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Official launch of Lady Katherine, the new 'Lady of the Lake'
- 24 April 2019
A very special ‘lady’ was the toast of Hollingworth Lake marking the return of a much-loved tradition which has brought joy to many thousands, dating back over 150 years.
Lady Katherine, Hollingworth Lake Adventure and Water Activity Centre’s new ‘Lady of the Lake’ passenger boat, has been officially launched, hailing a new era of pleasure boat cruises around Rochdale’s green gem of a beauty spot.
Roger Platt, Chair of the Link4Life Board of Trustees and Councillor Janet Emsley, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Community and Culture officially launched Lady Katherine, a serene and beautiful addition to the Lake.
Of course, we can’t forget her adored predecessor, Lady Alice, who was built in 1923 and majestically cruised the Lake securing a place in the hearts of thousands of visitors.
Sadly Lady Alice was forced into retirement due to her age around 10 years ago but she is still fondly and affectionately remembered by so many.
The new, much anticipated Lady of the Lake arrived last June but the hot sunny weather and lack of rain meant water levels were too low for her to carry passengers.
Visitors will have spotted her as she took up residence in the middle of the Lake, eagerly awaiting her maiden voyage, and her first excited day-trippers recently boarded her for the first time in the build-up to the official launch.
Lady Katherine was purchased by Link4Life, a charity which works in the heart of the Rochdale Borough community, inspiring people to live more active, creative and healthy lifestyles.
Link4Life ploughs its surplus finances into facilities and activities to benefit the whole of Rochdale and Lady Katherine is a fine example of this. Their continual re-investment helps to connect people with their cultural heritage, encourages creativity and fosters well-being for each and every member of Rochdale’s diverse community.
Hollingworth Lake – originally built to supply water to the Rochdale Canal - first became a popular tourist destination in the mid-1800s and rapidly became known as the ‘Pennine Blackpool’.
The advent of the railway brought textile workers and their families from across the north and it acquired the nickname of ‘th’ Weighver’s Seaport’.
The pleasure boat tradition began in 1856 with the arrival of two paddle steamers – one named ‘Neptune’.
It’s thought Lady Alice glided onto Hollingworth Lake in 1927 alongside a ‘floatilla’ of pleasure boats; The Pennine Queen, The Hilda and later, Clara.
Lady Alice was the flagship for generations and took up her place in regal history when she ferried the Queen’s Jubilee Baton bearer across the Lake as it began the final leg of its epic journey ahead of the opening ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, in Manchester.
For her momentous voyage she was accompanied by a convoy of sailboats, kayaks and dinghies with members of Hollingworth Lake Water Activity Centre, Hollingworth Lake sailing and rowing clubs and Rochdale and Middleton Sea Cadets on board, all honouring the venue’s long and established sailing tradition.
Admittedly Lady Katherine has a big hull to fill in following Lady Alice’s watery footsteps but we’re sure she’ll secure as much affection from lake lovers for as many generations to come.
Lady Katherine will be on the Lake carrying passengers from April to October. Adult tickets are priced at £5 each, under 16’s £3.
Claire Costigan, General Manager of Hollingworth Lake Adventure and Water Activity Centre & Country Park, said “It’s wonderful to bring back the boat trips around the lake, giving families the opportunities to share old memories and make new ones. Lady Katherine will give families the chance to experience the lake and nature from a new perspective…a duck’s eye view”.
Hollingworth Lake Adventure & Water Activity Centre is located near Smithy Bridge and Littleborough, within easy to reach of Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.
It is close to Junction 21 of the M62 motorway, the A58 between Rochdale and Halifax, and Smithy Bridge train station on the Calderdale railway line.
In addition to the Visitor Centre, you can find out more about the history of Hollingworth Lake and the surrounding area at the Local Studies Centre at Touchstones Rochdale.
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