Artworks by local artist Stephen Carvill feature on the Trail. They relate to different aspects of the harbour’s history and present day activity:
The Gansey Girl
The inspiration for The Gansey Girl sculpture came from an image by the renowned photographer Frank Meadow-Sutcliffe. The sculpture depicts a young woman knitting, while waiting for her husband to return from the sea. The tradition of knitting ganseys is particularly strong in this part of the Yorkshire coast, especially Flamborough village, with designs passed down through generations of local fishing families. The sculpture incorporates the names of families that have fished off the coast or have been involved with harbour industry.
Bay of Refuge
Recognizing the importance of Bridlington’s role of a bay of refuge for passing ships, and highlighting the perils of maritime travel, Bay of Refuge features a transparency of an oil painting by local artist, J T Allerston, showing the Great Gale of 1871.
The transparent panel is set into a metal frame, featuring a fretwork based on ships masts and rigging jostling in a storm, and the etched names of the shipping areas with a short storm warning courtesy of the Met Office and the BBC, a tribute to the shipping forecast, which reminds us, however secure we may be, that we are an island surrounded by nature’s elemental forces.
The original of Allerston’s painting is part of the East Riding Museums Collection at Sewerby Hall.
The Stone Markers are hand carved into York Stone using a carving technique called sunken relief; the background surfaces are left at their original height, while the objects themselves are carved into them.
The Harbour Today
A lobster, hand-carved from life, represents the successful shellfish Industry in Bridlington. This town, with its busy harbour, is the largest exporter of shellfish in the UK.
A natural freshwater spring, which rose and fell with the tides, was the necessary and useful source of water for boats and ships at Bridlington harbour when they needed provisioning. The design consists of a spiral, symbolising life, sustained by water.
Queen Henrietta Maria
The loyal wife of King Charles I, The Queen supported her husband by bringing him weapons and soldiers, offloaded at Bridlington harbour. As a result, Bridlington was shelled by the Parliamentarian navy and Queen Henrietta had to take flight from her harbourside lodgings.
The First lifeboat House and Seagull lifeboat
Marking the site of the first national lifeboat house in Bridlington, and honouring the privately sponsored lifeboat ‘Seagull’ which was housed nearby, this marker pays tribute to bravery and sacrifice of those who have risked their lives in attempt to rescue others from the perilous seas.
Banner image: ‘Bridlington Bay’ John Taylor Allerston, 1886 Courtesy of East Riding Museums Service
All other photographs ©Julie Folds (Over The Moon Studios)