This Lakeland steam launch was shown at Harrogate in 2013 by Mrs M Wyatt. The Mary Ridgeway was scratch built by Alan Wyatt from his own drawings, including all the fittings. The hull is plank built. Power is by a Cheddar Plover unit with automatic pressure and burner control.

Mecca for full size lakeland steamer enthusiasts is the Windermere Steamboat Museum, which has no less than 40 boats in its collection. The museum is closed at the moment to allow for a £13.4m project to provide new facilities on the site of the old museum to create a world-class heritage attraction beside Windermere. It will also create 94 jobs.

Martyn Heighton, Director, National Historic Ships, says: ‘Nowhere in the world is there anything to equal the stunning collection of Lakeland Vessels which the Pattinson family brought together on the shores of Windermere. This is one of the most exciting maritime projects in Great Britain.’ 

The new museum will include:
• Wet dock, slipway and jetties so that visitors can see and experience boats on the lake;
• Collection displays where visitors can discover about the people who built the boats, who used them and how they were used, and learn about the science and technology of boat design, steam and marine engines and the ecology of the lake and site;
• A publicly viewable conservation workshop where visitors will be able to watch the conservation and restoration of the boats using traditional boatbuilding and engineering techniques, and where trainees, apprentices, young people and volunteers will develop new skills and experience;
• A multifunction activity and learning space to support formal and informal learning programmes that involve people of all ages, schools, colleges and community groups in the Museum;
• Public access to the beautiful and environmentally important seven acre site beside Lake Windermere with stunning views to the Lakeland Fells and 250 metres of lake shore;
• Excellent visitor facilities including a café with exceptional views over the lake and Museum shop.

Only dark spot on the horizon is that the Windermere Model Boat Club’s future is uncertain at the museum “due to the restoration works likely to prohibit our presence, all down to THE ELF & SAFETY, But we shall survive, pity others don’t share our common sense approach to H/S .”

Alan Wyatt’s