An article ran recently in the Bridlington Free Press about a new statue called "The Gansey Girl" (a Gansey is a type of pullover with textured designs) installed in the harbor on the North Pier. A town with deep roots in both the fishing and knitting industries, this coastal English city situated on the North Sea is known for its shellfish and summer destination spots. It's wonderful to call attention to their rich knitting history and what better way than having a woman knitting on their main pier! Original article found here.
Named The Gansey Girl, it also carries the names of several local fishing families. The figure of a young woman sits on a plinth knitting a Gansey, a traditional jumper that contains a rich pattern of symbolism passed down through generations of fishing families.
She faces the harbour mouth in order to bid farewell to fishermen leaving the harbour, as well as welcome them back home. Made in Bridlington, names of some of those who have fished off the coast or have been involved with the harbour, are inscribed on sculpted fish on the plinth.
The Maritime Trail highlights points of interest in and around the harbour and seafront taking in the harbour estate, Garrison Square and the sea front area, and has street information boards, a new web site, stone trail markers and trail leaflets.
It has been developed by a local steering group including volunteers, local historians, the Harbour Commissioners and representatives from the fishing industry and is supported by University of Hull Maritime Studies and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Artist Steve Carvill, said: “The stories and lives of the fishermen and their families have been inspiring and I really hope that this piece is enjoyed by local people and visitors alike.”
East Riding councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for economy, investment and inequalities, said: “It is very important to show the local community that their heritage and history is being preserved, as well as including a wider tourism circuit to the town.”
Dr Robb Robinson, historian at the University of Hull, said: “The Maritime trail allows us to explore Bridlington’s wonderful maritime heritage and brings it to the attention of tourists and local public alike.
“It has been a wonderful example of the local authority, harbour commissioners, fishing industry and the community working together.”