The Lake District’s swish new £20m Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories will open its doors on 23 March.
I keep thinking what a fabulous place it will be for those lucky enough to work there!
The new museum is on the site of the former Windermere Steamboat Museum, which was founded in 1977 by George Pattinson, a steam enthusiast who amassed the unique collection of boats which are all associated with Windermere.
The new museum will have an open-access conservation workshop where visitors will see the team of skilled conservation boat builders conserve and restore vessels using traditional boat building skills. There will also be training, apprentice and volunteer programmes.
The museum will tell the stories of the boats, who built and owned them and how they were used on Windermere. The museum will open with five themed displays: Just Visiting, Life of Luxury, War & Innovation, Spirit of Adventure and Speed. Each will tell unique stories of the people whose lives are linked to the collection, such as steel magnate Henry Schneider who used his yacht TSSY Esperance (1869), to commute to work. These stories will tell visitors about the craft and history of boat building on Windermere and the fascinating and eventful personal stories behind the collection.
Key highlights of the museum’s collection include:
- 11 vessels listed by National Historic Ships as nationally important
- 10 classic Windermere steam launches (1890s / 1900s)
- rare early yacht, Margaret (1780)
- SL Dolly (1850), thought to be the oldest mechanically
- powered boat in the world
- Beatrix Potter’s tarn boat, which she used to sketch in on Moss Eccles Tarn
- pioneering motor, speedboats and hydroplanes used on the lake from 1898 – 1980
- Canfly (1922), powered by a seven-litre Rolls Royce aero engine
- two fully-restored boats on the lake, one of which visitors
will be able to sail on when the museum opens