Find out more about the history of the gansey

The Gansey Girl on Bridlington Harbour
The Gansey Girl on Bridlington Harbour

The Gansey Girl has become one of Bridlington’s most photographed landmarks, and now the item of clothing which inspired the sculpture is being looked at in more detail.

A talk at Bridlington Library later this month will look at the history of the ganseys, the fishermen’s jumpers which have their own place in the town’s maritime tradition.

Former lifeboat coxswain Fred Walkington and his wife Carol are experts on the subject and will be explaining more about the jumpers in the upstairs meeting room at the library from 2pm on Tuesday, May 23.

Fred will talk about the background of ganseys, while Carol will show of some of the items she had knitting, and will pass on advice to anyone who wants to have a go at trying to make their own.

Their real name is ‘Guernsey’, but they have always been referred to as ‘ganseys’ in Britain.

The gansey came into being as a garment for fishermen who required a warm, hard wearing, yet comfortable item of clothing that would resist the sea spray.

The hard twist given to the tightly packed wool fibres in the spinning process and the tightly knitted stitches produced a finish that is capable of repelling rain and spray.

Each gansey has a unique pattern, sometimes a family pattern, or sometimes a village pattern. This meant that if there was an accident or shipwreck, fishermen could be identified by their gansey.