For a moment I fear I’m the victim of an elaborate execution of reverse psychology. It’s early morning in Windermere, it’s damn cold and I’ve somehow been persuaded to dress in overalls and get down on my hands and knees to shovel coal.

This “Steaming Up” experience of the Edwardian-era steam launch Osprey is going down at the Windermere Jetty, Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories, the newest attraction in England’s Lake District National Park. The £20 million building, which holds a collection of forty boats all with a historical connection to Windermere, was opened in April and is located on the water’s edge just north of Bowness. The idea was conceived by a private collector of steam launches, George Pattinson, who opened the new museum’s predecessor, the Windermere Steamboat Museum in 1977. It’s an example of the commitment seen throughout the Lake District to preserve the region’s rich and watery cultural heritage, in what is now a UNESCO World Heritage site…

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