Posted: 31/01/2012 10:39:56 by Nigel Nixon

A LAKE District boat is to join a thousand-strong fleet sailing in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession on the Thames this summer.

One of Windermere’s well-worn wooden tourist vessels has been selected by Royal organisers to take part in the event – the largest flotilla in modern times.

More than two million people are expected to watch from the embankments of the Thames as the seven-mile procession steers through London waters.

Cumbria’s own aptly-named participant, The Queen of the Lake, owned by Windermere Lake Cruises, is currently being repainted and refurbished for the spectacular, on Sunday, June 3.

The flotilla will be led by Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal family aboard a barge called The Spirit of Chartwell.

It will sail under 14 bridges, alongside groups of narrow boats, historic vessels including World War Two ships from the Dunkirk beaches and replica Tudor ships.

Managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises Nigel Wilkinson said: “We are delighted Cumbria will be represented at such a high-profile, patriotic event which will inevitably strike a cord with the whole country as we celebrate her Majesty the Queen and her 60-year reign together.

“We hope to be able to involve the wider Cumbria community in this project and to give some younger Cumbrians a day out that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Boat building manager Alex Williamson and operations manager Russell Bowden will lead the team south for the patriotic event.

Windermere skipper Ron Walker will captain the boat on the day itself.

The 15-metre tourist boat, built in 1949, will be hoisted out of the water at Ambleside and driven almost 300 miles by lorry before it is launched on the Thames.

It is a reversal of the ship’s initial northern voyage, 60 years ago, when she was transported to Windermere from the Thames-side town of Molsey, where she was built.

It is not the first time the Queen of the Lake has been given a Royal mark of approval. In March 2010 it carried the Prince of Wales when he visited the Lake District.

Tagged with: jubilee, Queen, flotila


Posted: 04/06/2011 10:11:21 by Nigel Nixon

MORE than 10,000 people flocked to Crooklands at the weekend to celebrate quality local produce.

Country Fest — organised by Westmorland Agricultural Society — showcased the finest food and drink the area has to offer.

Independent food and drink producers and suppliers, who give the region its culinary reputation, tempted the senses at the County Showfield and gave visitors an insight into where their food comes from.

The family event also included a pets’ corner, ‘meet the farmer’, sheep shearing demonstrations, music and dance, a ‘grow your own’ area, crafts, beer festival, trade stands and dog shows.

Sheep dog trials were a new addition this year and The Westmorland Gazette hosted a wedding fair.

Richard and Barbara Mathews, from Kendal, were impressed with the range of items on sale and stocked up on locally-produced pies.

“We have such a wide variety of food here,” said Mr Mathews.

“We have got a lot of farmers who are extending what they do into other products and we like to support them.”

Tommy Brady, also from Lancaster, said: “The amount of food that is available is amazing. There are umpteen different types of sausage and pies — you want to buy it all.”

Christine Knipe, chief executive of Westmorland Agricultural Society, said: “The sunshine did bring people out on the Sunday and it was very busy.

"The feedback was positive.”

Tagged with: kendal, Lakeland, festival


Posted: 06/04/2011 16:22:34 by Anne-Marie O'Neill

GARDENERS’ World presenter Carol Klein has been confirmed as the special guest at The Holker Garden Festival June 3 and 5.



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