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Norfolk gansey patterns

King's Lynn

The North End of Lynn was the heart of the fishing community and the population lived in numerous yards with small cottages packed in tightly. The history books tell us that the womenfolk knitted for their families and some, like Becky Bullen, would undertake knitting for others too. It has to be said though that ganseys were in the main utilitarian and not an artform in Lynn. Actual evidence of gansey knitting within the community is scant. Lynn appears not to have benefitted from anyone like the photographer Olive Edis, who worked in Cromer and Sheringham, making sensitive portraits of the fishermen (and kings), or the likes of Frank Meadow Sutclilff who captured picturesque scenes at Whitby. Pat Midgley, who founded True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum hunted high and low for photographs of fishermen in ganseys but had only minor success before she tragically died. I have seen almost no professional quality photographs and those pictures that I have seen portray many fishermen in completely plain jumpers, or wearing commercially produced ganseys, such as seed (or seaweed) and cables, all quite coarsely knitted. One character who does feature very prominently in relation to Lynn ganseys though is James 'Duggie' Carter, whose portrait is everywhere in True's Yard and he is depicted in a tableau in the entrance to the museum, wearing a gansey of cables and meshes. I believe by it was knitted Pat Midgley herself. It looks rather like a Flamborough pattern and I haven't seen one like it in photos or a real gansey. In his portrait Dougie wears a combination of seeds and bars with cables down each side and this looks suspiciously like a commercial one to me. Does anyone know more about gansey knitting in King's Lynn? It would appear that, like other busy ports at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, ganseys on the whole were just workwear.

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GP71 James 'Duggie' Carter's cables, seeds and bars gansey King's Lynn
pre 1905
7.2 spi
James 'Duggie' Carter's seeds and bars with cables gansey

There are more Lynn ganseys to follow.