The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
A 1960s snapshot of local family fishermen in the East Yorkshire port of Bridlington
From the collection of:
In the early ‘60s, Bridlington’s fishing community was thriving – the town was one of four main ports on the Yorkshire coast – with keel boats heading out to trawl beyond the bay for herring, crabs and lobsters. Although the vessel featured here bears the romantic name ‘Wayside Flower’, life on-board was certainly not a bed of roses: hard graft combined with the trials of a rocky, hostile and inhospitable coast meant that this was not a career choice for the faint-hearted.
The crew of the ‘Wayside Flower’ are dressed in a style traditional to generations of fishermen: caps, serge trousers, smocks and a thick woollen jumper known as a gansey. Often knitted by the fisherman’s mother, wife or sweetheart, each gansey had a unique pattern specific to a town, village, or family. Again, this may sound romantic, but the more practical (and darker) reason was for identification of bodies washed up on shore in the event of a shipwreck. Although rarely worn by fishermen nowadays, the gansey has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity on the East Coast; in 2015 a bronze sculpture of a young woman knitting a gansey was unveiled on Bridlington’s North Pier as a reminder of the town’s maritime past.