Thursday, 31 March 2016

Take a Place Like Goole

For almost ten years my adopted hometown was Goole. At the time, roughly the mid-1980s to the mid-90s, I was both living and working there; my short, five minute, pedestrian commute from Broadway to the town centre offices of Boothferry Borough Council. Boothferry was still part of the much-maligned Humberside, both of which disappeared from the local government map exactly 20 years ago today. In this linked post - see also my Random Gubbins blog - I invite you to take an audio tour round the town. 

Goole's history is inextricably linked to the waterways that surround the town, though surely the term 'Venice of the North' should be taken with a large dose of salt. And speaking of salt those twin water towers in the photo above are nicknamed the Salt and Pepper Pots. There was a small fishing and agricultural settlement, in what is now known as Old Goole from the 14th century. In the 1600s the surrounding marshlands were drained by Dutchman Cornelius Vermuyden, the Dutch being dab hands at drains and dykes. In 1826 the Aire and Calder Navigation Company opened the docks and canal basin to the north of the Dutch River, triggering an expansion of the town.  

In this programme from the BBC Radio 4 series Take a Place Like, Stanley Ellis, John Grundy and Dr Juliet Barker have poke around the town taking in the Lowther Hotel, Hilda's Fancy Dress in The Arcade, the port itself and Goole Hall. Take a Place Like Goole was broadcast on 7 August 1988 and repeated the following day, from which this off-air recording comes. Apologies for the interference in the opening minutes. 

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