Film crew shoot scenes onboard historic Yarmouth steam drifter

The Warner Bros visual effects crew film in the Lydia Eva's engine room

The Warner Bros visual effects crew film in the Lydia Eva's engine room - Credit: Lauren De Boise

She is a 92-year fishing vessel which has helped to keep a vital part of Great Yarmouth's maritime heritage alive for the current generation to enjoy.

And now the Lydia Eva has taken centre stage in the town as she switched on her engines for the first time in 18 months as a film crew arrived to shoot scenes for a blockbuster movie.

A visual effects team from Warnes Bros was onboard the herring drifter filming its engines being tested for a film about Willy Wonka.

A group of volunteers at the Lydia Eva. Paul Mitchell, chairman of the trust is at the back.

A group of volunteers at the Lydia Eva. Paul Mitchell, chairman of the trust is at the back. - Credit: Lauren De Boise

The Lydia Eva has already played a major role in the prequel film to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that is starring Timothee Chalamet, Norfolk's Olivia Coleman and Matt Lucas.

The Great Yarmouth boat, Lydia Eva, has been taking centre stage in the new Willy Wonka film

A flashback to the Lydia Eva being filmed in Lyme Regis - Credit: Graham Hunt/BNPS

She had been transported down to Lyme Regis on the south coast last year and featured in scenes where a young Willy Wonka arrives in England.

Friday's filming by the visual effects crew at Lydia Eva's berth on Yarmouth's South Quay will be used to recreate her engine room using CGI movie magic technology to wow cinema-goers on the big screen.

It is thought the film will be out in December 2023.

BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)Pic: Graham Hunt/BNPSDate: 11th October 2021.Pictured: Timothée Cha

Timothée Charlamet who is playing the young Willy Wonka is seen walking along the top of the Cobb harbour wall with a suitcase while being shielded by umbrellas. - Credit: Graham Hunt/BNPS

Paul Mitchell, chairman of the Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Trust, was delighted the drifter was playing a major role in the film and hoped it would have a knock-on effect on her.

Mr Mitchell said: "We can't hope for better advertising than being in a film like this. Hopefully it will bring a lot more footfall to the vessel after people see her in the film.

Most Read

"It will help keep a part of Yarmouth's history going."

Mr Mitchell was also pleased the Lydia Eva had passed her steam boiler tests over a two-day period, meaning she is ready to take to the water next month.

Volunteers in the engine room of the Lydia Eva, which steamed for the first time since September 2020.

Volunteers in the engine room of the Lydia Eva, which steamed for the first time since September 2020. - Credit: Lauren De Boise

He said: "To keep the vessel going she has to be certified before she can sail. She has passed her tests and is ready to go now.

"We think it is of paramount importance to keep this vessel running to help keep a part of the town's heritage alive."

The Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Trust, which also has the Lowestoft trawler Mincarlo, is appealing for volunteers. To register an interest call Paul Mitchell on 0753 440748 or call Ernie Artis on 07932 702857.

The history of the Lydia Eva

The Lydia Eva at her South Quay berth

The Lydia Eva at her South Quay berth - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Built in 1930 in King's Lynn and based in Great Yarmouth, the Lydia Eva fished along the east coast.

She landed her last catch in December 1938.

The Lydia Eva was then used by the Air Ministry and Ministry of War Transport, which deployed her in a variety of roles, including buoy laying and salvage. She was then transferred to the Royal Navy and was laid up in 1969.

She was later acquired by the Maritime Trust and restored as a floating museum in Great Yarmouth.

The Lydia Eva joined the trust's national collection of vessels in London's St Katherine 's Dock in 1986 but was laid up again in 1990.

She returned to East Anglia when the Lydia Eva Charitable Trust was formed. 

On June 30 1990 the Lydia Eva was towed back into Great Yarmouth harbour by the port authority tug, Hector Read.