An extensive makeover over the winter months has got the steam drifter Lydia Eva looking her best since her launch over 80 years ago from Crabtree's Slipway in Great Yarmouth.
All on-board fixtures have been painted and varnished, brass has been polished and many mechanical parts, such as the ships telegraph have been completely overhauled.
Now volunteers caring for this historic vessel on the River Yare are aiming to make her a new season attraction for visitors to the town.
She opens to the public on on April 7th and visitors will be able to tour her seven days a week. Entry is free but there is also the opportunity for guided tours for individuals, private groups and schools.
Following an appeal in the EDP
for new skippers, 12 people applied with the necessary qualifications to take charge of her when she goes out to sea. That means she will take people out on at least four occasions this summer.
This will be an expensive year for her because at the end of the season she has to go into dry dock for essential maintenance jobs - a cost of more than £20,000
To help with fundraising, Norfolk raconteur Keith Skipper has agreed to do a concert to support her and Gorleston Pavilion
is giving the venue free-of-charge for the event on October 9th 2014, which will also feature some of the area's best musical talent. Tickets available from the Gorleston Pavilion Box-Office
on tel: 01493 662832
And as well as the Lydia Eva, visitors will also be able to step on board her sister ship, The Mincarlo, which is moored at the Maritime Heritage Quay in Lowestoft. She is the last trawler of her type and will be open to visitors from late May.
The Mincarlo is in the early stages of restoration and it is hoped to get her fully operational.