Arnemuiden Fishing Heritage and Fishermen’s Sweaters Exhibition
We were delighted to welcome colleagues from the coastal town of Arnemuiden, Holland to Sidmouth over Sea Fest 2015 to host an exhibition of the fishing heritage of the town as part of the EU TourFish project.
Part of the exhibition was the very brilliant Fishermen’s Sweaters from Zeeland knitting project. The project has brought back to life the unique original patterns of the fishermen’s sweaters from the fishing villages of Arnemuiden and nearby villages in Zeeland and has gathered people to knit the sweaters again. The patterns date back some 200 years and the sweaters were worn by fishermen so their home village might be identified should they be lost at sea.
We included an exhibition of the fishing heritage of Sidmouth and following a project with Arnemuiden to seek out old photos of Sidmouth fishermen to discover the fishermen’s sweater patterns and create new Sidmouth sweaters from scratch in time for Sea Fest. Which we did, though one didn’t quite have its arms finished in time! This is an ongoing project with more original patterns being found and sweaters being knitted by local people.
This a fascinating project that connects fishing communities across Northern Europe, explores the heritage, and compares similarities in practice, hardship, challenges and more that all fishing communities had to face.
The story lies in the patterns. It lies in the sweaters.
Please help. If you know anyone anywhere that you think might have any old pictures of fishermen in Sidmouth from the early 1900’s hidden in the attic then we would love to see them! We will then look to identify the patterns and make the sweaters in time to parade them at the catwalk in the main Sea Fest marquee on the Ham during the Sea Fest opening evening on Friday 1st May.
Find out more about the Fishermen’s Sweaters of Zeeland project at:
Please contact us if you can help.
Read the recent feature on the project in the Sidmouth Herald here