Windermere Jetty opens its doors with help from volunteer John

Volunteer John has helped out for the last ten years
This weekend Windermere Jetty: Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories opens its doors to the public for the first time ever.

The £20million project received over £13m of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to revamp the site where the original Windermere Steamboat Museum stood and ensure that the historically significant collection of over 40 steamboats were not lost to history.

Windermere Jetty is one of the first new buildings to be built on the shores of Lake Windermere in over 50 years. The museum boasts a unique open access conservation workshop, and a wet dock to see boats in their natural environment.

Pivotal to the development of the museum has been the involvement of over 150 volunteers, who visitors can see in action in the conservation workshop.

Sharing his experiences with visitors

One such volunteer is John, who has lent his expertise to Windermere Jetty, and the original Windermere Steamboat Museum before that, for almost ten years.

“I just love being able to use my hands and the few brain cells that are still left at my age.”

An engineer by trade, John retired in 2010. It was then that someone suggested that he should help out at Windermere Jetty.

Having enjoyed his working life, John, says: “I just thought I’ve got some skills, knowledge and experience which I can give to Windermere Jetty”.

He still enjoys being able to make and mend things around the museum: “I just love being able to use my hands and the few brain cells that are still left at my age.”

Osprey in the boathouse at Windermere Jetty
An Osprey at Windermere Jetty

Windermere Jetty gives people the opportunity to take a heritage boat trip on the 112-year-old Edwardian steam launch Osprey, an experience that John is very keen to share with visitors to the Museum.

 “There’s only one way to experience a steamboat, and that’s what you hear and see while you’re on board…and that experience is what we want to give to the public.”

“It is something very, very special indeed.”

Find out more on the Windermere Jetty website

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