Historic day as Lydia Eva lets off steam

A DREAM of steam came true for one of the world's most historic boats this week when the boiler was successfully fired for the first time in 30 years.A small band of engineers witnessed the Lydia Eva's return to a golden age on Monday when steam poured from her boiler heralding a new chapter in her colourful life.

A DREAM of steam came true for one of the world's most historic boats this week when the boiler was successfully fired for the first time in 30 years.

A small band of engineers witnessed the Lydia Eva's return to a golden age on Monday when steam poured from her boiler heralding a new chapter in her colourful life.

Dona Watson, trustee for the Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Trust, said: “Everybody was absolutely delighted. They did the full test, the boiler was fired and she is now certificated to steam.”

Shovelling coal like stokers on Saturday were trust chairman Alan Bagley's grandchildren nine-year-old Joshua Wilkins five-year-old Alex Emily Wilkins.


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Operations manager Mike Franks was said to be especially delighted that everything had gone smoothly after the boiler was gently warmed over two days. “It was a long and slow process,” he said. “The engine showed one or two teething problems which is not unusual since it has not been run for 30 years.”

Mrs Watson said that simply firing the boilers had cost around �1,000 with a home-coming trip to Yarmouth likely to burn up to �3,000 of coal. The first firing she added had been sponsored by Yarmouth-based Offshore Design Engineering in South Quay who had supported the restoration effort since 2001.

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Seeing the 80-year-old vessel in full steam is a dream come true for preservationists whose efforts to restore her were boosted by a �850,000 lottery grant in 2007. But volunteers are needed to act as guides and sell souvenirs if her role as a museum is to be a success.

To find out more contact Dona Watson on 01493 393344 or via donawatson@btinternet.com

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