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Fishy goings on as heritage of Bridlington Quay celebrated by yarn bombers

A Bridlington Informer News Item from - Visit Bridlington Informer

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Residents and visitors to Bridlington's harbour side have been left baffled after the mysterious appearance of colourful knitted seaside shapes, behind the kiosks on Garrison Square and the railings at Crane Wharf.

The 'yarn bombing' is all part of the Bridlington Quay Townscape Heritage project, which aims to get more people interested in the history and heritage of Bridlington town centre seafront.

Taking inspiration from the town's history of knitting and fishing, groups of dedicated knitters have been creating a yarn bombing display of all things inspired by the seaside, including fish, beach huts and even a seagull. Yarn bombing is when public places are covered with decorative knitted material as a form of street art.

Tania Weston, townscape heritage officer said: "This part of the town grew from a small fishing harbour as a result of tourism during the Victorian era. This summer we wanted to inspire people to think about the area's history and its long connection with fishing and knitting in a surprising and fun way."

Bridlington and the Yorkshire coast have a long tradition of knitting, with individual gansey (jumpers) patterns identifying each fishing village or town, as can be seen in the popular Gansey Girl sculpture on the North Pier.

"We've really enjoyed knitting all these seaside shapes. It's made us think about what makes up this part of Bridlington and how it has changed over the years," said volunteer knitters Helen McGonigle and Jane Allanson.

Margaret Hyland, chief executive of the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, said: "The yarn bombing volunteers have done a tremendous job. This vibrant marine display really enhances our historic harbour."

The Townscape Heritage project aims to restore and enhance part of Bridlington's town centre and seafront to help ensure the area's built heritage is conserved for future generations.

Councillor Andy Burton, cabinet portfolio holder for economic investment and planning delivery at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "Decorating Bridlington's harbour side with the colourful knitted items is an excellent way of bringing the town's heritage to life and I would like to congratulate all those volunteers who have helped make this happen. Hopefully this will bring a smile to the faces of both residents and visitors."

Supported by the National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund, and with funding from East Riding of Yorkshire Council and private investment, historic buildings will be repaired and Garrison Square re-landscaped.
The Townscape Heritage project activities aim to help more people to learn about the area and are one element of the regeneration plans for Bridlington.