Which of these towers is salt and which is pepper? Goole launches poll to decide

Goole Civic Society is asking residents to decide which tower is which for upcoming commemorative shakers. Even the most seasoned debaters can’t decide.

1 August 2023

A pair of commemorative salt and pepper shakers have caused division in the town of Goole, England. To celebrate its 200th anniversary, Goole Civic Society decided to create a pair of shakers based on its iconic grade II listed towers, known locally as the Salt & Pepper Pots. But which tower is salt and which is pepper?

Margaret Hicks-Clarke, the chair at Goole Civic Society, recently told The Guardian that opinion was divided amongst members. “We had a little debate in our civic society and found we were around 50/50 split. So we decided that we would ask the people of the town what they thought.”

While the redbrick and white exterior of the two buildings at first seems to suggest pepper and salt respectively, the situation isn’t as clearcut. For example, some see the slim tip of the redbrick tower as representing a single hole, like you might find on a salt shaker.

The debate has continued online, with local organisations and bystanders sharing their perspective; “Historically the white fat tower is pepper and the tall thin brown is salt,” shared charity The Moorlands. Goole Civic Society has also created a poll on X (formerly known as Twitter) for people to cast their vote, users can also have their say via email, by contacting goolecivicsociety@gmail.com.


Fraser Barrett: Goole View Twitter Account (Copyright © Fraser Barrett, 2023)

For many, it appears to be a case of experience – the kitchen tableware they grew up with reflecting their perspective. This is the case for Fraser Barrett, who runs the page Goole View, which posts a picture of the towers everyday. “I don’t actually have a strong opinion – to me I’ve always seen the thin one as salt and the other as pepper because the set we had when I was a kid were similar shapes,” Fraser tells It’s Nice That. “I’m aware that’s not the popular opinion (or indeed maybe not the historical fact) so I’d be happy to be proved wrong!”

Who knows, maybe the society will find a way to appease everyone. When one X user suggested that the society should sell them as a pair with switchable lids, Goole Civic Society responded that this is likely going to be its “long term plan”.

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Fraser Barrett: Goole View Twitter Account (Copyright © Fraser Barrett, 2023)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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