Glasgow & West Scotland

Last surviving Scottish Dunkirk little ship on sale on eBay for £1

Skylark IX
Image caption After the war the Skylark IX operated as a cruise boat on Loch Lomond until she foundered at her moorings near Balloch in 2010

The last remaining Scottish little ship used in the Dunkirk landings has been put up for sale on eBay for £1.

The Skylark IX played an important role in Operation Dynamo, which saw hundreds of thousands of soldiers evacuated from the shores of France during WWII.

After the war the vessel was used for cruises on Loch Lomond for 33 years.

Since 2010 the boat has been lying in a sunken state at Balloch. The Leven Cruising Club hopes to sell her off to someone who will restore the ship.

Operation Dynamo took place between 26 May and 4 June 1940.

Image caption The Skylark was among the hundreds of little ships which helped rescue soldiers from Dunkirk in 1940

It involved 900 naval and civilian craft, including fishing boats, pleasure crafts, paddle steamers and lifeboats, which were sent across the Channel under RAF protection.

The Skylark IX played a crucial part, rescuing about 600 soldiers from Dunkirk.

Dougie McCann, vice commodore of Leven Cruising Club, said: "She saved a lot of lives.

"She ferried the soldiers backwards and forwards from the beach, 150 at a time, which was 50 or 60 over her capacity, so they must have been absolutely crammed on.

"Then for more than 30 years here on the loch she has ferried the veterans up and down each year for their remembrance service.

"She's a well kent face. But she has reached sad times at the moment and the whole point of this is to try to find a good home for her."

The boat is being sold by the owner on behalf of Leven Cruising Club.

Image caption Only the top of the Skylark's awning can be seen above the water in the River Leven near Balloch

The commodore of the club, Stuart Davidson, said they hoped the ship could be salvaged and made into a museum piece, but he stressed time was running out.

"The way she is at the moment, unfortunately, we have probably got a couple of weeks at the most to try and do something, or get somebody to come along with a viable option, and perhaps a budget in place, to actually move her," he said.

"She is breaking up under the water, unfortunately."

The club has offered to provide a team of volunteers to help any buyer lift the boat from the water.

The entry on eBay says: "The Skylark IX is in pretty bad condition but we are sure that it could be restored if it was raised.

"This boat would make an excellent restoration project as a museum piece, or for anyone who has the skills to restore this historic ship."

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