Lake District Museum Save

From: Howard
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Date: 03/25/07
Time: 02:39 PM


PRESS RELEASE 19 MARCH 2007 Lifeline for Internationally Important Collection The UKs Lake District Windermere’s unique nautical heritage was given new hope last week as the final pieces of a complex jigsaw puzzle fell into place. The independent charity that runs Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal and Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House near Bowness, is to take on the world-renowned collection at the Windermere Steamboat Museum, situated in a stunning position on the shores of the lake. There are ambitious plans in place to create an attraction of international interest where visitors can rediscover the historic elegance of an age when Windermere was home to beautiful Victorian steam launches and classic Edwardian lake craft. The launch of this project has been made possible by a series of generous donations from the family of the museum’s founder, George Pattinson, a merger of the Windermere Nautical Trust with the Lakeland Arts Trust, a grant of £465,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, as well as a great deal of time, effort and expertise given by several other people and agencies. The initial grant allows the boats to be removed from the water and stabilised in a temporary new building prior to their restoration, and then substantial further funds will need to be raised in order to bring the project to fruition. The collection is the most important and complete group in the world of watercraft built within a particular location, and stretches right back to mediaeval times with a rare early dug out log boat found in a bog in the Kentmere Valley. It also contains Britain’s oldest sailing boat and the world’s oldest mechanically powered boat, as well as such curios as Beatrix Potter’s flat-bottomed rowing boat from which she observed the pond wildlife that became immortalised in The Tale of Jeremy Fisher. As part of the project, it is also intended to create a specialist conservation workshop on the site where the historic boats can be restored and then properly maintained in the future. As well as regenerating traditional craft skills that were once a hallmark of the lakeshore, it is hoped to create a national centre of excellence in wooden boatbuilding where visitors will be able to learn more about the nautical history that is so much a part of this island nation. For further details please see the website The Museum opens for one last time on April 9th (Easter Monday) when visitors will be able to see the boats and site prior to restoration. Note to Editors: More detailed information about the Windermere Steamboat collection, The Lakeland Arts Trust and the NHMF can be found at: For photo opportunities or to interview the Director, Edward King contact Frances Snowden:Telephone: 015394 46139 Email: For further information about the NHMF contact Alison Scott or Dervish Mertcan, NHMF Press Office. Telephone: 020 7591 6032/6102 The National Heritage Memorial Fund • The Collection • The Lakeland Arts Trust

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