I think the newer book took the description from the first one. I know that the Goole water towers are often affectionately known as 'salt and pepper' because of their shape.
But other than in these books I have never come across the hoists being described as pepper pots - although looking at the hoists it is perfectly possible to see where the idea came from. So is this something I have just never picked up on or is it something written in the books which is unknown to Goole people?
The hydraulically operated coal hoists were invented by William Hamond Bartholomew to lift the floating pans or compartments (called Tom Puddings locally) full of coal and tip them into the hold of a ship. They were in use - five of them eventually - from 1863 and were unique to Goole. One hoist has been preserved and can still be seen today.