A portrait of John – who volunteers as a stoker on the Lydia Eva – in Great Yarmouth.
Spoken in his own words in 2019.
“My job on the Lydia Eva is Stoker, shovelling coal all day, it’s the best job in the world.
These days I suffer with my joints and being down there with that heat makes me feel 18 again, it’s brilliant.
There’s no smoke in the engine room, it’s just the coal dust, it gets everywhere! We take people out on trips in the North Sea and encourage them to get involved, stoking, working on the ropes and really getting their hands dirty, a real drifter experience.
It’s the last surviving steam drifter in the world, It was built in Kings Lynn, and is the only one ever built in this shape. Really unique.
I’ve been involved with the Lydia Eva for 5 years. I left school at 14 and joined the army, I worked in Germany, driving and all sorts. Coming back to England, I worked as a bus driver in London for 10 years and then eventually moved to Great Yarmouth.
After being involved in Coast Watch for a few years, I decided to volunteer with this little lady”
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