Flamborough Sword Dance December 27 2013
Boxing Day and our yearly pilgrimage along the cliff top to Flamborough to watch the sword dance.
A cloudless sky and warm Winter sun bathing the chalk cliffs. Bridlington in the distance.
Worsted wool red hats and mini Ganseys for the juniors. Wooden swords at the ready.
Dog & Duck square Flamborough for a rousing finale to the days events.
Hand Knitted Fishermans Ganseys, white cotton trousers and cloth caps
for the men of the village.
The circle of life is complete. Another year passes and a new one begins.
U57 - Scarborough Fishing Trawlers November 10 2013
Unfortunately for the crew of this Scarborough steam trawler the U stood for u-boat
WWI 1916 and the sinking of 11 fishing boats just off the East Yorkshire coast.
The German u-boat Captains rather unsettling map of our local waters.
Log of the German U-Boat which sank eleven Scarborough trawlers in 1916.
The following is taken from the log of the German U-Boat which sank 11 Scarborough Trawlers in 1916. He was Ritter Karl Siegfried Von Georg. This log begins just after the U-Boat had torpedoed the steamer 'Laila' and taken its crew onboard.
The many lights of a fishing fleet come into sight. The steamers are fishing in formation in a long line.
On a previous day a fishing steamer had come into sight and I had approached it under water to within 200-300 Metres, without noticing anything suspicious and had traversed my whole allocated area without any sign of hostile action, therefore I can only assume that this was a harmless fishing fleet and I resolve to destroy it. I approached the last steamer in the formation of approximately 12 vessels to within 40-50 metres and ask the Norwegian Captain of the Laila to do me the favour of rowing to this last steamer and informing him that a German vessel is in attendance, and whose captain is ordering him to leave his vessel immediately, along with all his crew and all his papers, and come back alongside. Any refusal to follow this order would result in the U-Boat using its weapons against it.
I made the Captain of the Laila aware that I had no right to order him to approach the fishing steamer, but that he would be doing me a great service if he acceded to my request. The Captain gladly carried out my request. The Laila boat and a boat from the steamer came back with the crew of the Fisher Prince. The fishing vessel continues to make way, with lights on display, and nothing unusual is on board. I decide to use the Fisher Prince to assemble the crews of the remaining fishing vessels and then to destroy the steamers. An immediate attack would have merely caused the remaining vessels to flee. I confiscated the papers of the fishing vessel. Oberleutnant z. S. Von Ruckteschell, two junior officers and two men were sent back to the Fisher Prince with its crew, after the ship's captain was made to understand the officer's orders. In the event of the slightest reluctance to follow a command, the U-Boat - which would be following closely behind - would make use of its armaments.
It was never my intention to remain close to the fishing steam during the night, I merely wanted to ensure the captains obedience by making this statement.
Amongst the accompanying fishing fleet, one of the steamers is seen to be in motion and heading towards me. Oberleutnant z. S. Von Ruckteschell evidently notices this and heads immediately across the bows of the steamer and forces it to stop. According to its captain, it was merely attempting to set its nets properly. The crew are taken onboard the Fisher Prince.
The Fisher Prince is called back. The steamer Tarantula, which I had gone alongside, was sunk by opening the scuppers.
Oberleutnant z. S. Von Ruckteschell receives the order to use the Fisher Prince and make all machinery unusable and sink all the boats with the exception of one which he should use to come back onboard. Oberleutnant z. S. Von Ruckteschell with his men. I now have the complete crew back onboard.
Proceed north of the fleet, awaiting full daylight.
To the north a fishing steamer is in full sight. Warning shot, signal 'leave the ship'. Its papers are brought aboard, it is the steamer 'James Cook'. The steamer is sunk by artillery fire, its crew to be sent to the Fisher Prince and are towed part of the way.
I proceed quickly, in order to avoid possible enemy submarine attacks, between the deserted fishing steamers and destroy the remaining ships by artillery fire.
I hereby note the outstanding actions of Oberleutnant z. S. Von Ruckteschell for his contribution to the success of this action.
To the south, a fishing steamer is attempting to flee. Warning shot, crew leaves the boat and rows across to the Fisher Prince. which is the only remaining vessel of the fishing fleet.
The fishing steamer Harriet is sunk by artillery fire.
To the south a fishing steamer is in sight, approach it, warning shot, the crew leaves the ship. Fishing steamer Quebec sunk by artillery fire. Papers cannot be confiscated, since a large freight steamer comes into sight to the south. By signal and a warning shot she is brought to a stop.
Captain comes onboard with his papers, she is the steamer 'Tromp' (Norwegian) on a voyage from Amsterdam to Newcastle, unladen.
Captain has a letter of transit from the German Ambassador in Amsterdam as the steamer is in use to bring supplies to the civilian population of Belgium from America. The Tromp is allowed to proceed, her Captain is asked to take on board the crews of the fishing steamers and the lifeboats of the Quebec and Harrier. The Captain promises to make haste with this.
Fisher Prince is sunk by artillery. The steamer 'Tromp' had taken on board the crew of the fishing steamer.
Steamer 'Seal' destroyed by artillery.
Head to the south-east corner of my area to await probable counter attack and to look out again for warning vessels for zeppelin attacks.
Fishing steamer in sight, warning shot, crew leaves ship, lifeboat with crew onboard taken into tow in order to confiscate papers. Lifeboat capsizes on being pulled level, two people who fell into the water are rescued. Crew taken on board.
Fishing steamer 'Cynthia' sunk by artillery.
The following fishing steamers have now been sunk:
1. Fisher Prince 136.32 t
2. Loch Ness 176.36 t
3. St Hilda 93.86 t
4. Nil Desperandum 148t
5. Devonshire 166.38 t
6. Otterhound 166t
7. Seal 135.4 t
8. Sunshine 210.40 t
9. Trinidad 173.68 t
10. Harrier 191.96 t
11. Marguerite 178.29 t
12. Otter 157.13 t
13. Tarantula 180.30 t
14. James Cook 144.99 t
(This was an error in the log. This was actually the Gamecock) 15. Eriton
22. Ranze(not sunk, machinery disabled)
Tonnage of steamers whose papers were obtained 2259.36t
5 fishing steamers with average tonnage of 160t
Total tonnage of fishing steamers sunk 3539.36 t
Some people have claimed(Ian Duncan. Scarborough Today) that the commander of the U-Boat was showing great courage in saving the lives of 126 fishermen when it would have been easier to have sunk them. The records clearly show the Commanders motives - he wanted to trick the men off the boats. By persuading the crews off the boats one by one he sank them all. If he had opened fire then they would have dispersed.
The U-Boat commander, Ritter Karl Siegfried Von Georg was merely following orders. Crews of sunken vessels had to be looked after. This was the quiet period of the U-Boat campaign following the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. The Germans desperately wanted to avoid bringing the USA into the war and so unrestricted U-Boat attacks were banned. When he asked the Norwegian skipper to go over to the Fisher Prince "it was all bluff. If the skipper refused to obey, there was nothing I could do". He was surprised at the actions of the trawler which quietly rowed over to surrender. It was the mere word "submarine" which had persauded the fishermen to surrender so obediently. They did not even attempt to warn the skippers of other boats. The commander said that "the English head wasn't working that night". The fishermen were not going to take the risk and probably knew little of the U-Boats strict orders.
- U57 Log book
- "Raiders of the Deep"
Read the article in full here.
Vintage Original Flamborough Gansey October 27 2013
We were fortunate enough to be able to buy this extremely rare
example of an original hand knitted Flamborough Gansey sweater recently.
It's the finest vintage Gansey we have seen. It's a real museum piece and
a beautiful example of British heritage knitwear.
Woven name label sewn neatly into the back neck.
Bought from a local auction house and originaly belonging to
Mr.D.M.Burnhill from the small village of Sewerby a couple of miles down the
coast from Flamborough Head.
Knitted around 1940-50 in a 4ply wool, probably using the original
Poppleton's Gansey wool from Harrogate. This is a much finer yarn
then is available today. For the wearer the finer yarn means a denser
knit structure giving far better warmth and rain resistance. For the knitter
however the finer yarn means many more hours of knitting.
The Gansey must be over 50 years old and yet it has not lost any of its
shape and hardly any of its colour. The definition of the Net Mask & Cable
patterns is staggering.
The size is now a small, washed down and shrunk a little from what was
probably a medium when first knitted. The continuous washing by both man
and the North Sea have left the knit with a tight almost felt like structure.
It is easy to see where the phrase Fishermans Iron comes from.
This type of traditional hand knitting really would turn water.
Looking at the excelent condition of a Gansey this old and well made gives us
a glimpse of a time stretching away from us now. When clothes were made,
not bought and care was taken to ensure at least one lifetime of use.
Ahh the good ol days.
Tartan Neck Scarf Fishermans Muffler September 21 2013
Our latest Tartan Neck Scarf, known locally to Bridlington
Fisherman as a Muffler. Our work continues in trying to
recreate this deceptively tricky and now rare piece of kit.
Once standard issue to all men working out on the North Sea.
Brushed cotton Stewart Royal Tartan cloth, woven in Scotland.
Usually worn to prevent your Gansey sweater or heavy oil skin
waterproofs from rubbing your neck.
The tartan neck scarf measures 73cm x 73cm square.
The devils in the details, hand frayed edges instead of turned and sewn
seams to avoid the chance of any abrasion.
With a traditional fishermans neck scarf you should always
be able to wrap the neck scarf twice around the neck before
tying off in a knot at the front.
Tanker on the horizon heading south along the East coast
with the Bridlington Coast Guard station keeping the watch.
Hull dock worker sporting his tartan neck scarf. Pictured here around 1960.
Thanks to local fishing legend Dave for all the information and
background history on the traditional fishermans mufflers.
Hand Knitting - Bridlidlington Gansey Sweater September 08 2013
Sunday afternoon 3rd fitting off our new hand knitted Bridlington Gansey
sweater and she's a purler. 5 ply worsted wool worked on five 2.5mm
needles, British breeds wool dyed and spun in Yorkshire.
Once finished should last a life time of even the roughest wear
plus can be worn inside out and back to front which is handy.
Close up on Kates handy work, Gansey sweater yolk panel.
Gansey pattern knitted down the arm as far as the elbow.
Then plain knit down to the 2 x 2 rib cuffs.
This Gansey is a size Medium, shown here on 38" chest stockman.
The traditional Yorkshire Coast Gansey patterns of Love Hearts run
through the centre flanked by Betty Martin, Cable & Net Mask patterns.
Deep 2x2 rib used at the hem of Gansey with the last few rows worked in
double thickness yarn for extra strength.
Just the last sleeve of the Gansey sweater to knit down from the shoulder
again in the round using 5 short 2.5mm needles. Check back in around two
weeks to see the finished Gansey sweater.
Pot Luck, Archive Footage of The Wayside Flower September 04 2013
Watch the video at: http://www.yfaonline.com/film/pot-luck
This documentary film was made by Bill Freeman in 1962. It focuses on the fishing industry in Bridlington and features the crew of the Wayside Flower as they bring in the catch of the day including lobsters and crabs.
The film opens with a sunrise over the water; a man approaches the docks and climbs aboard a fishing boat. More men arrive to board the Wayside Flower and begin to load lobster nets onto the boat. As the boat begins its journey, the docks appear to move further into the distance. Other boats are seen at sea as the boat rocks backwards and forwards on the waters. The captain of the boat is inside the steering vestal.
The fishermen pull up lobster nets from the sea and unload their catch. They begin to prepare the lobsters by tying string around the claws. Once the catch has been unloaded, the fishermen throw the cages back into the sea.
When the fishermen arrive back at the docks, they secure the boat with a series of ropes. The fishermen move barrels containing the day’s catch onto a wooden platform, which is pulled up by a crane and loaded onto the docks. There are crabs stored inside large wooden containers with rope handles marked ‘Grimsby Fish’.
When the containers are placed on the dock, fishermen unload them and start to prepare the fish that are inside. Two fishermen are working at a table, gutting into the fish and putting them into a basket. Other containers marked ‘W. SIDE’ are loaded onto the crane and placed on the docks.
Once the fishermen have unloaded their catch, they walk away from the docks towards Bridlington.
- See more at: www.yorkshirefilmarchive.com
Little Denmark archive footage, part 1 September 04 2013
Watch the video at: http://www.yfaonline.com/film/little-denmark-part-1
LITTLE DENMARK, PART 1
A film documenting the work of the R.N.L.I at Flamborough, the film also shows a day in the life of working fishermen out of Flamborough.
The film opens with shots of Flamborough Bay followed by an introduction to the contributors who are shown in close up.
There is footage of the outskirts of Flamborough followed by scenes of the village including St Oswald’s Church, ruins of Flamborough Castle, and the War Memorial where a British Legion Service of Commemoration takes place. Service members lay a poppy wreath on the memorial. Views of Flamborough High Street include the Royal Dog and Duck Hotel, and the Ship Hotel. Many cars can be seen in the village, and a lady walks by pushing a pram.
The next scene features the Fishermen’s War Memorial and a Flamborough Sword Dance display. This is followed by a view of Flamborough Head where both the old and new lighthouse can be seen, and the lighthouse keepers are introduced. Views of South landing and the old lifeboat hut can be seen, and there are families enjoying the sandy beach.
A crowd is gathered at the North Landing for the annual Lifeboat Flag Day. People in fancy dress and crowds gather to watch the demonstration launch of the lifeboat. A helicopter drops a flare as part of the event.
The next portion of the film focuses on the fishermen who make their livelihood out of Flamborough. The day’s catch of crabs and lobsters are hauled up the beach at Flamborough and loaded on to vans. George Emerson and his brother show us a day in the life of their fishing vessel, the Silver Line. At sea they haul in baskets of lobsters and crabs. Back on shore, they bate the lines with mussels and whelks for the next day. Out on the boat there is long lining for cod and haddock. The fish are then prepared for gutting, and the livers are kept for cod liver oil. Seagulls swarm around the boat as it heads for the North Landing to bring in the day’s catch.
See more at: www.yorkshirefilmarchive.com
The Great Gale September 03 2013
Ghostly images from the archive. The Great Gale of Bridlington 1871.
A Mothers Pride - Hand Knitting a Gansey Sweater August 30 2013
Thanks again to Ben & Lynn at Walker&Walker for the great feature and profile on
Katie Banks Gansey Knitter.
Menswear shoot Autumn 2013 August 26 2013
Wayside Flower Autumn 2013. Collection preview behind thescenes at our
studio photo shoot. British made Menswear workwear and Gansey knitwear
Local Artists Mel Whitaker June 07 2013