Cool Goole No 1


Driving up through the Isle of Axholme in pouring rain yesterday, I decided to cut my losses and make for where I thought the sun was. This turned out to be Goole in East Yorkshire, and it was raining here also. I knew nothing about this east coast port except that Auberon Waugh came here once with a BBC crew and talked to the women who drove freshly-imported Renaults from the docks to, presumably, a large car park. But on entering the town in the afternoon my eyes came out onto my cheeks like those comic ones on springs when I saw this structure towering over the docks. I stared at it for ten minutes, hoping for at least a ray of sunshine to illuminate it for its portrait. I was rewarded by a single patch of blue approaching from the west, and here it is. So. It's a coal hoist, built some time between 1880-1910, and once bodily lifted 'Tom Pudding' compartment boats into the air so that the contents could be deposited into freighters. It was one of five, but, wait for it, this one was able to be floated to wherever it was wanted. It's screwed down now, Grade II Listed and a roost for at least two hundred pigeons. The little iron lighthouse was the control room. Thankyou to the Yorkshire Waterways Museum who were so patient and kind to an excitable man first thing this morning. Oh, and one more thing. When I put Goole Port into Google, it very quickly gave up and gave me 'Google' and 'port' instead.

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