Delight as mystery donor helps Great Yarmouth’s Lydia Eva on her way

The Caister Lifeboat, Bernard Matthews II on a training exercise to pick up casualty Lucy Clapham fr

The Caister Lifeboat, Bernard Matthews II on a training exercise to pick up casualty Lucy Clapham from the Lydia Eva.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A surprise donation of £25,000 means the world's last surviving steam drifter, the Lydia Eva, will once again be taken to sea again

At the end of last year, and after a mechanical failure and vital maintenance imminent, trust members knew they had a mammoth task ahead to raise the funds needed to get this unique part of Great Yarmouth's heritage steaming again.

Trust member Roly Stagg explained: 'Thanks to the commitment of Lydia's friends, volunteers and local businesses plus the support of local press and media, the £20,000 plus needed to get Lydia into dry dock for essential maintenance was achieved.

'Unfortunately this still left a considerable shortfall in funding required to do the necessary repairs to Lydia's boiler tubes meaning we were resigned to another steamless year moored in Yarmouth near to the Town hall.'

However at the 13th hour, last month, the trust received a cheque of £25,000 from a benefactor who at the moment wants to remain anonymous.

Mr Stagg added: 'All of us involved with Lydia are obviously delighted as this donation means we will once again be able to take the worlds last surviving steam drifter to sea again and it is hoped our benefactor will be a guest of honour on our first trip.'

Thanks to the dedication of all volunteers, it has been an extremely successful year for the 85-year-old Lydia Eva and there has been renewed interest in the ship from the Yarmouth community and local schools.

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The Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Trust is urgently looking for a treasurer and someone to look after its website. No knowledge of either ship is necessary.

Mr Stagg said: 'This a real opportunity to be involved in helping keep this precious part of Yarmouth and Lowestoft's history open to the public and to ensure future generations can sample our areas heritage.'

Anyone interested in helping out can contact Mr Stagg at or 01493 601654.