Kittiwake, like many of the other Windermere Steam Launches in the collection, was built for a wealthy industrialist family who built a holiday home in the Lake District. However, unlike the other craft, Kittiwake has a counter stern, no awning aft of the cabin and has a port operated engine. Kittiwake is fitted with the original Sissons triple expansion steam engine.
Kittiwake was built for William Grimble Groves in 1898, a brewer from Manchester who bought the Holehird estate in Troutbeck in 1897. She was used in much the same way as other steam launches – by family and friends for elegant afternoon tea parties, and also by charitable organisations giving nurses a few hours of relaxation on the lake.
The Groves were a philanthropic family who gave a lot to the Westmorland community. In 1920 William G Groves gave funds to Windermere Urban District Council to purchase Ellerthwaite Estate as a library and public meeting place.
During the Second World War William Groves' son, Henry Leigh Groves, bequeathed the Holehird Estate to the Westmorland County Council ‘for the educational and social welfare of the public of Westmorland’. Then in 1938 he also funded the purchase of the lake bed of Windermere for the benefit of the local community.
When Windermere Jetty opens, Kittiwake will be on display awaiting restoration. In the future, she boat will be moved to the workshop where visitors will be able to see her being restored to operational condition.
|Builder||T W Hayton, Bowness|
|Engine||Sissons triple expansion, bore 5”, 6.25”, 8”, stroke 5.5”|
|Boiler||Locomotive, left hand firing|