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The Clock Tower

The Clock Tower was erected in 1927 as part of the Centenary celebrations of the opening of the docks. It has the dates 1826 and 1926 inscribed at the top of the tower. It replaced a large gas lamp that had been there previously.

The clock was later moved a few metres to stand it in the middle of the Clock Tower roundabout. Originally there were public toilets at the base of the clock. In the late-1990s it was defaced by the addition of a huge CCTV camera, although curiously standing by the tower is the only place in Goole out of sight of the cameras.

Goole had a reputation of being the easiest place to pass a driving test because there are no dual-carriageways or hills. However the first part of any driving test was to negotiate the busy roundabout.

This part of Goole was always a focal point of the town, either for the unemployed to congregate in the 1920s and 1930s or for drunken New Year revellers in later years.


Visitor Comments

Posted by Robert on 23/05/2005

What roundabout? It wasn't there when I did my driving test. Nor were there any traffic lights for that matter - the first ones appeared at Greenawn Corner around 1970. The hill start was in Mariners Street where it joins Stanhope Street (which I think is one of the original roads raised above ground level using the spoil from digging out the docks, creating a three or four foot hill), although you also had to use the handbrake in (possibly) Manuel Street which had a particularly nasty camber for the three point turn. Bill Campbell taught us all the tricks and made sure we were one step ahead of the examiners.

Posted by Wean-in-the-Wid on 04/08/2015

As far as I recall, Lewis Ratcliffe was the first driving instructor in Goole, having previously become known to many of us as PC. Ratcliffe, who used to visit local schools to talk about road safety. I learnt to drive in Goole in the early-1960s. There were no roundabouts or traffic lights (seem to remember the lights at Greenawn Corner came a bit later), and the nearest we got to hills was Bridge Street. The trickiest manoeuvre in town was getting round the town centre toilets under the Clock Tower. And there were no motorways anywhere near Goole in those days. Eventually, I passed my Driving Test after a few lessons with Mr R.

Posted by Corby on 04/08/2015

My employer's son, George Smith of Smith Bros, taught me on the Timberpond Road in his Jowett Bradford van. I passed my car test first time. I know there was not the traffic, back in the good old days.

Posted by Andy on 03/05/2006

I like the Clock Tower. When I was young I used to think a man lived inside.

Posted by Robert on 03/05/2006

Does anyone remember using the toilets that were underneath the Clock Tower before it was moved?

Posted by John on 28/06/2006

Strange request re Clock Tower toilets but since you ask… They were clean but a bit smelly. The fittings were very substantial. There were not, as far as I know, frequented by dubious characters.

Posted by Hamish on 04/02/2007

The toilets in the Clock Tower were a life saver at times. They were just around the corner from the pool office and just across the street from the Leeds bus stop and, after a two hour bone jarring bus ride from Leeds, they were the first port of call before going to check in at the pool. Then if one stopped for a "couple" before the bus trip back to Leeds, one was in agony until one reached Selby, and many a bus I missed in Selby!

Posted by John on 28/08/2008

I remember using the toilets at Clock Tower as a kid about eight. I also remember catching the bus to Old Goole across from them too, outside a bank I think it was. Who decided to put cameras on a piece of Goole's history? Shame.

Posted by CA on 14/01/2010

All the teenagers who were out and about in the late-1950s/early-1960s used to meet up at the Clock Tower and the girls used the loos for checking hair and makeup with own mirrors (none provided). I seem to remember a weighing machine or is my memory playing tricks?

Posted by Frank on 16/02/2010

I remember many a visit to the toilets under the Clock Tower and then over to Miss Appleyards toy shop. The new tower to me, seems to have lost its character.

Posted by DH on 09/12/2006

So when were the toilets closed and the tower moved to create the roundabout?

Posted by David on 21/09/2009

I can recall the toilets beneath the Clock Tower and using them as a child and, as I worked for the local authority after leaving school, I worked on taking the tower down, building the roundabout and rebuilding the tower. Removing the old stone paving slabs is not new either.

When I was on the road gang we took up the pavements in George Street area and they were sent "down south". I recall being told that they were being sold to wealthy people who wanted them round their swimming pools! But then I was young and a little naive.

Posted by Colin on 23/08/2014

The late Jack Bryant late Freddy Cooper, late Jack Andrews, late Tom Collins as well as me rebuilt the Clock Tower. It was hard work.

Posted by Pete on 31/03/2007

And then they stuck that ugly CCTV camera on top.

Posted by Bill on 01/05/2007

Pete, couldn't agree with you more. I did talk to the planners at Beverly and suggested it was time for an alternative location for the cameras or at least something smaller. The Clock Tower is one of the few buildings in Goole of architectural and historic interest, it really was crass to stick those cameras on top. Incidentally it was done without the necessary planning permission but it's too late to do anything about that now.

Posted by Fiona on 22/06/2007

Can't anyone think of anywhere else to put CCTV cameras? Last time I was in the area I was horrified to see one on top of Howden Minster. Does anyone know if there is one on Beverley Minster or St. Marys Church Beverley?

Posted by Stu on 06/06/2012

Just reading this about the Clock Tower, very interesting that it has the 100 year celebration on it. Do you think we as people of Goole should have the Clock Tower brought back to its former glory for the 200 year celebration in 2026?

Posted by Keith on 07/06/2012

I think the road around the Clock Tower should be brought back to its original glory before 2026. It's now similar to tram lines.

Posted by Peter on 24/10/2013

Saw the slightly relocated Clock Tower again when in Goole last week.

I remember my dad bringing home a copy of the Daily Herald (er, sadly long-gone) one day in the late-1950s, saying I should take a look at page 4. The Herald had a feature writer named Jon Akass, a very good journalist, though a sarcastic sod. Anyway, he'd written a feature on Goole which he observed was "typified by its town centre, a public convenience."

Now, some might say…"

Posted by Bill on 24/10/2013

Well at least they were properly staffed and properly maintained public toilets which are a rare commodity these days.

Posted by Bill on 10/06/2017

I was wondering if it was only me that continues to be outraged by the ugly camera on top of the Clock Tower. Apparently it is, as the Town Clerk advises me that mine is the only complaint in seventeen years. Also that the Council doesn't have the money or inclination to replace or remove them any time soon. It is a shame that one of most significant historic structures in the town has to be disfigured in such a way. Especially as a much smaller less obtrusive camera could do the crime watch function just as well.

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