YES - WE HAVE NATIONAL COSTUMES

By  Lesley Bentham

In an ever-shrinking world, our costume heritage is historically and culturally important.

Many other counties wear a range of regional costumes which are accepted as ‘National’. However, we have a lot more than Morris Dancers and Pearly Kings & Queens – these are festival as well as regional costumes.

Our Range of costumes include:

BONDAGERS

Worn by Women field workers on North Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, who were employed under a yearly hiring system.

CANAL-BOAT

The women wore a distinctive and elaborate bonnet, both for work and ‘Sunday Best’. The Boatman also had their own colourful style of attire for a Sunday.

CULLERCOATS FISHERWOMEN

The tiny fishing village North of Tynemouth – famous in America via the oil painting of Winslow Homer.

FILEY FLITHER PICKERS

To the delight of the local lads, they ‘breached’ their skirts to climb down the Yorkshire cliffs, gathering bait for local Fisherman.

CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORLAND WRESTLERS

The original ’Men in tights’ – with embroidery!

ARRAN & GALWAY FISHERMAN & WOMAN

This was an Irish costume, featuring footwear called ‘Pan Poothies’ and recorded by Queen Victoria  on a visit to Leith, 3 miles East of Edinburgh – and not a scrap of tartan in sight.

ST. KILDA

Tiny islands, 110 miles off the West Coast of Scotland – inhabited for over a thousand years, and evacuated on 1930.

TYNESIDE KEELMAN

Another local costume with a ‘blue bonnet’ – to go with the ‘Dimple in the chin’


STAITHES

The Yorkshire fishing village, famous for bonnets (women, not men!)

….. and there are many more!