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DEAL.KENT. History of the Old DAY's

Deal Kent History. David Skardon Deal Boatmen

Welcome to my Deal History website

Deal Kent History
David Skardon. Deal Kent. Deal Boatmen.

Visit my YouTube Channel to watch lots of films of Deal History

Click on the picture above

On this website you will find
Hundreds of Pictures and Stories of Deal, Kent. UK

from those Days long gone by

True accounts of  Deal History Events and Trageties
written by - David Chamberlain
Click on the links to see many historic films of Deal
on our YouTube Channels

A Bit about  ME

I have described myself and placed pictures of me on this page to give the reader an insight to my family and background.

You can view much about Deal, its characters and boats, pictures of the old town, and much more on this website, I hold all the original photographs if you requre a copy; just contact me. Please click on the scroll bar to see other pages;

I hope you enjoy your visit

Deal Kent David Skardon and Skardons North Deal Band

   The picture on the left is me at 3 years old, I am holding my grandfathers instruments which were used in the skardon band with the hooden horse, around the streets of Deal in Kent. The picture was taken in the yard outside the stables at 6 Brewer Streel in 1951 I was aged 3 then;

   Pictures of old Deal and stories are always welcome, if you have anything you would like to add to my site I would be pleased to use it

Above; David Skardon at 6 Brewer Street with Granta's band
Below; Front Cover of the 1972 regatta program; taken at the top of King Street with myself; Ernie Slack and Bob Able's "Sou Wester"

please contact me if you have a picture or story you would like added

   This site is dedicated to all those Deal boatmen that plied from the beach, especially the old characters that taught me all I know, and reared me up on the beach and its way of life from the 1950's onward. It's these old salts, that made the town of Deal the historical seaside town that it  is today, and placed Deal, in the history books of time.

In special dedication to the late "Johnny (Nutty) Revel" who taught me well, the skills of handling a boat, when I was a youngster

   Although the boats have now long since gone from the major part of the foreshore, the legends and history will remain. It is my endeavour to try and bring you a sight of Deal, as it was in those days of yore, including my recollections, when I was also a prominent Boatman on Deal beach. Now like those gone before me, age takes its toll, and a spot of leisure angling for the table is as far as I can be permitted to venture.





Deal Kent History Skardons World

Ernie Slack: myself & Bob Able's Sou-Wester

 Raised into into a fishing family, the  son of James Skardon, with connections to the sea, I spent all my time on the beach and in the boats, leaving school at 14, I took a trade in boatbuilding with Bob Able in Middle street, I then worked as a boatman for the Royal Engineers at Dover. Finally Going back to sea fishing, I have owned beach boats including the "Fairway" "Spray" "Fair Chance" "Mary_Anne" "Dauntless: "St David" "St Rose" the later two I built.   I have worked on trawlers around the country, having been a skipper for some years, Also the youngest boatman to hold an "A" license at the age of 14 years,
  I have also written a Book "Toms Adventures at Sea" the book is based on events that used to happen on this part of the coast and from personal experience; available in paperback; or as a download in PDF, Epub or digital,go to this site to have a look, click on the book

I was born on December 30th 1948 and raised at 6 Brewer Street Deal Kent UK. My mother is Mollie Rose Skardon formerly "Button"  who was reknowned for her artistic works.
    My father was James Thomas Skardon, son of George Skardon and grand son of Bob Skardon who had the famous Hooden horse and

                        North Deal Band

Deal Kent history. Toms Adventures at Sea

 The Band frequently played in the streets for charity, the remainder of his instruments are on display in Deal Museum. My great great grand father was surgeon to the downs and is mentioned in the History of Deal, he also owned a Deal Lugger The "Straight Forward"my Grand father married Edith Maud Hayward, daughter to the famous Clockmaker that worked and lived in the Time Ball Tower, her brother was Hayward the boat builder. John Hayward was also bought up by the Skardon Family in Brewer Street.

    The Family has a long history  connected with fishing and fish in the town, my father was a fish monger and had several herring boats landing to him in the early 1950's more of which I'll discuss later, the family also owned and ran a laundry in Sandown Road, near Elgars fish factory.

    I am the youngest person to obtain an "A" Class boatmans license at the age of 14 years, and was tested by Mr. Mc.Connell  then a channel ferry captain, I worked as an apprentice at Deal Marine Craft in Middle Street, for Bob Able and learnt a good trade building clinker boats, Also fishing in my fathers punt at night for dogs and taking odd angling parties out for Bob Able, who owned the "Blue Line" fleet at the top of Brewer Street.

    As a Child I used to frequent the beach helping Tommy and Harry Upton, by winding up boats by hand for three pence a week, and spent many happy hours in Tommys shed on the beach ,Leaving Boatbuilding earning £1.10s a week, I went to work at Old Park Barracks  at Whitfield. at a good sum of £15.00 a week, and was qualified enough to train the Royal Engineers to handle and sail Boats, from which I was commissioned to do, spending a further year at the boat house in Dover harbour, which still remains today.  

    I returned to boatbuilding for a further year then went up the beach as a full time fisherman, doing the odd angling party, as I found these boring.We had the Mary-Anne; the Fair Chance; ( the old Minnie Ha Ha )  which my father rebuilt, and the Dauntless; the   Fairway, ( harry Meakings old boat the Lady Beatie) these were stationed at the top of king street in the 1960's along with the Blue Line and Claire Hickmans boats. I left the beach briefly to go deep sea trawling and served on the "St.Rose" out of Lowestoft, returning to the beach and then working on trawlers out of Ramsgate, by this time I had gained my Skipper ticket.

  I also had a sailing punt called "Dauntless" she was rigged with a dipping lug, mizzen and was extreemly fast, the Fair Chance was also rigged with a Jib, mizzen and lug sail, she   was used sail trawling  down the bay frequently turning a good deal of speed and power. sadly these days will never  be seen again, and the art launching from the beach and sailing the old styles being lost forever, as is clinker boat building

Deal Kent History Skardons World
Deal Kent History Skardon's World
Deal Kent History Skardon's World

Pictures of me and the floods of 1953

  Running the "Fairway" I was once known as Deal's second Lifeboat by the Daily express as I used to launch regular to boats in distress, further stories will be writen further on.
  I have four children, Andrew, Charlotte Simon,  and Thomas Skardon, who followed the Karate sport, and enjoyed a good knockdown fight in his younger years. After many adventures fishing, the  1970's, saw me  buy the motor fishing boat "Spray" which was stationed opposite the time ball tower, this was solely used for commercial fishing and my crew then was Richard Smith, He's now passed to the fishing grounds on better shores. God Bless him
  After the great storm on 11th January 1978, which will be discussed further on, I gave up fishing and started a fish round, and served the country villages for many years, I moved to Scotland to seek a better life in 1988, this was a defeat and I returned to work at Wellards fruit and veg store in Studdal for 3 years. I then returned to the beach and had several boats just for enjoyment.
  I built the St.David for my son Andrew, she is now  in Holland, after her I built the St.Rose she went to  Fraserburgh, and now retired, I look at the town of Deal, and remember how great it was in those days now long since passed. Hopefull my website will give you an insight to Deal as it was then, and some of the Old characters that made this town what it is today.

Deal Kent History Skardon's World
Deal Kent History Skardon's World
Deal Kent History Skardon's World

David Skardon age 11 mths.          David and father Jim at 6 Brewer Street circa 1951                 David age 2 years at
      at 6 Brewer street                                                                                                                     6 Brewer Street circa 1951

  The picture on the right was kindly donated to me by Paul Osborn this is grantas band, which played in the streets of Deal, a hooden horse was nearly always present, and all money raised was given to the poor, the band is now in Deal Maritime Museum.

 Paul informs me that the Osborn family dates back to the 1740's in a direct line. His great grandfather, "Bobby Osborn" was something of a local celebrity for obvious reasons . Paul's family were residents of Deal and through the years past have been involved in the fishmongers business.

  Robert Skardon (Granta) is bottom right in the picture; 3rd from the left top row, is Dickie Lill. my fatherwould have known the other members  but is sadly no longer with us.  If you can identify any of the band members or put a date to this picture, please let me know;

Deal Kent Uk Skardons North Deal Band

Robert Skardon's  North Deal Band
Bottom left is John "Fiddler" Beney. Right is Robert Skardon 
Top Left is "Whistler Wratten" Then Unknown; then "Dickie Lil"; Top Right "Fiddler Wratten"

Deal Kent History Skardon's World

The "SPRAY" on the beach opposite
the Time Ball tower; 1972 Left is Whimpy      ( Frank Fishlock ) Centre
is me, right is Alec Marsh Junior

Deal Kent History Skardon's World

The "FAIR CHANCE" Tommy Upton's old Minnie Ha Ha
Dad rebuilt her down the farm
in 1960

Deal Kent History Skardon's World
Skardon Deal Kent skardons world
Deal Kent Deal Beach the Mary Anne 1959

The Mary Anne with some anglers

Top of Brewer St.this was dad's netting punt. he rebuilt her in the stables at 6 Brewer Street in 1955

Deal Kent History Skardon's World

A good catch in Sandwich Bay in 1981
This was aboard Rusty Purvis's boat the "Balaena" I worked with him at weekends for a while. it wasnt always like this

Me in 1999 alot younger then
Please browse through my site for lots  of pictures of my family; The boats and boatmen of Deal, Old Deal pictures and much more' click the links below for more page options

Haywards Boatbuilding sign
My grandmother, Edith Hayward. was Issac Haywayds sister, she was born in the Time Ball Tower

Deal Kent History Skardon's World
Deal Kent History Skardon's World
Deal Kent History Skardon's World

       St. David on Deal Beach                         St. David Trawling off the coast of Holland                        St.Rose

 I built her for my son Andrew in 2000                                                                                              I built her in 2002

Deal Kent History Skardon's World

The Spray's Registration Certificate

Deal Kent History Skardon's World

One of my old Boatman's Licenses

Deal Kent History Skardon's World
Deal Kent History Skardon's World
Deal Kent History Skardon's World

Dad's bill heads which he used in his fish business at 6 Brewer Street

MK 14 Sea mine (orapeza)

One like this stood at the top of King Street

By the Ladies toilet and was used as a collection box

The Brake Lightship situated at the south brake sands  1.5 miles off Sandown Castle

David Skardon Deal Kent Uk  Deal Beach and Boats
Deal Kent History Skardon's World

Another good website for imformation

on Deal can be found here


Previously called the MILFORD DUKE M3




Commercial suppliers of Horticulture equipment and Polytunnel

David Skardon Deal Kent Uk  Deal Beach and Boats

Deal Maritime and local

History Museum

Deal Kent History Skardon's World
David Skardon Deal Kent Uk  Deal Beach and Boats

LIz Mott professional Photography

for Great local pictures

and Photoghaphs

hit the photo above


Please use the form below to contact me; If you have a story or pictures you would like put on the site they are more than appreciated


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I have put many hours and lots of research into

making this website, with the aim of keeping

The History of Deal in Kent alive for future generations

I don't get paid or receive any payments for anything I do, here or on YouTube

Wix have now placed a 500mb limit on storage for free websites, this site so far

has 1.6GB they are now requesting payment in order that this site can continue

This is something I cannot afford as I live on an old age pension

So if the site happens to be discontinued without notice

you will know what has happened, suggestions are welcomed

I have taken some of the material off and closed the video page down, but the

site will be virtually empty if I cut back to 500mb

Thanks for all my supporters  and we will see how the future goes

David Skardon

My Thanks go to everyone that has donated pictures and stories for this site
George (Billy) Budd - David Chamberlaim, Alan Taylor
  Roger Divito - Patrick Fouet (Bubbles son)
  Paul Osborn - Ken collingwood - Kennith Western
Janice Brown, Bill Baileys grandaughter - James Allen
              James Skardon - Kerry and Angela  Harris  -   Nick Palmer
St Margarets Bay Archives; Pam and Robin Newton
Coral Bailey; Steven Franks. Michael Read; Peter Johnson
Janet Browne; Gregory Dunn; Molly Hancock.

If you have a picture or story you would like placed on the site please contact me using the form above thank you.

Visit Dave Skardon's and Dave Chamberlain's YouTube Channels
Where you can watch many films about Deal and the Goodwin Sands, all containing allot of true local history on the old town of Deal
Deal Kent History

Visit my YouTube Channel
to see lots of films of Deal History

Click on the picture above

History of Deal;Kent; UK 

David Skardon's World

Site updated on 5th June 2023

Many of the pictures here have been kindly donated

if you would like a copy of any picture

please contact me and I will be more than pleased

to send you one

Click Here to start your Own

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