The new Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories was opened to the public for the first time on 23 March following a £20million development. The project was headed up by Lakeland Arts working with award-winning architects Carmody Groarke and exhibition designers Real Studios.
Located in the Lake District, the museum serves to celebrate and acknowledge the history of over 200-years of boats, boating and boat building throughout this picturesque district.
The beautiful new Windermere Jetty might have been open to the public for a few days but is received the Royal treatment when the complex was officially opened by His Royal Highness Prince Charles.
The official opening started with a traditional Windermere folk song performed by local school children to the Prince upon arrival. Following the warm welcome, His Royal Highness was received by Mrs Claire Hensman, Lord Lieutenant for Cumbria who presented Martin Ainscough (Chairman, Lakeland Arts), Rhian Harris (Chief Executive, Lakeland Arts)
and Liz Moss (COO, Lakeland Arts) to Prince Charles.
Shortly after this, the Prince of Wales was given a private tour of the new museum, where certain pieces were highlighted together with the international significance that the collection holds for the boating world.
During the tour, His Royal Highness viewed the Branksome. She is the boat with which the Prince sailed when opening the previous museum on the same site, the Windermere Steamboat Museum, back in 1977. This incredible vessel, built in 1896, is the flagship piece of the Windermere Jetty collection and is one of the finest surviving steam launches in the world. Her ties to the Royal family predates Prince Charles’ voyage in 1977 as she also carried the Duke of Edinburgh during his visit back in 1966.
Following this, His Royal Highness was introduced to the conservation team. This dynamic group of people work tirelessly to get additional vessels from the nationally important collection to go on display both on and off the water. What makes the Conservation Workshop quite unique is that the team members are made up of both in-house staff as well as volunteers.
The highlight of the opening was when his Royal Highness stepped out onto one of the museum’s jetties to see Edwardian steam launch Osprey. Originally built as a private pleasure boat in 1902, the vessel is fully steamed and back on the water having been restored by the conservation team.
The day’s festivities ended with a reception in the Windermere Jetty Museum’s café. During this ceremony, His Royal Highness unveiled a commemorative slate plaque overlooking the Lake.
For more information or to plan your visit, go to www.windermerejetty.org.