Thursday, 21 June 2012

The 'Lanky', the 'Great War' and Goole.

The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company was the first railway that came to Goole, opening its station on Aire Street in March 1848, opening to passengers on 1st April. It was to remain in use for the next twenty-one years, at which time permission was given to use the newly opened North Eastern Railway station on Boothferry Road.
Despite the loss of 'its' station the 'Lanky' continued to have a large presence in the fortune and continued growth of the town. Trains brought passengers and goods to and from West Yorkshire and further afield. Coal formed a big portion of the railways traffic, and as such two hoists capable of discharging this 'black gold' in to ships holds were built (one of which still stands today). One visible aspect of the amount of traffic that came through Goole is the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway 'Goods Office' on Stanhope Street, which would have been busy with clerks, checkers, tonnage recorders, etc. all involved with the operation of making sure that the correct wagons and goods were shunted to the correct shed prior to being loaded to the right ship for shipment to other ports; the reverse operation was also carried out, except of course for the coal wagons which returned empty to the colleries.
In the days of the station on Aire Street a simple engine shed was built to water and coal the engine that brought in the passenger trains, and the few engines that were then working on the docks. After a few smaller sheds had been built over the years, in 1889 a new engine shed was finally in use on land to the north of the Aire and Calder canal, and immediately to the west of the docks.
As well as engine drivers and fireman being required to work the engines, 'cleaners' were employed to make sure the engine was fit for use on its next 'turn' of duty. Coach cleaners were also employed to wash and clean the 'Lanky' coaches, which were by this time stored in sidings to the north of the station.
As well as these people, those who worked aboard the 'Lanky' ships, stokers, firemen, stewards, etc., plying the waters from Goole to Boulogne, Hamburg and Amsterdam, among others, transporting goods as diverse as butter and horses, along with passengers - indeed the Company was very proud to say that it could take you from Ireland to the Continent, a journey of some 810 miles (Drogheda to Copenhagen) with only 121 miles being by train, all on one ticket.
As such, it was these men, among countless others from Goole who enlisted in to His Majesty's Forces throughout the years of the 'Great War'. As with any conflict there are casualties, and while families suffered the loss of a father, son, brother or husband, they were also mourned for in the wider communities in which they once lived, their names being inscribed on Church memorials, on the Cenotaph, and on various plaques that were erected by the companies that employed them. The L&YR was no different, at least two were unveiled within Goole - one of which can be seen today in Goole Museum.
Another Memorial which bears the names of Goole men who died, and who were formerly employed by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company, can be found at Manchester Victoria station. This building and its offices was at the centre of the railway's activities and as such a large tiled map of the entire 'Lanky' network dominates the north wall of the booking hall. Inscribed on this substantial bronze Memorial plaque are the names of 1,465 former employees of the 'Lanky' Compamy, included within which are the names of 56 Goole men who were formerly clerks, engine cleaners, firemen, platelayers, stewards, wagon examiners, Able-seamen and labourers.
The insricption above the seven panels bearing the 1,465 names reads 'This tablet is erected to perpetuate the memory of the men of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway whose names are here recorded, and who gave their lives for their King and Country in the Great War 1914 - 1919.' It is framed on either end by symbolic figures of St. George and St. Michael, and was designed by Henry Shelmerdine, F.S.I., formerly Architect to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company.

1 comment:

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We welcome any comments about the work being undertaken by this Group. If you feel that you can add anything about any of the 'Street Shrines', or have information relating to the men named on Goole Cenotaph, then do please get in touch.