In the Moment ‘on the Lake’

In the Moment summer projects get better and better! This year, an August day out on Windermere, inspired by the lovely old boat ‘Branksome’ being restored ahead of the new Windermere Jetty opening in 2017.

‘In the Moment’ is part of Lakeland Arts’ Enriched by Moments programme of creative activity for people living with dementia and their carers. The group meets weekly in Kendal, drawing inspiration from Lakeland Arts sites, collections, exhibitions and displays, as well as local festivals and events. The sessions are a joyful blend of art and poetry, and have been described as ‘respite without separation’ – pleasurable and stimulating for everyone involved, and proven to support people to live well with dementia. Somehow, the process of immersion in experiences, the flow that happens during creative engagement has a transformative and beneficial effect that seems to extend beyond the sessions, for everyone involved.

In the lead up to the summer project, costumes from the Handling Collection and a photograph of Edna Haworth who lived at Langdale Chase and commissioned the building of ‘Branksome’ in 1896 were our starting points. Together, they provided ideas for us to create a really special day out and bring ‘Branksome’ to life in a completely new way. We shaped the day to include a visit to the Jetty conservation shed, experience an hour on the lake, disembark at Langdale Chase where we would see the boathouse built specially for ‘Branksome’ and then have afternoon tea close to the terrace overlooking the lake where Edna is standing for her photograph.

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It has been wonderful subject matter to be immersed in, enabling a relaxed and playful connection with the late Victorian era. The group created their own accessories, including appliqued capes, cuffs, choker necklaces, boater hats and false moustaches!

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Everyone enjoyed role playing their way into their costumes!

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The group also spent time thinking about the boat, making drawings and maps and two members of the group partipated in stitching the outline of Branksome onto white fabric.

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The visit to look at Branksome being restored was illuminating. Stephen, the Senior Boat Conservator, explained the process of finding just the right shaped piece of oak, known as grown crook of oak, to replace the original stem. This way of growing oak gives the wood the curvature in the grain which will follow the line of the stem. A brand new figurehead, inspired by some of the intricate carvings at Langdale Chase, illustrated how the boat is being restored to its former glory. Stephen also told us that an oak tree felled to make room for the development of the new museum is being used to create the steam bent timbers lining the interior of the boat.

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We left the Jetty Conservation Shed, amazed by the craftmanship and care that the conservation team are employing, and made our way to Waterhead for our picnic as we waited for our boat to arrive. We made a happy gathering, wearing our hats which were very welcome in the bright sunshine.

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We boarded The Princess of the Lake, our very own wooden launch for an hour! It was glorious to be on the lake, everyone so thrilled, the beautiful weather, landscape, sense of friendship and shared experience.

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As the boat pulled into the Langdale Chase jetty, we got our first view of the boathouse which was the original home of ‘Branksome’ and Bernice and John waiting to welcome us.

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Safely off the boat, we unfolded the stitched drawing of the boat and floated it into the water by the boathouse – a symbolic returning of ‘Branksome’ to it’s original home.

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Up on Edna’s terrace at what is now the Langdale Chase Hotel, we held up ‘Branksome’ to dry, creating another connection between the boat, the lake, its original owner and original home.

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The afternoon ended with afternoon tea and poetry readings. We’ve had two more ‘In the Moments’ since our wonderful day out and each time we’ve projected images of the day directly onto the studio wall which has had the effect of bringing that moment on the lake directly into the room again. Members of the group have created personal dioramas that create a visual sense of their moments on the lake, as well as prints and a large inked landscape of the lake.

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Get involved: our next big project with ‘In the Moment’ is the Creative Age Challenge in late October during the weekend of the Kendal Wool Gathering when knitters and crafters are Yarn Bombing the museum. We are working in schools and with community groups in Kendal to create a Hand Made Herd – a flock of small scale sheep that will fill the oval in the front of Abbot Hall Art Gallery. During the weekend of the gathering, sheep will be on display and then auctioned at 3pm on Sunday 30 October to raise funds to support the Enriched by Moments programme. Invite us to run a sheep making workshop in your workplace, school, community centre. Come to MOLLI’s Woolly Workshops during half term. Volunteer!

For more information about the Enriched by Moments programme check out the website at http://www.lakelandarts.org.uk/learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturdays with a Splash!

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On Saturday 14th and Saturday 21st March, the team from Windermere Jetty were at Brockhole exploring forces, engineering, the environment and habitats to celebrate British Science Week 

This week long festival celebrates STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. The British Science Association encourages a range of different organisations across Britain to get involved and provide activities for families and schools. We decided to give it a go!

Through different activities over the two days, we explored the environment around Brockhole and delved into the science behind our wonderful collection of boats. We made boats, played with cargo (one pence coins) to see if tin foil boats would float, went pond dipping, recorded our adventures and played with wild words.

A lot of fun was had, and although they might not have realised it because they were having such a great time, our visitors learnt more about science. We’re quite crafty like that! These events also gave us the chance to try out ideas for activities that we will be able to run at Windermere Jetty when the new museum opens. So you see, we learnt something too.

Thank you to everybody who dropped in to see us over the two days, it was lovely to meet you all. Also a big thank you to the team at Brockhole, Seb from Cumbria Wildlife Trust for his pond dipping skills and Ian Douglas for his Wild Words.

Look out for more activities and events at Brockhole with the Windermere Jetty team.

 

 

The Big Move

The Windermere Steamboat Museum team have been making the most of the good weather over the past few months and have been hard at work recording, packing and labeling all of the objects in the collection. The curatorial team has now relocated over 2,500 objects that relate to the boats, with enormous help from a team of volunteers. Whilst the new Museum is being constructed many of these objects will be cleaned and conserved ready to go on display and tell the stories of boating on Windermere. Careful packing of items associated with Sir Henry Segrave The conservation team has also been busy moving the workshop into temporary facilities where they will be able to continue conserving the boats ready for display both in the new exhibition space and on the water in the boathouse when the Museum opens. One of the most complex tasks the team has undertaken is the relocation of the boats in temporary storage on site, including the ferry Mary Anne pictured above. The collection has been moved to enable the construction of the new Museum to take place and to ensure the boats are away from all the activity. The store has only moved a short distance but the logistics of moving such a vast collection are not to be underestimated! We are thrilled to be moving into the next stage of the project and look forward to keeping you up to date with progress.

WSM Newsletter August 2014

Welcome Aboard

We are very pleased to welcome two new members to the museum team. Helen Parr joined us in May as our Learning and Interpretation Officer and has a key role in developing the interpretation that will be in the new displays as well as planning the exciting learning and activity programmes that we will offer in the Museum. Helen is talking to schools and community groups to develop our activities so if you are interested in being involved please get in touch.

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We are also pleased to announce that Matthew Foot has been appointed as Conservation Assistant. Matthew has been completing an apprenticeship in Heritage Boat Building at the Museum for the past 12 months and will now continue to assist with the conservation of over 40 historic wooden vessels.