Tintagel Christmas 2002
The Gouch (Gook) or Cornish bonnet
Most women who worked out-of-doors wore these bonnets to protect them from both rain and sun, Their local name was "Gooks" and they were made of a strong cambric type linen that could be boiled and starched. The crown part was double thickness and was quilted in lined that often had special pattern for different localities. It was a bit like piping around the edge of an easy chair with a channel of fabric threaded with soft cord. The brim was stiffened with webbing to stand proud of the face to shade from sunshine and to prevent dust falling near the eyes. at the base of the neck the material flounced out in a kind of skirt, again to protect the nape of the neck. Where this joined the crown their was a double row of stitching and the toe cords were threaded through this, It is hard to describe but I have a picture that I can send if anyone wants to get a better idea. Heavy linen union was sometimes used in winter but mostly they were white and like the white smocks and trousers of the fishermen. Women vied with each other to get them whiter then white, They the washing was carried in flaques/ baskets and laid out on Bowgy Hill or sometimes on the beach Sandy Cove at Newlyn. At St. Ives it was the grass of the Island or the rocks of Clodgy Point
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5 6 7
A Collection of Bonnets
1. Newlyn fishwives
2. The Balmaidens photograph was taken on the occasion of a visit by journalists to the Dolcoath mine in the 1890's. the man in the white coat is the mine manager Mr Thomas.
3. A collection of Bonnets from left ro right - West Penwith, North Cornwall, Cornwall, St Agnes / Scorrier.
4. St Just in Penwith.
5. & 6. Scilly Flower Pickers
7. Scilly Kelpers