Flamborough Marine commenced trading in 1981. Initially the stock consisted of readily available machine-knitted sweaters of traditional design (for example, Guernseys and Bretons). As an antique shop was also run from the same premises we began to receive inquiries for ‘antique sweaters’, that is, the hand-knitted Ganseys which were once so much a feature of the fishing communities, but which had become generally unavailable. We contacted long-time resident of Flamborough, Nora Woodhouse, who knitted our first Ganseys (from memory) in several different North-East Coast patterns. She had originally been taught to knit Ganseys before the war by her fisherman father after her mother had been drowned at Robin Hood’s Bay. From Nora’s Ganseys we were able to make charts of the patterns which, beforehand, had not normally been written down but, rather, were passed on by word of mouth.Our idea was two-fold. First to offer an outlet for the sale of Ganseys once we had recruited knitters; and second, to package a kit containing the wool, needles, and our own charts so that the art of Gansey knitting could be spread even more widely and not limited to those within our immediate vicinity. As the first step in this plan we advertised for experienced knitters who might be interested in knitting with five steel needles and showed them what we wanted. Of the hundred initial replies only ten decided to persevere. We supplied these first ten with needles, wool, charts and instructions and began to build up a stock of Ganseys. During the succeeding years some knitters have dropped out and others have taken their places. One thing however has remained constant and that is the premises in Flamborough where the various Ganseys are displayed. We believe that we offer the only outlet for the authentic finished product. Without this outlet the knitters would have nowhere to sell their wares and the art of Gansey knitting (for, although a craft, the work itself is so intricate as to be rightly called an art form) would again be in danger of disappearing.
Flamborough Marine : The Manor House : Flamborough : Bridlington : East Riding of Yorkshire Telephone 01262 850943
For authentic hand-knitted Ganseys, Gansey Knitting Kits, Armor Luxstriped cotton Breton shirts and a range of traditional wool knitwear from Le Tricoteur (the original Guernseys) and Armor Lux of France
Flamborough Marine Limited : Traditional Knitwear & Hand-Knitted GanseysThe Manor House, Flamborough, Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire. YO15 1PDTelephone: 01262 850943 [International: +44 1262 850943]E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Authentic hand-knitted Ganseys, Gansey Knitting Kits, striped cotton Breton shirts, traditional wool knitwear from Le Tricoteur (Guernseys) and Armor Lux of France
An article in "Classic Boat" magazine, which featured our Ganseys, resulted in queries and orders from around the world. In Bielefeld, Germany Iris Heyer noticed the article, showed it to her husband, and we soon received a telephone call from Thomas Heyer, to order a Flamborough Gansey. A few weeks after it arrived, Thomas' brother Hans saw the Gansey and was hooked! Hans ordered a Filey Gansey. And here they are, proudly wearing their Ganseys at the Rum-Regatta in Flensburg, a Regatta for traditional Sailing boats which is held each year in the North of Germany. The Ganseys proved to be immensely useful, fighting cold temperatures and wind forces up to 6 on the Beaufort scale!In the photograph, taken by Iris, the Filey Gansey on the left is worn by Hans, and, at right the Flamborough Gansey worn by Thomas. (The photograph was kindly supplied by Hans, who added: "It is great that you took the effort in reviving this old knitting craft and our admiration goes to the knitters for their skills!")
In addition to supplying Ganseys such as those above, we also sell Gansey Knitting Kits, to knit your own. Each Kit contains 5-ply worsted Guernsey wool, a set of five double-ended 2.5 mm steel needles, individual body and sleeve charts, and full instructions for the pattern of your choice. A copy of the fully illustrated soft-back book "Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans" by Gladys Thompson is also available as an optional extra. Taking advantage of this, keen knitter Brenda Duthie has produced a beautiful example, shown at right, using one of our Kits with Amethyst 5-ply wool. As she noted in the letter accompanying the photograph, "This is a female from Fraserburgh wearing her Fraserburgh Gansey at Fraserburgh harbour beside a Fraserburgh boat!"
We were approached by Canadian film and television actor, artist and musician, Rajiv Surendra with a commission for a Gansey based on little more than an old photograph in a reference book. Using the expert knowledge of our longest-serving knitter, Marion, we were able to produce the exquisite garment shown above left, worn (and loved) by Rajiv. This stunning Gansey demonstrates what our knitters are capable of; but, as a special commission, this particular pattern cannot be repeated. So successful was this first commission, that it led to a second, and then a third.
We offer an extended range of beautiful colours in 5-ply worsted Guernsey wool, including the unusually named “Herring Girl’s Pink”, shown at left in the Scarborough pattern, knitted by Melanie Jones, who kindly sent the photograph, taken on the ferry returning from the Isle of Jura.
A surprise was in store for David Wright when he visited our shop in Flamborough on Father's Day, accompanied by his daughters. Waiting for him was the Scarborough Gansey previously ordered and knitted by one of our skilled knitters. A thrilled Mr Wright could not wait to try his Gansey on (complete with tag) and kindly consented for us to use the photograph at left.
While the majority of Gansey patterns are to be found in Yorkshire and the North-East of England, other patterns originate from Cornwall and East Anglia. Shown at left is a beautiful Cornish Knit-frock in the Polperro design.
Staithes pattern : available in ribbed welt or split welt
Hand-knitted Gansey-patterned Beany hats in a range of colours : £35.00 each
One of the most prominent features on the East Coast of England, Flamborough Head juts out five miles into the North Sea. It is the most northerly chalk outcrop and the largest sea-bird breeding colony in England. The village, in the centre of the headland, is exposed on three sides to the sea and to the constant wind. It was to help protect against these elements that the Ganseys were first produced, hundreds of years ago. Then they were fashioned, as they still are today, by the knitters of Flamborough Marine, entirely in one piece using five steel needles.Bempton Cliffs at Flamborough Head, site of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reserve. The chalk cliffs here are a sheer 300 feet drop into the North Sea.
The popular Scarborough pattern can be knitted with either a classic ribbed welt (above) or, in the example shown at right, modelled by the delighted new owner, Chris Murdoch, outisde our shop in Flamborough, with a split, straight, welt.