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Page last updated at 15:23 GMT, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 16:23 UK
Historic boats return to Goole museum after restoration
Tom Pudding boat on the canal
The boats carried coal to Goole.

The open boats were used to transport coal from the Yorkshire collieries to Goole.

Each one could hold 40 tons and they were linked together and towed by a tug.

They were nicknamed Tom Puddings, as the row of boats were said to resemble a chain of sausages.

They were introduced in the 1860s and were a common sight on the Aire and Calder Navigation, with up to 20 boats being hauled along at a time.

Goole developed on the back of the thriving coal exports. At its peak 1300 boats plied their trade up and down the canal. Special hydraulic hoists were built at the dockside to lift the boats in and out of the water.

The decline of coal exports meant the use of Tom Puddings ended in 1986.

Brothers Godfrey and Ernie Sherburn, who worked on the boats, have spent their retirement restoring the last three existing vessels. They are now on display in Goole's Yorkshire Waterways Museum.

Ernie Sherburn has fond memories of his days as a skipper on the Tom Puddings:

"It was such a good job. I mean it was a well paid job. It was hard work and it was long hours but very, very interesting We had some very good times."

Look North's Linsey Smith takes a trip down the Aire and Calder Navigation on the newly restored boats.


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