Goole, East Yorkshire, England Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Goole, East Yorkshire, England

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The Columbia Encyclopedia at describes Goole like this:

Municipal borough (1991 pop 17,157), East Riding of Yorkshire, N England, at the confluence of the Ouse and Don rivers. A significant inland port, it has extensive dockyards. Coal and textiles are exported; ship repair, iron casting, sugar refining, flour milling1, and the manufacture of fertilisers and clothing are leading industries. There is passenger service from Goole to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and other continental ports2. Goole is also a market town.

The Town

Once a small village that made its living draining the marshes of its little patch of Yorkshire, Goole's name is a derivative of an Old English word for sewage. No joke.

Goole's more prominent features are a big clock tower (hideously scarred by a CCTV camera), a lot of blue cranes and two water towers, one of which looks like a large model of something rather rude.

If you're aged between 11 and 16 in Goole, then you'll probably go to Vermuyden School. Built in 1909 as Goole Grammar School, it was recently renamed after the engineer who constructed the Dutch River to drain the area - Cornelius Vermuyden. Primary Schools in the area include Kingsway, Parkside, Pasture Road and Boothferry.

The school has links with nearby Howden and Snaith Secondary Schools. Once a year the three hold an interschool quiz, showing friendly competition between schools. Vermuyden's Sixth Form has recently merged with Howden's to provide greater choice for students from both schools.


If you want to spend all night out on the town partying at clubs and then staggering to the next club, Goole is not the place for you. Most people catch the bus to Doncaster for such pursuits, as there are very few nightclubs in Goole.

The town doesn't have a real cinema, despite protests from the town's teenage population, although it does have The Gate. The Gate is a house converted into a tiny theatre, which hosts local bands, touring performers and plays videos onto a big screen.

The local leisure centre has a swimming pool, and provides services for other activities, such as tennis and general fitness.


There are two local newspapers, The Courier and The Goole Times. The Goole Times has been established in the town since 1853 and, at the time of writing, costs 38 pence. The Courier is newer and is delivered to everyone in the area free of charge, making its revenue from advertising. Both are published every Thursday.


Goole is spending a lot of money developing the town centre. In the past few years, a large expanse of wasteland behind the railway station has been redeveloped with a commercial estate. Since then shops such as Argos, Boyes and Peacocks have moved into the area. The downside of this is that already established shops such as Boots and Famous Army Stores have moved into the new buildings, leaving empty shops on the main shopping street - Boothferry Road. This road has been closed to traffic and pedestrianised, but new shops aren't moving in, preferring the brand-new buildings round the corner.

The old Victorian railway station, which had been left in a state of disrepair for many years, has recently been demolished and replaced with a new prefabricated building, which has really smartened up the junction of Boothferry Road, Vermuyden Way and Mariners Street.

The Local Area

Goole is the nexus of a network of villages, such as Hook, Airmyn, Swinefleet and Rawcliffe. Goole is also close to the small towns of Howden and Snaith, the former notable for its Minster. Goole has the only local supermarkets - Tesco, Netto and Lidl - so many residents of these villages come into Goole for shopping.

Goole and the Web

There are only two Goole websites really worth visiting if you want more information, or a laugh at the expense of Goole:

  • - a pretty good site which makes Goole out to be a really cool place.

  • Goole on the Web - a dead funny site which focuses on the downside of Goole. Complete with a fake webcam which is still cool to watch.

1This is inaccurate, at the time of writing, the flour mill is closing down - the Timms Family are moving into the sausage industry.2One again, it must be pointed out that this is no longer true.

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