Photograph of Dave Graeme wearing the traditional gansey

Dave Graham

Dave belongs to: Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade

Dave works for a marine engineering company. Before this he worked in the merchant navy as an engineer. He joined the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade in 1991.

Dave was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 15 December 2005. The interview took place at the Interviewee's kitchen and lasted 37 minutes and 44 seconds.

Photograph of Dave Graeme wearing the traditional gansey
Photograph of Dave Graeme wearing the traditional gansey

The gansey

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"I wear the gansey for ceremonial. During the summer, I would tend only to wear the gansey for ceremonial- I would wear it for the drills"

I wear the gansey for ceremonial. During the summer, I would tend only to wear the gansey for ceremonial- I would wear it for the drills. Iím one of the lucky people because I have two ganseys; I have a, what I believe, I canít find the pattern but is a Cullercoats Rocket No. Two pattern which is a dress gansey which has a crown and TVLB badges on, and I also have the Tynemouth gansey which just about goes down to my knees, the traditionally long gansey which can be folded up to cover the kidneys. Now, I wear that in the winter.

The problem with the gansey is they are exceedingly rare- there are very few people who can make them. I do believe a few years ago a woman in Whitby was making them and she was selling for round about £300. This is a sweater- this is £300 for a sweater! Iím lucky, my wife actually knit two for me. The working gansey is in the winter. They are so well constructed and designed by fishermen from the ages, you donít need to wear a coat, you can just put the gansey on. It is something that fishermen invented long before Gore-Tex was even thought of and it works just, just as well. If itís soaking wet it still keeps you perfectly warm.

But I would tend to wear mine, not to go down on a Wednesday night, I would wear mine when weíre actually out there working- thatís when you need it. Because if Iím down on a Wednesday night, Iím indoors, and I donít need to have the sauna on. But out on a drill, yes, the big gansey goes on. And I donít care if it reaches down to my knees- it keeps me warm, it keeps me dry.

Dave has 11 memories in the memorynet:

This memory has these themes:
Clothing | Traditions

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