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About Us

The East Anglia Gansey Group was set up formally in November 2021 but has evolved from the Sheringham Museum Textile Team, created in 2014 to support the Museum's exhibition “A Shoal of Ganseys”

We aim to discover, record and research ganseys worn by East Anglian fishermen and the women who knitted them. The Sheringham gansey knitters were known for their particularly fine work throughout the twentieth century. Sheringham Museum has good examples from 1900 to 1980s.

Sheringham fishermen also worked on boats out of the ports of Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Grimsby, travelling as far as the Shetlands with the herring fleets. Sheringham knitters were keen to see the ganseys made by the Scottish Herring Lasses who ended their season at Great Yarmouth.

Mrs Bishop's gansey

Sheringham Museum has held three gansey exhibitions: 'A Shoal of Ganseys' (2014), featuring the Moray Forth Collection, 'Dutch Ganseys' (2017) and 'Children’s Dutch Ganseys' (2021). The Dutch exhibitions were both organised in conjunction with Stella Ruhe.

Exhibition flyers

Ganseys are now of international interest so as well as being in touch with gansey enthusiasts in Yorkshire, Scotland and the Netherlands, we have spoken about our research to the group based in the Net Loft, Cordova in Alaska who are also the US outlet for the Sheringham gansey book.

In The Netherlands, Stella Ruhe has researched the traditional patterns from thirty or more fishing villages across the country. Her work has resulted in a number of books, one of which is available from the Sheringham Museum website. She has also produced a video (39 minutes) on children's ganseys which you can view by clicking HERE.

With funding from The Arts Council, Lisa Little, Museum Curator and Manager has designed a Gansey Identification Flow Chart for museums and a Gansey Glossary. You can download these documents to print by clicking on the appropriate image below.

Gansey identifier flowchart
Gansey glossary
Gansey book

Sheringham Museum has published 'Sheringham Ganseys - People, Places, Patterns', a very informative book. You will find more information on the Museum's website - click HERE

In 2019 Sheringham Museum was fortunate to receive the knitting collection of Michael Harvey who was a gansey researcher, writer and collector of ganseys and knitting sheaths.

M.Harvey, sheaths and Bishops

Where next?

Knitting

Our team are busy knitting sample children’s ganseys from these charts to create an exhibition for Sheringham Museum and thereafter to be available as a touring exhibition.

If you would be interested to join us (we provide a pattern and yarn), please contact:

lesley.lougher@sheringhammuseum.co.uk

Charting

We continue to chart and knit gansey stitch patterns from photographs of Sheringham fishermen. See Martin Warren’s website: www.northfolk.org `

Research

There is little known about the ganseys of Suffolk and Essex. Please contact Jan Whitehead of The Lowestoft Gansey Project at:

Poachers.pocket@yahoo.co.uk or via her Facebook page