ONE of Mersea Island’s most famous fixtures is about to star in a film with Johnny Depp.

Fishing boat Karen Lynn was moored in West Mersea for 17 years, where she was a popular subject for artists and photographers.

But the former shrimping vessel has been bought by Pinewood Studios, which will use it as a prop in the new Tim Burton film, Dark Shadows.

Malcolm Cawdron, 56, bought the boat when he was 18 for £2,850.

The fishmonger, who owns Galley Seafoods in Kingsland Road, West Mersea, said: “She had so many problems with her engines, so I put her there and that was where she stood.

“I got a phone call out of the blue from Pinewood Studios saying one of the guys from its props department had seen it and wanted to buy it.

“I know the art world wanted to keep it there – it’s one of the most painted boats in the British Isles.”

The boat was built in 1942 in Ostend, Belgium, and was originaly called De Vier Gezusters (The Four Sisters).

It was purchased by Mr Cawdron in 1973 and used for fishing expeditions, before the upkeep of the vessel proved too costly.

The boat was taken down to London on May 22, before being moved to Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire.

It will now be used in Dark Shadows, a film adaptation of an American gothic soap opera from the late Sixties. Mr Cowdray said: “It was a big deal seeing it go, but it’s good to see it has gone somewhere to do something interesting.”

The former fisherman said he didn’t expect an invitation to the film’s premiere, but may get a personal screening.