A MILESTONE has been celebrated in the Lake District with a special flotilla.

For the first time ever, all five boats from the Ullswater Steamers fleet were assembled in the area of Howtown Bay at 8pm last Tuesday evening to mark the company’s 160th anniversary.

Once there, the boats glided into a circular formation and performed several circuits, before moving away in a choreographed move.

The special event also highlighted the 130th birthday of Raven, launched on July 16, 1889.

Guests onboard Raven included descendants of Winifred Parkin, the six-year-old girl who launched the boat in 1889, plus representatives from the Lake District

National Park, Eden District Council, Cumbria Tourism and a wide range of local businesses.

Lady of the Lake carried guests invited by the Patterdale Mountain Rescue, while staff from the National Trust’s Aira Force sailed on Lady Dorothy.

Members of the public took part in the celebrations aboard Lady Wakefield for a fish and chip supper cruise and the gin cruise with the Lakes Distillery on Western Belle.

Surrounded by members of the Wakefield family, chairman of Lake District Estates Peter Hensman cut the cake aboard ‘Raven’ as the boat headed back south towards Glenridding to conclude the evenings celebrations.

Mark Horton, manager of Ullswater Steamers said: “This was a momentous occasion and a celebration of what makes Ullswater ‘Steamers’ so special.

“The atmosphere on the boats was fantastic and it was a real pleasure to see our full fleet of boats assembled together in this way.

“I’d like to thank all of the ‘Steamers’ team for making it such a success.

“We were blessed with fantastic weather and throughout the day many passengers travelled with us, enjoying the stunning views and peaceful atmosphere which have been attracting visitors for over a century and a half.”