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Lake District companies pull together to keep history alive

Hamish Patterson

Lake District boat builders, Patterson Boatworks, are undertaking essential restoration work on the oldest working passenger boat in the world, M.Y. Lady of the Lake, operating for Ullswater ‘Steamers’ in the English Lake District.

Patterson Boatworks and Ullswater ‘Steamers’ feel that it is a great way to celebrate Remembrance Day by starting this work on Monday 11th November, 2019.

Lady of the Lake – credit Amy Bateman

During World Two, Ullswater was used to test mini-subs and other naval craft and Lady of the Lake often ferried soldiers to Glenridding for their training at The Ullswater Hotel. She was also mentioned by name in Lord Haw Haw’s famous radio propaganda speeches during the 1940’s.

M.Y. Lady of the Lake was built in 1877 as a steam vessel, but converted to diesel power in 1936. She was designed by Douglas Hebson of Penrith and built from wrought iron by T.B. Seath & Co on the upper Clyde.

Lady of the Lake was transported in three sections by rail to Penrith, and then by horse drawn drays to Waterside near Pooley Bridge where she was completed and then launched on 26th June 1877.

This major restoration project is expected to be completed in time for Easter 2020.

Hamish Patterson said: “Ullswater ‘Steamers’ has five heritage vessels in their care. Lady of the Lake is an important part of history and is a member of the National Historic Fleet. We are so proud to be part of her historical timeline. Heritage vessels, such as Lady of the Lake, are the very reason why I became a shipwright. They are steeped in history and traditional craftsmanship. We are thrilled that Ullswater ‘Steamer’s has appointed us to carry out this essential restoration work.”

Mark Horton, General Manager at Ullswater ‘Steamers’ says; “We are so excited that this work is being completed by experienced Lake District boat builders, Patterson Boatworks. Boat builders carrying traditional skills are becoming a rarity. M.Y. Lady of the Lake requires specialist restoration and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Lake District shipwright, Hamish Patterson. This is a great example of how two local businesses have come together to preserve a piece of our national cultural heritage.“

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