This film is part of Free

Pot Luck

A 1960s snapshot of local family fishermen in the East Yorkshire port of Bridlington

Non-Fiction 1962 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


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.