About the Boats
We are a family run business established in the park in 1954 by two brothers Norman and Ron Matchett, firstly catering out an old WW2 cantine trailer and later taking on the boats as well. Over the years there have been a lot of boat boys and girls helping to keep up the smooth running of the business (too many to name). Many characters have spent their summers here helping out. Unfortunately after nearly 70 years of running the business neither Ron nor Norman are here with us, however it is still a family business, now run by Norman's son Peter and his merry band of helpers.
We have always been proud of the team we have here helping our customers enjoy the lake, keeping the boats clean, serviceable and safe.
During the last two years we have worked tirelessly to open and keep people safe to use the boats, we are very much looking forward to the next season after a winter of maintenance and getting the boats ready.
Many who have grown up in and around Tunbridge Wells will have a story about the park, many learning to row, or paddle a canoe here. We sometimes have 3 generations of the same family all with a story of how a 'Mr Matchett' taught them to row.
All a Part of Boating Gallery
The old and new edition
A bit of Nostalgia
We managed to find this recording of 'Soundbites from a Spa Town' which is Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery Collection Team's oral history project'. A bit of the history of how the Matchett Brothers (Norman & Ron) came to have such a entwined history with the park from where it all began for them in the 1950's