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Windermere Steamboats

Location

Cumbria Map

OS Ref: SD 402 976

Last Visited: 1994

TSSY Esperance Captain Flint's Houseboat

TSSY Esperance
Captain Flint's Houseboat

The Windermere Steamboats Museum pictured here closed in 2006 while the Lakeland Arts Trust tried to find ways to rescue this unique collection of boats.

They eventually succeeded and the new museum opened on the 23 March 2019. For further information on this project, opening hours, admission prices, etc. please see the Windemere Jetty's website

In addition to the steam launches, the old Windermere Steamboats & Museum was a treat for lovers of Arthur Ransomeʼs Swallows and Amazons, as it also housed the original Amazon, and the twin screw steam yacht, TSSY Esperance, on which Ransome based Captain Flintʼs houseboat (allegedly).

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam

Reading the books to my kids, I was struck by the close watch that the adults were keeping on the kids, and by the fact that, as a child, I had completely missed the ambiguity in the relationship between the childrenʼs mother and their 'Uncle' Captain Flint.

Also on display was the SL Dolly of 1850 - the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world. Although she, like Esperance, is painted black and white, it is the beautiful polished wood of the other launches that sticks in the mind.