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.
A HAWKSHEAD Brewery beer was voted overall champion at the Brewers’ Society Northern Beer Competition held in Manchester.
Hawkshead Brewery’s Windermere Pale won the gold medal in the bitter pale ales category and a second gold for being judged overall champion of the competition.
Some 250 beers from 80 breweries were entered into the competition run by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
The North region is the largest of the seven SIBA regions of Britain.
The beers are judged in one of eight categories, the bitter category being the biggest.
Category winners then go forward to a national competition of winners of all seven regions.
Windermere Pale at 3.5% abv is hoppy and refreshing, pale gold in colour with a long bitter finish with hints of grapefruit.
The fruity hop flavours come from a medley of traditional and modern hops.
Managing director of Hawkshead Brewery Alex Brodie said: “Windermere Pale is a very popular beer, it has a lot of fans.
“It has become the best selling beer in The Beer Hall at the Brewery.
“It is one of those beers that is winning converts to real ale.”