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Yarmouth Herring Swill with Peter Dibble

By Sue Kirk
Old Brewery Studios, West Street, King's Cliffe, Peterborough PE8 6XB, UK

This course is suitable for intermediate and advanced students. The basket is quite physical to make and contains a few awkward techniques. So you need to have strong hands and be flexible to make this basket.

Cost £290, includes materials, 9.30am – 4.30pm (8 students)

The Yarmouth Herring Swill is an endangered historic basket distinct to the fishing port of Great Yarmouth on the East Anglian coast. It was used to carry the herring catch from the dock side up the narrow Yarmouth streets by two people, which were called Rows. It was not a legal weight or measure but it did hold roughly a third of a Cran ( a weight measurement for herring). It’s a frame basket roughly in a figure of 8 shape from hazel and willow with a central handle for carrying when empty and a handle at both ends so that it can be carried by two people when full. It has waled hazel skis on the bottom so that it stands upright and twisted ties to finish off . So lots of new techniques to learn. The traditional swill is big-almost 3′ long x 1.5′ tall. Making one is quite an effort so for this course we are going to scale it down making it 3/4 of the size. Peter Dibble is one of the UK’s leading basketmakers and is well respected for his beautiful traditional basketry. This is a fabulous opportunity to learn a historic basket pattern, without makers like Peter, these patterns would be lost