Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Thursday was one of those glorious winter days. Out was the only option. The seaside the place to be.


But being January it was chilly. So our first port of call was the Rotunda Museum.


This building houses many wonderous things. The Gristhorpe man is a very well-preserved skeleton from the Bronze Age. One of the earliest tree trunk burials in the UK. There are exhibits from Star Carr. Back in the Mesolithic period the Vale of Pickering was one massive lake. Star Carr was a Mesolithic settlement on the shores of the lake. There are also many fossils found from along the cliffs. Totally fascinating. Oh and just my luck, this ceiling!


More information here. Cost was Β£3 and includes the Art Gallery and admission is for the whole year. I will be back. After that we had a stroll along the beach and coffee. We couldn’t resist taking this picture for our Dr Who grandchildren fans.


Back then up to town for a look around the shops. On route I stumbled across The Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre. This is free and run by enthusiastic volunteers. There was once a thriving ship building industry and more recently a thriving fishing industry ( maybe Brexit will see more fishing vessels in Scarborough again). There is a link to the Titanic and a lot of research material available. AND KNITTING. Ganseys to be precise. What is a Gansey? Well one of these.


A Gansey is knitted in one piece and keeps a chap very warm and dry. But more importantly each town and fishing fleet had its own pattern , so that if a ship was wrecked the fishermen could be identified from their Ganseys as belonging to the wreck.


You can just about see the patterns in my pictures.


More information on Ganseys Here and on the Museum http://smhc.hqtdevelopment.co.uk/women.html

After that I paid in some cheques and bought a single sheet. I think someone has been eating the single sheets, they all seem to have vanished. Homemade mushroom soup and a Yorkshire ham sandwich rounded off the outing nicely.

PS I won’t be knitting a Gansey. Much as I admire them the concentration required would be too much!





Comments on: "Scarborough Maritime Heritage." (34)

  1. [J+D] Goodness, your post makes us realize it’s more than 30yrs since either of us was in Scarborough! As ever, lots of things to do, and for almost all tastes – that’s what has made it a successful resort for so long – centures, in fact. The gansey knitting patterns are interesting. There’s a lot in common with our local tradition – Eriskay gansey. In essence, it’s the making of a gansey with a collage of patterns – marriage lines, harbour steps and so on. The ‘herring girls’ that in times past used to travel around the north coasts of Britain with the herring shoals and the fishing fleets included many island women, including from Eriskay. It is safe to assume that there would have been a lot of sharing and transfering of skills and patterns, though of course there would be slight differences introduced, whether inadvertently or intentionally. There’s currently little prospect of us visiting Yorkshire, certainly the coast, but if we did, we’re sure to call in at Scarborough!

    • Oh yes do visit Scarborough again. It’s not changed much over the years. I had many a happy seasdie trip as a little girl. Still got donkeys too.

  2. Interesting place Cathy and you slipped in a ceiling image too

  3. This was a lesson in itself. Thank you.

  4. Beautiful pics. The light is fantastic. Love the Gansey pics – the patterns show really well given they’re behind glass. I did flick to page about them and had to laugh that they took six weeks to make – seem to remember going hell for leather on hubby’s Aran sweater last year and it taking a wee bit longer than that πŸ™‚

  5. What a delightful outing it sounds like you had. Those museums look fascinating. More things to add to my list next time I visit!

  6. So interesting about the Gansey patterns being individual to different areas. A lovely day out by the look of it and that sky – how blue?!

  7. What a grand little tour (and fabulous ceiling) you’ve taken us on. I’m also taken by the Ganseys. I love their look, and the story behind the patterns.

  8. This sounds like such a fascinating outing–a lot of interest packed into one day. I had heard the story about the knit patterns being used to identify sailors who had drowned–it all adds such a poignant aspect to the stitches that, at first, look just decorative.

  9. The Gansey story is interesting – I’m sure you could knock out one of those anchor and rope patterns in a trice πŸ˜‰

  10. So interesting, I love this post! I’ve been to scarborough so many times I’ve lost count, when I was little I was almost brought up there in a tent, or so it seemed! But I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never visited the museums but that will all change on my next visit. Thanks for enlightening me that’s there’s more to it than the beach and the fabric shop! πŸ˜€

  11. What a fabulous post — thank you for sharing! Those gansey patterns are fascinating!

  12. What a wonderful day! Your photos are lovely. I almost feel like I had an outing:)

  13. I am off to google ‘tree trunk burials’ now!

  14. Cathy, I so enjoy your posts! I’ve never been to England and you are educating me about normal life and communities. It is wonderful!

  15. What a nice little outing and the mushroom soup and ham sandwich to round it all off for me could not be better.

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