About Our Society

About our Society

The closure of the Yorkshire Waterways Museum in Goole on 15 May 2019 was an event we former volunteers can look back on today without feeling the same anger and bitterness which prevailed at that time. Looking at the circumstances objectively and with the benefit of information not shared publicly before the collapse it is easy to see that closure was inevitable and arguably should have happened years before it did. 

Rather than dwell on what was lost when the gates shut for the last time, we prefer to look at what we have salvaged from that wreck. 

  • A core group of former museum volunteers today forms the nucleus of the Yorkshire Waterways Heritage Society.  
  • Collectively we have many years of experience of managing a document and photographic collection.
  • Our enthusiasm for researching and publishing waterways history remains intact.
The creation of this Society in late 2019 was inspired by the failed attempt to purchase the diesel tug Wheldale, an historic vessel and one of only two remaining Tom Pudding tugs.  She fell into private ownership and remains moored at Knottingley. 
Early in 2022 a  change of course was determined for the Society.  Acquiring an historic vessel was no longer to be our priority and instead we were going  to refocus on the aims and objectives we had declared to the Charities Commission.
This Society was established to advance the education of the public in the history and heritage of the inland waterways of Yorkshire in particular by:
a) preserving vessels and artefacts which illustrate and explain the history and heritage of the waterways.
b) providing the public with access to the waterways for the purposes of education.
c) undertaking research into the waterways, the useful results of which will be published for the public benefit.
 Underpinning these global aims is our desire to encourage volunteering among all ages and abilities from across Yorkshire. The story of those hard working families who plied their trade on this county’s waterways reaches many parts of Yorkshire and needs to be told by local folk.

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For 2023 there is no charge for membership of the Society. You will be sent our regular email newsletter telling you what's new and coming soon. To register simply fill in the form below and click Sign up today!

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Your kind donations, keeping the society's research program and website running, are much appreciated!