New chapter beckons for Dunkirk Little Ship
- Credit: Supplied by Wooden Rescue Boats
She was one of the Dunkirk Little Ships and took part in dozens of sea rescues, and now the Lucy Lavers is about to be brought back into action.
The 1940-built vessel will be operated this year by a newly-formed firm called Curlew Coastal Charters - based at Wells - on behalf of her owners, Rescue Wooden Boats.
And although the boat has taken people on trips around Wells Harbour in previous summers, this year's trips will offer something different including seafood picnics and on board fish and chip suppers.
Liam Pink, Lucy Lavers' new skipper, said: "We're going to be taking her down the coast to other harbours at Burnham Overy Staithe, Blakeney and Brancaster. Bookings are already going really well, there's been a lot of interest in the boat."
People can join either a pre-arranged trip or charter the whole vessel for a short two-hour journey or a longer trip along the coast lasting up to eight hours.
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When the boat is not in use, she will be moored in Wells Harbour and visitors will be able to go aboard. People can also learn more about the Lucy Lavers at the Maritime Heritage Centre in Stiffkey.
Mr Pink said: "It's quite unreal for a boat of her age to still be going."
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Mr Pink, 27, lives in Sculthorpe and grew up in Wells, and had been looking for an opportunity to work closer to home having spent the past year piloting vessels to windfarms off Norfolk.
During the early days of the Second World War, Lucy Lavers' was sailed to Ramsgate where she was taken over by Royal Navy crews for the crossing to Dunkirk, but few details are known of what role she played in the evacuation.
After the war, she served as an RNLI's lifeboat Aldeburgh and Wells stations, before being used as a pilot boat in the Channel Islands and then as a private fishing boat and dive boat in the 1970s and 1980s.
She was restored by Rescue Wooden Boats in time to take part in a 75th Anniversary Return to Dunkirk in 2015.
To find out more, visit www.rescuewoodenboats.com.