Raven on Ullswater gets ready for new tourist season

Winter maintenance almost completed Raven emerges from metal cladding to face another summer afloat on Ullswater.

Raven is operated by Ullswater 'Steamers'

Raven is operated by Ullswater 'Steamers'

Maintenance takes place on flat land near to the Pooley Bridge pier.

Vessels are floated onto wheeled chariots, before being pulled free from the water along railway tracks leading to the service yard.

Metal cladding surrounding the site has protected the vessel from the harsh weather allowing work, including the painting and cleaning of the hull, to be completed.

Launched on the 11th ( or was it the 16th) July 1889, Raven is named after the country home of the then company director, WH Parkin.

In 1912 Raven became a temporary royal yacht to mark the visit of the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II to Lowther Castle, home to the ‘Yellow Earl’ – Lord Lonsdale. Her decks were painted yellow to mark the occasion.

Cummings engines now power Raven and her sister ship ‘Lady of the Lake’.

Her cruising speed is around 10 knots (12mph).

Raven is operated, along with Lady of the Lake, Lady Dorothy and Lady Wakefield by Ullswater Steamers.

During 2011 the fleet will be officially joined by Western Belle .

Western Belle was built in 1935 and entered service on the river Tamar in 1936. Following restoration work on the Wirral she arrived on Ullswater in 2010.

An adult single fare for 2011 between Glenridding and Pooley Bridge, or vice versa costs £8. Other fares and discounts are available.

A small charge is made for dogs and cycles.

The Raven emerges from a metal cocoon

Raven emerges from a metal cocoon

Restoration following floods

Damage caused during the 2009 floods gave Ullswater ‘Steamers’ a chance to upgrade facilities at the Glenridding pier.

Concrete lined internal walls and insulation below the floor should help reduce any damage caused by any future flood risk.

Special energy efficient glass and power saving lighting has also been installed ahead of the new tourist season.

Ullswater

Ullswater is the second largest body of water in the Lake District, being approximately 7.5 miles (12km) long and 0.5 miles (0.8km) wide, with a maximum depth of approximately 205ft (62m).

Donald Campbell broke the world speed record on Ullswater on the 23rd July, 1955

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