F117 - The Skylark

Another in our series tracking down the Whitstable Oyster yawls and fishing boats. The following pictures from a family album were taken around 1927. At this time the oyster beds were in decline and many of the boats were being used for fishing.

From the album the description simply states “Our Yawl”. Perhaps it was family owned at the time. The only named person is ‘Uncle Charlie’, distinguished in all of the pictures by his hat. The family lived in Nelson Road. We have three possible surnames – Shrubsole, Woods, or Owen. Perhaps you can tell us more?

The Skylark – F117.
F117 The Skylark. Here the name can easily be read. The rear of the boat doesn’t appear to be the steep angle associated with the regular yawls so perhaps this boat was built more for fishing purposes.

The picture is too close to have been taken from the shore. More probably from its rowing boat tender whilst at sea.

This time, again at sea under sail, but a broad shot. The Faversham registration number F117 displayed on the bow.

The rectangular holes in the hull were at deck level and allowed water from waves, or brought on deck as the catch was landed, to flow back into the sea.

F117 Skylark.
Prize catch. F117. A single Skate, held as a triumphant trophy, would not have earned much income but for the purposes of an impromtu photo-shoot would do just fine.

Bottom feeders such as skate and flounders tend to frequent these waters in the warmer months so this gives us a clue as to what part of the year this picture was taken.

Regular maintenance was important. These boats spent most of their lives in deeper water but often were brought into the shallows and supported to enable the removal of crustaceans and lichen which slowed the boats and affected their manouvrebility. Cleaning the hull - F117 Skylark.

Here we leave the Skylark in the hope that its appearance on these pages will bring in more information about her origins and the men who owned and worked her.

More Yawls: Listing