Celebrating the Cygnet

Celebrating the Cygnet

When: 04 July 2017 to 30 September 2017
Where: Topsham Museum, Tea room
Time: 1400 - 1700
Cost: None
Suitable for: Any age

In the tearoom, we now have a small, new exhibition   "Celebrating the Cygnet" which coincides with a reprint of the museum booklet which tells the story of the boat.

The Cygnet was a tender of an amazing Swan boat designed by the multi-talented Captain George Peacock and built by Exmouth boat builder, Mr T.D. Dixon. The vessel's exterior was painted white, with gilt mouldings, and fitted in the most elegant and expensive way.  The smoke from the cooking stove on board was vented through the swans neck and out at its nostrils, the woodwork being protected by an ingenious water-casing around the flue. In the breast of the bird was a cabin for the ladies, fitted up as a boudoir.

The Cygnet was launched in 1880.  Three other Cygnet tenders were built but now only one remains. The Swan boat itself was destroyed in a fire before the Second World War. The Cygnet now has a permanent berth in the Topsham Museum. Having been lovingly restored, an example of Captain Peacock's eccentric ingenuity is preserved for future generations to admire.

We have on loan the painting of the Swan and Cygnet that used to hang behind the boat in the Exeter Maritime Museum and are displaying pictures and information about both boats.

To read the whole, fascinating story, purchase the booklet at the Museum shop or online via our e-shop.

To accompany the exhibition there is a new quiz sheet for children on the theme of swans.

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