A TEENAGER has undertaken the once in a lifetime opportunity to restore a historic boat which is nearly 100 years old.

Jamie Bellamy-Booth, of Mersea, was 15 when he saw The Saxonia in the mud near his home.

Now 19, he is working to restore the almost 100-year-old boat.

The boat was once owned by the national Young’s Fish brand. 

Having always dreamed of owning his own boat, Jamie located owners using the National Historic Ships register, contacting them to pitch his interest in restoring the historic vessel.

Impressed by his enthusiasm, passion and interest, the owners came to an arrangement with Jamie, allowing him to become a co-owner of the boat.

Jamie has been joined by Peter Gilder, a furniture business owner, who is equally as passionate about restoring historic boats, to restore the vessel.

The 35 foot Bawley fishing boat requires major restoration and Young’s is providing the pair with funding to support their preservation work.

Jamie and Peter are aiming to restore the Saxonia boat, so that the public can enjoy an iconic piece of history.

They hope that schools and educational groups can visit the vessel, with the opportunity to experience what life would have been like on a fishing boat nearly 100 years ago.

The Saxonia was commissioned in 1930, by the late William Joseph Young. The boat was originally bought for £475 and was used to fish for whitebait off of the English coast.

Paul Craft, chief commercial officer for Young’s owner, Sofina Europe, said: “At Young’s we are proud of our history and heritage, and to be able to support the restoration of what was once one of our fishing boats is a great opportunity. 

“When we heard about Jamie’s story and saw his determination and commitment to restore Saxonia, we knew we had to aid him on his journey.

“We look forward to supporting Jamie through the next phase and seeing the restoration progress in the years to come.”

To learn more about the Saxonia’s story, and to see how you can support the boat’s restoration, visit the fundraiser at bit.ly/3Mn8GvR.