Islanders proudly wear their guernseys for RNLI fundraiser

KNITWEAR lovers got together for Wear A Guernsey Day to raise money for the RNLI.

Accompanied by John Coffey’s live music, visitors browsed stalls from Mary’s Meals, the GSPCA, RNLI and Guernsey Retro Festival. Organised by Guernsey Woollens, those photographed wearing a guernsey entered a prize draw.

‘You never know how these things will turn out, but so far it’s been very busy already and we’ve got lots of donations in,’ said organiser Paul Eldridge, Guernsey Woollens co-owner.

‘Although we’re primarily raising funds for the RNLI, the GSPCA and Friends of Mary’s Meals are raising their own donations.’

It is in its second year – the first was organised by the tourist information centre.

Paul Eldridge of Guernsey Woolens who helped to organise the event. (Picture by Peter Frankland ,28930472)

‘It was meant to coincide with the biggest cruise ship coming in, which couldn’t land people because of the weather. We raised £300 then, which was good, but I want to double that this year. This year everyone else couldn’t get involved, so I pushed the date back and organised something. We couldn’t lose the momentum. Living on an island, we all rely on the RNLI.’

Within an hour about 40 people had been photographed, with plenty more streaming in throughout the day.

Kelly Marquis was taking the pictures and said: ‘Everybody who came in has had their photo taken. People have brought their dogs, old family photos, come in big groups, and have done funny poses and silly faces. Hopefully it will raise a lot for the RNLI.’

The best photo could win a £40 voucher for Saltwater, the oldest guernsey winner could win a new one from Guernsey Woollens, donated by Taylors Coffee Shop.

With photographs of their grandfather, Colonel MacKay, two sisters wore his guernseys from the 1950s.

Sisters Alex Haining, left, and Julia White with pictures of themselves wearing guernsey jumpers when they were children. Alex is holding a picture of her grandfather wearing one in the 1950s, lower left. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28930378)

‘We’re both wearing the same guernseys that have been worn by three generations,’ said Alex Haining, with sister Julia White.

‘I have five and once owned a guernsey dress in the 1980s which was green. It was extraordinary. I wish I still had it.’

Wheadons Gin uniquely sleeved in RNLI colours was awarded for the ‘salty sea dog’ category, donated by the Channel Island Liquor Company. Generations posed to win a Langlois Photography photo and print, with a Jute Adore sweet basket awarded for the largest group.

Four generations of one family wearing Guernsey jumpers took part in yesterday’s Wear a Guernsey Day at the Tourist Information Centre. Left to right, back, Val Bailey, Ann Carroll, Don Bailey, Quentin Vohmann. Middle, Louise Sands, left, and Alison Vohmann. Front, left to right, Jemma Wilson with Ren Breaton, 4, and Eden Breaton, 6. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28930429)

With four generations, Ali Vohmann said: ‘There are sisters, nieces, great nieces, aunt, mum and dad here. We bought most of ours from the Retro Festival, but the girls have had theirs for years.’

Although there was no ‘most guernseys award’, Peter Blad was heralded as having ‘more guernseys than you can poke a stick at’.

Friends of Marys Meals offered bean jar and gache melee to raise funds to feed 700 Malawian schoolchildren daily.

Treasurer Gloria Dekker said: ‘We have fundraised for Marys Meals for five years now and have £11,000 to raise each year.’

Suzy Rose was selling cakes. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28930478)

Suzy Rose, GSPCA night warden, sold tea, coffee and homemade cakes to raise funds for new hedgehog incubators. ‘So many underweight hedgehogs are coming in at the moment, we need a lot of them,’ she said.

Jo May, RNLI fundraising guild secretary, said: ‘We are very fortunate to be able to do this. It’s lovely to see so many down here and so helpful that Guernsey Woollens have put this on.’

Guernsey Woollens director Arthur Eldridge said: ‘It’s fantastic to organise something for the RNLI, we like to do our best to support them. Wear A Guernsey Day seemed to have died a death, but it’s been seriously resurrected and today it’s a roaring success.’

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