Selby once had a large shipbuilding industry, and was an important port on the Selby Canal which brought trade from Leeds.
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Archaeological investigations in Selby have revealed extensive remains, including waterlogged deposits in the core of the town dating from the Roman period onwards.
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Place-name 'Selby' is first attested in a Yorkshire charter c, where it appears as Seleby.
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Selby Abbey was closed in 1539 as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII and the majority of the buildings have since been demolished.
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Selby was a centre for shipbuilding, with vessels launched into the river.
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For many years the swing bridge in Selby was a notorious local bottleneck but since the opening of the Selby bypass congestion in the town has been relieved.
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Selby Abbey is one of the largest parish churches in Britain and is larger than several cathedrals.
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Wistow Colliery, which was part of the Selby Coalfield, holds the UK record for coal mined in one week—200,743 tonnes in 1995.
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The 110 square miles Selby Complex, employing 3,000 miners plus contractors and ancillary staff, closed on Friday 14 May 2004 despite rising demand for coal in the UK.
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In recent years, Selby has seen the development of new shopping areas both in the town centre and on the outskirts.
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Selby is the transport hub for the local area and has a bus and railway station running services to many places around the area.
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Selby's major sporting team is Selby Town FC, playing in the Northern Counties East Division One and based at the Flaxley Road Stadium.
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Selby RUFC have five open age teams, and have veteran and junior set-ups too.
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Selby's longest established newspaper title is the Selby Times, owned and published by Chronicle Publications along with its sister paper the Goole Times.
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Selby previously owned the Selby Post and purchased the title from Johnston Press when they ceased publication of the paper in August 2013.
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The paper covers the Selby district, including the town centre and villages such as Sherburn-in-Elmet, and as far as Tadcaster.
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Goole Times and Selby Times received an unprecedented 1,000 toys for their annual Christmas toy appeal in December 2017.
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In 2019, The Selby Chronicle was relaunched as an online-only newspaper.
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Selby subsequently murdered an elderly couple, James and Joan Britton, at their home in the village of Strensall, near York.
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