DEAL KENT in DAY's of YORE
Welcome to my Deal History website
On this website you will find
Hundreds of Pictures and Stories of Deal, Kent. UK
from those Days long gone by
Visit my YouTube Channel lots of films of Deal History
See the HISTORIC STORIES Pages
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
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"
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.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY READING THE STORIES AND BROWSING THROUGH MY SITE:
IF YOU HAVE A STORY OR PICTURES YOU WOULD LIKE INSERTED ON THIS SITE
PLEASE CONTACT ME
VISIT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL FOR MANY TRUE STORIES AND LOTS MORE PICTURES
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 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
Ernie Slack: myself & Bob Able's Sou-Wester
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
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.
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;
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"
The "SPRAY" on the beach opposite
the Time Ball tower; 1972 Left is Whimpy ( Frank Fishlock ) Centre
is me, right is Alec Marsh Junior
The "FAIR CHANCE" Tommy Upton's old Minnie Ha Ha
Dad rebuilt her down the farm
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
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
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
The Spray's Registration Certificate
One of my old Boatman's Licenses
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
Another good website for imformation
on Deal can be found here
THE "ST. ROSE. LT 82
Previously called the MILFORD DUKE M3
I SAILED ON HER OUT OF LOWESTOFT IN THE 1960's
Commercial suppliers of Horticulture equipment and Polytunnel
Deal Maritime and local
LIz Mott professional Photography
for Great local pictures
hit the photo above
BROWSE THROUGH MY SITE FOR LOTS OF PICTURES OF : DEAL AND THE BOATS
AND MANY TRUE HISTORIC STORIES
OF DEAL IN THOSE LONG AGO DAYS
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 and Gregory Dunn
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 Seagulls is a comical postcard size Production by local Historian Stuart Smith
it contains around 40 hand drawn sketches and is a must for the collector
Available from. Ropers Bookshop. High Street. Deal. Kent
or direct from Stuart Smith
Click the picture above to get a preview
History of Deal;Kent; UK
David Skardon's World
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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