A HISTORIC steam tug is the inspiration for a new art exhibition being staged in Maldon.

Brent is the last surviving steam vessel of the Port of London Authority's old fleet.

The iconic tug is now berthed in Maldon after being saved from the scrapyard in 1970 and has become a landmark on the waterfront.

The Steam Tug Brent Trust challenged budding artists to paint or draw the tug for a community art competition to celebrate Brent's 75 anniversary last year.

More than 80 entries are finally going on show in the Octagon Hall at St Mary's Church on July 16-17.

Trust chairman Janet Hall said: "I was quite surprised so many people entered.

"Some people have donated their entries to us so we can sell them to raise money for the trust, while others will take theirs back."

The exhibition is open from 10.30am to 5.30pm both days. Admission is free but visitors can make a donation to the trust.