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Goole is a town, civil parish and port located approximately inland on the River Ousemarker in the East Riding of Yorkshire, Englandmarker. The port is "highly versatile", and is capable of handling nearly 3 million tonnes of cargo per annum, making it one of the most important ports on the east coast of England.

Goole is twinned with Złotówmarker, Polandmarker (and was twinned with Rostockmarker, northern Germanymarker in 1969 although this seems to have lapsed). Goole was informally twinned with Gibraltarmarker in the 1960s, at that time Gibraltar Court was named in Goole and Goole Court was named in Gibraltar.


The civil engineer Cornelius Vermuyden from the Netherlandsmarker diverted the River Don northwards to the River Ousemarker in 1626-9 to drain the marshland of Hatfield Chase at the behest of King Charles I. This also made the lower Don navigable for small barges so that coal from South Yorkshire coalfields was transported to "Goole" at the new mouth of the Don (or "Dutch River") for transfer to seagoing vessels.

The Aire and Calder Navigationmarker Company opened their broad canal from Knottingleymarker in the northern sector of the coalfield in 1826 together with eight transshipment docks at Goole and a company-built town. This gave rise to several innovations in materials handling by the chief engineer, William Bartholomew. In 1863 he introduced the Tom Pudding system of compartment boats which could each carry around of coal. In the docks Bartholomew introduced large boat hoists which could lift the Puddings and discharge directly into sea going ships which exported the coal to all parts of the world. These managed to compete with rail and were used until 1985.

For most of the life of the port, coal has been the dominent commodity handled. Another commodity associated with the mining industry has been pit props. These were traditionally stored floating in the water at the Timber Pond. With the decline of the mining industry, pit props are no longer imported and the Timber Pond is now a marina trading under the name, Goole Boathouse. It has berths for 150 boats and is the largest inland waterway marina in Yorkshire.

The three locks that keep the water in thirty-seven acres of docks at a constant depth of six metres by preventing the level from rising and falling with the tides in the River Ouse. Ships and barges entering the port must first pass through the locks. Once inside there are eight docks with a total of three miles of quayside at which they can berth. Besides the docks are transit sheds where cargo is stored, many of which are equipped with overhead cranes. Goole has regular cargo liner services to Norwaymarker, Swedenmarker, Finlandmarker, Germanymarker, Hollandmarker, Belgiummarker, Francemarker, Spainmarker, Moroccomarker and South Africa. There is also trade by charter vessel to and from many other countries, including Russiamarker, Denmarkmarker, Italymarker and the Mediterraneanmarker. Cargo from other parts of the world such as the U.S.Amarker, Chinamarker and Australia reaches Goole by transshipment services from Rotterdammarker. When Goole first opened as a port it was a small new village of about 450 people . Now it is a small town with about 18,000 inhabitants.

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway built a line from Pontefractmarker and Wakefieldmarker in 1848 and the North Eastern Railway connected with Doncastermarker and Hullmarker in 1870. The prosperity from the coal and general cargo trade with the West Riding industrial area continued for 150 years after the opening of the canal. After a period of decline, these commodities were more than replaced by containers, the export of steel and the import of timber from north-eastern Europe. The two original 1826 docks, along with all six others built later, are still in full operation. Goole railway stationmarker is on the Sheffield to Hull Line and is the terminus of the Pontefract Line.

Glass and clothing are produced in Goole and it is the focus of an agricultural district.


Goole is located south of the M62 linking it with Kingston upon Hull in the east and the West Yorkshire urban belt in the west. The M18 lies west of the town connecting it with South Yorkshiremarker and the South and Midlandsmarker. Goole also has a railway station with services to Hull Paragon Interchangemarker, Doncastermarker, Sheffieldmarker and Leeds City stationmarker, as well as the commuter railway stations in between. There are also bus services from Goole to surrounding towns and villages. Goole is positioned as commuter distance from Doncastermarker, Hullmarker, Leedsmarker and Yorkmarker.


Prior to the reform of local government in 1974, brought about by the Local Government Act 1972, Goole was in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It was then placed in the Boothferrymarker district of the newly formed county of Humberside until that was abolished in 1996. Since 1996, Goole has been in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is represented by six councillors on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Goole is currently in the parliamentary constituency of Brigg and Goolemarker. The constituency is represented by one Member of Parliament in the House of Commonsmarker.


Boothferry Road, the main shopping street
Goole has a modest size town centre with many high street shops, independent retailers and public houses. The main shopping street is Boothferry Road, which has been pedestrianised around the main shopping area. Some of the shops, such as Argos are situated in a modern retail development in the town centre with designated off street parking. Goole has one supermarket, a large Tescomarker situated on the edge of the town centre. Goole has a leisure centre situated adjacent to the docks. Goole is served by the Goole and District Hospital, situated to the north of the town.

Neighbouring Selby has a town centre of a similar nature as well as an out of town retail park. The larger centres of Doncaster, Hull, Leeds, Wakefield and York are situated within driving distance.

Goole has a several junior schools and a secondary school. Further education colleges are situated in Selby and Pontefract.


Goole's twin water towers, dubbed the "salt and pepper pots"
Goole's most prominent landmarks are its twin water towers, dubbed the "salt and pepper pots". In the winter months, Goole's gas holder on Anderson Road is visible across the north of the town. Many of the hoists and cranes of the docks can be seen across the town. The steeple of Goole Parish Church is also tall enough to be seen across the town. The landscape of the town is made up mostly of utility and industrial structures. Due to the towns relative flatness, all the structures are largely set at the same height.


A view of Goole from the north east
Permission was granted by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council for the development of a new, large industrial park on land adjacent to the M62 on the outskirts of the town.

Since work began, the industrial park, now known as Capitol Park, has attracted two large employers in the form of Guardian Industries, who have built a glass manufacturing plant and Tescomarker, who have built a distribution centre. The arrival of these employers has resulted in hundreds of new jobs being created.

Recently, Morrisons have announced plans to build a supermarket on the site of the old Timms Mill. Currently building work has started.


Goole's main football team is Goole A.F.C.. It is the town's only semi-professional football team and currently they play in the UniBond League 1st Division South. The entrance to the football grounds are located at the end of Carter Street. The nearest professional teams are Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Leeds United and York City.


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Port and shipping


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