Making history with an event to remember, Ullswater ‘Steamers’ in the Lake District celebrated the 160th Anniversary of the first steamer on the lake and the 130th birthday of M.Y Raven, with a spectacular mass Flotilla on the evening of 16 July 2019. All five boats in the heritage fleet assembled at 8pm in the Howtown Bay area of the lake for the first time ever.
It was a sight to behold as three of the ‘Steamers’ travelled up in convoy from the south of the lake to meet the other two boats coming from the north at Howtown Bay. Here they gracefully glided into a circular formation and performed several circuits before peeling off in an elegant choreographed move that would rival a corps de ballet.
With live music and a convivial atmosphere aboard birthday boat Raven the invited guests enjoying the cruise included descendants of Winifred Parkin, the 6 year old girl who launched Raven back in 1889, representatives from the Lake District National Park, Eden District Council, Cumbria Tourism and a wide range of local businesses. Lady of the Lake carried guests invited by the Patterdale Mountain Rescue whilst staff members of the National Trust Aira Force sailed on Lady Dorothy. Members of the public took part in the celebrations aboard Lady Wakefield for the popular Fish & Chip Supper Cruise and the Gin Cruise with Lakes Distillery on Western Belle.
Surrounded by members of the Wakefield family, Chairman of Lake District Estates Peter Hensman cut the cake aboard Raven as the boat headed back south towards Glenridding to conclude the evenings celebrations.
Mark Horton Manager Ullswater Steamers says; “This was a momentous occasion and a celebration of what makes Ullswater ‘Steamers’ so special. The atmosphere on the boats was fantastic and it was a real pleasure to see our full fleet of boats assembled together in this way. I’d like to thank all of the ‘Steamers’ team for making it such a success. We were blessed with fantastic weather and throughout the day many passengers travelled with us, enjoying the stunning views and peaceful atmosphere which have been attracting visitors for over a century and a half.”