Posted by: travelrat | March 3, 2010

Monsters and Steamboats

The other night, I watched ‘The Lakes’ on television, because someone told me that there was an item about the hunt for ‘Bow-nessie’ the Lake Windermere Monster. The people concerned said they saw and photographed it … BUT the photograph was taken from the top of Gummers How, was indistinct and could have been anything.

The other witness was a local hotelier, which caused me to pull on the sceptical hat even further. And, I’m sure the Dirty Water Works (aka the Freshwater Biological Association) of Ferry House, know everything that’s going on down there … and they weren’t even mentioned, let alone consulted. So, I’m afraid my reaction rhymes with ‘dull wit’ … but it could change next week.

Actually, there was some talk of a Lake Windermere Monster called the Tizzy-wizzy in the middle 1950s. We were told about it by Miss E.N. Carter, our physics teacher … but she had such a dead-pan delivery that you never knew whether she was joking or not.

However, it was alleged the whole thing was an April Fool prank, concocted by two journalists on the Westmorland Gazette … although one or two people did say it was a local folk tale, heard on Grandma’s knee.

It did put me in mind of a cruise on Loch Ness, where there’s supposed to be a much more famous monster. We cruised on the Jacobite Queen, pictured here. She looks like a steamer, but isn’t. She’s always been diesel engined, and began her days in 1949 as a ferry across the River Tyne.

She was rebuilt on the lines of a small steamer when Jacobite Cruises acquired her in 1987. I’ve often wondered why I feel rather cheated when I come across a diesel railway engine tricked up to look like a steam loco, but have no problem at all with a similarly-treated boat?

Anyway, one rainy day, we cruised from Inverness along the Caledonian Canal, and into Loch Ness itself. Whenever a canal lock needed to be negotiated, they closed the bar, and the bar staff became deckhands for a short while. And, come to think of it, the Captain looked a lot like the man who drove the minibus from the railway station.

We turned around at Urquhart Castle, midway along the loch, ducking out to take photographs whenever the rain abated, and diving back inside again when it re-started.

The big laugh came back in Inverness, when one of the other passengers tried … unsuccessfully … to get her money back because we hadn’t seen the monster. And, note, I made no mention at all of her nationality or the colour of her hair!

To find out more about Jacobite’s Loch Ness cruises, visit





  1. Yes you are correct regarding location of the images taken, and to be honest the best location. Had the images been taken at eye level along the shores then size and location would of been impossible to state. Take a look at the other images and look carefully you will see various land marks and other objects to gauge reference from. Thats the interesting side to the images plus countless experts from Canon (the camera company) to the Goverment were contacted to evaluate the images.
    Only time will tell if we do have something odd lurking in our lake, as for the Fresh water bio people I did contact them years ago. One individual came forward and said they have had countless reports over the years of something large in the lake so did one of the Lake Wardens.

    • Hi, Linden!

      Thank you so much for your input, and the video and link; I really appreciate them!

      The picture shown on TV, I feel, represented your imagery rather poorly. I did say I’d like to see it better defined, and that’s exactly what the ones on your website do. Certainly, there’s a very strong case for there being somethingunexplained there.

      I’m glad, too, that you mentioned the FBA; they weren’t referred to at all on the programme.

      I’m still not wholly convinced about the ‘monster’ theory, but I’m keeping an open mind on it, in the face of some very compelling evidence.



  2. Hi

    I’ve seen Linden’s photos which are impressive and having met him, I can say he’s as straight as the day is long and like me, would have been sceptical if he hadn’t experienced this first hand.

    What the The Lakes didn’t show either was my footage taken on the day of the search which you can see in the Lakes Life section at

    I’m not sure what it shows but take a look and let me know what you think.

    • Hi, John!

      Well, it would certainly seem to strengthen the case there’s something we don’t know about there. I’m looking forward to the full show.



  3. I am really intrigued by the Lake Windermere monster and of course, by Nessie. Once I waited all night at the Loch (it was summer) to see if I could spot her, to no avail.

    Thanks for this post. I am going to research it further.

    • I was extremely sceptical at first, because Windermere is so well populated and frequented … now, having seen Linden’s photos and John’s video … well, they haven’t completely converted me, but I’m pretty sure they’ve got something unexplained there.

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