James Morgan prepares for work on Windermere Lake Cruises' vessel MV Swift

From Star Wars to Swift! The movie prop maker now making waves on Windermere

Published: 23rd February 2023
Categories: Media Release

James Morgan spent most of his working life creating props and models for blockbuster movies like Star Wars and The Avengers.

But today you will find him helping Lake District visitors create memories to last a lifetime by taking them cruising on the stunning waters of Windermere.

He’s one of the new Windermere Lake Cruises’ crew members who’ve just started work following its latest recruitment drive.

James in action on MV Swift

“It’s great to get the chance to work here on Windermere and enjoy, every day, the sort of scenery people travel across the world to see!” says James.

Born in Kendal, the 52-year-old spent 25 years working in London and at major film studios as a prop model maker. He helped create items like light sabers for stunt men on the Star Wars films.

“The first movie I worked on was Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone back in the 90s,” says James. “After that, I worked on Star Wars films like The Phantom Menace and Attack of The Clones. I worked on prop models, prosthetics and even some special effects.”

A steamer on Windermere

He moved back up to Cumbria in 2015 to care for his mother who had cancer. Since then he’s worked as a joiner and a painter and decorator but decided to try his hand as a Windermere Lake Cruises’ crew member after seeing a television news report about working on Windermere’s cruise vessels.

“I was looking for something that enabled me to have a good work life balance and I thought this looked great,” he says. “I’m loving it! It’s great to get to meet so many people and help give them a wonderful experience."

He’s currently working on the company’s newest vessel MV Swift – alongside its other experienced crew members.

“It’s going great so far,” he says. “I’ve done a lot of physical work previously but this is really nice in that its more customer-facing.

“It’s also wonderful being in this scenery every day! I’ve climbed all these Lakeland mountains many times throughout my life. Now, when passengers ask where they can go for a great walk, I know where to send them. I also know all the great local restaurants so can give them a few tips there too!”

All the new crew members have received training and will continue to gain experience and learn the ropes from the many crew members who’ve been with Windermere Lake Cruises for many years.

February – with its half term holidays - is always an exciting time at Windermere Lake Cruises as visitor numbers start to rise. Crew, who’ve been involved in essential winter maintenance programmes, finish that work and head back on to England’s longest lake.

“There is always a bit of a buzz at this time of year,” says Jennifer Cormack, Sales and Marketing Director at Windermere Lake Cruises.

“The weather starts to pick up and visitors can’t wait to get out and enjoy the wonderful Lakeland scenery. It’s a lovely time to enjoy this place.”

Working for Windermere Lake Cruises

If you'd like to follow in James' footsteps, then we are currently recruiting for retail, crew, ticket sales, catering and more.
Head over to our jobs pages for more information.

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