Prince Charles speaks to two staff at Windermere Jetty

08/04/19 PRESS RELEASE: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales opens Windermere Jetty

Today [Monday 8 April 2019] His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales officially opened the new Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories in the Lake District. The museum opened to the public on 23 March following a £20million development by Lakeland Arts working with award- winning architects Carmody Groarke and exhibition designers Real Studios.


Upon arrival, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales enjoyed a Windermere folk song performed by local school children, before being greeted 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).

His Royal Highness was then given a tour 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 HRH viewed 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 the Duke of Edinburgh during his visit in 1966.

HRH then met the conservation team including staff and volunteers in the Conservation Workshop, where he saw the work they are undertaking to enable additional vessels from the nationally important collection to go on display both on and off the water. Following a walk through the Boat Yard, HRH stepped out onto one of the museums jetties to see Edwardian steam launch Osprey, originally built as a private pleasure boat in 1902, fully steamed and back on the water having been restored by the conservation team.

HRH concluded his visit with a reception in the café before unveiling a commemorative slate plaque overlooking the Lake.

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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.

  • Image by Jan Chlebik
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