SL Swallow, 1911

Builder Shepherds, Bowness
Length 45’ 6”
Beam 8'
Hull Teak
Engine Sissons triple expansion, bore 4.5” 6” 8”, stroke 5.5”
Speed 12 mph

Swallow is the sister ship of Osprey, and was built to the same specification although 9 years later. Swallow has a straight stem and cruiser stern. The vessel is finished in varnished teak with a red hull and green plimsoll line. Swallow is fitted with her original engine, a Sissons triple expansion steam engine and replica boiler.

History and ownership

Swallow was originally built in 1911 for William Warburton of Cragwood. Before that, Warburton had lived at Belle Grange, where he had owned an innovative electric launch, also called Swallow. However, when he moved to Cragwood he no longer had a natural power source for charging the electric vessel’s batteries, so he had our steam powered Swallow built to replace her. SL Swallow was later owned by J Parker, Kendal and then purchased by Leslie Goldsmith. She was completely restored under the ownership of Leslie Goldsmith and was loaned to the Windermere Steamboat Museum in the 1970’s. In 1984, the Museum purchased Swallow from the Goldsmith family and she became a permanent member of the collection.

Swallow was used as one of the main passenger carrying steam launches at the museum and has therefore been heavily used during her lifetime, but fortunately still retains a lot of her original historic material.


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