IMS Postgraduate student successfully campaigns to correct misinformation about town’s history
Florence Scott, a PGR in the School of History, has successfully campaigned to correct false information after noticing that a false historical ‘fact’ was being used to insult the town of Goole.
Florence Scott wrote a blog post entitled ‘My town is not an ‘open sewer’! How false etymologies can be harmful’ to correct a prevalent myth that the name of the town of Goole in East Yorkshire derives from a medieval term meaning ‘open sewer’, which was even stated on Goole Town Council’s own website.
I’m from Goole originally and I became annoyed that the fake medieval etymology of ‘open sewer’ has been used for decades to create the impression that it’s a bad place to live. The name actually comes from a Middle English word meaning a small stream or water channel.
After the blog post received attention in local and national media Florence was able to successfully persuade Goole Town Council to remove the etymology from their website.
I am so pleased that this myth has been corrected. Now when you search for my town’s name online, the phrase ‘open sewer’ is no longer what comes up. I take that as a win!.