Sheringham’s rich fishing heritage on show at woollen gansey exhibition

An exhibition of traditional fishermen’s ganseys that is currently running at the Sheringham Mo Museum and the purpose of the exhibition is to showcase the heritage of the seafaring folk of north Norfolk. There are more than 60 hand-knitted woollen jumpers on show at the exhibition and these feature intricate patterns. The jumpers were draped across the eight fishing boats and lifeboats that are usually found at the seafront museum and these can now be seen in the education and exhibition centre which was recently opened.

The exhibition is funded by the Heritage Lottery and it’s based on the research that was carried out by Stella Ruhe, a Dutch knitting historian. The exhibition is currently on a three-year tour of the European continent and it explores the relationship between ganseys and the people that made them. There are other exhibits on display at well such as artwork based around ganseys, miniature gansey’s that were knitted by volunteers and memorabilia such as tools that were used for knitting and photographs of Norfolk and Dutch fishermen working.

According to Philip manager, the manager at the Sheringham Museum, many of the exhibits in question have been donated to the museum following an appeal to the neighbouring community and some of the exhibits go as far back as the 1900s. He added that the quality of ganseys from Sheringham is known throughout the world and that Sheringham was the only town to have come up with its own style of patterning that is unique to it and this was done by knitters who were using high-quality three-ply wool. He also mentioned that the quality of work done in the town was so high that the Sheringham women were even commissioned by many fishermen from Cromer to knit their ganseys.

As part of the World Wide Knit in Public Day, Lesley Lougher, museum director and trustee had organised a Knit on the Prom event and the event will feature several talks and demonstrations. Mrs Lougher stated that they were quite excited by the exhibition because she thought it was lovely to give people a chance to see the many different ganseys out there considering the gansey-knitting tradition had been so strong in Sheringham and this was also why the town was the ideal location for the event. The Knit on the Prom event will be on Saturday from 11 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon.

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