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The town planners were generous with the amount of green space they gave Goole. This gave a welcome change to people living in the terraced houses. Most parks were built to commemorate some local or national event and, although they aren't used as much nowadays, many people have memories of stickle-backing in West Park, walking along the riverbank to Riverside Gardens or visiting the circus in South Park.

  • West Park - The largest park in Goole, this was laid out in 1923 with the help of money from the Unemployed Grants Committee. People of Goole remember it for the paddling pool, boat lake (mostly seaweed), steam engine, playing chicken on the motorway and the sports facilities. The park hasn't changed much. There are fewer items in the playground and the large building is rarely used.
  • Corner of Airmyn Road/Centenary Road - Technically not a park, but still a pleasant piece of land on the corner of the two main roads.

  • Riverside Gardens - A small park next to the riverbank just off Hook Road. It has a bandstand in good condition, a very nice bowling green. This is the place in Goole to catch worms if you like fishing.
  • South Park - The only park in Old Goole (unless you include the waste ground next across from the old shipbuilding yard). Infamous for big dogs which chase you and kids on motorbikes.

  • Kingsway - Green land next to Kingsway School. Has strange playground rides consisting of seats on large springs which fling you several feet in the air. Another favourite haunt for kids and their motorbikes.
  • The Riverbank - A very nice walk can be had along the footpath. Start at Lock Hill off North Street and keep walking all the way past Riverside Gardens, the Cemetery, the railway bridge all the way to the Blacksmith Arms in Hook.


Visitor Comments

Posted by Matt on 30/10/2005

Why do the people of Goole hate the place so much? We moved here a year ago and have been repeatedly told that "people don't move to Goole", etc. The fact is that there isn't much in East Riding at all - Goole offers more than most of the surrounding towns and villages, and has no more problems than anywhere else. In terms of West Park, I frequently walk my dog after dark around the park and have yet to feel threatened or unsafe. Goole, along with the rest of East Riding, is slowly being dragged into modernity through development, new jobs and better communications links. People who live here are the ones who should be promoting the town, if you think Goole's bad have a look at Hull or even the back streets of (much more expensive) Beverley on a Friday night.

Posted by Paul on 12/07/2007

I moved to Hull from Goole. Enough said! Girlfriend from Hull. She loves Goole but she never lived there. It's the place that's stuck in a time warp!

Posted by Gordon on 09/09/2007

I remember West Park from my childhood. We spent a lot of time hanging around the few swings and things, and was never tempted to go for a swim in the green slimy pool. I wonder what it is like nowadays? I left Goole in 1974 for Australia - never to return.

Posted by Auntie on 05/11/2008

Hi there Gordon. How are you my little (ha ha) nephew? Couldn't believe it when I saw your name. I remember paddling in the green slime in the West Park pool - yuk! Love to all in Oz.

Posted by Joanne on 22/03/2008

My mum ran the cafe, sold sweets, etc. in West Park for a short time in the late-1970s.

Posted by Sue on 14/06/2008

There was a small park in Percy Street, Old Goole. As kids we played there for many hours after school. There were bramble bushes near the flats so we sometimes took bowls with us and picked the brambles. There were two fields opposite each other behind the houses on Dempster Avenue and Morley Street where we went looking for old bottles. A BMX track was built on part of it by the kids. We also used to go tadpoling in the ditch that ran alongside the field. Across the road was another field that was always water-logged. That was at the back of the houses in Percy Street and kids used to skate on it when it froze over. There was the snicket that that everyone used.

My mates and I used to go looking for conkers and playing on Tarzan swings across from the shipyard. The siren that sounded every morning at 7:30am and the shipyard workers, most of whom were on push bikes, but we never needed an alarm to get up for school. We had a funfair that used to set up on the waste land on Swinefleet Road for a week - yet the Tarzan swing was more appealing, especially if you went from the top of the billboard and you got the butterfly feeling in your belly.

Posted by John on 11/09/2008

I remember all that too. Do you remember old cobbler's hut near the swing next to billboard? I lived in Morley Street in 1970s.

Posted by Sue on 01/11/2008

I remember the cobbler's but it's a bit vague. I also lived in Morley Street with my dad and sister. My dad is still in the same house. I remember getting stuck at the top of the billboard and a kind stranger helping me to get down, I just froze couldn't go down on the swing or look down to climb back down and I haven't liked heights since.

Once I had left school I did two big stain glass paintings in the St. Thomas Hall when it was a community centre, not sure if they are still there though.

Posted by Shaun on 25/10/2009

The park in Percy Street is still there. It's recently been redone and it looks pretty cool now. There's South Park in Old Goole where I live, but that really is nothing much more than a bit of grass. It really needs renewing, turned into something good like Percy Park is.

Posted by Geoffrey on 08/10/2009

I can vaguely remember going to West Park in the early-1960s when Jimmy Saville was there for some sort of event. I remember him turning up in a pink Rolls Royce. Does anyone know what that event was? It's been bugging me for a few years now. Thanks.

Posted by Fiona on 15/11/2009

The event that Jimmy Savile opened was known as Goole Carnival.

My dad (who always seemed to be involved with these events, he was the "voice of Hook Gala") arranged for me to meet Jimmy Saville. I would have been about five or six. He came up to me and said "Hello little girl". Even then he seemed very creepy. I remember stumbling over all the guy ropes behind one of the marquees in my rush to escape from him.

At one of the carnivals there was a go-kart race where someone was seriously injured. I seem to remember the grown-ups saying that the person had broken both their legs.

I used to go to West Park sometimes with my mother. We walked all the way from the Fountayne Street area over the railway bridge. It seemed a huge park to me at the time and so well kept. The rockery gardens were beautiful and the children's playground was marvellous. Going there was a real treat. I remember my dad pointing out the oak tree that Prince George planted. It is still there, but the park is a shadow of its former self.

Posted by Tom on 06/04/2011

The event you referring to was organised by Earnest Smith, then mayor of Goole, for I believe the National Trust for the Welfare of the Elderly, a charity formed by Earnest Smith. One, then young, women who worked in the town library was asked to dress in a very small costume and sit with him in the car. Fortunately for her I cannot remember her name.

This is the same Earnest Smith who was a teacher at the Secondary Modern School.

Posted by David on 23/10/2009

We spent most of our summer holidays at West Park during the late-1950s/early-1960s. We were a large family, mum and dad both worked and the older kids looked after the younger ones for the day. We would set off early from Halifax Avenue and be waiting for the gates to be opened by the park keeper. Well prepared for the day with a quart bottle of water (the water fountain didn't always work at the park) which we sometimes crushed a "penny fizz" into (gave it a very weak colour but certainly not the fizzy pop taste we were convinced it did) and a couple of egg sandwiches which were usually eaten by ten in the morning!

The whole day was spent playing on the swings, slide and roundabout, hide-and-seek amongst the well-kept flower borders and trees, paddling in the boating lake to cool off on the hottest of the days. I even thought I learned to swim in that pool but, in reality, I was just crawling along the bottom. We sometimes had a (home-made) bat and ball but a full scale football match would sometimes get going when someone brought a football. Even the tennis courts were very popular and well used.

It was an adventurous place where kids could run free, enjoy a wide open space in relative safety. I say relative safety for an abiding memory was the day we decided to go "fishing" for sticklebacks and newts in the dyke that ran along the eastern border with the open fields adjacent to the park - despite the fact that we only had our hands to catch them with and no jam jar or container to keep anything we may have caught. The dangerous part was when we tried to cross the ditch using a log or pipe (or something like that) and one of my sisters fell in the quite full dyke. She surfaced covered in mud, slime and weed and squelched all the way home to face the music.

Yes, West Park was a major part of our family's life and that of many other children at the time.

Posted by Robert on 25/10/2009

I like David's memories of West Park. Nowadays kids would mutiny just at the thought of walking that far. They'd prefer to be taken by car to somewhere like Flamingoland, at vast expense, or to be taken shopping. Oh yes, and we used to have to float down the sewer to get to school…

Posted by David on 25/10/2009

Not quite, Robert… but I did walk to school, first from Halifax Avenue to Kingsway then from Burlington Crescent to the GSM. I was about fourteen before I managed to get a bike (built it from spare parts and a scrap bike) and started to bike to GSM. One humorous tale was when I was cycling along Boothferry Road enjoying a quiet smoke when I spotted one of the teachers… a sharp detour into the back lanes was called for and I quickly "nipped" the cigarette and put it in my school jacket pocket, re-joining the main road at the next street. It was only when I got off the bike at the entrance to the school that I noticed the smoke billowing from inside my coat. As I opened it the slight breeze caught the embers of my lining and brightened the burning ring of cloth as I frantically tried to beat the fire out!

Some ingenious imaginations were going to be needed to explain this to mam…

Posted by Jan on 14/11/2010

I spent lots of time at West Park during my teenage years. I would go on my bike after tea most nights and hang out with friends near the seesaw and roundabout. I also remember bands playing in the bandstand on a Sunday. There was an annual tennis tournament when I remember Doctor Lowe, the lady doctor, used to win mostly. I also remember the carnival when I bought my first alcoholic drink - a rum and bock! Because I had heard people mention that drink and I didn't know what to ask for!

Posted by Zigger on 20/01/2012

Hook Gala! Does anyone remember the parachute display in about 1973 when one of the team collided with live electricity cables a couple of fields away? There was a big red flash and for a moment he was caught on them, and everyone feared the worst. Luckily he turned out fine and all was well.

The evening disco was more like midsummer fertility rights, attracting youth from far and wide.

Posted by Fiona on 25/01/2012

I remember that happening. My dad used to do the commentaries for Hook Gala. I was a bit young at the time to remember what his commentary was, probably there was no commentary as I seem to remember all the power was down in the village. It was a very lucky escape. Hook Gala was such a big event for a small village. Unfortunately it outgrew its self, a pity.

Posted by Tom on 06/09/2012

The parachutist was from the RAF Falcons and did this jump without authority and was in very serious trouble for it. I was at the parachute school under training at the time it happened. His name escapes me for the moment but I do remember reading it in a Sunday paper. He got tangled in the earth wire above the live wires so elected to release himself and fall to the ground. I think he got away with one broken leg.

He is not the only one to have a mishap, another - whose name I will not give - fell from the top of a football stand dressed as Santa. Sadly he had his leg amputated as a result. He was a very good semi pro footballer. That ended, but he did marry his physio.

Posted by Corby on 15/09/2013

It seems strange to me now, how we can all remember our first experiences. I now find it difficult to remember last week.

West Park was a great place with the roundabout, zigzag, maypole and high slide. All would not pass Health and Safety these days. Whilst sitting on the zigzag with my hands firmly wrapped around the short pole between my legs. When the big boys took us up to great heights I learned one day to not be tempted to reach out and grab a support pole which was alongside of me at full height. Resulting in me being plucked from my seat on the descent. Sending me out in space.

The high slide: we used to become tired of going down sitting, then laying on our back, on our front, feet first, head first - ultimately to be launched off at the end.

The dangers came when a big boy would sit on the top and allowing a long queue to form up the steps. Then the more adventurous would climb out and slide down the side supports. This was less exciting. I learned the hard way one day. When I believe I became the first boy in history stupid enough to go down the tube, head first. The tube was set in a concrete block which I hit head first. The surprising thing is that I walked away from it, showing how resilient a young body is, although I did have a huge bump for some time afterward. Happy days.

Posted by Priscilla on 22/02/2016

I remember West Park, spent many a wonderful day there, including getting a splinter in my bum from the old slide chute. No problems though, mom to the rescue back then.

I sure miss everyone I knew back then. I left for Canada in 1946 and have never been able to return. My father died in 1947 and mother came out here. I anyone remembers me, hello, and enjoy life, it is so short when we reach this end of it.

Posted by Goolie Gone on 17/08/2020

There's been mention of local lakes and ponds, often so vivid in childhood memories. If you were an Old-Goolie, the ponds you'd perhaps remember were the ones by the side of the Dutch River.

On the Cottingham Street side there was a track alongside the river, past Fisons, past Chantrys farm, under the railway bridge and then a hundred yards further along the riverbank. I'm sure it was used for fishing, though I was never a hook-slinger myself. I did once pull a moorhen out of the pond by its beak. A bit of a shock for me too. Not sure what name the pond was known as.

On the other side of the river, somewhere about opposite Fisons, was the timber pond. Some of the logs were fastened together to form a type of raft or platform. Leaping about, on and off them, could be slightly hazardous for a kid as they were apt to float about a bit, as I found out more than once, and fell in the pond. Doh! The first splashing about should have been a lesson enough.

Posted by Paul on 30/10/2020

I've been looking at an OS map for the late-1800s and was surprised to see a recreation ground bounded by the workhouse, Jackson Street and Charter Lane (now Pasture Road) and the rear of properties in Pasture Road with foreshortened Widop and West Streets. Subsequently Amy Street, Laura Street, Adeline Street and extended Widop Street and West Street, etc. were constructed. Does anybody know anything about this recreation ground? Would have been very useful when I was at Boothferry Road School rather than having to walk to West Park.

Posted by Bill on 29/01/2021

I remember paddling in the pond in West Park. Do you remember the bottom of the pond was covered in green slime which made it certain you would slip over and fall in? Another occasion there was go-kart racing in the park, with little or no safety precautions, and one child was injured when one of the go carts came off the track.

More recently, within the last ten years, I visited the park on bonfire night and witnessed a fantastic and very professional firework display. The park is a great resource.

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