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Topical notes and archive about the SBA and the world of steamboats

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  • 25 Jan 2022 09:56 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Registration for those with boats is now open for the Thames Rally at Marlow,10/11th September 2022. See events page for details. Registration for non boat owners will be added at a later date.

    Also for note, registration for President's Rally, 4th June 2022, Loch Ard possibly followed by two days on Loch Lomond, is now open and a number of other rallies have been added.

  • 16 Jan 2022 18:11 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In December 2021, SBA member John Richardson published a fascinating autobiography that will ring huge bells in the minds and memories of a number of SBA members who, themselves, spent demanding but always fascinating years in the engine rooms of large ships.

    ‘The treacle mine’ was what many marine engineers from North East England called the engine room, perhaps because of the thick gooey bunker oil steamships used to burn.

    John is a steam man through and through; in the course of his life he has been deeply involved with steam in the context of sea, road and rail. An engineer on steam and motor ships he is also a fully qualified steam locomotive driver on the Watercress Line in Hampshire, has owned and run his own steamroller, and his workshop has produced, among much else, a 5” gauge ‘Britannia’ as well as the Taylor twin engine and John King Yarrow boiler plant for his launch ‘Lady Amanda’. 

    But this book focuses on his years at sea, from apprentice to Chief Engineer on an extraordinary variety of vessels, starting with Esso and Mobil steam turbine tankers through to motor ships large and small, Channel Ferries and Seacats.

    Read more about John's book on the Media/Books page (on this website).

  • 03 Jan 2022 18:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many in the SBA will be saddened to hear of the death on 12th December of Mike Early. He was 86.

    Mike ran ‘Emerald’ for many years as a steamer but as he grew older had her converted by Ian Rutter to 48v electric power. Mike was always a committed rally-goer and, despite his cancer, had this year licensed ‘Emerald’ for Windermere week and was all set to tow her northwards.

    Mike was an immensely warm and always enthusiastic man with an uncrushable spirit. Although advised that ‘Emerald’ should not parade with the steamboats at the SBA 50th, he was determined to put in an appearance and to that end had very professional PVC lettering applied down each side of her hull reading ‘Old steamboats never die: they just run out of puff!’, but, sadly, his rebellion was not to be. In the event, he travelled by train and was too unwell to attend the Saturday evening gala dinner.

    We extend condolences to Wendy and the family.

    Mike’s funeral will be held at Wealdon Crematorium, Horam, near Heathfield, Sussex (p/c to use with satnav is TN21 0LH on Tuesday 11th January at1.00pm


  • 21 Dec 2021 22:53 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sam Wilkinson

    We were saddened to learn in Christmas week that our most senior Vice President, Sam Wilkinson, died on 7th November, just short of his 100th birthday.

    Truly a steamboating Elder Statesman, Sam was an extraordinarily accomplished engineer and a very well-loved member of the SBA.  He was also regarded as something of an oracle within the Association. As well as building and running his own steam cabin launch, ‘Saumarez V’, he built and developed engines and pumps for fellow members over many decades while answering endless technical questions posed by them on every conceivable aspect of steamboating.  ‘Sam Says’ was a regular and valued feature in our journal.

    This brief announcement cannot do Sam justice and a full length obituary with input from a number of members is currently in preparation for publication in the Spring (March) edition of Funnel.                Mark Rudall

  • 09 Dec 2021 22:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    An SBA Member, Robin Gibson, has made us aware of a youtube video which has recently been produced in the US.  It's a fine reminder of the amazing preservation and voyage of the Eppleton Hall, well known to the SBA of course as mentioned in Funnel recently.  As he writes "There are a few details of which some pedants like myself may draw breath a little, but overall it's a very good job".  Watch the video on the website.  If the link has expired, go to the media/video page and look under 'Steamboats Abroad'.

  • 06 Dec 2021 15:46 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The location and date of the 51st AGM and Social Event has been announced.  Details, registration and catering booking are available now on the website here.

  • 28 Nov 2021 14:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This year the Marsh Group Volunteer Award has been awarded to two winners both connected to steamboats. They are the Daniel Adams Preservation Society of Liverpool and the Volunteers and trustees of the Steamship Shieldhall Charity of Southhampton.

    The Shipshape Volunteer Award was awarded to the Ship Engineers of the Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society and 

    the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Chris Heyes of the Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society for 50yrs of committed volunteering.

    Congratulations to everyone and especially to Chris.


  • 15 Nov 2021 16:15 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you fancy a week of volunteering beside a picturesque loch working on one of the most iconic steam vessels still in service? 

    SBA Member Adrian Greco has been speaking to the General Manager of the SWS management company and has a suggestion to Members of the SBA if they would like to lend a hand.

    In the News & and Events tab, visible when you are logged-in, you will find a link to an extensive description of the plan.  You can contact Adrian directly to find out more - you can email him or find his phone number in the members' register (log in and look in the directory of members on the Members' page).

  • 27 Oct 2021 14:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Preliminary notice: The dates for the 2022 Windermere Rally have been brought forward and are now Sunday 26th June to Friday 1st July 2022. It is also returning to its original base, the Windermere Motor Boat and Racing Club.

    Please could you register your interest by visiting the Event's page and clicking the registration button or by emailing Malcolm Proud direct.

    Also please note this is a registration of interest and registration proper for the event will have to be completed at a later date.

  • 05 Oct 2021 08:23 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members with deep pockets need to look at Berrybrooksteam.co.uk

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