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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Windermere boat set to take part in Jubilee celebrations

A SOUTH Lakes boat weighing nearly 10 tonnes is heading to London to take part in the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

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Members of Windermere Lake Cruises and well-wishers waved goodbye to its historic vessel ‘Queen of the Lake’ as she departed on her 300 mile journey to London - to represent Cumbria in the prestigious Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. JON GRANGER REF: 50034181B003

Crowds watched as the Queen of the Lake, owned by Windermere Lake Cruises, began a 550-mile round trip to take part in a 1,000-boat flotilla on the Thames on Sunday.

The nine-and-a-half tonne vessel is almost 50ft in length and was lifted from Windermere on Monday in just over 15 minutes.

The boat is due to pass Her Majesty at 2.48pm and will be the closest boat to the Queen in its passage.

Boatman Alex Williamson is travelling with the boat as he helped carry out work to ensure the vessel was able to take part.

Mr Williamson said: “There have been a lot of alterations.

“We’ve had to put a toilet aboard, and a few hospitality features.

“It’s good to represent Cumbria at such a big event.”

Transporting the vessel has been sponsored by a number of people including James Cropper, Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, who will also be on-board during the flotilla.

He said: “It will be a marvelous experience.

“At one stage there was so much red tape we weren’t sure if we would be able to do it.

“I saw the Queen in Liverpool and I told her to look out for the daffodils and Peter Rabbit on the front of the boat.”

A number of dignitaries, including Councillor Wendy Maddox, mayor of Barrow, will be on the flotilla accompanied by Sarah Faulkner of Barrow and Furness Youth Council.

Nigel Wilkinson, managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises said: “Windermere Lake Cruises is immensely proud to be part of the team preparing for such a patriotic event which will give young Cumbrians a memory of a lifetime.

“A tremendous amount of organisation has gone in to this event from the local community and it will be excellent to see everyone’s efforts culminate in the coming week and to see Queen of the Lake representing Cumbria in such a large scale event.”

Prince Charles is among the 84-seat vessel’s previous passengers.

Organisers of the boat’s trip have said the flotilla will be something of a homecoming for Queen of the Lake, as East Mosley, where the event is due to end, is where the vessel was built in 1949.

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