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Yorkshire Waterways Heritage Society

Illuminating the lives of the hard working watermen who plied their trade on the waterways of 19th and 20th century Yorkshire.

Historic Photograph Collection

Browse 150 years of life on Yorkshire’s waterways as captured through the photographer’s lens.

Canal Boat Registration

A new resource for family historians.

Search for Yorkshire’s watermen and their vessels in our free to use database.

Vessels moored in Barge Dock, Goole

Recent research projects

1881 Census

Yorkshire’s watermen and their families have been identified and transcribed from the 1881 census. Click here to see what has been discovered.

Watermen families

Detailed family history research has been carried out on twenty waterman families. Click here to see which families.

Literacy among watermen

A study of watermen marriages has sought to understand how the level of literacy among watermen compared with the population in England.

News and current volunteer projects

Research has shown that there is a positive relationship between interacting with heritage and improved wellbeing. Our projects provide just such an opportunity for volunteers to get involved. 

Brian Masterman Collection

Society volunteers are cataloguing the extensive collection of material assembled over his lifetime by Old Goole historian, the late Brian Masterman.

Yorkshire's Watermen Community Project

We want to identify, record and map all Yorkshire’s watermen and women wherever and whenever they might be found.

Photograph collection

Photographs of the waterways are being collated and interpreted for inclusion on our website gallery and research projects.