Lily (1882-1965)

The Lily is special and unusual in many ways.  She was designed and built by the renowned Wearside shipyard of Robert Thompson & Sons of Sunderland, who were responsible for an even more famous Falklands wreck, the Lady Elizabeth, which lies in nearby Whalebone Cove.

She is also a ‘twin’ – she arrived in the Falkland Islands in 1886 as one of what is called a ‘mirror-pair’ of raft boats designed to carry refrigerated mutton when lashed together from the shore to a reefer boat.  Her twin was the Selembria, which we know was built in 1882 in Robert Thompson’s Southwick yard on the banks of the River Wear in north-eastern England.

Key Facts:

steam drifter icon

Converted raft boat

Built: Southwick, England by Robert Thompson & Sons around 1882
Fame: Served in the Falklands for 120 years
Fate: Abandoned on a cradle in the Canache, Stanley

At some point her sides were built up and she was converted from a raft boat into a cutter, working in settlement support serving several islands in West Falkland between 1886 and 1948.  The 1950s saw her in Stanley, where she was also used for unspecified ‘pleasure’ activities, which included what was called ‘Evangelical Work’.

Between 1962 and 1965 Lily was tied up alongside the Jhelum at that wreck’s jetty. She was a hard boat to maintain and keep shipshape.   She needed lots of TLC and by 2005 the Lily had been donated to the Falkland Islands Museum & National Trust.  At that point she was legendary as the longest still-serving vessel in the Falkland Islands, having been at work for almost 120 years.  

She was moved to the Canache and placed on a cradle, possibly so that she could be renovated or preserved, but she continued to deteriorate and remains on what is left of the cradle to this day. Another Robert Thompson built Falklands wreck that is gradually wasting away.

Mark Spicer’s drone video gives a rare birds eye view of the Lily.

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