Windermere Steamboats & Museum

6 August 2006

We started our holiday in the Lake District with a visit to the slightly oddly named Windermere Steamboats and Museum - to be honest mostly for the Swallows & Amazons content.

steam boats at Windermere Steamboats and Museum
But the core of the museum is the steamboats, which were impressive, although being a bit isolated from the visitor and crammed together prevented them being seen in their full glory.

Coch-y-bonddhu, one of Arthur Ransome's dinghies, and the model for Scarab in The Picts and the Martyrs

centreboard in Arthur Ransome's dinghy Coch-y-bonddhu
The centreboard in Cocky.

Arthur Ransome's Scarab dinghy
Lucy inspects the dinghy, with its scarab flag.

Mavis, Arthur Ransome's dinghy
The dinghy Mavis, better known to Ransome fans as Amazon

Amazon from Swallows and Amazons
Amazon was varnished in the books rather than painted white, but otherwise she is the boat as described

Some of the other exhibits are these powerboats, many of which are record-holders for some obscure-sounding classes. Even some dating from the 1980s were made with wooden hulls, which was surprising.

Steam Bus
Outside, the steam bus providing a link between the museum and Bowness itself.

Esperance house-boat
Outside lies Esperance, the oldest twin-screw boat in the world and the oldest boat on the Lloyds Register of Yachts. But most significantly, she was the inspiration for Captain Flint's houseboat.

canon on Captain Flint's houseboat
"He's got a cannon!" - probably a retired pirate.


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson