Thursday, 30 May 2013

Shops of Goole

It is sometime since I wrote a post and so there are several local matters I would like to mention.

The first is the death, at the age of 99, of Ken Powls. He was a native of Howden and a keen student of the town's history. He and I wrote a history of Howden - Howden an East Riding market town - in the 1990s and I treasure the memory of sitting with him in the Powls family shop and signing copies of the book.

He went on to write three more smaller books about Howden - including his autobiography Many Lives. He will be sadly missed in Howden  and the wider area.

Last weekend I attended the Family history day at Goole's Waterways Museum and thoroughly enjoyed it. More people came than in previous years and I met visitors from many areas of Yorkshire whose families had roots in Goole and had come to see if we could help them with their family history. One of the commonest queries is about whereabouts in Goole their ancestors lived. In earlier times much of present day Goole was in the parishes of Hook and Airmyn and this causes considerable confusion.

I have also been busy preparing and giving two talks. The first was to Goole Civic Society at their meeting in The Lowther.  The society was having a re-launch but unfortunately due to a mix up with the publicity no one knew! So I talked to a small but enthusiastic audience about the early days of Goole in the very appropriate setting of The Lowther hotel, the first building of New Goole.

The second talk was to members of the Marshland History group who meet at Swinefleet. This was a talk about memories of Goole shops and was, I think, well received. Goole had several locally owned shops and in the audience were workers and relatives from some of them.

Do you remember Foster and Tetlley's outfitters, Anthony White's ice-cream, Hackforth's cafe and Branson Bowles outfitters and toy displays? I would be delighted to receive any memories and pictures as I hope to write a series of articles in the Goole Times.

Below is a picture of Boothferry Road as I remember it, before it was pedestrianised - and when Goole had both Woolworth's and Marks and Spencer.


  1. Hello Susan,

    I have just found this post quite by accident while researching Kenneth Powls, my 2nd cousin 3x removed. I'm related to him through his Brighton ancestors. Although saddened to hear of his passing, it sounds as though his was "a life well lived"! I love being able to put faces to the names on my family tree & to know a bit about their lives. Now I'll have to see about getting one of his books!

    Lynn MacMillan (nee Fish)

    1. Hello Lyn, I knew Ken well and he was well respected in Howden. Contact me through my website if you would like to know more about which book to buy. Susan