I could hear the thumping of heavily working engines increasingly getting louder as trawlers came full steam heading for the Grimsby fish markets. As the noise reached a cacophony, I found I was rapidly ringing the bell probably for 59 seconds of the minute and then watch as a shadowy green/grey outline would appear and pass across the bow, then disappear back into the mire as the engine noise abated. Seemed to me as close to seeing the Flying Dutchman as you could possibly get…

Pilots specialised in areas of the Humber until into the 1990s. The pilots living in and around Goole would primarily work taking vessels from Goole to Hull Roads, with the Hull based "Goole" pilots working the other way; at busy times they would cover each other as necessary. The Trent wharves also had their "specialist" pilots. As a ship's agent this was a bonus as when a vessel was tight for completing in time for the tide then we could get a local pilot on board within 20 or 30 minutes. We now have to order a pilot five hours in advance of Goole high water for sailing.

Pilots generally now board at Spurn and bring vessels directly up to Goole, Howdendyke and the Trent wharves and vice versa, (taking them from the up-river berth back down to Spurn). Individual pilots can now be operating to most places on the Humber, Ouse or Trent on any given day, and the feeling amongst most local agents, which was voiced at the time of the pilotage changes, is that this lack of specific "specialisation" has cost us around 20cms in allowable draft which can be crucial on certain tides and of course increases the limits put on the ports commercial operations.

Posted by Hamish on 28/12/2011

The more things change the more they stay the same! The AHL skippers all piloted their ships from Spurn to Goole way back in the early 1950s, and you fellows had a "lumpy" ride out there at Spurn at times. The other danger spot (to my way of thinking) was dropping the Goole pilot at Hull on the ebb tide. If the Hull pilot was a little late arriving then the ship was "out of control" (no steerage) until the engine was started again when the pilot boarded. We were in a bad collision in the BEEDING because of a tardy pilot swap, got into a tangle with the ships at anchor off Hull waiting for the next tide up and spent about six weeks in dry dock in Grimsby loaded.

Posted by Jinty on 23/05/2007

Has anyone got any info/photos of a crane barge known as GRAB DREDGER NO. 1? She was known to have worked on the Ouse, the Aire & Calder and maybe the River Trent. She is 54ft x 14ft beam, built of riveted iron. She is known to have been moored at Goole for the last twelve years, probably a lot longer. Her sister ship is believed to be moored at Naburn lock near York. I am seeking anything relevant to the above vessel with particular interest as to where she was built and when. Thanks.

Posted by George on 31/05/2007

The nearest I can find is one built by Warren at New Holland in 1936 under the name R.O. (Y) C.B. DREDGER No1 and renamed in 1952 to Y.O.R.B. DREDGER No.1 of the Yorkshire Ouse River Board. I don't remember seeing this craft anywhere in recent years though. She was diesel and re-engined at some point.

Posted by Pedro on 31/05/2007

The grab dredger I remember from my childhood was named the Nautilus. I believe this one was owned at the time by G.D. Holmes the barge company. She was a steel riveted pontoon type with crane mounted in the centre using a single grab. I don't think she had her own engine power. She would dredge sand from the river directly into barges. I understood this sand was then transported up the canal and used in moulds at the iron and steel foundries.

The other more modern bucket type was named the GOOLE BIGHT. She was fully crewed, captain was a Mr Devenish with a galley engine room, etc. all mod cons. I believe she was eventually sold and ended up working around the Solent.

Posted by George on 05/06/2007

Goole Bight was sold and worked for a while at the marina at Hartlepool but was bought back by Humber Workboats of Killingholme and very much modernised and renamed ABIGAIL H. She does general contract work around the UK, still going strong for a 1958 built vessel.

Posted by Fiona on 13/06/2007

I have a series of photographs of the SS AIRE after she had been run aground after a collision in the 1950s. These were previously owned by my grandfather Fred Barrow who was the manager of AHL in the 1950s. When I was a child he showed me the scars on tree trunks in Saltmarshe Park where the ship had been chained to prevent it drifting into the channel. Last time I went there (a few years ago) some of the trees were still there. They are at the far end of the park near the river boundary.

Posted by Ken on 23/06/2007

I was on the wheel of the Aire when it was in collision with the MV Helene B Schupp. Just inside the woods there used to be a brass plate saying that a mooring rope from the Aire was tied to that tree. We were carrying a cargo of silver sand and carpets. The collision happened just before midnight on 5 October 1958. One person was lost, an assistant steward who was trapped in his cabin.

Captain Collier, the mate H.V. Richardson, and myself went to London for the enquiry about eighteen months later. The Helene was put at seventy five percent of the blame for the collision and the Aire twenty five percent. I still have my statement I gave to the London inquiry.

Posted by John on 16/08/2007

I have just come across the forum. Some postings recall the LANCASTERBROOK and Les Depledge. I am the son of Leslie Depledge who was the cook/steward on the Lancasterbrook. His first ship was the AIRMYN that he joined on 9 August 1922. Subsequently he sailed on the WELTONDALE, CYRILLE DANNEELS, SPARTA, GWYNWOOD, BLACKTOFT, WHITETOFT, then onto the SANFRY that became the YORKBROOK and finally the LANCASTERBROOK. The Goole Times has, through the Mike Marsh series, recalled the wartime exploits of the Sanfry. My father retired from the sea in 1951 joining the British Waterways Top Yard. My first record of the Depledge family career at sea starts in 1830 and has been covered by Geoff Depledge in his earlier posting on this site. My maternal family was called Coates. They too have many seaman in the family and connected to Goole ships.

Posted by Paul on 14/10/2007

It is possible you and I have some connection because I have a Violetta Coates in my family tree. She married my great-grandfather John William Depledge in Goole on 11 October 1913. It was both their second marriages - he being a widower and she a widow. John was living in Richard Cooper Street and Violetta in Phoenix Street. John had three children by his first marriage, Ernest, Maud and Eric; Ernest was my grandfather and after service in WWI lived in and around Bradford. Maud had one son who moved to California after WWII. Eric married but had no children I believe. He also went to sea but I have no details. John had one sister Lilly who married a George Ramsey and lived around Shipley.

My great-grandfather was William Flower Depledge whose name I have seen mentioned and I was interested in reference to the TRY which I came across as a name, the family being on board and at Southampton in the 1881 census, but had no details of the vessel itself. Also come across W.F. Depledge on the Wonder 1871 census moored at Ryde, Isle of Wight. I was intrigued by the Depledge sea connection given (to me) Knottingley seems so far in land. My Grandfather spelled the name "De Pledge" and my father "de Pledge" hence the difference. Hope this is of interest.

Posted by Geoff on 15/10/2007

You are directly related to me. I would also like info from you re your family in the 1900s.

Posted by John on 17/10/2007

Hello Paul, I am connected in every way you describe. I have met both your grandfather and grandmother, and I have been in touch with the American connection.

Posted by David on 26/08/2007

On my many trips round the docks with my grandfather, I remember being shown an old hulk tied up, I don't allude to the "fairies". It was the ARCHIBALD RUSSELL. I have seen pictures of her in full sail but what was she doing in Goole and what became of her? Thanks.

Posted by Pedro on 26/08/2007

She was a four-masted barque built 1905 at Greenock. Taken as prize during the war and used by the ministry of food as a store ship at Goole. I believe she was returned to her owners around 1948 and scrapped in 1949. She was quite an attraction during the war years - I used to see her in West Dock on my way to school.

Posted by Trev on 30/03/2011

Interesting to see the mention of the Archibald Russell being in Goole Docks during WWII. My grandad Benjiman Abson was a mariner but he was ashore during WWII and was the watchman on Archibald Russell.

Posted by David on 23/09/2007

I have recently been looking through my collection of old photos and papers and I got to wondering if there is any one old enough, long in the tooth, etc. who might have remembered my dad, He was on the Bank boats all his short life with the exception of a short spell as first mate with my grandfather Joseph Lea on the Lowland.

Two further names have sprung to mind. The first is Eric Hewerth, he was my dad's best man; I have a feeling he crossed the bar some time ago. The other is someone who was always referred to as "Twink" Spink. I know this gentleman survived capture by the Japanese and returned to Goole at the end of hostilities, my mother saw him occasionally but lost touch when she moved away. "Twink" and my parents were great friends prior to the war, or so I was told.

Posted by Pedro on 26/09/2007

Spoke with my brother today, he's in his late 80s. He remembers a "Twinky Spink" who was in the army and took at the fall of Singapore. He later worked at Fisons factory after the war and married someone called Holborough or Elborough. He lived near my bother in Belverdere Crescent until his death about four years ago if this is the same chap.

Posted by David on 27/09/2007

Pedro my friend, thank your brother for me. It's a fact of life that no one person needs reminding that none of us are immortal. The Twinky Spink referred to was the one, which only compounds an awareness of the need for people to put, not only their memories to print, but to do their level best to remain in touch with family and friends whilst we are able.

On this occasion, not having been in Goole since the year 2000, I feel that had I made the effort I might have been able to make contact with Twink at that time. Such is life. Thank you again.

Posted by Andrew on 30/09/2007

Does anyone please have any information about a ship or tug called the WILLIAM WELLS of Goole? About 1891? Thanks.

Posted by George on 02/10/2007

From an extract from the Goole Registers held at the Waterways Museum (extracts done by Ron Gosney of Knottingley). Schooner (2), registered tonnage 70, built Hull 1845 by Humphrey & Co; 1845 registered to Robert Rockett, Barmby near Howden and John Wells of Airmyn Pasture and two others; 1848 registered to John Wells of Boothferry, James Laing of Southwark and William Lyal of Southwark; 1856 registered to John Wells of Boothferry and William Hawksworth of Goole; 1862 registered to John Wells of Boothferry and William Hawksworth of Goole. Sailed from Exeter for Dublin on or about 16 February 1892 and not heard of since.

Posted by Geoff on 30/09/2007

Does anyone know of a coaster possibly called BALLOCHBUIE. She was berthed at Goole on the night on the 1901 census. My grandfather Frank Storr was listed as first engineer.

Posted by George on 30/09/2007

Ballochbuie: 1880, 677grt by Hall, Russell, Aberdeen for local owner J. & A. Davidson. They had her until sold in 1913 as PAUL; war loss by torpedo 26/9/1918.

Posted by CSB on 01/11/2007

I am trying to find as much info on the vessel GOLDEN WEDDING which was registered in Goole. She sank in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 1900s. My Grandfather John Barker was rescued from the ship. Thanks.

Posted by David on 02/11/2007

My grandfather Captain Joseph Lea had four brothers, all ships masters, the youngest being Stephen who went to sea aged fifteen years. He must have been a late starter as Joseph was twelve years old when he joined the COINBATORIE. Stephen spent some four years plus on the Golden Wedding and had moved on by the time she was wrecked. However I have an undated article from the Goole Times that not only has a photo of the ship but a somewhat detailed account of a young lad's life on board a barquentine at the turn of the century.

Posted by George on 04/11/2007

Presumably the one described as a brigantine built in 1897 by W. Caiseley at Howdendyke. In 1905 her owner was C. Kilner.

Posted by David on 04/11/2007

You are correct, fitted out by Charles Carr of Goole.

Posted by David on 08/10/2012

I never cease to be amazed at what comes up on the net when surfing. I refer to Reuben Chappell. On checking his work I came across two paintings that have family connections. My grandfather got his full ticket in 1900 and his second ship was the SS Argus. His brother Stephen was apprenticed on the barque Golden Wedding with Captain David Reece.

Posted by John on 03/12/2007

Anyone have info about the fate of MV MARSWORTH (ex: BRIER ROSE) which sailed out of Goole for Bennett SS into Boulogne in the early-1960' with Capt. John Macleod? She was on charter for GSN or Grand Union Shipping one of whom then controlled Bennett SS. I recall GSN vessels all named after Birds such as Ortolan, Mallard - all of which sailed from Goole at some time into Boulogne (Bennett weekly service) or Dunkirk (AHL Service every fortnight - same vessel)

Posted by Pedro on 03/12/2007

Marsworth built as Briar Rose 1952 Renamed Kimen 1962. Broken up Aliaga 28 October 1999

Posted by Geoff on 05/01/2008

My father was "Charlie" LeVoguer. He was a seaman all his life. In the 1940s and 1950s we lived at 37 North Street, a terraced row between Bamforths cycle shop and the Peacock Hotel. He served in the North Atlantic during the war. In later years as a small boy, I remember him sailing out of Goole on the ROTHER and the LANCING. He finished his working life in the early 1970s aged 62 on the PETREL a small coaster doing Goole - Boulogne runs.

Posted by Alan on 14/01/2008

I am trying to find a photo of HM Rescue Tug TENACITY on which my wife's father (Herbert Christie Marshall) was crew. I have the picture from the Goole Times article by Mike Marsh and I have found a small picture of her sister-ship JAUNTY, built at Selby. I understand "Bert Marshall" and Tenacity spent most of the early war years in the North Atlantic aiding the convoys. Thanks.

Posted by Pedro on 15/01/2008

TENACITY, built by Cochrane of Selby as the DILIGENT for the Royal Navy 1940; named tenacity 1940; then ADHERENT 1947 and HERMES 1962; RIVERTON VIKING 1970 and CANADIAN VIKING 1985.

Her other sister ships were the SESAME and PRUDENT. The Sesame was sunk by E-boat just after Dunkirk. The Prudent became the RIVERTON LION and was recently sunk deliberately to make an artificial reef off Vancouver Island. Unless I hear differently, the old girl Tenacity under her new name is still towing rafts of logs up and down river in British Colombia. In 1944 the Canadian navy ship HMCS LONGBRANCH in convoy ONS23 developed mechanical problems and was towed into St. Johns Newfoundland by the Tenacity, who left St. Johns on 14 June 1944 and joined convoy HXS 300, the largest convoy of the war.

In closing I guess those Canadians knew good ships when they saw them.

Posted by Frank on 24/04/2008

My dad Frank Huntington served on the Tenacity during the war. He told me another "Goolie" shipmate was Slippy Marshal, no doubt your wife's father. They spent some time in Halifax, Nova Scotia where the rescue tug was based to tow any damaged ships running the North Atlantic convoys back into port.

Posted by Corby on 24/04/2008

My uncle Billy Ash was also on the tug Tenacity. He died in 1973. I have read your families write up in Mike Marshes Goole at War 2. I was intrigued. First of all my father lived at No. 10 Mason Terrace from the age of 11, when his father died. My father, and grandfather were coal trimmers working for Kettlewells and later checkers. I know my brothers and sisters spoke of your family, all being of similar ages. My brother, Jim served on the ROYAL OAK, REVENGE, ORION and MONTCLARE.

Posted by Alan on 26/04/2008

Frank is quite right that "Slippy Marshall" was my wife's father and a crew member of HMRT Tenacity. I have some archive material from St. Johns in Canada to do with Tenacity where the tug and crew are still honoured to this day in a yearly "toast" and tribute to them in a harbourside club. We know she was in Canada for a lot of years towing "logs" when she was the RIVTOW VIKING. Keep up the chatter and info.

Posted by Warren on 26/01/2010

With regards to the RivTow Viking and her history here in Canada. She was captained for many years by my uncle Bob Mollison and was for a time the largest tug on the west coast of North America (or so I was told). Bob died quite a few years ago sadly. I decided to look him and the ship up on the web and came across your mention of her in a post above.

Posted by Alan on 06/02/2010

The Rivtow Viking as Tenacity had quite a time during WWII working out of St. Johns with a crew of Goole men and Canadians and was instrumental in some "famous rescues".

Posted by Warren on 12/02/2010

Just to complete my mention of my uncle who was captain of the Rivtow Viking for so many years, I will add a few details at least. His name was Robert Mollison, although everyone called him Bob. He was born on Pender Island in the Gulf Islands, where my grandparents had a family farm (140 acres when I was born) but larger in my mother's time when Bob was growing up.

He was in the Merchant Marine in WWII because he had polio as a child and couldn't get into the Canadian Navy. I believe he was on (one of, if not the) last boat out of Singapore before it fell to the Japanese. I know he mentioned being in Cape Town or Durban when there was a huge riot with Australian sailors.

Posted by Peter on 20/04/2008

I alighted on this excellent website via a Google enquiry on the MV FOUNTAINS ABBEY. The reason for my interest in the ship is that she was one of the ships in the Associated Humber Lines fleet which sailed out of Goole and Hull. In fact, I am pretty sure, but I could be wrong, that AHL (then part of the British Transport Commission) was established following its acquisition of the old Goole Steam Shipping Company.

My late father, George Hill, was a marine engineer with AHL and "came ashore" as assistant marine superintendent engineer with an office in Goole before moving later to AHL's office in Hull as Marine Superintendent Engineer. He was heavily involved in the renewal of the AHL fleet in the 1950s. The Fountains Abbey was among the new fleet (she was built either on the Wear or on the Clyde which one I cannot now recall).

During one voyage she caught fire in the North Sea and I believe that she was salvaged although she sustained serious damage. Her master was a Captain Wooller who I think lived in Goole. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who recalls the ship, the fire - in particular a reference to the Board of Trade inquiry - and was on board at the time or perhaps had a relative who was a member of her crew. Thanks.

Posted by George on 21/04/2008

Fountains Abbey was from the Hall Russell yard at Aberdeen in 1954. The Fountains Abbey fire was on 12/2/1962 and broken up at Bruges the following month.

Posted by Pedro on 21/04/2008

I sailed with Fred Wooller on the SS ALT in 1953. He came from Hull. At this time was living in Hessle; we knew him as mad Freddy when the steamers were anchored off Hull awaiting fog to clear before travelling up to Goole. He would steam through them arriving in some cases hours earlier and other company masters having to explain what kept them.

Posted by Peter on 22/04/2008

Thanks for your helpful and illuminating responses to my query (I had quite forgotten that Hall Russell had built some of the new fleet). Now that I have the date of the fire I'll check back on the newspaper coverage of the event. Incidentally, in addition to the "butter boats" - the BYLAND ABBEY and KIRKHAM ABBEY which sailed out of Goole - some of the other "new" AHL ships sailing from Goole were named after west Yorkshire cities and towns. The WAKEFIELD was certainly among them but the names of the others I cannot remember.

Posted by Corby on 22/04/2008

Both my friend John Appleyard and my uncle Billy Ash sailed on the Fountains Abbey. John recently gave an account of an incident which happened to my uncle when, after returning from a trip, he had to do maintenance work within the funnel and was unlucky to fall down onto the machinery below. John was unable to expand on the story. How badly injured he was. I would love to hear any comments if anyone can remember it happening.

Posted by Peter on 22/04/2008

Corby's story about his uncle's accident inside the funnel of the Fountains Abbey prompts the thought that if a similar accident occurred today, the ship would not have been allowed to sail again until a full "elf 'n safety" inquiry had been completed. Seriously, I do hope that he recovered from any injury he may have sustained. Like Corby, any other stories and recollections from people who sailed aboard the vessel will be most welcome. Thanks.

Posted by Pedro on 22/04/2008

Other motor ships were the LEEDS, YORK and HARROGATE.

Posted by Peter on 23/04/2008

Thanks. As I remember, the AHL ships like the York and Harrogate had the bridge and accommodation aft rather than amidships.

Posted by Barry on 22/09/2008

I went with other crew members to Aberdeen take delivery of the Fountains Abbey for AHL in late 1954. On arrival at Aberdeen we found she had broken down on trials and was still at sea. This meant we had to stay overnight at the Seamans Mission. On arriving at Goole we were berthing at West Dock South to load for Amsterdam. When bringing her up to ease alongside, they rang down for slow astern but we went slow ahead instead thereby clouting the quay pretty smartly.

On passage to Amsterdam, somewhere south of the Wash, the fuel pump (engine) packed in and the watch on deck, when not at the wheel, was down in the engine room hand pumping the fuel (I know because I did it) until we put it to Yarmouth. Pretty eventful start for new ship eh! If you want to know anything about the fire, my mate Mike Spence is a survivor from it.

Posted by Gary on 26/10/2008

I've just been going over some of the old submissions and comments from earlier on in the year. Of particular interest to me were the ones concerning the latter day AHL ships, eg. the Abbey (butter) boats and the other "newer" diesel fuelled ones.

Regarding the Fountains Abbey incident, when she caught fire in the North Sea; I was on the Kirkham Abbey, homeward bound from Copenhagen, and although we picked up the SOS we were too far away to be of any use. We were, I recall, kept up to date from the bridge, via various ABs, of which I was one, coming and going to the wheel-house at hourly intervals. Consequently, we were aware of the "Abandon Ship" order by Captain Wooller.

There were a couple of things that have not been mentioned in the postings so far: One was that two crew members unfortunately lost their lives whilst in the lifeboat; it being drawn under the stern rubbing band due to the heavy seas and crushed. Fortunately the rest of the crew were able to pull clear before further damage occurred. Too late, however, for the bo's'n, whose nickname was "Spike", and Gordon(?) Gillmartin, a motorman, who both sustained fatal injuries. Also not mentioned was the fact that Captain Wooller was in the lifeboat urging the second mate to jump! He was still up on the bridge. Whatever happened to the captain being the last to leave? He was then hailed as a hero when they were later picked up! Lose a ship, win a medal, go figure!

Finally, about the other AHL ships at the time that were named for Yorkshire towns. I sailed on the Darlington and Wakefield, (1959); York and Leeds, (1961/62). The others were the Selby and Harrogate. The latter being (re)named the Harrogati Maru by my old shipmate Nev (Spats) Suttcliffe, who I believe was on the Fountains Abbey on its last fateful trip. (Is he still kicking around?) These ships were all identifiable by the bridge and superstructure aft, and bipod mast between the two hatches. They were almost identical except for the York, which had "goal-post" masts just forward of the bridge, and an extra pair of derricks. That's all for now folks, hope I didn't bore you too much.

Posted by Pedro on 26/10/2008

Sorry, but Neville (the devil) Sutclffe crossed the bar some eight or ten years ago along with a few you may remember Pete Bulmer, Hughie Hughes, Harry Skinner, Bomber Robinson, Tommy Leighton, Lol Woolass and many more now remembered on the Lock Hill memorial. Fred Wooller never commanded the respect paid to other old time skippers.

Posted by Gary on 29/10/2008

Thanks Pedro for the general update. Sorry to hear about all the guys who have crossed the bar over the last few years. It seems like only yesterday that we were all doing the rounds on "full-board day".

Posted by Gary on 14/02/2009

As previously stated, the Fountains Abbey was abandoned in the North Sea after fire broke out in the forward hold, starboard side. I believe it was due to a combination of bad loading and negligence. Apparently barrels of gun cotton broke free and mixed with other cargo components, causing a chemical reaction which resulted in the ensuing inferno. After she was abandoned, she floated freely until the fire eventually burned itself out. She was then boarded by a crew of Dutch salvage experts who towed her into Rotterdam, and spent the next few days whooping it up on the spoils.

Meanwhile, fearless Fred (Wooller), having lost a ship and two crew members, revelled in his new found glory, whilst his wife Flo polished his medal for him. I do not recall any heads rolling over this incident, although it was quite an issue at the time. It kinda makes you wonder, does it not? I'm sure that there are still a few folks in town who could elaborate further if they were asked, but maybe they would just as soon let sleeping dogs lie!

Posted by Bernard on 30/09/2009

For anyone still interested in the M.V. Fountains Abbey and Whitby Abbey, I have a letter written by F. Wooller which reads:

A disaster indeed it was, the loss of two lives and a fine ship, she holds happy memories for many of us. During her seven years of life she carried numerous fine folk as passengers and weathered storm after storm. No other vessel will ever replace her in my affection. My next command is to be the sister ship of the ill-fated Fountains Abbey namely the M.V. Whitby Abbey and in the German Service. Signed F.W. Wooller

Posted by Peter on 03/10/2009

I saw the letter signed by Fred Wooller, one time master of the MV Fountains Abbey. I would be most interested to receive details as to whom the letter was addressed and of the date of the letter. Similarly, if there are any survivors of the loss of the ship (or relatives of former crew members) who would like to share their recollections of that event I would love to hear from them.

Posted by Martin on 05/10/2009

My dad sailed for AHL for 25 years and knew Captain Wooller, who ended up as marine superintendent for AHL. I still have my dad's reference signed by Captain Wooller in 1971 when AHL folded and he was made redundant. We used to live up the road from the motorman who died when the Fountains Abbey caught fire - he lived in Northolme Road, Hessle but I cannot remember his name.

My dad recalled he was crushed in a lifeboat when a swell drew the lifeboat under the hull - he always said Captain Wooller felt guilty about what happened.

Posted by Peter on 12/02/2012

It was fifty years ago to the day, 12 February 1962, that the crew of the AHL operated Fountains Abbey abandoned ship 76 miles to the east of Spurn Head. Homeward bound from Bremen and Hamburg, a fire broke out and took hold quickly. Within minutes of his call about the fire to Humber Radio, the ship's master, Fred Wooller gave the order to launch the lifeboats. It was no easy task in the heavy seas but eighteen members of the crew, including Wooller, boarded the port lifeboat. As they attempted to clear the side of the ship, the stern rose on a large wave and crashed down on the lifeboat. The ship's bosun, James Cleary and a motorman, William Gilmartin both of Goole were fatally injured. The Lowestoft trawler, JOHN O'HEUGH, managed to transfer the survivors from the lifeboat but the boat drifted away before the bodies of the fatally injured crewmen could be recovered. It was three days later that they were recovered by the Norwegian ship, RONDO.

Among the survivors were Gordon King, chief engineer; Sidney Stowe, AB; James Dawson, steward; Michael Spencer, assistant steward; and Robert Denman all of Goole. The 22 year old mate of the trawler, BOSTON SPITFIRE, received awards from the Lloyd's insurance market and the Royal Humane Society for his role in rescuing two other crew members from the blazing ship. Subsequent investigation concluded that the probable cause of the blaze was spillage from drums of inflammable sodium chlorite which had shifted during the heavy weather. There had been spontaneous combustion when the spillage came into contact with bales of wool which also formed part of the cargo. A sad anniversary.

Posted by Gary on 13/02/2012

Memories. Fifty years ago. Where did the time go?

If you scroll back, you will see that I posted my opinion on the loss of the Fountains Abbey. I was an AB on the Byland Abbey at the time, homeward bound from Copenhagen. We were ordered to offer what assistance we could but unfortunately, we were too far away to be of any use.

Posted by Jane on 16/10/2012

I have seen some posts on this site about the MV Fountains Abbey lost at sea February 1962. The bosun who lost his life in this tragedy in February 1962 was my uncle, James Cleary. I have been trying to get as much information as possible about this event. Was his body recovered, as there are conflicting reports in newspaper accounts and if so, where is his final resting place? Thanks.

Posted by Corby on 18/10/2012

I had an uncle and a friend (both engineers) who both sailed on the Fountains Abbey but not at the time of the disaster. The most graphic account that I have heard is from a man who was in the lifeboat by the name of Mike Spence.

Posted by Hamish on 23/04/2008

I sailed on the DON which, along with the DEARNE were the "Butter Boats" in my era, although I was there when the "new" ones came on line, but had smartened up a tad and moved to colliers.

Posted by Pedro on 23/04/2008

Hamish's way of smartening up :) Like a lot of us on the Lanky steamers, we had to sell our bond cigs and baccy to make a few bob; more overtime and better accommodation on the colliers. The old Lankys would roll in a grass field (as the saying went). Living forward on the ALT we had a body and soul lashing consisting of a wire strung from the fo'c'sle to amidships, a rope around the waist fastened to it, and run like hell after she ship a wave over the top. Oh, happy days!

Posted by Hamish on 24/04/2008

With you there Pedro! My first trip to sea, out of Goole was on the BLISWORTH (later the Holdernidd, and built in 1902 as the Kathleen) lived forrad, and the same system to get aft, wait until she was coming up for air, take your life in your hands, and leg it for the midships, many times stood my trick at the wheel wet! But by the same token one could get awful wet even living aft on one of Steve Clarkes east coast submarines. The very forward AB's cabin on the Blisworth the top bunk, only had half a pillow, the rest of the space was taken up by the hawespipe; imagine being "watch below" when some silly mate let the anchor go.

Posted by Dawn on 04/06/2008

I have recently found my great(x3)-grandfather Richard Robinson's voyages for 1854. His departure was on a vessel called FULLERTON from Goole, it looks like the vessel went to London.

Posted by Corby on 13/11/2009

The Fullerton was a brigantine built by John Banks at Howdendyke. In 1854 possibly the first one built by him and it sounds like its maiden voyage.

Posted by Paul on 27/07/2008

I sailed out of Goole from 1950-55, mainly on the railway boats: SS HODDER (Capt. Collier and Capt. Allan) twelve month in her; SS ALT, can't remember the skipper; FOUNTAINS ABBEY, I was motorman on her. The last ship was the AIRE (Capt. H Boyes). I also sailed on the LANCASTERBROOK 1951-52 (Capt. H. Lawson), good ship and good skipper.

Anyone out there remember the DONA FLORA, a real rust bucket and a bad ship all round? I lost an old mate off her "Harry Martin". Anyone know him, he was a Goole man? I lived in Thorne. Other names I remember are Ginger Skinner, he was Boson, big lad had some good times ashore with him; Old Vandatac, he spoke a few languages, bit of a loner. I was a fireman known as Tashy Campbell. All the best.

Posted by Gary on 14/08/2008

Does anyone recall the SANDRINGHAM QUEEN from the late 1950s, early 1960s? I sailed on her for a couple of months at that time but cannot for the life of me remember what company she belonged to or the funnel colours. Also, the RICHMOND QUEEN. Were they the same company? Thanks.

Posted by Pedro on 14/08/2008

Same company, Queenship Navigation Co. 35 Crutchard Friars London. Buff funnel red band black top. Spent many happy hours painting the funnels of ROMAN, WINDSOR, TUDOR, CELTIC and SANDRINGHAM QUEEN ships.

Posted by Gordon on 25/08/2008

My father, Capt. Thomas William Westerdale, sailed out of Goole on the HODDER and then on the DON and relieving skipper on the DEARNE. His first diesel ship was BYLAND ABBEY also of the Copenhagen run. He also relieved on the FOUNTAINS ABBEY.

Posted by Gary on 01/09/2008

I had the pleasure of sailing under his command on the Byland Abbey for quite a few trips between 1959 and 1961. He was quite a guy. Firm but fair.

Posted by Martin on 25/09/2008

Does anyone remember AHL captains Joe Blackburn, Bill Laverack and Captain Collier? My father rated them as the best he sailed with. I know that first two were Goole men - my dad used to say any master who could sail to Goole without a pilot were called "Goolies"!

Posted by Robert on 28/09/2008

Sea Breezes vol. 45 no. 308 August 1971, pages 600-603, had an article about Joe Blackburn, titled "A Master and his Ship. Capt. Joe Blackburn" and the MELROSE ABBEY. It has an account of his career, and also his photograph. He was born in Goole in 1911.

I seem to remember an article about Bill Laverack in the Goole Times around 3-6 months ago.

Posted by Hamish on 28/09/2008

I sailed with Captain Collier on the AIRE back in the 1950s and I concur with your dad, he was a gentleman and a scholar and a great mariner. The mate at the time was a Dennis Tute who went to become a Goole pilot, whom I suspect got most of his river "schooling" from Jack Collier.

Posted by Geoff on 30/09/2008

There were as you probably know two Captain Colliers. My dad served as first mate and relief captain with Tom Collier who was captain on the MARLWOOD. I knew Denis Tute, he was a colleague of my dads' and as recorded previously he died quite some time ago, I think it would have been in the 1980s not long after my dad.

Posted by Hamish on 30/09/2008

I was aware of the two Captain Colliers, but as Martin made reference to the AHL ships, I assumed he meant Jack Collier. The Marlwood (and excuse the pun) was a collier.

Posted by Martin on 10/11/2008

All you ex-AHL blokes out their - can you tell me the name of the Chief Steward of the Wakefield in 1968/69? I sailed as young kid on the MELROSE ABBEY, LEEDS, WAKEFIELD, WHITBY ABBEY and DARLINGTON in the late-1960s early-1970s. I am eternally grateful as he cured me of sea sickness - bacon banjo and brown source. I think he was called Hawksworth and was the spitting image of Charlie Drake.

Posted by Alan on 26/12/2008

My wife's dad Herbert Christie Marshall (AKA "Slippy Marshall") sailed on the FAXFLEET and whilst moored at Terneuzen he fell from the gang plank and was killed. We think he was buried in Flushing. Could there be any more information or memories out there? Thanks.

Posted by Pedro on 30/12/2008

I remember the accident as I had just joined the IRWELL. I have no real info at present but put out a few feelers. Hopefully will come up with something. Although my brother and I seem to think the grave is actually in Terneuzen village.

Posted by Transportman on 01/01/2009

Does anyone remember Frank Schultz sailing out of Goole? He was an AB on the MONKWOOD, TUDOR QUEEN, COLD HARBOUR, CORGLEN, FAWDON, DONA FLORA, IRWELL, DEARNE, DON, HEBBLE, FOUNTAINS ABBEY, SS SELBY, WHITBY ABBEY, MACCLESFIELD, POOLE SOUND and POOLE RIVER before going to Port Line in 1962 then Esso in 1967.

Posted by Hamish on 03/01/2009

Your buddy Frank didn't miss too many of the "Lanky" boats, but it is a pity you don't have any dates for his time on them, I was on three, the Don included, a great little ship even if the company left a little to be desired. The only Schultz I sailed with was either a bosun or on the dock crew for AHL.

Posted by Transportman on 06/01/2009

The "Lanky" boats Frank sailed on were: Irwell (8/8/1949 to 6/8/1953); Dearne (7/8/1953 to 18/8 1953); Don (11/9/1953 to 23/9/1953); Hebble (25/9/1953 to 4/10/1954); Fountains Abbey (13/10/1954 to 13/1/1955); SS Selby (13/1/1955 to 17/6/1955); Aire (2/8/1955 to 8/8/1955); back on the Selby (15/8/1955 to 24/4 1956); Whitby Abbey (24/4 1956 to 18/10/1956); Selby again (24/10/1956 to 15/1/1957); Don Goole to Hull (16/1/1957); back on the Selby (28/1/1957 to 9/7/1957); Macclesfield (10/7/1957 to 18/7/1957) and Hebble (25/7/1957 to 6/8/1957).

Posted by Hamish on 09/01/2009

Missed your buddy by about a month on the Don, I was on her for the month of July 53; the Aire I missed by about a year, I was on her from February until July 1956, in fact she was my next to last ship before immigrating to Canada. I sailed on the POLDEN for about a year after the Aire. The other AHL I was on was the BLYTH for September/October 1952.

Posted by Barry on 25/03/2009

I sailed with Frankie Schultz in the Irwell (I was deck lad at the time). He was a good seaman and friend.

Posted by Paul on 01/01/2009

This is a very interesting site! Has anyone got, or can point me to, information concerning a relative, John Drury, captain of the MARK PHAR of Goole in 1871. Any information of the vessel itself would also be most welcome. She had a crew of four or five. Thanks.

Posted by George on 03/01/2009

I have a note of a sailing vessel MARK THAT built at Goole in 1853, 119 tons, owned in 1862 by Drury & Co. This is I think from an extract of the Goole Register held at the Waterways Museum. Could be the vessel you seek?

Posted by Kerry on 21/02/2009

Just been looking at site with my dad Eric Hill. He worked at the shipyard and sailed on the DON (1949), ELIZABETH LYSARD, SYLVIA BEALE, WILLIAM CASH and the BARFORD. He recalls some of the names that have been putting messages on site. I've been getting my dad to rack his brains and reminisce about his past - he came up with the following.

He left school in 1949 and joined the SS Don in July with Alan Fielder. He has also mentioned some other mutual friends you may remember Jackie Kennedy (good friends of my dad's uncle Des Darragh), Darky Pratt, Stan Ford, Ken Thomson, Alan Wheldrake, Carl Bestwick (better known as the Beast!), Luke Cain (who liked a good fight when drunk!), Percy Cross, Freddie Cooper, Dick Cawthhorne and Wiggy Porter (SS Don).

He knew a lot of them from either at sea or working on the docks. He remembers Alan Fielders loft well.

Posted by Pedro on 01/03/2009

I sailed with most of the names you posted Kerry. Sadly I think Stan Ford is the only one who is with us. Ken Thompson sadly finished with engines (passed away last week). We converse mostly on this website as Hamish for instance now lives in Canada. When I'm in town I drink with Stan on occasions in the Crescent Club. Knobby Clark is a regular your dad knows him.

Posted by Hamish on 01/03/2009

The trouble with most MN sites, and looking for old shipmates, is we never did get to know any one's full names (if we did we soon forgot it) we were "labelled" with a Nickname soon after joining. Mine was "Mac" (for obvious reasons) when I sailed out of Goole, but if I joined a London crewed ship then I became "Yorkie" and I am sure others on this site will agree with me, and the lack of recall to "Full" names.

On your post you mention a "Darky" Pratt, was his first name Fred and was he a football enthusiast? I recall a fellow on the "Don" who badgered us into joining the ships soccer team, and arranging all kinds of matches in Copenhagen, against local teams, can you imagine trying to put an honest 90 minutes in running around a football pitch after a visit to Tuborg brewery?

I did a short sojourn on the Don about four trips in the early 1950s. She and her "buddy" ship the DEARNE were known as the "butter boats" running to Copenhagen week about from Goole, one weekend in Denmark and the next weekend back home. That's why I left her, too much strain on the budget, not enough time at sea, and the nightlife (in them days) was just too hard to keep up with, and I was a young guy then!

Posted by Corby on 02/03/2009

I hope this is not taxing dad's brain too much. I well remember Alan joining the Don and I know his starting wage was £1/10s a week. I started my apprenticeship for 17/6 a week, so Alan instantly became a rich man in my books. Alan and Ron Wheldrake out of Estcourt Street were also good friends of ours. I knew Les Pratt from Limetree.

Freddie Cooper the boy I thought I had killed! I was bought a "Daisy" air rifle but my dad would not let me use pellets. So I used to go out with shooting matchsticks. I called on Freddie three doors down. Knocked on the door. Instead of opening the door. Freddie decided to peep through the letter box. Directly in line with my loaded rifle. You've guessed it. I pulled the trigger. You can imagine the confusion. The matchstick impaled between the lid and the brow of his eye. The matchstick was pulled, although it bled it soon healed. My rifle was confiscated. Another lesson learned.

Posted by Kerry on 02/03/2009

Hamish, my dad thinks it was Freddy Bennison who you are thinking of, who liked to play football. He can't remember Darky's first name but is sure it's not Fred. My dad also asks if you lived in Old Goole at one time and did you use to shout "don ginnings" when you had had a few drinks!, as he knew a Hamish who did. He tells me that he was on the Port Frederique in 1953 so you may not have sailed together.

Posted by Pedro on 02/03/2009

Les Pratt (darkie) joined his first ship, the Yokefleet as galley boy. His younger brother Brian also went to sea along with (a few more names) Maurice Taun, Denis Mccone, Ray West, Tommy Leighton, Ron Snead the list goes on. Fred Benison was fireman along with Eli Taun, Tommy Hoyle, Tommy Halselquist, Jack Smithson. Bumper Woodhead Bumper Callaghan. Most of the firemen came out of the Royal Navy after the war along with a few ABs; and boy did they cause some battles on the Hamburg/Bremen run ashore - pointless telling these guys the war is over. Happy days.

Posted by Hamish on 03/03/2009

Ahoy Kerry and Pedro, boy you sure have a good memory for names Pedro, I have trouble remembering my own at times (depends on the single malt) And Kerry, yes it was Fred Bennison I was thinking of, he was as Pedro states a fireman on the Don.

Posted by Barry on 03/06/2009

I knew your dad but only as "Ginksy". I'm a 1934 person too but I was born in Hull. We were bombed out four or five times before we came to Goole in 1941, when I was eleven. I went from Old Goole School to Modern School and that's where I knew your dad. Tell me, does he still have all that long wavy hair or has it waved cheerio like mine?

Posted by Gary on 09/03/2009

Just reading some of the latest postings and loving them!

Let's start with Kerry Hill's, starting with her reference to her dad, Eric. Is he perchance the father of brothers Tim and Eric Jnr? Nice guys both, but if memory serves, Tim went all "junior chamber" on us, while Eric stayed with the regular guys. I do recall that he worked in the shipyard. Kerry's reference to her uncles Reg and Percy brings back happy memories. Percy had the Burlington Hotel for the longest time, and upon his retirement, Reg took it over if memory serves.

Other names also bring back happy memories. Alan (Ace) Fielder was a steward on the BYLAND ABBEY when I first joined her in 1959, which is when I got to know most of the other guys mentioned on this site. Me being an import from the other side of Donny. Eddie Binnington and Darkie Pratt are among my most memorable, although by this time they were both dockers. Darkie's brother, Ginner, was still at sea at this time, but both he and Darkie were among my list of good guys. That's not to say that they were the only ones. There were so many!

Also mentioned were Stan Ford who, if I recall correctly, married Molly Ellis. Funny how these names come to mind after so long. Ken Thomson is another one. I did my last deep sea trip with Ken on the RMS ESCALANTE, with another wannabe Goolie, Larry Crowley, originally from Manchester. Good guys. Sorry to hear about Ken's passing by the way! Other names mentioned were Maurice Taun, who was also a steward on the Byland Abbey, but also a workmate at Drax Power Station. Dennis McCone is another former shipmate from the KIRKHAM ABBEY (anybody remember Billy Carr, the bo's'n?). Tommy Leighton is another former shipmate who has crossed the bar. My, how time flies.

Posted by Barry on 25/03/2009

Deck crew I remember were Fred Raddings, Billy Holmes, Harry Skinner and Steve Longhorn. Crabbie was a skipper and I remember him sending me up the funnel to chip the wartime paint from the whistle and then polish it, he said it sounded better?

Posted by Gary on 26/03/2009

I crossed paths with some of the guys you mentioned, albeit not in the same time period. Fred Raddings, I remember well, although when I knew him, he was on the AHL shore gang; me being a new and not yet tested Goolie. The BYLAND ABBEY was my initiation. I was a friend of Fred`s sons, Cliff, unfortunately deceased, and Eric, who I understand is still kicking arse in political circles locally. Harry Skinner is another of my former shipmates who have since crossed the bar. The STEYNING comes to mind.

The other names you quoted seem familiar, but I can't be certain. I do recall, however, one of the Krebbs clan making an inroad into showbiz, Les, I believe his name was, and he used to do a lot of Hank Williams stuff. He was good. Whatever became of him? Hope to hear from you soon.

Posted by Hamish on 26/03/2009

You mention a Steve Longhorn, would you know if he made the dizzy heights of Bosun on the BLYTH or do I have the wrong Steve? The one I remember was a very dour gent who would not crack a smile even if his granny's ass was on fire, and I believe he finished his days on the AHL shore gang.

Posted by Ivan on 26/10/2009

Found this site whilst tracing vessels I sailed on and also vessels my father, also Ivan Cloherty sailed on, Spanning from 1927 to the 1980s. We caused a bit of confusion sometimes in Posterngate, when we were both home at the same time, a rare occurrence. Noticed Corby mentioned a photo of COULGORM signing on in Hull for Aussie in 1948. My father signed on the Coulgorm as bosun on 2/12/1948 in Hull and sailed for Aus, signing on again on 25/12/1950.

My own first ship out of Goole was second mate on a yellow peril, SPECIALITY, just finished my apprenticeship with PSNC, learnt more in four months on that ship, than I'd learnt the previous four years deep sea. When the tide is nearly the same speed as your ship you quickly learn how to navigate, especially when you are bucking the tide. Never steered three points off my charted course before, just to maintain the course line, had been used to 15/16 knotters.

Sailed out of Goole for a number of years (lived in Hull). Later went on to sail with Stephie Clarkes and Comben Longstaff coming ashore with Combens in 1964 as a superintendent, and maintained a close relationship with Goole for the next nine years. We later took over managing the "Queen" ships and I remember Capt. Flett well, a very nice man, never sailed with him, but (me) as a young "super" he gave me lots of advice and the benefit of his years which was greatly appreciated.

I am also trying to trace a photo of trawler SWANLAND H402 ex ARTIC ROVER which I sailed on in 1952 as a 14-year-old pleasurer! Nice to read all the comments, us collier men envied the Butterboat men (at times) it must have been nice to know that not everything on board had to be black. The comments from all certainly brought back some interesting memories. Kind regards to you all

Posted by Zygmund on 27/10/2009

I have many happy memories of Goole in the 1950s. I was chief officer on the ROMAN QUEEN. These were the old steamships with local firemen/stokers who were replaced by West African immigrants residing in Hull but mostly from the Cardiff area known as Tiger Bay. We had a regular trade from Goole with coal to Plymouth then load stone at Newlyn Cornwall for Deptford Creek, London. Then it was back to either Goole or Blyth for yet more coal.

Posted by Pedro on 28/10/2009

I remember you as mate on the Roman Queen. The captain was a Welshman named Williams. If my memory serves, you were about to sit your masters certificate. We also had a Polish AB on board named Jan who lived in Blyth; he on occasion acted as translator for the trawler men who absconded from Russian trawlers and were kept in the Seaman's Mission or the hospital in Blyth. Small world!

Posted by Tricia on 13/11/2009

Just found this brilliant site whilst trying to trace my family tree/history. My maiden name was Lawson and I was so pleased to see the nice comments about my Uncle Harold who was a lovely man and true gent. He got me my first job in HOH offices in East Parade in 1966. My dad Harry was in the merchant navy as was uncle Joe. I have not lived in Goole now for 30 years but have had the Goole Times sent almost every week since I left.

Would anyone know how I can trace the ships my grandad Lawson (Harold's dad) sailed on please? I believe he was a master mariner but there are so few of us Lawsons left and I don't know where to start. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Pedro on 15/11/2009

Tricia what was your grandad Lawson's first name?

Posted by Tricia on 15/11/2009

No one actually knew as he was always called "Pa" in the family (and Grandma was "Ma" and woe betide anyone who called her anything else!!)

However since original posting think may I have found him through 1901 census and it appears he could be John Robert - one of his sons was called that name but died I believe in infancy. There was a John Robert Lawson from Goole registered on 1901 census in Halling, Kent working on BERTHA which was I believe a dredger and there was also a P. Penn from Goole working with him who was 66 (John R Lawson was 33).

Posted by Harold on 30/11/2009

I remember as a child overhearing my dad (Monty), who always referred to your uncle Harold as "Cappy Lawson" telling someone, I don't remember who, that "Cappy Lawson had in his boyhood years being lashed to the mast by his father during a particularly bad storm". The inference being that it was a sailing vessel. Hope this helps.

Posted by Tricia on 30/11/2009

Loved the tale about Uncle Harold being lashed to the mast by grandad - bet Health and Safety would have something to say about that these days! I wish I had done the family tree 30 years ago when he and dad and uncle Joe were alive; it saddens me to think of all the good stories I have missed, a lesson for all young readers - do it now get all the info you can, you might think it boring now but you won't in years to come and it might be too late then. Thanks again.

Posted by Gary on 31/12/2009

The AHL was Associated Humber Lines, a.k.a. the Railway Boats (if you are a Goolie, "Railway Booats"). Whilst serving on these vessels we, the crew, were considered employees of British Railways and, as such, were entitled to travel warrants for rail travel. My AHL ships were BYLAND ABBEY, KIRKHAM ABBEY, YORK, DARLINGTON, LEEDS, WAKEFIELD and WHITBY ABBEY. All between 1959 and 1963. Happy days indeed!

Posted by Hamish on 31/12/2009

Your recollection of them must be better than mine Gary! All I found them good for was time off, no money, they were very good at "bending" the union agreement, time off in lieu of overtime, Sundays at sea, etc. at their discretion only. I used them between colliers if nothing was going through the Pool, and I had been as shore awhile. Only did three, the AIRE, BLYTH and DON circa 1952 to 1957, and only stayed a couple of trips on each; had to sell the "bond" bottle to make a living wage.

Posted by Gary on 03/01/2010

I agree with you on some points. However, I was never on any of the older ships that you mentioned. eg. Aire, Blyth, Don, so can't comment on conditions at the time.

My first was the Darlington in 1959 - I had been deep sea prior to that so I was new to H/T articles - didn't like it! My next AHLer was the Byland Abbey (Frg), where I fell in love with Copenhagen from day one! I did not stay on this ship to get rich, just for the run. I loved the place. Good accommodation, good shipmates and not too many idiots on the bridge (there were some, no names, no pack drill)!

Same applies to other AHLers. Hamburg/Bremen, Antwerp/Ghent, Rotterdam/Amsterdam. At least one night ashore in each place. All on the company buck! That's what I meant by "happy days" To do what we did then would cost megabucks these days! Forget about the bad times, everybody has them! Cheers to the next time!

Posted by Hamish on 03/01/2010

I agree great runs, and runs ashore, The Don for example spent one weekend in Goole then the next weekend in Copenhagen, every weekend in port, well what with Tivoli Gardens and the Brewery tours, the girls that came aboard, hells bells one needed the constitution of a horse, I can recall one time having to borrow the bus fare (till I sold my bond bottle) to get me home to Leeds from Goole. But I do admit they were great times.

Posted by John on 02/01/2010

Does anyone have information on a ship called SWYNFLEET? My wife's great-grandad was the captain on her, named White. Thanks.

Posted by Transportman on 03/01/2010

Register No. 136734 Launched 2 November 1914 by Osbourne, Graham & Co at Sunderland. for Constantine Doresa, London as the Belge. Bought by Ouse SS. Co., Goole in 1919 and renamed SWYNFLEET. 1,168 grt. 240.3ft in length, 36.5ft beam 15ft 4ins draught. Triple expansion three cylinder engine. Cylinder diameter 17ins; 28ins and 46ins with a stroke of 33ins producing 148 NHP giving a speed of ten knots. Signal code letters M F R B. Last voyage was from Goole to Ipswich with a load of coal when she hit a mine off Harwich 25 January 1942 position 51.56.3N 1.19.3E

Posted by Sylvia on 12/05/2010

In 1861 my great-great-grandfather William Lamplough was living with his family in Ivy House, Old Goole. He was master of SS DEVA; this belonged to HTW & Co of Goole, Hull and Grimsby. Any information about the ship or company would be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Pedro on 14/05/2010

The Coaster Deva built 1857 was first registered at Liverpool to W.C Fosberry &Others 1859 Re-registered at Goole to H.T Watson of Hull 1866 aquired by Goole S.S Co 1870 sold to Peter Barr of Glasgow 1876 Broken up.

Posted by Paul on 06/03/2011

The SELLINA C did many trips from Rotterdam to Goole in the 1980s carrying Chinese transhipment cargo. This was the vessel that drifted away from Victoria Pier and sailed through Hook Railway Bridge with no one at the wheel.

Posted by Roughseas on 03/06/2011

I was looking for "butter boats" and this was the only site that came up with a link. Any suggestions where I can find more info? Thanks.

Posted by Martin on 11/07/2011

The "butter boats" were the Goole - Copenhagen ships of Associated Humber Lines (AHL) - the last two being the MV BYLAND ABBEY and MV KIRKHAM ABBEY. They replaced the earlier ships SS DON and SS DEARNE in the late 1950s. In 1966(?) they were purchased by Ellerman Wilson Line of Hull - and were still on this run into the early 1970s. As the nickname suggests their cargo was butter and Danish bacon.

Posted by Hamish on 13/09/2011

I sailed out of Goole starting in 1949. I sailed on the Don for a short time between Copenhagen and Goole on a week about basis. As I recall, the main cargo (besides general) was Danish tinned (canned) bacon.

Posted by Gary on 18/09/2011

I am proud to have been an AB on the latter day butter boats, the Byland Abbey and the Kirkham Abbey, and occasionally the MV YORK, which used to fill in when either of the other two were in dry dock. I never sailed on the older ones, as I only started sailing out of Goole in 1959-ish, although they were still around at the time. The butter boats were the Copenhagen ships, whose main cargo was butter (duh!), cheeses of various kinds, and Danish bacon, as the newer vessels had refrigerated holds. And let's not forget the Carlsberg (beer), which was not ready for consumption at this stage, and so was not on the pilfer list (but we tried). I still remember the cans of ham though, but we only took what we could eat on the two day trip back to Goole. Hope this fills in a couple of the blanks.

Posted by Bill on 18/09/2011

The Yorkshire Film Archives has a feature film all about the docks and shipping in the 1960s with reference to the "butter" boats.

Posted by Gary on 21/09/2011

I followed your advice and watched the film and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not least of all because that was when I was sailing out of Goole. The very first ship on the movie was the STEYNING, one of my old ships. Then the Byland Abbey, which I spent about eleven months on. I could scarcely hold back the tears of nostalgia.

I had to chuckle a bit, however, when I saw the dockers running around like blue-arsed flies. Someone must have told them to put on a bit of a show for the camera, as you would very rarely see them act that way normally. I kid you not. I did not recognise any of them either. The ones I knew must have been in the Lowther or the George or Sydney et al. Perhaps they were actors, or maybe it was shot on a Wednesday (full board day).

Anyway, it was a great era; not, unfortunately, like it is these days, when it is a rare day when you meet a British seaman. Thanks to the powers that be. Heaven help us if we ever have to rely on the Merchant Navy in crises such as WWI or WWII!

Posted by Robert on 21/09/2011

I enjoyed the film too. The shipping shots are great. The section from about 24 minutes in that shows the town centre and the schools is wonderful too. This is the Goole that many of us on this website remember.

Posted by Hamish on 22/09/2011

Great film - thanks for the heads up. To me it was pure nostalgia, however having said that, one can see from the film the need for drastic change. The unloading of the Byland Abbey for instance, pork being dropped over the side in bunches and wheeled away on hand trollies one at a time, and on the other clip "cold" meat being stacked on a flatbed lorry in the bright sunshine, after some poor engineer has been sweating blood trying to keep the hold temperatures down. I take it the Byland Abbey only had cooler holds, not reefer holds (below freezing) as the dockers in the hold were not all bundled up, as one would be if the cargo was frozen.

I was quite taken with the dockers "Uniforms" much better dressed than in my day, the mandatory flat hat, tweed jacket, and of all things shiny brown boots (which he could not keep from under the heavy lift), but all in all a great film, and as I said pure nostalgia. I wish there was one from about ten years earlier circa 1954.

Posted by Darren on 30/09/2011

Thanks to everyone who has mentioned the Yorkshire Film Archive… have now seen the Steyning that my dad, David Clarkson, worked on in the 1960s. Researching the family history, this footage brings the stories I have heard come alive, such as him sailing past my aunt and uncles house at Reedness and shining a torch into their home from the ship to let them know that he was on his way to Goole and would be ready to be picked up!! The days before mobile phones, torchlight!

Posted by Hamish on 12/04/2015

Another observation I made of the film, was the total disregard for safety displayed by the dockworkers, walking around underneath swinging heavy lifts for example, and other infractions regarding loading and unloading. Another thing that I noticed, that was to me rather comical, was the unloading of the sides of Danish bacon, which were pulled out of the hold and loaded to an open flatbed lorry; hope it was not July when the film was made, or the bacon would not be very fresh when the housewives got it. The shots of the Beeding are very interesting.

Posted by Gary on 19/04/2015

Also, I echo Hamish's comments regarding the unloading of Danish bacon from "t'butter booats" - not very hygienic by today's standards but considered quite adequate for the day.

I sailed on both the Byland Abbey and her sister ship the Kirkham Abbey and well recall the ritual of scrubbing all three hatches, lower and 'tween-decks, in Copenhagen after discharging general outbound cargo, and prior to loading the bacon; which was only allowed to commence after inspection by a certified inspector and, believe it or not, they were pretty strict. The hatches were also insulated with sealing plugs which fitted between the hatch beams to allow for a means of refrigeration whilst at sea. However, the method of unloading the bacon in Goole still left a little to be desired. Still, I don't recall many complaints from the butcher's shops that used to sell the stuff or the guys who used to eat it every morning.

Posted by Tony on 21/04/2015

I can certainly remember scrubbing the gratings in Copenhagen - I did it on the Byland Abbey and York. As for the loading of bacon on lorries, this was an all year round job. It was loaded as you see in the film then covered with an ordinary wagon sheet, roped on then parked in the yard overnight and delivered next day round the West Riding - it all added to the flavour.

Posted by Tricia on 21/01/2013

I have just found out today that my cousin, Alan Lawson, died on 7 December 2012. The only notification I found was in the Yorkshire Post, he lived in Leeds; I do not think there was anything at all in the Goole Times. I am sharing this as he will probably be known to a lot of you as he was a Humber Pilot for many years. There was 30 years age difference between us so we were not close but he was so like his dad, Harold (Cappy) who was known to many of you and I did occasionally see him when I worked at HOH in the 1960s but wish we had been in touch more so that maybe I could have filled in the missing gaps in my family tree research. He has a son and grandson but they are I believe, sadly, the last of the (our) Lawsons. I still read this site regularly and enjoy the comments and facts and figures.

Posted by Robert on 26/01/2013

My grandfather was Wilson Turbull. He was master of the steamship DERWENT when he died of pneumonia and was brought back from Antwerp by my grandmother Kate Turnbull on the NIDD. I am trying to find out anything relating to his career with LMS and Goole Steam. Thanks.

Posted by Transportman on 27/01/2013

Wilson Turnbull, born Newcastle 1880 son of William Turnbull AB on EARL PERCY. Wilson lived at 29 Fourth Avenue, Goole. Joined the Goole Steam Shipping Company in 1900 and remained with them through the amalgamation with the railway companies. Promoted to master in 1925 and captained the NIDD, RAWCLIFFE, WENNING, AIRE, RIVER RIBBLE and DERWENT. His only son Arthur died aged seventeen at Manilla, Phillipines, 1928 whilst in the Merchant Navy. Buried in Goole cemetery in an unmarked grave.

Posted by George on 06/03/2013

Captain Mac Collier. Thought this obituary to a son of Goole might be of interest here

"Harold Malcolm Collier was born on March 16 1917 into a family which had worked in the shipping industry for generations. His father was Chief Customs Officer at Goole, and Mac (short for Malcolm) was educated at Goole Grammar School, leaving in 1933 to go to sea as an articled apprentice with Andrew Weir's Bank Line. He spent two years on the Indian-African service in the MV Congella, then another two on round-the-world service.

After passing his Second Mate's Certificate, Collier joined Associated Humber Lines of Hull, whose ships traded to the continent. He also joined the Royal Naval Reserve and undertook training in the battleship Iron Duke and the destroyer Antelope. In 1939 he obtained his First Mate's Certificate, completed a gunnery course and joined the destroyer Brilliant."

Posted by Pedro on 07/03/2013

Sorry to hear about his demise. A true gent with a chequered history and unlike some master mariners he certainly deserved the title Sir.

Posted by Barrie on 08/03/2013

I did wonder if this was Captain Collier who lived opposite to me in Woodland Avenue in the 1950s.

Posted by John on 09/03/2013

Yes, this is the same Capt. Collier. I lived at No. 1 in the early 1960s and the family were living there then.

Posted by Pedro on 09/12/2012

I am presently languishing in the sun on my favourite Caribbean island until next April. Seasons Greetings to all from sunny Barbados. Won't be back in Goole until next April shipmates. Have good one. Regards from the island where coca cola is more expensive than the rum.

Posted by Corby on 03/10/2013

Today I heard of the death of Pedro - for some time one of the main visitors to this page. My informant is a lady who went to the same school in Old Goole. She told me that she saw him on his bike and then only a few days later read of his death. What a fountain of knowledge and a well-liked man. He will be sadly missed. God Bless.

Posted by Bill on 04/10/2013

Corby, thanks for giving us the news about Pedro. I knew him only through his postings on this website but he struck me as a very decent man of great wisdom, experience and humour. I am sad that he is no longer with us.

Posted by Gary on 06/10/2013

Corby, to say I am shocked by your posting about Pedro is an understatement. Assuming, of course, that we are talking about the same Pedro we all know from this website. I am referring to Pete Harrison, who I never knew as a seaman, but came to know quite well when we had both swallowed the anchor, as it were. He will certainly be sadly missed on this site and in the Goole area.

The last time I met Pete was in the "Town and Country" pub (Wetherspoons) a few years ago when I was last there on vacation. He did spend quite a bit of time in his little corner of the world, Barbados (Little England) where I am sure he will be missed too.

Posted by Gary on 07/10/2013

I would have liked to have been there for his "last trip" as it were, but time and space just did not permit. I have no doubt that there is a place for him on the Lock Hill Memorial site. I will certainly look for it on my next visit.

Posted by Hamish on 13/10/2013

Ahoy Fellas! Not very nice to be "off site" for three weeks and come home to news like that, the demise of Pedro, he was a true spirit on site, and although I never met him (I do think I had a pint with him in "Charlies" in the early 1950s, but it's that age thing again) I felt as though he was a close friend, he was my link to try and keep track of a couple of "Goolies" I was at sea with, namely Billie Guy and George Cannon, so there is another hole in history with his passing. My thoughts are with his family and close friends at this sad time, and as Gary has mentioned there must be room on that memorial!

Posted by Malcolm on 22/11/2013

I have only just found this site and over the past hour have been greatly impressed and moved by the accounts and stories of Goole seafarers and would just like to add a few of my own from when I lived in Dunhill Road Goole from 1944-1960.

My father, William Sutcliff, first went to sea in 1923 from Goole in the ORLANDO for four years, TORRINGTON for three years, THERSA for three years and EASINGWOLD for four years until the start of World War II, when he joined the newly built (at Goole shipyard) MV COXWOLD and served on her, with Captain Pratt as Master, through many theatres of war including D-Day. After the war, my mother joined my father and took me along for what sounded like a world cruise, but being only perhaps three or four at the time I do not have any memory of it, but she always used to tell the story of how she nearly lost me in a bazaar in Casablanca.

Why he left the Coxwold always puzzles me because it was a lucky ship and my mother always spoke highly of Captain Pratt, but from 1946 he quickly moved from SALTFLEET, WELSH TRADER and then the Lanky boats, HODDER, DEARNE, ALT, a seven day voyage on Felixstowe which does not sound like a Lanky, then back to the Dearne, Hodder, DON and ROTHER, two months on the BROADHURST in 1952 and back to the Lankys AIRE and Alt until 1954.

Then it was POOLE RIVER, HOLDERKNOLL and three months on the MARLWOOD of France Fenwick in 1955, which is the first ship mentioned on this website. He then moved with Captain Tom Collier of Reedness, who he got on very well with, to the GWYNWOOD for two years and finally after eight months he died aged 59 on the BRAYWOOD whilst she was berthed at Jarrow in 1959, when I was fifteen years of age. He was a cook and steward and chief steward on the COXWOLD, cook on the Lanky boats and steward on the France Fenwick boats.

Although I cannot remember seeing her, I remember the distinctive siren of the PARKENELLA amongst all the others, when they used to blow them on New Year's Eve. I wanted to go to sea but my mother strictly forbid in on account of the fact that my father was always away rather than at home, which of course is the life of a seafarer and my memories of him are few and fleeting - later I became a barrister instead! Although I live in Country Durham on my way to Whitby I've sometimes called at the village of Coxwold, near Sutton Bank and wondered what significance the name had to the owners, Atkinson Prickett who must have named her - perhaps one of their family had lived there?

I have wonderful memories of going round the docks as a child and a young man and, in contrast to today's fences and railings, one could virtually go anywhere. I remember Everard's MV GRIT in dry dock and their other "ity" boats. My father was born in 1900 at North Street and his father Jacob was the one of the sons of Abraham Sutcliff, mentioned earlier on this site and in Mike Marsh's book as being the licensee of The Crown Inn in Ouse Street in the 1880s. Abraham Sutcliff's headstone is still handsome and erect in Goole cemetery a century or so later.

It is 50 years since I left Goole, but it is still in the blood. Ray Gosling's death this week prompted me to start this search, because his obituary says his favourite of the many documentaries he made was about Goole docks, being on a barge and talking to girls who knew seafarers!

Posted by Corby on 26/11/2013

We are lucky to know where our fathers were throughout their working lives, also the war years. Although my father was in the other war, I have just realised that they all came close together when they all worked on the Marlwood. My father was a docker. His main job was a coal trimmer but towards the end of his working life he worked for Bennets as a cargo checker. He retired in 1955 aged 60.

Great days, well remembered.

Posted by Hamish on 03/12/2013

Malcolm, I might have sailed with your dad, as I was on the Aire, Don and Dearne, around the same era, 1952-55, but I would have to locate my discharge book to come up with exact dates. Many more of his ships bring back a little nostalgia.

Posted by Tony on 17/12/2013

Hi Gary, don't know whether you remember me, I was on BYLAND ABBEY for short time with you. Westerlygales the skipper, Ken Hammond bosun, his brother Doug was union bloke. Fond memories of Brydden's Bodega across the road in Copenhagen. Tuborg 75 ore a bottle. I spent a lot of time in the Peacock when Sid and Rose had it. I also finished in 1964 and went to Ferrybridge painting for Tighes; I think you trained as a welder when you went to Babbies.

Posted by Gary on 21/12/2013

Tony, nice to hear from an old shipmate. You are right on all counts. I remember your name but I can't put a face to it yet, although I will continue to work on it. Yes I did train as a gas welder after coming ashore in 1964 for Babcock & Wilcox on boiler construction.

Posted by Tony on 01/01/2014

First thanks for the reply. Gary, correction on the price of beer, 1 krone across the road 75 ore in dockers' canteen on quay.

I read all the comments on this site with interest. I went to sea school in Gravesend in late 1950s and came out as a fully qualified deck boy. After several deep sea trips and getting my EDH Cert., I started sailing out of Goole. I was on several AHL ships YORK, LEEDS, WAKEFIELD, WHITBY ABBEY and BYLAND ABBEY. Other ships were LANCING, ARDINGLY, BROADHURST, LONDON, EILDON, HESSLEGATE.

Continuing - Geoff Le Voguer, your dad was on the Lancing with me. I remember the well washed boiler suit and beret, not forgetting his 'tashe. He was also on probably one of the AHL boats with me as I remember bringing him home from Hull in my car with a couple of other lads; we must have stopped in Hull that trip for me to have been using my car. Charlie swore he would never travel with me again - Hull to Goole in 24 mins in 1962/63 in my Laurel green 1957 Vauxhall Victor.

Posted by Gary on 18/01/2014

Regarding Tony's reference to the butter boats, namely the Byland Abbey and sister ship Kirkham Abbey on the Copenhagen run, I used what little techy knowledge I have and used Google Earth to zoom in on where we used to tie up at "Islands Brygge" (circa 1960/62).

What we knew as "Container Brugge" (just across from the Bodega and Haroldsburg) is now waterside parkland. Landscaped lawns with park benches and such. I'd love to visit it now and reminisce. I also understand that the imposing structure of the Hotel Europa, which was just across the water, is no longer there. I have a couple of photos (the old 35mm type) with the Europa in the background which I treasure. One of which features myself, Tony Ogden (fellow AB) and Lutie Walton (M/M) sunning ourselves on the afterdeck.

Tony, you may have been on the Byland Abbey around this time.

Posted by Hamish on 20/01/2014

You sure have a good memory, all I can remember of Copenhagen while on the DON was the mermaid sitting on the rock in the harbour; well maybe I can recall a few brewery "tours" where they would give you a case of beer for taking the tour, but that only lasted until they came to recognise you, no matter what kind of disguise one tried; I got away with it three times.

I have a vague memory of the gardens, and a couple of football pitches, that's about it. Cannot remember where we tied up though, nor any of the big buildings you speak of - you must have been paying attention.

Posted by Tony on 22/01/2014

While I remember most and sailed with a lot of the names mentioned in past comments, I will give a few more that may be known. Gary beat me to two; who could forget the Bopper and Lute; sadly I believe Tony died a long time ago. I recall taking him home to Moorends with a carryout on the back seat; there were three of us, I think Spats Sutcliffe was the other one.

The crew of the Lancing was Capt. Bilton, Charlie the Pole (mate), Arthur Mount (second mate), Maltese Joe Cini from Leeds (bosun), me, Stan Foord (I think that is correct spelling), Roy Linnington, Charlie Le Voguer, Alan (Spud) Tate, Arthur (Dinger) Cowling (ass. Steward), Bernard ? (m/m), Ted Acaster (cook). I went home with Stan once to Seaford; went out with his brother and slept on his mum's floor.

Others I have sailed with are Pete Mudd and Graham Togger(?) from Leeds, Alec Grant, Mick Bird from Stainforth, Albert Smith bosun (apparently only had two ships BEEDING and BROADHURST), Harry Bellaby bosun on Leeds and London, Tommy Waterland, Dave and Reg Hoggard, Arthur Pettican. Two others come to mind Cisco and Lofty who I think were Roy Linnington's brothers. Sadly Lofty was drowned in the docks working as a boatman. Lastly how could I forget my mate Ray (Hank the Yank) Mayo and his 52 Harley Davidson who I think was actually Canadian.

To go onto AHL, all the captains did their own pilotage to Goole, as Gary will probably remember Capt. Walters on the Leeds had his own wheelman between Hull and Goole; I took this job when whoever was doing it left - it was a good job, kept dry and sheltered. WHITBY ABBEY had Paddy Boyland as captain, he only slowed down coming round Middle Witton; Ken Bolland was mate and Abadan Harry was second mate; Freddy Clynes was steward; Jim Costello was cook; also had a good poker school on there.

Finally the YORK, on which I did most of my Copenhagen runs, on either on the beer run or relieving BYLAND ABBEY or KIRKHAM ABBEY as her lower holds were refrigerated, Capt. Bill Laverack one of the best who I knew before I went to sea as I delivered his newspaper when I was at school. Somebody mentioned an article about him in the local paper, I kept it from The Goole Times dated 8 May 2008.

P.S. Just remembered I was talking to Ken Bromley the other day and I asked him which AHL Captain flew the Blue Ensign he thought it was Jack Collier can someone verify. Bye again.

Posted by Hamish on 23/01/2014

Tony, you have a memory for names that matches Gary's. I don't recognise many of the names of which you speak, but then maybe the era of which I speak is a little before your time; mine was the early 1950s, joined my first ship in Goole in 1949 at the dock right outside Melodies front door.

You have a Smith as Bosun on the Beeding, what year would that be? When I was on her, Long Bill Johnston from Hove was Bosun and he had been on her from new, he was a permanent fixture on her and I would relieve him for his holidays - that was in the middle-1950s. You are correct Jack Collier was the blue ensign guy, he was Master on the Aire, in fact he was in command when she was hit and sunk just down river from Goole; a great guy by the name of Tute was mate on her he became a Goole river pilot.

A couple of "Goolies" I was with were George Cannon, Billy Guy, "Buckie" Dent, "Lofty" Cornforth and a couple of Leeds guys were Jimmy Cooper, Aurther Mason (who has posted on here) and Pete Olley now sadly gone. I sailed with many more "Goolies" but names are not my strong point. Billy Guy, he became a docker, was a star turn in Melodies with his renditions of Frankie Lane.

I am not a "native" Goolie, coming from Leeds (by way of the Scottish Highlands). I have many memories of the old place, The Railway Tavern and "Charlie". Melodies, the first pub I ever set foot in in Goole as a young green deck boy, and the great times we had there voyage after voyage in the "Lankie boats", the colliers and the deep sea trips in between; the girls we fell in love with (for a trip) and the fellow seamen we rubbed shoulders with, great memories! All I can say is "Thank you Goole for your Tolerance".

Posted by Gary on 28/01/2014

Tony, I well remember most of your list of former shipmates, plus a few more. Regarding the Byland Abbey, who could forget George Woofe, Len Jones, Pete Robinson (Doncaster), Tommy Leighton; all deckies but I recall George Coggan and Dennis Toulan were two of the master mariners from the Byland.

Many of these guys have unfortunately crossed the bar but the last time I was back, about four years ago, I chanced upon Dennis McKone AB, Kirkham Abbey and already mentioned Tom Waterland in Wetherspoons "Town and Country". The Graham (Toggie) whose name you couldn't place was Ramsden. His best buddy was Brian Temperton, who recently e-mailed me from Australia. Ray Mayo I also recall, although I never sailed with him. He was on the Byland Abbey at a different time. I understand he fell afoul of the Danish customs over an excess of Rizla products and had his Harley-Davidson confiscated (Capt/ Westerdale allowed him to take it aboard). I don't know if he ever got it back or not.

Posted by Tony on 29/01/2014

You are right about Ray and the cig papers; I think he spent a fortnight in clink over there. He got his bike back with lots of bits missing, got rid and bought a brown and cream Vauxhall Cresta. A hearth rug arrived in a taxi when I got married, he also sent me Johnny Cash Ring of Fire LP from the States; last I heard of him he was in Rhodesia in the police but that was in 1960s. Names you mentioned, sailed with Len Jones, knew most of the others.

Posted by Gary on 03/02/2014

Just another item or two about the Byland Abbey and some of her crew (at the risk of boring our other contributors).

Tony, do you recall the Byland going into dry-dock at one point and having her fo'c'sle bulwarks raised about five feet? I was on her then but can't remember the reason. They never did it to any of the other Abbey ships. I know you had to stand on the old gunwales to see over. It did, however, provide a bit of wind protection at stations. Corby, maybe as a shipwright you could shed some light on it.

Posted by Corby on 04/02/2014

My memories of Goole ships are when most of them were sharp bowed, my favourite was HILVERSUM. In heavy seas these ships would soon shed the water taken. Along came the "spoon" bowed vessels which of course gave a larger working area on deck, but to take a big one would mean a great deal more water on deck. Perhaps this mode of taking the sheerline another five feet higher was an attempt to increase buoyancy in an effort to keep her head up. Thus, less dunking with less loss of speed and less strain all round.

Posted by Tony on 08/02/2014

I tend to agree with Corby, seem to remember something about Capt. W. having it done to stop her playing submarines in heavy weather; also wasn`t he famed for never getting stuck in the ice?

Posted by Martin on 16/02/2014

My father (Phil Smith) sailed with Freddy Cline on the Whitby Abbey - I recall my father calling him "Red Freddy" due to his political sympathies. I have a picture of the Whitby Abbey catering crew in the bar.

Posted by Hamish on 08/07/2014

Captain Collier on the AIRE flew the RNR pennant every time we entered port, what was the history of that, does anyone know? Thanks.

Posted by Tony on 10/07/2014

Both Capt. Colliers were RNR and when I was on the AHL ships they flew the Blue Ensign instead of the regular Red Duster.

My father recalled that when the YORK flew the RNR blue ensign that the Russian/American and Israeli spy ships in the Med took an inordinate interest in the ship.

Posted by Hamish on 10/07/2014

I don't recall the RNR flag being flown in place of the duster, but in addition to it, the duster was always back aft while the blue ensign was in the bow or on a halyard amid ships, but my question really was, why did these gents have the privilege to fly it? Not because they were RNR.

Posted by Gary on 10/07/2014

It is my understanding that any ship whose captain or crew members were either ex-RN or RNVR, was entitled to fly the blue ensign. Especially if they served in a war time situation. It merely signified that there were personnel aboard who had served in both the RN and the MN. Two examples I can bring to mind were the Orontes of the Orient Line and the Escalante of the Royal Mail Line. Both flew the blue ensign; with pride, I may add.

Posted by Tony on 17/07/2014

September 1955, FOUNTAINS ABBEY suffered serious engine failure while on route Goole to Amsterdam and had to be towed into Yarmouth then on to Grimsby for repairs. Anybody know what the failure was or anything else about the incident? Thanks.

Posted by Barry on 09/01/2017

The mechanical fuel supply to the main engine broke down and, as I was one of the crew on watch, I was sent down to the engine room to man the manual fuel supply pump. When it was my turn to take the wheel, the relief went on the pump, and that's how she limped in to Yarmouth.

Posted by Hamish on 22/07/2014

Anyone got any info on the DON hitting pack ice on a trip to Copenhagen, and having her prop/rudder damaged? Being repaired in Malmo circa 1956.

Posted by Philip on 13/11/2014

Do any of you old sea dogs from Goole or Hull know why AHL's chartered VEDETTE for about three years in the late 1950s? I know at this time a lot of the older ships were being sold off but new ones were coming into service.

Posted by Martin on 15/11/2014

I have a book about the history of AHL and that in the 1950s "to keep a regular service" the AHL chartered Beeks of Groningen for the Hull - Rotterdam service; the ships mentioned are MV VALIANT (Capt. Meulen), MV VISCOUNT, MV VELOX and MV VICTRESS - I assume the Verdette was sister of these?

The charters were arranged by T.Kettlewell and Son (T.E.K) in Hull.

They also chartered MV Lubergem and MV Hybergem for the Goole - Dutch service. I think it was a question that trade was good and the existing fleet could not cope.

Posted by Hamish on 16/11/2014

I still believe that AHL missed the boat (excuse the pun) on the container business. They were in it in a very "baby" way back in the early 1950s, before containerisation was even thought of. On the "Butter" Boats, and a couple of times on the Amsterdam run, we would load large square preloaded boxes and secure them to ringbolts on deck, then on arrival in Goole these "boxes" would be off loaded to their own small rail wagons, which I believe were the property of the LMS (as were the boxes/containers). The dockers didn't like them; they couldn't get into them and they said they were taking away jobs. Maybe that was the reason for no follow up on preloaded shipments, the companies didn't, or wouldn't, risk a full blown dock strike, as I said this was in the very early 1950s. What happened later I don't know and my apologies if AHL did in fact get into containers.

Posted by Martin on 17/11/2014

They did - but too late - the MELROSE ABBEY and BOLTON ABBEY had their derricks removed in 1967 and were lengthened by over 50 feet to support containerisation and also the cargo only boats LEEDS and WAKEFIELD were also converted for containers. However too little too late with the arrival of North Sea Ferries RORO boats NORWIND and NORWAVE in 1965 - they swept the board seeing off AHL in 1971/72 and Ellermans for that matter by 1975.

Posted by Hamish on 18/11/2014

The point I was bringing up was that AHL had it by the tail, if they had only had some foresight in the early-1950s, albeit, only on a tiny scale, one or two small preloaded "boxes" but somebody somewhere was thinking along the right lines, as the "boxes" were water tight, had all the eyebolts, etc. to secure them on deck, and also on the railcars, on which they just fit. Of course hindsight is always 20/20 and it's too late now, but thanks for the comeback - now I know they did try.

Posted by Hamish on 21/04/2015

I would like to know what was in the little box containers we brought bag from Copenhagen. We never did know, no labels, no shipper's names and the mate didn't seem to know where it had been. This day and age I find a little scary, although in retrospect I guess the millions of containers floating around the world being off loaded in so many downtown harbours, does anyone really know what is in them all!

Sometimes we would have as many as three lashed on deck (chained) they were off loaded straight onto a flat deck rail wagon which appeared to be built just for them.

The reason I ask is, we would groan when we saw them come aboard, as it meant an extra shift ship in Goole, we would have to discharge them first in the dock west of West Dock, before moving into the normal berth in West Dock, which meant us "away" lads had to stay aboard until we were at the West Dock berth, which could mean an overnight stay, and one less night home.

Posted by Hamish on 22/01/2015

I didn't get my start with AHL I did the Gravesend sea school bit; then signed on the BLISWORTH a coasting tramp, in Goole in 1949; first trip to Keel for scrap then back to Goole. I didn't much care for the AHL boats although I did a few trips in them. I suppose they were ok for the locals, but to be given time off in lieu of overtime pay was not much good to a lad from "away"; the only money one could make was to sell your bond, or smuggle watches, both risky with "Himmler" on watch, so I tried to stick to colliers when I wasn't deep sea. The colliers were overtime crazy, but hey, you were away from home you might as well work.

When I joined the DON I took the place of an AB from Goole who joined a palm boat; I heard a little later he had died, he fell out of a palm tree somewhere in the hot climes, but his name escapes me. I not only got his berth, but on arrival in Copenhagen his girlfriend came looking for him, so there were a few perks on AHL but very few. Cheers.

Posted by Corby on 22/01/2015

Hamish, it was a pleasure reading the account of your early life in your chosen career. In 1949 I left school and had to make a decision, not having much advice from my Dad, only that a job was available on one of Bennets ships, the ORTALON. At that time he worked as a checker for the company. Most of my closest mates Alan (Ace) Fielder. Alan Wheldrake, John Appleyard, chose the life at sea following the path of my cousin Tom Dunwell and Alan Bedford. The latter was lost overboard in the Red Sea.

When I was an apprentice there was one job I loved which was repairing the damage caused by the grab on the scrap ships which laid in the West Dock - mostly Dutch or German - for we were always invited for a glass or two of Schnapps after completion. Happy Days.

Posted by Martin on 06/03/2015

Phil Smith was my dad - he was with AHL from 1946 to when they folded in 1971. He was one of the last seagoing personnel as he was kept on until March 1972 to wind down the stores; as you can imagine, I am still well stocked with late 1960s Heineken/Tuborg beer glasses and still have an AHL silver tea pot!

I still have his reference signed by the "infamous" Freddy Wooller who left his first and second officers on the FOUNTAINS ABBEY in 1962 and, but for the bravery of a Lowestoft trawler-hand, they would have died as well as the two men who were lost.

There is a booklet by Ted Wild called AHL which is about the memories of his time as a second officer on the Copenhagen run - great story about being ice bound in the KATTEGAT in 1956 and losing the rudder stock. He was on the DON and DEARNE - not sure if he sailed on the KIRKHAM ABBEY or BYLAND ABBEY.

Posted by Martin on 26/03/2015

For all those with AHL connections, here is the AHL epitaph penned in 1971. This was sent to me recently by the widow of Les Allison (a Goole man), chief engineer on the LEEDS, YORK, WAKEFIELD, BOLTON ABBEY, MELROSE ABBEY and WHITBY ABBEY 1963-1971. His widow sent me this from Antwerp where Les resided after leaving Goole when he married a Belgian girl.

Alphabetical Epitaph to AHL 30/11/1971 R.I.P.

A is for AHL who miserably fail.
B is for Boats, which are now up for sale.
C is for Cargo, container and crate,
D is for Dole queue, our ultimate fate.
E is for Europe, goodbye to those trips.
F must be Farewell, cos there's no f###in' ships.
G is for Goole where the company started,
H is for Hull where we finally parted.
I is Illusion of company tradition
J is the justice in its present position.
K is the K.O. so rudely dealt,
L the Location right below the belt.
M is the Manner in which it was done,
N is November, the end of the run.
O is Omega, the end of all reason.
P is the Price of our loyal adhesion.
Q is for Question, quandary and queuing,
R is Redundancy, retirement and ruin.
S is the Sacrifice, willingly wrought,
T is the Thanks, which add up to nought.
U is the Union, not much assistance.
V is the volume of invalid insistence.
W is the Work of the ever so few,
X is the Gratia, the payment in lieu.
Y is the Yearnings, the hope all in vain,
and Z is for Zero, our ultimate gain.

Posted by Hamish on 30/03/2015

Thanks for posting! The AHL was different things to different people I suppose. In my case I found them convenient at times, the times when there was nothing except them going through the pool, and one was on the last pick of ships. I suppose they were good for the local Goolie, just like a day job, but for us "away" boys they were a drag, they were mediocre feeders and very tight with "extra" hours worked, time off in lieu for Sundays at sea (which there were very few of) and overtime, which again time off was good for the local, he got more time at home, but imagine being in West Dock aboard the DON in winter, with no lights (just coal oil lights), no heat, and no galley, and worse still no money, and if memory serves me the fireman would arrive four hours before sailing time to get steam up.

I suppose in retrospect, the runs were good with good times ashore on the continent, but one couldn't live on good times, and as far as I could see they did look after their "time served old timers" with a doddle of a job in the shore gang, but again one would have to put up with the "company policy" for years to attain that exulted position, Ah the memories.

Posted by Martin on 31/03/2015

Hamish, I understand your point as my dad, looking back on his sea-going days, said much the same. I think his soft spot for AHL was all the characters, both at sea and office staff ashore, which he said you did not get in more recent times - and of course he was with them for 25 years.

Posted by Ray on 06/12/2015

I have just spotted the comment about SS KODUMA exiting the locks at Goole, then hitting the far bank, capsizing and being lost. My father, George Arnold, was Captain of the Koduma on that fateful day.

He told me the reason for the accident was that the Koduma had been having problems with its rudder for quite a while, and he had told the ship's owners about the problem more than once. He had eventually persuaded the Koduma's owners to have the ship dry-docked at Goole in order that the problem could be sorted out.

The Koduma then apparently spent nearly three weeks in dry dock, after which the "management" there assured my father that the rudder problem had been fixed.

The ship was then loaded up with cargo, and entered the locks. As soon as it left (Ocean lock, I believe) and entered the incoming tidal current, the steering failed completely, and the ship, completely out of control and not answering any rudder commands from the wheel-house, sheared across the river, and hit the far bank. It heeled over because of the current, started to fill with water, and sank onto the mud where it was. All the crew got off OK.

When my father returned home unexpectedly that evening, my mum said "what are you doing, why are you home, I thought you had sailed?" to which dad replied, "I did, but I have lost my ship, it has sunk in the river".

Posted by Transportman on 08/12/2015

The Kodumaa was built in 1898 as the HARMONY. It was requisitioned in World War I by the Tsar and renamed Koduma. It was nationalised by the Russian communists and renamed Kodumaa in 1919, later arrested by Estonia and added to their fleet. When Russia and Germany invaded Estonia in World War II it was requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport and managed by Gowland S.S. Co., a subsidiary of J. & C. Harrison. After the war the previous owners put in a claim for compensation. It was wrecked Saturday 26 September 1942

Posted by Ray on 13/12/2015

That is interesting further information about the origin and happenings to SS Koduma prior to its demise at Goole. You mentioned it was requisitioned by the Tsar in World War I. Curiously enough, my father found himself the captain of another requisitioned ship, EMPIRE GALENA, in the late 1940s. Formerly the SS WESERSTROM, it was delivered as a new vessel to Norddeutscher Lloyd in January 1944. But in May 1945, it was taken as a prize at Kiel, and renamed EMPIRE GALENA by the Ministry of War Transport. My dad was appointed captain. As a young lad, I had quite a few trips on the Empire Galena, including one to Helsinki and back in August 1946. The ship was carrying lorry and car tyres on its outward journey, and brought back timber, and a lot of paper string, which is all that the Finns had to trade at that time!

Surprisingly, in that I can hardly remember what day it is now, I remember that trip to Helsinki very well (including the barely-concealed hostility of German officials when they came on board during our passage through the Kiel Canal). Last year I returned to Helsinki, and I was able to identify a few places I remembered from 1946.

Posted by Ray on 13/12/2015

Unlikely though it might seem, there were four men named Captain George Arnold that sailed out of Goole.

Capt. George ARNOLD (1) b. 1846; d. 1912 (my great-grandad)
Capt. George ARNOLD (2) b. 1881; d. 1941 (grandad)
Capt. George ARNOLD (3) b. 1906; d. 1978 (dad)

and another Capt. George ARNOLD, b. 1862; d. 1934, who lived in Boothferry Road, and was no identifiable relation to the other three.

Posted by Transportman on 14/12/2015

Interesting who was who in Captain George Arnold. The other George Arnold 1862-1934 was also the son of a Captain George Arnold 1832-1911 making five all with the same name. They do not make research easy do they! There were also four Captain Joseph Arnolds just to complicate things.

Posted by Ray on 14/12/2015

The Captain George Arnold 1862 to 1934 was the one who got the MBE, but my having been told last year that it was my grandad that got the MBE, and shown documentary evidence to "prove it". It is only in the last few weeks that I have been able (with the help of Goole Library Volunteers, and my 94 year old aunty) to demonstrate that it was the "Boothferry Road Captain George Arnold" that was awarded the MBE, not ours.

There were indeed a lot of Arnold that became Captains, and couple who became chief engineers. My dad told me there was one occasion when a ship sailed out of Goole with three Captain George Arnolds on the bridge. Two of them "hitching a lift to Hull", and the skipper of that ship.

Posted by Patricia on 16/12/2015

Does anyone know anything about Herbert Henry Sherwood? He was born in Goole in 1879 and died there in 1940. I have his mate's certificates. On one is written he is allowed to act as mate on a square rigged vessel although the certificate is for him to be master of a foreign going steamship. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Transportman on 16/12/2015

A Captain Sherwood is nearly as bad as Ray's Captain George Arnold, as there were a few of them but fortunately they had different first names, unlike Ray's. He was born in Goole 22 April 1879 and died 14 February 1940, possibly at home 62 Newclose Lane, Goole. He captained quite a few of Goole Steam Shipping Co.'s steamers, later L. & Y Railway Co., as well as serving as mate on them which included the first AIRE; ALT; first CALDER; DERWENT; second DON; DRESDEN; HUMBER; IRWELL; LIBERTY; ROSA

Posted by David on 11/01/2016

My great-grandfather James Drackford (b. London, 1839) got his mate's home trade ticket for passenger ships in 1871. Moved to Goole sometime in the 1870s and worked for Goole Steam Shipping Co. He was lost with eight other men when the RALPH CREYKE sank of Lundy Island in 1879. The ship was nearly brand new. Their bodies never were recovered. The captain and five surviving crew members were rescued by a French ship after they took to the lifeboats.

Posted by Caroline on 09/09/2016

Looking at my family tree, my great-great-grandad was on a boat called SS COREA. Does anybody have further information about this ship? Thanks.

Posted by Hamish on 16/09/2016

The SS Corea was built in 1895 and weighed in at 751 gross tons. Unfortunately she hit a mine while on passage from Boulogne to Goole, two miles north of the Cromer light on 8/12/1939 and sank. I have no info on the crew but will dig a little deeper and see what turns up cheers H

Posted by Transportman on 17/09/2016

Eight of her crew were lost; Captain Harry Needham (youngest captain to sail out of Goole); Harry Watmough (first mate); James Hosking (AB); Hugh Miller (chief engineer); Charles Wilson (second engineer); Arthur Harrison (donkeyman); Robert Thornton (firemen) and John William Thomlinson. Steward Amos Gates survived only to be killed on the Sparta fifteen months later.

The Corea was also the first vessel to pass through Ocean Lock when it opened in 1938.

Posted by Hamish on 19/09/2016

It is interesting that she was the first ship through Ocean Lock - that name sure brings back memories; many a wet night spent warping round to that one, but would do it all again if given the chance.

Posted by Transportman on 20/09/2016

The survivors by the way were second mate Eric Hewarth; fireman J. Boxall; AB's Thomas Woodhead, Ernest Pantry, A. Dawson & James Wimsey; and steward Amos Gates (who also survived the sinking of the Burma in WWI). The Corea also took the new house flags, in May 1935, to Bennett's offices in Boulogne after the Board of Trade made them change the red cross and white background. John Bennett just substituted the white for a very pale buff, which looked white from a distance.

It wouldn't have gone down well with the Railway captains, being beaten to the lock, as there was a bit of friction between them and John Bennett, who thought that they were given preferential treatment.

Posted by Hamish on 25/09/2016

Being first at the locks brought back memories of my time in the Beeding. The skipper, by the name of Surtees, had a thing about getting out of the locks ahead of Everards Yellow Perils; they were so damn slow that if they got out first it caused all kinds of strife in the river; so if he spotted one scheduled for the same tide as us, he would move to the lock gates away ahead of time so as to beat them out.

The railway boats always left first, which was ok because they were fast and didn't have to drop a pilot in Hull, but I have seen him so worked up if by chance we were stuck behind one, he would light his pipe put the spent match in his pocket, and throw the Swan Vestas box over the side. I swear he was close to a heart attack, but it didn't happen too often, as I say the wiley old bird would outmanoeuvre them before the locks. Those were the days.

Posted by Brian on 19/05/2017

I sailed on the Lanky boats out of Goole in the 1950s with Lofty Linninton and his brother Roy. Sorry to read of Lofty's death. He was a great mate to sail with.

Posted by Gary on 23/05/2017

I remember the Linnington brothers, Pete and Roy (one of them went by the name of Cisco if memory serves). I do believe there was a third brother who I never met. This was probably Lofty, who was the eldest and the one to whom you refer. I may even have crossed paths with you during my maritime exploits, but I was a Johnny-come-lately. I didn't become a Goolie until the late 1950s.

Posted by Brian on 26/05/2017

Gary, we may have sailed together but I cannot recall your name. Cisco rings a bell. I was on the LINCOLNBROOK, WINDSORBROOK, WARWICKBROOK, LANCASTERBROOK and DEVONBROOK in the mid-1950s. I remember Lofty and his brother Roy - they were great mates to sail with. The cook was from Goole but I cannot remember his name.

Posted by Bill on 27/05/2017

My Dad was from Goole and cook on the Lincolnbrook but this was in 1950, so you'd need to be pretty old to remember him. He subsequently sailed out of Goole as cook on the Marlwood until 1953. His name was Joe Stewart.

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