TG5207 : Lydia Eva at Great Yarmouth
near to Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Great Britain
Lydia Eva (Drifter)
The Lydia Eva is the only seaworthy museum in the world. She is a 1930s herring drifter (drifting is floating with no power with the nets near the surface). Target fish being herring and mackerel. She was also designed to trawl for haddock, plaice etc. This was to make the most of Harry Eastick's investment. The hull was constructed at a Kings Lynn Shipyard in 1930 and towed to Great Yarmouth where the triple expansion steam engine, boiler and crabtrees were added. 22nd July 1930 saw the first sea trial. She was launched by Harry Eastick's daughter, Lydia Eva. When at sea a crew of 10 was carried from the experienced skipper to young rope boys. The catch would be split between the crew so the owner gained 57%, skipper 8% and others like the fireman got amounts like 4%.
She was much more efficient than Harry's other boats but the declining fish meant a working life of only 8 years. She landed her last catch in December 1938. Two months later Harry Eastick sold her and his other remaining vessel to Norford Sufflings, a local firm of fish merchants. Later on sea was sold to Caernarvonshire Yacht Company and was altered and equipped for a contract with the Air Ministry, maintaining and servicing buoys around the West coast. In 1942 she was requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport and became engaged in salvage work. Whilst under MOWT ownership. She was initially used by the Ministry of Aircraft Production, (MOAP), as a salvage vessel and remained in service with the MOAP until 1947. On 1st April 1947 Lydia Eva was sold to the Air Ministry as a mooring vessel and renamed WATCHMOOR.
In 1966 she was transferred to the Marine Services Division of the Royal Navy, where she was fitted with a new boiler and a higher wheelhouse but after 3 years service she was laid up for sale in Milford Haven. It looked like the end for this workhorse of the seas. However a group of enthusiasts formed the Maritime Trust, purchasing the vessel in 1971.
After some restoration work a return to Great Yarmouth was arranged. For 5 years Lydia Eva pleasing crowds at the dockside. However life in the Norfolk port was cut short when she moved to Katherine's Dock next to Tower Bridge in London. The exhibition closed in 1986 after financial difficulties, TQ3480 : Lydia Eva, St Katharine Docks.
After being left she began to rot, badly. In 1989 Norfolk enthusiasts couldn't let here die so formed a trust to save her. The wood had rotted beyond saving and the hull was in need of serious work. The trust prepared a lottery bid and got the £750,000 needed to get her in shape (although the total cost was £1million). With three years to get her to sea the pressure was on, making the deadline of 31st March 2010 with 2 days to spare!
She sailed from Lowestoft to Great Yarmouth in May to continue her role, along with the time and tide museum of telling Great Yarmouth's fishing heritage.
To view she is open Tuesdays to Sundays until 4pm, Admission is free although donations are appreciated.
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- Grid Square
- TG5207, 280 images (more nearby)
- Ashley Dace (find more nearby)
- Image classification?
- Date Taken
- Thursday, 20 August, 2009 (more nearby)
- Thursday, 20 August, 2009
- Steam ship (more nearby)
- Subject Location
OSGB36: TG 522 074 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:36.3517N 1:43.4250E
- Photographer Location
- OSGB36: TG 521 074
- View Direction
- East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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