Propagansey, now in its ninth year, began with a chance meeting at Old St Stephen’s Church in Robin Hoods Bay with Dr Stephen Friend, a Senior lecturer at the College of York St John, a conversation about his research into Women’s Voices - a study of life in East Yorkshire fishing villages.
“That first year, ganseys simply came out of the woodwork and I was amazed that we ended up with a couple of dozen of these wonderful old garments,” said Deb.
“Since then, it has grown to become a major annual display, with over 100 ganseys being exhibited last year.
“This year as well as ganseys old and new from around the UK and Holland, the display includes one of several Ganseys specially knitted to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the SSVLB.
“These volunteers, along with their local colleagues do a tremendous job and I’m very proud of their involvement in this year’s exhibition.”
Many of the ganseys on show are from Deb’s own collection but she said: “The show could not go on without the generosity of many individuals from near and far and I’d particularly like to thank a number of Whitby families for sharing their nannas’ ganseys and yarns.
“The patterns they show of life in days gone by is priceless.”
One specially designed gansey hand-knitted by a group of South Tyneside knitters to mark the 150th anniversary of South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade will be displayed in the exhibition.
The brigade commissioned the gansey as part of their Always Ready for 150 Years anniversary project this year. The Materialistics looked at the only surviving example of a Brigade gansey, which was the main item of uniform since its formation in 1866, and came up with a totally new unique pattern.
Propagansey 2016 runs from this Saturday (Sep 10) to September 18, 10am to 4pm daily.
Admission is free but donations are welcome.
A Gansey Sunday Evensong is on Sunday at 4pm. All are welcome - especially Gansey wearers.