The Yorkshire Ouse

A Broader Outlook: NarrowBoat, Autumn 2020

Christopher M Jones

Chris M. Jones studies a collection of images showing traffic on the River Ouse in Yorkshire in the 20th century

In this pre-World War I image the picturesque cast iron and stone Skeldergate Toll Bridge is an attractive architectural focus and remains a pleasant waterside area today. This image was taken from a narrow bridge on the western bank of the Ouse over the entrance to a shipbuilding yard slipway at Clementhorpe. The stone riverside wharf in front of the nearest craft adjoins the confectionary works of H. Backhouse & Company Ltd just visible on the extreme left, which faced onto the old towing path now called Terry Avenue.

The main interest is the three keels in the foreground. On the left is Ada of York, owned by coal, lime and sand merchants, Joseph Sykes Rymer & Son of Monk Bridge Wharf and Foss Bank, both on the River Foss Navigation in York. It was an old keel previously named Pride, owned by another coal merchant, John Senior, who died in 1882, and was then acquired by Rymer’s and renamed. Rymer already owned six keels for hi …

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