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Favourite is the last Oyster Yawl to remain in Whitstable and in public ownership. She commemorates the oyster fishing and shipbuilding industries that once thrived. Favourite is a much loved part of the street scene in Island Wall, near the disappeared shipyards, sail makers and forges once built on the beach.
Oyster Yawl Favourite was built in 1890, when dredging for oysters was an important industry in Whitstable. In some years, up to half the oysters sold in London came from Whitstable! Looking out to sea a hundred years ago 80 or more of these sailing craft could be seen at work.
Farming oysters is a better description than fishing as the oyster may need to be sown on the sea bed, checked annually and predators such as starfish removed before the four or five-year oyster is harvested.
Favourite is the last Whitstable Oyster Yawl in the town, although several other yawls are still sailing elsewhere. In public ownership, she was rebuilt in 2006 using traditional materials and methods.
In 1944, Favourite was machine gunned by a German aircraft and beached to prevent her sinking. In 1952 she was hauled up the beach into Harry Hurford-Jane's garden on Island Wall, just before the sea wall was built.
Visiting Favourite is easy as she can be seen close up from the sea wall, Island Wall and the alley alongside. Favourite was built in Whitstable on the beach about 250 metres to the west of her current location.
Open all the time
Island Wall, Whitstable, CT5 1EP
Map reference: TR 105666 Lat: 51.35975 Long: 1.02252
Parking : with charge
Accessible by Public Transport : 1 mile (1.6 kms) from Whitstable station
Partial disabled access.
Schools information packs will be available soon and free to schools.