Boat docked at Windermere Jetty

PRESS RELEASE: 25/03/19 HRH, The Prince of Wales to officially open Windermere Jetty

Royal Visit: Monday 8 April, 2019

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales to officially open Windermere Jetty

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales will officially open the new Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories in the Lake District on Monday 8 April. The museum opened to the public on 23 March following a £20million development by Lakeland Arts working with award-winning architects Carmody Groarke.

Upon arrival, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales will be greeted by Mrs. Claire Hensman, Lord Lieutenant for Cumbria who will present Martin Ainscough (Chairman, Lakeland Arts), Rhian Harris (Chief Executive, Lakeland Arts), Liz Moss (COO, Lakeland Arts).

His Royal Highness will then be given a tour of the of the new museum which tells the story of 200- years of boats, boating and boat building in the Lake District through its internationally significant collection that reflect themes of technical, social and business development in one of England’s most picturesque settings.

During the tour His Royal Highness will view Branksome, the boat which he sailed aboard when opening the previous museum on the same site, Windermere Steamboat Museum, in 1977. Built in 1896 Branksome is the flagship of the Windermere Jetty collection and is one of the finest surviving steam launches in the world. Branksome also had the honour of carrying HRH Prince Philip during his visit in 1966.

His Royal Highness will spend time in Windermere Jetty’s Conservation Workshop where he will meet members of the highly skilled heritage boat conservation team including staff and volunteers and see the work they are undertaking to enable additional vessels from the nationally important collection to go on display both on and off the water.

On the water Steam Launch Osprey, originally built as a private pleasure boat in 1902, and used as a passenger boat by the Bowness Bay Boating Company in the 1940’s, will be in full steam and waiting inspection from His Royal Highness. Osprey has undergone intensive restoration work at Windermere Jetty and now runs daily steam launch trips for visitors.

His Royal Highness will conclude his visit by officially opening Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories by unveiling a plaque to commemorate the event. The slate plaque will sit at the waters edge looking north of Windermere Jetty and towards the Lake District fells.

Principally funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Windermere Jetty is one of the first contemporary buildings to be constructed on the shores of Windermere in over 50 years. A cluster of seven buildings, the new museum is clad in copper with sculptural silhouettes that frame stunning views of England’s largest lake. A series of new jetties on the lake allow visitors to sail on Osprey (1902), one of the museum’s fully-restored Edwardian steam launches and enables the regular lake cruise boats to dock and bring visitors to the museum.

Owned by Lakeland Arts, the collection of over 40 vessels is the only one of its kind in the world. For the first time over half of the collection, which ranges from Victorian steam launches to record-breaking speedboats from the 1980s, has gone on display. Vessels in the collection include SL Dolly, thought to be the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world, Beatrix Potter’s tarn boat which she used to sketch in, and Esperance which was the inspiration for Captain Flint’s houseboat in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons and starred in the 1963 film.

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The visit by The Prince of Wales will be covered by a Royal Rota accreditation will be through the usual channels. Clarence House will be issuing a media operational note later this week.

About Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories
Windermere Jetty sits on the site of a former sand and gravel wharf dock, and the historic boat museum that George Pattinson opened in 1977. Visitors will see boats on water in the Boathouse, and out on the lake itself and in the exhibition galleries. The Sir John Fisher Foundation Conservation Workshop is open, enabling visitors to see live conservation of the boats as they are restored and repaired to go back on the water or on display. The museum continues traditional boatbuilding skills here and will involve apprentices, trainees and young people in keeping a traditional industry alive. Through the learning and skills development programme, science, engineering and ecology will meet the arts and culture to explore the collection and the site’s beautiful surrounding landscape. The museum includes the Wolfson Learning Centre, shop, lakeside café and temporary, as well as permanent, exhibition spaces. Lakeland Arts took over the old museum in 2007, after it had closed the previous year. Eleven of the boats were allocated to Lakeland Arts by HM Government’s Acceptance in Lieu Scheme and the rest of the historic boats and a wealth of other objects were transferred from the Windermere Nautical Trust.

The development of Windermere Jetty has been made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund (DCMS) - channeled through the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Regional Growth Fund, Rural Development Programme for England and is also generously supported by The Sir John Fisher Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, South Lakeland District Council, The Headley Trust, Foyle Foundation, Windermere Lake Cruises Ltd., J P Getty Jnr Charitable Trust and other trusts, companies and individuals.

About Lakeland Arts
Windermere Jetty has been developed by Lakeland Arts, Founded in 1957, Lakeland Arts is dedicated to the highest quality presentation of the region’s outstanding heritage alongside international contemporary art. Lakeland Arts operates across three unique sites. In addition to Windermere Jetty, Lakeland Arts runs Abbot Hall Art Gallery and the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry in Kendal, and Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House in Bowness-on-Windermere. Blackwell is MH Baillie Scott’s greatest house and retains much of its original panelling, stained glass and decoration.

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