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Other Attractions

Goole Town skyscape from the Water Tower

Obviously there is not enough space on the web to list all the things of interest in the town. Here are the highlights that should be on any itinerary.

  • The Water Towers - The Salt and Pepper Pots, both of which dominate the skyline. When it was built, the water tower was one of the largest in the country.
  • Victoria Pleasure Grounds - The home of Goole Town AFC and the Athletics Club. The ground is still run down compared to many years ago, but it was recently improved to meet the stringent requirements of the Northern Counties League (ie. so that nobody can see the match for free and the entrance does not turn into a giant puddle whenever it rains).
  • Leisure Centre - A modern leisure centre and swimming pool built in the heart of the company town. The glass ceiling crashed into the pool when it was first opened, but it's fine now (honest).
  • Greenawn Corner - The top end of Boothferry Road that greets new visitors for the first time. Here is the old Goole Grammar and Bartholomew Schools.
  • West Park - The largest park in Goole. Go here for Goole Town Gala, walking the dog, bowls, basketball and tennis.
  • The Riverbanks - No visit to Goole would be complete without seeing the river. If you're feeling adventurous, then walk all the way to Hook, passing the cemetery and the railway bridge. Otherwise walk onto the banks anywhere of Hook Road and admire the views. You will usually see ships turning around in the river as the make their way into the locks.
  • Old Goole - The part of town the other side of the river. This area has been hit the hardest by the closure of the shipbuilding yard and general decline of the town.
  • St John's Parish Church - This large church dominates the skyline for miles around and is the oldest church in town. It is situated on the edge of the docks and was built when Goole consisted of just the block of houses off Aire Street.
  • Cemetery - This large cemetery is the best place to track down your ancestors, and contains the mass grave of the World War I zeppelin attack. There are nice views of the railway bridge from here.
  • The Monkey Bridge - The bridge with nice views of the water towers and the docks. It was traditional to go here as kids and throw sweet wrappers on passing trains. The bridge has been recently replaced and has lost all of its old character.
  • Town Centre - Goole, like most other small market towns, has several shops in the centre of town which cater for the locals' needs. Although most people go to the larger surrounding towns nowadays, the town centre has seen a recent resurgence, with the pedestrianisation of Boothferry Road between the railway and the Clock Tower and a new shopping centre built on the old railway goods yard.
  • Aire Street - One of the main streets when the company town was formed. Note the rounded corners on the buildings and the three pubs down the street. The original slum houses were knocked down and the land turned into a supermarket.
  • Goole Museum - Situated above the library, next to the Clock Tower, this is the best source of local history information.
  • Sobriety Centre - A recent waterways museum opened in the middle of the docks. You can take a canal boat ride from here, or use it as a base to see the coal hoists and other parts of the docks.

  • Lower Boothferry Road - Timms Flour Mill - A busy flourmill working in the town centre. If you look carefully you can still see the old windmill in the heart of the factory. Famous for its red trucks seen all over Yorkshire.
  • Lower Boothferry Road - Trinity Church - A pleasant church which used to display a huge nativity crib by the road each Christmas. This stopped a few years ago after people kept vandalising the donkeys.
  • Lower Boothferry Road - The Cosy Carlton - One of the three old cinemas in Goole. There used to be a small sweetshop to the right. The whole complex is now a Walker's Bingo Hall.

  • Upper Boothferry Road - The town centre is now fully pedestrianised and it works well. One a sunny day, you can sit at a cafe bar, have a coffee and listen to the odd busker.
  • Upper Boothferry Road - The Old Goole Times - Now a charity shop, but you can still see the ornate artwork and the inscriptions on the front.
  • Upper Boothferry Road - Belgravia - A small side street of the main road. The first part to be pedestrianised and acts as a short-cut to the docks.

  • Pasture Road - Goole's second shopping street. No longer leads to any pastures but to various small shops instead.
  • Pasture Road - The Charter Club - The new name for the British Legion Club.
  • Pasture Road - Goole Baths Hall - The Baths are no longer here as it was replaced by a modern office block and shops several years ago. However you can stand here and reminisce about past swimming galas, wrestling matches and dances.

  • Aire Street - The main street in the company town. It was once a large, wide street full of shops and a market, although it is more sedate today.
  • Aire Street - Wm. Lows - The corner of Aire Street and North Street. This piece of land had lots of original Company Town houses, but they were demolished many years ago. It was then transformed into a BMX racing track before becoming a supermarket.
  • Aire Street - Adam Street Garage - Although you may not be interested in having your car repaired, it is listed here because it was an old theatre in the original town. Inside you can see the old balconies.

  • Centenary Road - Built in 1926 hence the name.
  • Poet's Corner - The name given to a block of streets off Centenary Road which are named after famous British poets. These streets are called Tennyson Street, Spenser Street, Gray Street, Byron Street and Milton Street.
  • Eastgate Flats - Goole's only attempt at social engineering.

  • Transport Bottlenecks - There are two ways to get stuck in Goole. If a ship needs to enter West Dock or South Dock, then one of the bridges on Bridge Street is open for about five minutes. If South Dock Bridge is open then Old Goole is cut off from traffic (although pedestrians can walk over the dock). If the Dutch River Bridge is open, then Old Goole is cut off unless you take a 20-mile detour towards Scunthorpe.

    The other way to get stuck is when the level crossing opens. This cuts the town into two and can lead to large traffic congestion. There is a perfectly good bypass, but people would rather sit nose-to-tail and pollute the pedestrians.

Visitor Comments

Posted by Gail on 24/01/2007

I'm glad you've listed the huge nativity outside the Trinity Church as a former Goole attraction. I think its popularity peaked one Sunday morning when we all went to have a look at the handiwork of some Saturday night pranksters. The baby Jesus had been lovingly inserted into the donkey's mouth and some fish and chip paper nestled cosily in the manger. It couldn't happen now, of course, because chip shops don't open on a Saturday night.

Posted by Bill on 29/11/2008

I used to live in Burlington Crescent on the site of Eastgate flats. The flats as originally built were pretty awful but whoever was responsible for the makeover some years ago deserves credit as I think they made a reasonable job considering what they have to work with.

Posted by Mick on 01/01/2009

I remember one year in the 1960s that was designated as European Architectural Heritage Year. Goole marked this occasion by destroying its only Georgian terrace, East Parade. I also remember that it was possible then to walk across the lock gates to Old Goole. Just before arriving at the "Bottom House". I remember passing two early Victorian cottages on Quay Street/Bury Street. I was always disappointed as a child, that Betsy Trotwood or Mr Pickwick were not in the garden of these picture perfect dwellings. To complete the "hat trick" of destruction by Associated British Ports and its predecessors, I must, of course mention the total obliteration of Ouse Street. This was the heart of the unique company town that was Goole.

Ouse Street was a wide street of low early Victorian, possibly Georgian houses. It was ideal for the location of the original Goole market, where my ancestors had a stall selling home-made ginger beer. Ouse Street included the old "lock-up" and the "Crown", with its unique spittoon, which was a trough that ran the full length of the bar. I was there at the last night of the "Crown" and also the "Steam Packet". I knew that something was dying even if "Goole" couldn't give a damn. Every time I enjoyed a pint in the bar of the Royal or the Lowther, I would picture someone there with me. Having a drink before or after a performance. One of the many who entertained the good people of Goole, at the neighbouring Music Hall, before they went onto bigger audiences. Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel to name but two. Cheers Stan, Cheers Charlie. Goole was a nice place once!

Posted by Bill on 05/01/2009

It depresses me so much what is happening/has happened to the town in architectural and townscape terms. Because I've not lived in Goole since 1967, I am open to the criticism that what happens there now is none of my business. But I do retain a strong affection for the place, which I still visit from time to time. It puzzles me that the town does not seem to have any kind of Conservation Group or Amenity Society (like many other historic towns) that could do some constructive lobbying of the planners and property owners. Maybe you have more pressing problems to worry about?

Posted by Judy on 18/02/2009

I remember being so upset when they pulled down the Maternity Home in Goole where both my children had been born. Always remembering my mum saying that when the light is on in the big window at the front of the building that another baby was being born in Goole. They built another more modern building but not for maternity purposes. I know we have to move with the times but these buildings are our heritage which once pulled down are lost forever.

Posted by John on 05/11/2009

I wonder if there are any photographs of the Goole Gas Works still in existence? As a schoolboy we were taken round the old Gasworks and watched as one of the coke ovens was discharged after the gas and volatiles had been baked out of the coal loaded into it. We then followed the route of the gas through the plant and into the gasholder. I think this was as part of our chemistry course but it was also relevant to the engineering part of our metalwork course as well.

It's quite sad to see the site of the gasworks now with all the industrial heritage obliterated.

Posted by Paul on 02/05/2010

We had our wedding reception at the now demolished New Potter Grange back in 1976. I would never have believed that it would get demolished.

Posted by Phil on 01/02/2011

Goole is of prime importance as a piece of history. It's one of only two or three (Stourport? Altrincham?) to have been founded as specifically canal towns. It isn't ancient, alas, which is why it doesn't attract the heritage mob. Also, because it was a Company Town and more or less everyone was an incomer, and there were no long-established families there used to running things, it may have suffered from a bigger division between the working population and the bosses than in other places.

Good luck with all the conservation work - Goole is much more important than many of its residents know!

Posted by Keith on 30/07/2013

Just spent 25 minutes getting from the Grammar School to Boyes. Hit every traffic light, but the thing that really gets my goat is the amount of time the crossing gates are closed, thus cutting the town in two. The traffic is held up firstly by the gates closing at least five minutes before the train pulls into the station, the passengers disembark taking another four or five minutes still the gates are closed then the train decides to move off. This happened three times on my journey. I think the train companies are having a laugh at Goole. There's no wonder people shop outside of Goole… Rant over!

Posted by Keith on 17/04/2018

I think it's time the traffic lights at the junction of Boothferry Road and Pasture Road were sorted. Stopped today on Boothferry Road with a mile of traffic blocked up behind, lights at green… three cars were let through before the red light. The Pasture Road traffic started to move, eight vehicles let through. No wonder Goole is always grid locked! Boothferry should have priority as this is the main road.

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