The Steamboat Association
of Great Britain

to foster and encourage steam boating and the building, development, preservation and restoration of steam boats and steam machinery

to stimulate public interest
in steam boats
and steam boating

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  • Steamboats@Bristol Harbour Festival 2019

Steamboats@Bristol Harbour Festival 2019

  • 19 Jul 2019
  • 21 Jul 2019
  • Bristol Floating Harbour


  • If you would like to come but don't have a boat, or are not bringing your boat, please register here.
  • Use this one if you are bringing a boat!

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Steamboats @ Bristol Harbour Festival – it’s FREE!

Welcome to the Steamboat element of the Bristol Harbour Festival – we look forward to seeing old hands and new faces. The format will be much the same as previous years – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

The 2019 format will be much the same as previous years with a couple of variations; however, for those with short memories (like me), and those that didn’t attend last year, this is what to expect:

Friday: Launch (Cottage Pub, Baltic Wharf, Cumberland Road, Bristol BS1 6XG) anytime from about 12h00 onwards. There will be a Harbour Master’s launch to tow you to the berth (about 1200m away from the slip), so no need to get up steam on Friday. Please load your ‘ready use’ coal (i.e. to last you for the duration of the Festival) whilst waiting to launch – there will almost certainly be an excess and so you will be able to collect an extra bag or two to take home with you at pull out time.

Those that have signed up (and paid!) will get together for a communal evening meal at The Bear at Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4SF. (marked on map) from about 19h00 to eat at 19h30. Cash bar. Parking can be in short supply near the pub but there are a number of spaces directly outside - first come, first served.

Saturday: You are at liberty to steam around the festival site (except as commanded by the Harbour Authorities whilst other ‘spectacles’ take place) plus we will have 1, maybe 2, coordinated ‘Steam Processions’, with live PA commentary, through the day – a great chance to show off, especially our whistles and sirens. These processions are where we earn our keep, so to speak, and whilst participation is not obligatory they are both good fun and our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to the Festival for their generous hospitality. The Processions will be ‘topped and tailed’ by Harbour Launches so it is a really easy case of ‘follow my leader’. Would those of you that want to promote your boat let me have some ‘blurb’ for the commentator to use – interesting snippets about the boat over and above the basic length, engine and boiler specs are good. We are, again, promised to be featured in the Harbour Festival Programme and I don’t know how much they will print but I will let them have all that you let me have – info sooner rather than later please.

Saturday evening – Meal at Manor Farm, Scot Lane, BS40 8UW courtesy of Gillie Slater! This will be £8/head and MUST be pre-booked in advance. Please provide your own booze.

Sunday: Lazy steam-up (10h00ish) and one procession through the Festival but, instead of turning around, we will just keep on going up the harbour/canal/river until we reach the pub (actually two pubs side by side through a lock). This will give you a chance to see where the ‘Floating Harbour’ joins the River Avon, observe some of Bristol’s industrial past (and present) as well as having a nice chug through some pleasant countryside. Lunch can be taken at either pub or onboard before returning via the reciprocal route either straight to pull-out or to another over-night on your berth.

I will be assisting those going home on Sunday to pull out and suggest that you steam straight to the Cottage Pub slipway and moor up on the dinghy pontoons whilst preparing to pull out. This is when a degree of tact and cooperation is required as there will be a large number of other users all wanting to access the slip at this time. I will try to referee and coordinate with the other ‘team leaders’, but please be patient and cooperative in order to ensure that all goes as smoothly as possible.


I will also be in attendance on Monday morning to assist those of you that are pulling out. In some years we have had more of a ‘traffic jam’ at the slip on Monday than we had on Sunday afternoon, so please note the comments above and I am sure it will all go ‘swimmingly’.


Any queries, please contact me on 01275 331074 or Mobile: 0790 528 6711 or via email
or snail mail: Manor Farm, Scot Lane, Chew Stoke, BS40 8UW.


We look forward to seeing you all.

Kevin & Gillie Slater



The Member of the SBA coordinating with the Event Organiser is Kevin Slater.


Event type 1 & 2 

Key to event types

1 - SBA Organised Event (owner's declaration required)

2 - SBA organised participation in 3rd party's event (owner's declaration required)

In event types 1 and 2 the SBA organisers and SBA members are covered by the SBA Liability Insurance.

3 - private meeting of members with or without boats

4 - private, individual participation of members in 3rd party's event

5 - for information only

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