Last month I commented on the new setting of the classic collection of mainly steam boats held at Windermere.
The site is now named ‘Windermere Jetties’ for “boats, steam and stories”. Several of the main exhibits are mere shells awaiting major restoration and in this category I would place the former steam yacht of the industrialist Schneider, the SY Esperance I pictured last month.
In a similar state is the steam powered cargo ‘barge’ - I am tempted to call her a ‘scow’ - Raven built to carry goods around the lake shore when prestige house building in Victorian and Edwardian times was outstripping the capacity of the Lake District roads to carry the materials required. The Raven was built for the Furness Railway to distribute around the lake all kinds of materials arriving at the railhead at Lakeside.
These two boats I have mentioned are the two most workaday vessels that are of particular interest to me which are currently now just iron and steel rivetted shells. I hope they will be restored in the foreseeable future, but several of the steamboat collection can be looked upon as much as works of art rather than working vessels.
A small steam launch, the Osprey, took me for a memorable hours’ trip across the lake from the site. A reminder of just how smooth and quiet steam power is compared to the internal combustion engine. It brought back to me memories of my trips years ago on the PS Lincoln Castle, PS Kingswear Castle and in Norway PS Skibladner on Lake Mjosa.