Waterways workers’ efforts on historic boat net award

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Years of hard work by a group of volunteers on a historic working boat have been recognised with a national award.

The group of retired boatmen and enthusiasts, spend a day a week at the Yorkshire Waterways Museum in Goole, working on a tug called Wheldale, which used to tow trains of 19 Tom Pudding compartment boats, full of coal through the Aire and Calder Navigation.

Wheldale is the last remaining Tom Pudding tug in original working condition and was accepted onto the National Historic Ships Register when she turned 50 in 2009.

Brothers Goff and Ernie Sherburn, who make up part of the volunteer crew, used to be Tom Pudding skippers when the system was in operation. Most Sundays they take people out on trips round Goole Docks. Goff received a highly commended certificate at an awards ceremony at HMS Belfast in London, along with museum manager Rachel Walker.

Miss Walker said: “The museum is very happy that the commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteer crew has been nationally recognised. The efforts of our volunteers over the years has enabled the museum not only to preserve some of the unique heritage of the Yorkshire waterways but to go a step further and keep historic vessels operational for the public to enjoy first hand.”