Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’ Skylark exhibition sets sail

SKYLARK, one of only two surviving “Dunkirk Little Ships” in Scotland, stars in an exhibition in Dumbarton that opens tomorrow.

The boat took part in Operation Dynamo to rescue stranded service personnel from the beaches of Dunkirk during the Second World War.

The “Hope Floats” exhibition at the Scottish Maritime Museum’s Denny Tank has been curated by the Skylark IX Recovery Project, which cares for the vessel.

The new exhibition charts the ship’s story from launching as a pleasure boat in 1934 through her wartime service and final sinking in 2010.

It culminates with her new role “inspiring and changing the lives of people recovering from addictions across West Dunbartonshire”.

Project manager Claire McDade said: “The project was formed out of hope and a belief in the possibility of change and recovery.

“Skylark took part in Operation Dynamo and, today, our indomitable Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’ is once again a beacon of hope and inspiration for those on their own journey of recovery and those in need within our communities.

“With lots of exciting new projects in 2022, including our new oral history project Skylark IX Voices and our Skylark IX Community Tapestry, we hope the exhibition brings many more people to enjoy and get involved.”

Visitors will also be able to see “Hope Floats” and the rest of the Scottish Maritime Museum for free during the Skylark IX Recovery Project’s “Skylark Stories” summer event, which takes place in the Denny Tank grounds on 4 June.

The vessel is currently in the care of the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine while the Skylark IX Recovery Project lays plans for her future at the heart of the proposed Spirit of Skylark Centre.

Funding allowing, the £3 million heritage attraction, community hub, and boatbuilding workshop will be located at the Scottish Maritime Museum’s second site in Dumbarton and help the project to reach and support more people across West Dunbartonshire.

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