Hardingham Unisex Scarf
“I tried to imagine that mass of life as it once had been, hundreds of thousands of herring moving in shimmering unison, like starlings in the sky. The light of the moon drawing them closer to the water’s surface, the light glancing on their bodies so that it looked as if the sea was burning with white flames.”
Threads – The Delicate Life of John Craske. Julia Blackburn.
From the Olive and George collection, drawing inspiration from the Norfolk fishermen’s Gansey jumpers from the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hardingham is a men’s and women’s scarf which incorporates several of the Gansey stitches;”herring”,”diamond” and “hailstones” in an enlarged, two-toned jacquard design.
Its name comes from Potter Hardingham and John “Sparrow” Hardingham who both originated from a family of fishermen and whose Gansey jumpers featured the diamond net patterns and hailstones which have been used in this scarf.
Another stitch which has been incorporated into this pattern is the herring – a horizontal arrow stitch which shows the herring fish swimming to the right. Herrings, crabs and whelks were the main catches of the Norfolk fishermen – herrings were caught further out to sea and the crabs and whelks were to be found on the sandbanks nearer to the shore.
The older fishermen tended to catch the shell fish, often working within sight of their homes whilst the younger, more daring fishermen headed out sometimes 100 miles from shore to fish for the herrings. So perhaps Potter Hardingham was an older fisherman who set his crab pots on the Cut, within eye sight of the shore?