Nelson writes:
August 2020. The things we overlook. We often look back on old posts and in particular this one that we were fairly sure was of the Kittiwake bungalow fire. We’ve only just noticed another clue that helps confirm it. The Kittiwake owner had two ships’ figureheads (HMS Pearl and HMS Scylla) in the ‘garden’ but look what’s being rescued in the distance left – can’t be absolutely sure but looks very much like the Pearl figurehead!
Subsequent photos of the rebuilt Kittiwake show the Scylla figurehead in the front but no trace of Pearl unless that was round the back – did it go missing that day? Another thought is that those figureheads were solid wood yet seems not to be too heavy for that gentleman!

Spinalman adds to the story:
I am curious about where the two figureheads ended up. This is HMS Scylla – just before paying off in 1873:
If you search for the figurehead it is stated to still be in Sheerness, in a museum, and available for public view:
But online images suggest the figurehead is different to our Kittywake figurehead:

Nelson replies:
Beware of Repros! Looks like our two figureheads may not have been the originals. Following Paul’s (Spinalman) recent post on apparent duplications we received this from Richard Hunter, a well known figurehead historian and restorer:-
Good to hear from you again re the subject of Ships Figureheads, I very much hope that all is Ok, with you in your part of the World, and that you are having a good weekend, your e-mail re the two Figureheads from HMS SCYLLA and PEARL shows that they are still of interest, but still very much a mystery that I have to unravel, at this moment in time I still have no information as to the fate of both carvings, I have to say looking at them on the post-card I have they are both quite beautiful, it’s very sad to think that they have been lost, as to the true identification of each carving, despite the fact that they have names written on each carving, I am not sure if they are from the vessels they mention, the Pearl Figurehead does have pearls so that would make sense, however a Figurehead from HMS PEARL survives in Australia and this is very well documented, as for HMS SCYLLA the one in the Sheerness Museum, ( I restored a few years ago in 2007 ) is from the vessel of 1856 another almost identical carving also survives, we have some doubt about her, she could well be a replica carved for a Naval Establishment in the South of the UK. As with most of the Figureheads I have in my Archives research is always ongoing, and new information could come in at any time, re the above two Figureheads, I am not sure if I have asked you in the past, if you and your members know of any other surviving views of them other than the post-card. Richard

On another forum I saw this: 
the shore establishment (Naval Ordnance Inspection Establishment (Admiralty) in Sheffield), was officially known as HMS Scylla the old figure head from that ship was mounted on a plinth complete with flag pole at the main gate. HMS Scylla was a screw steam corvette launched at Sheerness dockyard in 1886. The figurehead is now preserved at Blue Town Heritage Centre in Sheerness.

So the Blue Town version is either the screw steam corvette launched 1856 and broken up 1882 or less likely, the later Apollo class steel ship which was launched 1891 and scrapped 1914.  So the mystery continues.

Update July 2022. The well known Bungalow Town figureheads thought to have once stood in the ‘garden ‘ of Kittiwake bungalow have been the subject of two or three earlier posts. In the 17th century William Castle built HMS Dover at Shoreham for the Admiralty before moving to London to continue the business there – ship building and ship breaking. We had wondered if the figureheads were original or copies (earlier posts show a man carrying one of the figureheads thought to be almost impossibly heavy for such a large wooden figure) but this photo of the Castle breakers yard in London shows a similar figurehead so maybe they were originals?

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