Sunday, March 18, 2018
Eems Sprinter

A testing Yorkshire pub, West or East Riding, quiz challenge, or exam question in the armoury of a Yorkshire Education Committee examination board, would be to name all the docks in the Port of Goole.

More testing still would be to pick them out correctly on a chart or map: Aldam Dock, Ship Dock, Railway Dock, Stanhope Dock, Barge Dock, West Dock, South Dock and Ouse Dock. It might help if you were born and bred in Goole, or studied for months to become a pilot there, but even then it would take time if not years. Given that relatively few UK flagged and perhaps even fewer UK crewed vessels now frequent the still busy inland port 50 miles from Spurn Point and accessed by the Rivers Humber and Ouse, there will be more citizens and mariners of Holland, Poland and the Baltic States that are familiar with the geography of Goole port than in the UK.

Goole’s is a remarkable story. It was built in the marshes at the confluence of the Yorkshire rivers Aire and Ouse and opened in 1826, a product of the booming industrial growth of Yorkshire and the wider North of England, a boom facilitated by plentiful good coal and first by the canal era and then by the integration of Britain’s expanding railway companies. While the ports of Liverpool and Hull were focusing on deep-sea world trade, especially with the British Empire, including importing the food needed by Britain’s rapidly expanding industrial populations, it was the near continent that wanted the manufactured goods of the North of England and not least the quality Yorkshire coal that would fuel their own industrial expansion. First it was investment by the Aire and Calder Navigation Company and then the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and its associates that would create the remarkable complex that became the thriving town and short-sea trading port of Goole.

Over the 175 years since its creation, the port’s traffics have, of course, changed radically; the coal trade is gone, along with the once packed colliery railway sidings, while the unique compartment boat system is now history. And Goole’s innovative and prolific rail-sea shipping services are also now in the past, but Goole’s trade has adapted to the new reality and it is still busy with traders who find that Goole’s location and its expansive facilities have a great deal to offer. Just as the canal network and then transpennine rail links drew from the North of England’s industrial heartland towards Goole, and via its wharves to the continent, in recent decades the UK Motorway system has delivered droves of Heavy Goods vehicles to bring cargoes in and out of Goole’s quays and warehouses. So Goole now serves perhaps an even greater hinterland than in previous times.

My recent visit found a healthy number of ships being handled, the quays and storage facilities being a hive of activity with goods moving from ship into storage and from ship straight to road vehicle and out to the Motorways. Like most visible port traffics in the UK today, most cargoes are inbound. The quay of the Aldam Dock was a sea of packaged bricks for Britain’s house building boom, the familiar Fast Wil 1,391,’85 being rapidly relieved of this freight. Structural steel sections were being lifted from Eems Sprinter 1,862,’07 at the designated steel terminal in Ship Dock while, simultaneously, steel coil, delivered previously, was being shuttled from storage and onto road vehicles for onward distribution. Overnight, Cembay 3,017,’98 had threaded her way through Goole’s interconnected system to deliver Danish cement to the silo at Stanhope Dock, Cembay being a fleet-mate of the ill fated Cemfjord lying at the bottom of the Pentland Firth.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - October 2017 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!


Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2

Top 10 Books and DVDs 2017

Maritime Log

  • River Barges Go Electric +

    Electric River Barge The Dutch inland barge operator Port-Liner is working on Europe’s first electrically-powered inland container ship with the Dutch electrical firm Read More
  • Noah's Ark Caught in Storm +

    Noah's Ark During the winter storms that crossed parts of western Europe in early January, the Noah’s Ark was swept from her Read More
  • Start on New Felixstowe Storage Area +

    Port of Felixstowe Work is now underway on the latest expansion project at Felixstowe after the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling performed the formal Read More
  • Pier Head Memorial to Battle of the Atlantic +

    Battle of the Atlantic Memorial A campaign has been launched to raise £2.5mn to build a national Battle of the Atlantic Memorial at the Pier Read More
  • Benefits of Shipping Power Station Parts by Sea +

    Power Station Boiler Two new 110 tonnes heat exchangers to be used in refitting Centrica’s power station at King’s Lynn, arrived at the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Commanding Officers Face Collisions Courts-Martial +

    USS Fitzgerald The US Navy destroyer Fitzgerald, which lost seven of her crew and was seriously damaged in a collision off Yokosuka, Read More
  • Anti-Drugs Patrols Seize Cocaine Worth $721m +

    USCG Stratton The US Coast Guard unloaded more than 47,000lbs of cocaine worth more than $721mn from the cutter Stratton at San Read More
  • Shipping Caught in Severe Winter Ice Storm +

    Winter Storm Grayson The east coast of North America from Florida to Canada and including the Great Lakes were affected by the severe Read More
  • Ship Adrift in Port +

    Helsinki Bridge Port tugs and members of the US Coast Guard, the Massport Fire Department, Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts State Read More
  • Services Mark Four Chaplains Tragedy +

    Dorchester Services are being held in many communities in the United States this month to mark the 75th anniversary of the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3


  • World’s First Cyber Container Ship Completed +

    COSCO Area The first container ship to have an energy management system that has been cyber-certified by the classification society Lloyd’s Register Read More
  • Two New Ferries Ordered for Bass Strait Service +

    Spirit of Tasmania II The TT-Line has ordered two new ferries for its Bass Strait service between Melbourne and Devonport on Tasmania’s north coast. Read More
  • 32 Killed in Tanker Fires After Collision +

    Sanchi All 32 crew of the Iranian tanker Sanchi, 164,154dwt, died in a fire that swept the ship following a collision Read More
  • Protests at Certificate for Bangladesh Yard +

    Chittagong Shipbreaking Trade Unions and non-government organisations have protested following the move by the Italian classification society RINA to issue the PHP Read More
  • Automated Port Tested +

    Yangshan Deepwater Port Trial operations have begun at the world’s biggest automated container terminal at Shanghai, China. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • Russian Minesweeper Fleet Expands +

    Alexander Obukhov Russian News By 2027 the Russian Federation Navy is expected to have acquired a total of ten Alexandrit class minesweepers Read More
  • New Patrol ship for Danes +

    HDMS Lauge Koch Danish News On 11 December, in a ceremony held at Naval Station Korsør, the Royal Danish Navy commissioned the third Read More
  • Royal Navy ‘Cannibalising’ Ships for Parts +

    HMS Artful UK News Once again, the Royal Navy was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the closing months Read More
  • New Oiler for Canada +

    Asterix Canadian News The Royal Canadian Navy’s long wait for a new replenishment oiler for the fleet is nearly at an Read More
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth Arrives at Home Port +

    HMS Queen Elizabeth British News An event following the 2010 Defence Review many thought would never happen occurred on Wednesday 16 August when Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Estonian Arrow +

    Arrow Viv Llewellyn’s image of the IOM Steam Packet’s chartered Arrow at Poole indicates how advantageous her long term charter to Read More
  • A Classic Calais Blockade +

    Spirit of Britain A sign of worse to come? The 25th of January this year, saw French fishermen blockading the Port of Calais Read More
  • Lake Cruising +

    Western Belle In the English Lake District, on several of the Lakes, there are lake operations all year round. Read More
  • Wrestling Gales +

    Pride of Kent The sight of the familiar P&O ferry Pride of Kent blown aground while leaving Calais for Dover, is a shock. Read More
  • Indonesian Focus +

    Doro Landa To the Far East – PELNI (Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia) is Indonesia’s national shipping company, state-owned and operated, serving the entire Indonesian Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • Nellie +

    Nellie The 75ft stumpie barge Nellie can be sailed single-handed by her owner Prof Diana Montgomery, because she doesn’t have a Read More
  • Ocean Troll +

    Ocean Troll Meanwhile, as the oil price is showing signs of recovery and the future of other oil and gas fi elds Read More
  • West Coast Drama +

    Fame High drama off the coast of Harris in December, when the small Norwegian flag freighter Fame, long a familiar presence Read More
  • Pickle +

    Pickle After the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson in 1805, the Royal Navy sent their fast schooner Pickle Read More
  • Cargo by Sail +

    Tres Hombres and Morgenster At the beginning of October the brigantine Tres Hombres sailed from Den Helder, North Holland, to Zaandam, Amsterdam before beginning Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Berge Bulker Named In Honour of The Isle of Man +

    Dick Welsh I was delighted to learn that the latest in a series of ships for the bulk carrier giant, Berge Bulk, Read More
  • QE2 50 Years Later +

    QE2 Double Room Fifty years ago, the Queen Elizabeth 2 – the last Clyde-built trans-Atlantic liner – set sail from Upper Clyde Shipbuilders’ Clydebank shipyard Read More
  • International Salvage Union: Challenging Times +

    Costa Concordia The International Salvage Union (ISU) is the global trade association representing marine salvors, its members provide essential services to the Read More
  • Hunterston Port Secures Energy Decommissioning Investment +

    Hunterston Port Hunterston Port and Resource Centre (PARC) in Ayrshire has been awarded grant funding from the Scottish Government that could pave Read More
  • British Antarctic Territory – Royal Research Ships +

    British Antartic Ships Stamps One of the good news stories of 2016 was that, against strong international competition, the famous Merseyside shipbuilding company, Cammell Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • The Beauty In The Beast +

    Ngoni The world of superyachts lost a great designer when Ed Dubois died in 2016. Read More
  • Slice Of The Action +

    YachtQuarters For those who find reading about yachts is not enough, and seek a slice of the action, here is news Read More
  • Innovative Itineraries That Make The Difference +

    Scenic Eclipse Whilst it is true that the majority of new cruise vessels emerging from the world’s shipyards fit into the category Read More
  • Hamburg Highlights its Harbour and Cruise Callers +

    Grand Hamburg Cruise Days Parade There are a number of ports around the globe who promote and celebrate their harbours on a fairly regular basis. Read More
  • Pedal to the Metal? +

    Norwegian Bliss NCL has announced that their new build, the Norwegian Bliss, the company’s 16th ship, is set to launch in June Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

SS Manipur

A Troubled Voyage on the SS Manipur

The last of my three deep-sea trips on the Brocklebank ship SS Manipur was as Junior Third Engineer offi cer Read More

The Burning of the “Holmburn”

Caught below decks amid accelerating smoke, flames and heat, outbreak of fire has always been a particular dread for men Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

USS Nautilus

The Electric Boat Company

The Electric Boat Company in Connecticut has been at the forefront of naval innovation since its foundation in 1899. Patrick Read More

Clews, Bunts & Reefs

With celebrations being planned next year for the 250 year commemoration of Captain Cook’s first landfall in New Zealand, I Read More
  • 1
  • 2