Disclaimer – These were personal comments reflecting the town in the late 1990s. Things have improved in leaps and bounds. It's unfair to judge a place today on personal recollections from 25 years ago. The content below is now written in the past tense and venue names removed. If you were there at the time, then you'll recognise the places. If you weren't there, then you only need to know that Goole has vastly improved since this page was written.
In the 1990s, Goole had two types of drinking establishments. The first kind were those which were too loud and full of school-kids drinking alcopops, people fighting and slappers in short skirts. These were to be avoided. The second kind were pubs and clubs where you go for a quiet drink and decent atmosphere. These were recommended and prevailed in Goole.
The focal point on a Saturday night (usually for all the wrong reasons) was Aire Street. This was locally called Blood Alley due to the number of fights, although the trouble could usually be avoided.
There were many clubs in Goole, however these weren't clubs in the usual sense of the word. These were members clubs, usually working men's or unions, which served cheap beer, had dodgy decor, and turns of variable quality. There was one nightclub, Flappers - this should have been avoided at all costs.
The following guides could be used to plan your evening entertainment.
Unlike a lot of larger towns and cities, all the pubs in Goole were original and had their own unique charm. (The first "chain" pub was the arrival of a Wetherspoon's pub in the old Midland Bank). The following venues were a selection of the drinking establishments in the town centre.
|Top Five Drinking Venues in the Town Centre|
|XXX||Although this is an Aire Street pub, it's a safe one to go in. Moves up a place as it's open all day. Serves a nice pint with guest beers and the locals are always willing to chat to you. Has also won several CAMRA awards. Especially noted for the suspended ceiling which has gaps in it where you can see the original ornate ceiling.||Pint of Speckled Hen|
|XXX||One of the best pubs in the town and it's got a website. The beer and company are always fine and it's a popular pub yet still manages to keep the idiots out. Especially noted for the quiz on a Sunday night and the silly sewing machine tables they have. Its only downside is that the landlord's from Hull.||Pint of Worthington's|
|XXX||Once the best pub in the town, but has lost its crown in recent years. Used to be famous selling local brews such as Thorne and Samson but these tend to be of variable quality. Traditionally the pub to start the drinks on a Saturday night.||Anything in a bottle|
|XXX||More of a creche than a pub. Do not go in here if you are over 16, like draught beer or value your eardrums.||Any alcopop|
|XXX||I can't see the attraction myself but dozens of teenagers each night can't be wrong, can they?||Can of Carlsberg Special Brew (shared between five)|
There were traditionally only five or six pubs that were busy in the town centre on a weekend. If you timed it right, every pub seemed packed. However if you set off too early or too late, then it seemed like a ghost town. As well as the central pubs, there were other pubs, with as much character, slightly off the beaten track. Here were some of them.
|Top Five Pubs outside the Town Centre|
|XXX||A large pub out of the town centre. Infamous for its monthly discos, football team, wedding receptions and (surprisingly) a picture of a Viking by its entrance.||Pint of lager|
|XXX||A nice pub split into two rooms.||Pint of bitter|
|XXX||Always a busy pub. This pub has the benefit of having the riverbank for its beer garden.||A large whisky|
|XXX||One of the few pubs in town to remain open all day. This pub has made an effort to try and change and attract new people by creating an Irish bar and having various karaoke nights.||Pint of Guinness|
|XXX||One of the few remaining pubs in the docks (at one time there were dozens). Has interesting photos of the docks on display and even used to host a late night disco, the Inferno, on a Saturday night. Make sure you don't drink too much or you'll fall into the docks.||A diet coke|
The following pubs were found in the outlying villages. There usually served good food as well as drink.
|Top Five out-of-town Pubs|
|XXX||A very nice country pub on the banks of the river. Has an excellent range of food and a popular quiz on a Wednesday night (the winning box is always number 2).||A glass of wine|
|XXX||Large rural pub on the banks of the River Derwent about ten miles from Goole. Especially noted for its games room.||Half of diet coke|
|XXX||A bizarre shaped pub next to Boothferry Bridge. The first pub you see after a hot summer's day on the East Coast.||A cold lager|
|XXX||Typical local's country pub and now the only pub between Swinefleet and Eastoft.||Pint of guest beer|
|XXX||Not the most glamorous of pubs, but provides a tranquil rest when catching a train back to Goole.||Pint of John Smith's|
Normally you had to get a taxi to Hull, Doncaster or York to find nightclub entertainment. When the locals found out where you were from you might be attacked. To get round this, people tried to open nightclubs closer to home with varying degrees of success. In the old days the main topic of conversation in the Lowther at 10:30pm on a Saturday was "Are you going to Kilpin or what?". However both Kilpin and Flappers since closed. This table showed the available choices.
|Top Three Nightclubs|
|Venue||Comments||Suggested DJ Song|
|XXX||Wins by default as it's the only proper nightclub in the town.||Frank Sinatra|
|XXX||Not really a nightclub, but it has a 2am licence on a weekend. This is worth going to visit if only for the bizarre sight of seeing people queuing to pay to get in.||Techno, Techno, Techno|
|XXX||Slips down a few places because it's now derelict and burnt out. Some may say this has improved the place.||Disco Inferno|
Don't forget to wash down your beer with a kebab. As with most towns, there were many chip shops open only during the day and traditional pizza places during the evening. Goole has come a long way. The first pizza place started deep-frying in the late-1980s and by the late-1990s McDonalds opened by the motorway junction.
|Top Five Fast Food Places|
|XXX||The usual mix of kebabs, burgers and pizzas, but they're open later than the others are.||Nan Kebab|
|XXX||It's a sad fact of life, but Goole no longer has a sit-down curry house. This is a good substitute, but you'll have to eat at home.||Chicken Jalfreizi|
|XXX||Consistent crap||Whopper Meal with a Zinger Tower burger|
|XXX||The original and the best.||Spicy potato special|
|XXX||Typical Chinese Fayre||Sweet and Sour Chicken|
In its drunken heyday, there was a ridiculous number of pubs within the docks themselves.