World's last surviving steam-powered herring drifter lands role in Hollywood blockbuster Wonka

  • ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray went for a tour of the historic vessel.

The world's last surviving steam-powered herring drifter has landed a starring role in a new Hollywood blockbuster. The Great Yarmouth based Lydia Eva features in Wonka - a prequel to Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

The actor Timothée Chalamet who plays the title character Wonka Credit: Timothée Chalamet /Instagram

The historic vessel is being used as a passenger steamer to bring a young Willy Wonka to England. Norfolk's Olivia Colman, Matt Lucas and Rowan Atkinson also star in the film.

The Lydia Eva was towed to Lyme Regis in Dorset where most of the filming took place last year. But the water was too shallow even at high tide to get her engines running so a film crew had to make a special trip to her Yarmouth base to get the pictures of the Lydia Eva in steam.

The Wonka film crew capturing the Lydia Eva in steam Credit: ITV Anglia

A Wonka cameraman filming the engines running on the Lydia Eva Credit: ITV Anglia

These days she's a floating museum - the last of over a thousand fishing vessels working out of Yarmouth and Lowestoft where the herring industry was vital to the local economy. 

The trawlers and drifters rammed into Great Yarmouth harbour to bring their catches of herring to the fish wharf Credit: East Anglian Film Library

Wonka is due for release in December 2023.