The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

The Snowdrop

The Snowdrop was a wooden smack which was built in Great Grimsby in 1877. On 6 October 1907 she was lost when she went ashore on the Skerries of Clestrain.

The captain, George Kirkpatrick, and the crew made every effort to get the vessel afloat but as the tide was falling their efforts were in vain. Eventually she fell over on her side and filled with water. The boat was a wreck.

She had a cargo of coal which had been collected from Amble in Northumberland. She had already landed some of the cargo at Eday but still had 70 tons on board and was making her way to Stromness when she ran aground.

The wreck of the Snowdrop

His grand-daughter Joyce Gray writes: "George Kirkpatrick owned a great many boats during his life time. He had cargo ships, yoles and rowing boats.

"The Kirkpatricks have a long history with the sea and close relatives of his were among those lost during the Longhope Lifeboat disaster.

"My gran told me he had wanted to be a joiner and each night he would bring in wood to put under the stove to dry it to use as kindling. He would often take a piece and fashion it into a ship of some kind before putting it up in the rafters at their house at The Point, next to Hackness Battery in Longhope.

"I think he should have stayed on terra firma and become a joiner as, not only did he loss the Snowdrop, but another one of his boats, the Houton Head, dragged her anchor near Peterhead and ended up on the shore there.

"He also owned the Merit and was heading home with a cargo of lime when the cargo caught fire. He and the crew were rescued!"