Monday 3 October 2016


HARRY Styles mum has played her part in helping to raise £6000 for a Scots charity in a bid to help restore a small Scottish ship that saved 600 lives in Dunkirk.
One Direction and Harry Styles fans around the globe have helped out after the star's mum Anne Twist tweeted about it, and made her own donation to restore the Skylark IX in Irvine.
Many of them will now wear a special Skylark IX pin badge when the movie is finally released in cinemas.

Now the Skylark IX Trust campaigners are asking Harry to become an ambassador for the Skylark charity Trust.
The Skylark IX is being restored over the next 18 months to two years at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine.
The little ship which rescued 600 men from the shores of Dunkirk has been in West Dumbartonshire for nearly forty five years and will be ninety next year.
She was saved for posterity through the Skylark Trust since being rescued from a watery grave in 2013.

Harry Styles and One Direction fan Sasha Wedge from Salford and her pal Maartje van Hoorn set the ball rolling along with the Trust when they set up a just giving page to help rebuild the ship after Harry Styles was announced for a lead role in Dunkirk.

When Harry’s mum Anne found out about it she retweeted the story, branding it “wonderful”.
She has also donated £100 to the campaign bringing the total to £6000 and recently judged an online art competition for the Trust.
She exclusively told "It was a privilege to get involved with the trust. Their competition was a fabulous way of bringing a little bit of history to life. With the anticipation of the Dunkirk movie simmering amongst all us Harry fans, the art competition has now helped restore a little piece of it"
Her donation also means Harry's name will be added to a plaque in the ship alongside his step dad Robin.
Harry's costar Jack Gover is also in possession of a pin badge bearing the ship's logo and one fan even made a tattoo of the ship for fans.
Sasha Wedge told fans: "In June 2016, a flotilla from the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships made their way to Dunkirk to star in the new movie. Sadly, there was one little ship that should have been there, and couldn't be. Her name is Skylark IX, and we're fundraising for the Skylark IX Recovery Trust to restore her.
The Trust are hoping to raise at least £1000 to move her into a covered workshop (safe from the Scottish elements!) & for an initial purchase of materials to reinforce and ensure her stability as they seek lottery funding. Skylark will then be restored plank by plank.
​This is our chance to play our own part in Dunkirk's history and show Harry that we really care about the true subject of his movie! Why #SaveSkylark?!
As a thank you, Harry will be thanked for inspiring us and we will be collectively thanked for our donations on a plaque on board Skylark once her restoration has been completed.
The Trust work alongside Alternatives, which works with people recovering from alcohol and drug addictions. They will learn key employment skills while helping with the restoration.
She will sail on the River Clyde in Scotland taking veterans, visitors, and school children "doon the water" on short trips, where they can hear about the miracle of Dunkirk through an interactive on board system.
She will move to Dumbarton Castle and will continue to be used for educational purposes. She will also once again take veterans once a year for a short service of remembrance on the anniversary of Dunkirk.
The target is to restore Skylark so that she can sail to Dunkirk for the 80th anniversary of Operation Dynamo (2020) alongside the other remaining Dunkirk Little Ships, but if they have the funding in place, the work can be completed within 18 months to 2 years.
If you donate £100 or more your name (or another) can be added to the Skylark 600 plaque. Please contact the Skylark IX Recovery Trust directly via www.skylarkix.

Skylark IX's story is now known by many, as we move towards the 76th anniversary of Operation Dynamo.


Skylark IX is born

Skylark IX began life in 1927 in the shipyard of J H
Bolson & Sons of Poole in Dorset, the ninth in a series
of ten Skylarks.


Wartime Duties

At poole, Skylark IX served as a shallow water minesweeper and was engaged in placing anti-invasion obstacles around the harbour. At one time she erected decoys on Brownsea Island, consisting of wooden sheds filled with coal and sprayed with oil. They were set alight when German bombers flew over, looking for the Admiralty Armaments depot at Holton Heath


Skylark IX’s finest hour

During the 9 fateful days of 'Operation Dynamo' Skylark IX saved the life of over 600 allied forces from the beaches of Dunkirk.


Skylark Moves North

After the war, Skylark IX gradually worked her way north, via Morecambe and Burntisland to Loch Lomond, where Sweeneys Cruises operated her for 33 years. John Sweeney gave Skylarks services free, to Dunkirk Veterans once a year, for their reuninion on Loch Lomond. Veterans remembered those who did not return and laid poppies on the Loch.

Excerpts of this article appeared in The Sunday Post

- Posted with love from Scotland by