The Scottish Fisheries Museum is delighted that Knitting the Herring is one of the finalists shortlisted in the prestigious Engaging People Awards 2021 that recognise excellence in heritage interpretation.
The Association for Heritage Interpretation received a record number of exceptionally strong entries for the AHI 2021 Engaging People Awards – sponsored by The Creative Core.
The Museum was shortlisted from a wide range of organisations, including community groups, community arts and wellbeing organisations, museums, galleries, national heritage organisations, wildlife organisations and interpretation practitioners.
Knitting the Herring is one of five finalists in the new Lockdown Response category, sponsored by Bright White Ltd, which asked entrants to demonstrate how they had responded positively to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Knitting the Herring - Scotland’s National Gansey Project, was born out of an appreciation of the value of the Museum’s Recognised Collection of fishermen’s knitwear as a record of the often-unsung creativity and quality of female, domestic, craft and design. We sought to raise awareness of gansey heritage and its power to inspire a broader understanding of the story of Scottish fishing. We also knew that people, especially in Lockdown, were looking for ways to connect and wanted to use our collection to bring people together in the present, inspired by the heritage of the past.
The project was funded by Fife LEADER, Outer Hebrides LEADER, NLHF and Fife Council Settlement Fund. Its core output is the Knitting the Herring website which includes sections on the history of ganseys, their patterns and traditions, a database of museum ganseys, a blog, events programme and activity section. This remains as a lasting legacy and hub for anyone wanting to learn about and be inspired by these unique garments.
The second strand was a meaningful Audience Engagement Programme with a large, broad and international reach. In response to Lockdown, we adapted our plans for physical activities and events to bring more of the project online. As a result, Knitting the Herring successfully combined a considerable array of activities from international to local, digital to physical, and expert to novice, and delivered beyond all expectations in challenging circumstances, by working with individuals, charities, community groups, schools and craft businesses.
The shortlist can be viewed on the AHI website. The category winners will be announced at the AHI online conference on the 3rd and 4th, 17th and 18th November where the overall AHI Award for Excellence will also be presented.