Lydia Eva back for Christmas stay

HISTORIC steam drifter Lydia Eva finally made her winter journey to Lowestoft this week after a seven week delay.

The ship was due to travel from Great Yarmouth under her own steam at the beginning of November for her winter 'sleep' at Small's dry dock, where engineers are due to carry out a raft of maintenance jobs and give her boilers a full clean.

But finding a weather 'window' at a time when there were also enough professional and volunteer hands on deck to make the trip has proved tricky for the world's last surviving herring drifter.

However, on Tuesday, it all finally came together with calm seas for sailing and all five crew, including a professional skipper, two engineers and two volunteer stokers, ready to fire her up for the two-and-half-hour nautical journey.

Dona Watson, from the Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Charitable Trust, said: 'We have had an horrendous time.

'Every time we have been ready to go we have had bad weather. Our skipper and engineers are professional so we have to wait until they are ready as well. We would have liked her back earlier but it should not be a big problem.'

Lydia Eva will return to Yarmouth's South Quay in May where she will be open to visitors.