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

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  • 05 Apr 2022 19:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The first event on Windermere will be on St George's Day 23rd April at Windermere Jetty Museum. Details are on the Events Page of the Website.

    Also we will be holding a pre season buffet lunch in the Learning Centre at Windermere Jetty Museum on the same day. Details also on the Events Page but please note numbers for this must be in by Friday lunch.

  • 29 Mar 2022 14:38 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mark Rudall and five others headed to Trossachs Pier for the first ‘Sir Walter’s Workweek’. They had a fascinating time and were part of the process to set the iconic Scottish pleasure steamer on course towards steaming once again in the autumn.  Read Mark's comprehensive report on the SBA website here. But she needs more help: is this something for you? If it is, talk to SBA Committee member Adrian Greco who will be delighted to hear from you.

  • 20 Mar 2022 09:18 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Post AGM news

    A big thank you to all who attended this year’s AGM either physically or online - especially those who travelled a long way. For those of you who couldn’t make it then a little news of how things went.

    We started with a very successful auction which not only boosted club finances, but also the pockets of members who brought items to sell! Strangest item offered was a Magimix kitchen mixer – not at all sure what this had to do with steam boating, but it went for £2!

    We then covered the many developments and initiatives which the club has achieved this last year, followed by Roger Powell, our membership secretary, reporting very healthy growth in new members (19) so far this year which is double that in previous recent years.

    Our treasurer, Nigel, said club finances were much reduced from previous, perhaps unnecessarily high, cash balances. The good news here though is that we will finish the year with cash in the bank and the new membership rates (mentioned below) will boost this back to safe levels.

    Most know that Kevin Slater has boldly stepped up as our new editor, he reported that all was now in order and that Funnel 192 will shortly be with paid up members together with a free copy of the fascinating new 50 at 50 booklet.

    Serious business then followed, centered on two new proposals put to members.

    1 An increase in the cost of subs

    2 Changes to the Constitution.

    After vigorous discussion results were as follows:

    1 - Carried by a large majority - 81% in favour. Next year UK subs will be £36 and £44 for overseas. Junior membership remains at £12.

    2 – Defeated as the small majority achieved was insufficient to carry the matter to the required postal vote. Constitution changes will now be studied by a subcommittee who will then re-present for members approval in due course.

    We closed the meeting with a very informative talk by Peter Green, skipper of SL Alaska.

    Happy steaming this year – we have some great events planned for you all!

    Tootle Pip

    John J


  • 15 Mar 2022 22:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As (I hope) you know we have a private SBA WhatsApp group for us to meet and chat without the world and his uncle watching over our shoulder.  To join you just tick the box in your "profile" (see top right of web page) that says "Yes, I want to be in the WhatsApp group".... HOWEVER!!!!

    For this to work there are 3 things you must do:

    1. Have your mobile (cell) phone number in your  member profile
    2. Have the WhatsApp app loaded on your phone (Google or Apple app stores - it's free)
    3. Agree to give it the permissions it asks for when you install it  (relating to contacts particularly) ...

    If these 3 things are not in place then we can't add you to the group and keep it private (visible to SBA members only)....

    This is a real problem because out of the 61 members who have asked to join I have only been able to add 42 :-( 
     .... if you fix these things then I will be able to add you later :-) 

    Cheers, Malcolm Duckett  - your friendly WhatsApp administrator :-)

  • 05 Mar 2022 11:30 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • The UK government recommends wearing masks when attending indoor events
    • Bearing in mind the nature of the AGM, it might not be possible for everyone to maintain a distance from others at all times
    • We will not have a supply of spare masks and so recommend that you come prepared
    • If the school follows its own risk assessment for meetings in the hall, the upper windows will be open and you might want to bring an extra layer as it will probably be colder than the last AGM
    • If you are extremely vulnerable or uncomfortable about attending, you are welcome to follow the AGM via Zoom (Link is with AGM documentation on the SBA website)
    • If you have any Covid symptoms or just feel unwell, please do not attend the event
    • You might consider taking a lateral flow test before attending to help protect your SBA colleagues


  • 02 Mar 2022 21:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Scottish Waterways for All (SWfA) have announced the arrangements for the proposed Flotilla taking place on the Union Canal from 20th - 22nd May 2022.    It is not primarily a steam boating event but SBA Members might like to know about it, go along to watch, or even steam there.

    Follow this link to their website.


  • 07 Feb 2022 10:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have just been informed that the caterers at the Maidenhill School (the venue for the 2022 AGM) need to know our catering requirements this week.   If you intend to come to the AGM and require tea/coffee and/or lunch please make your registration and catering order by midnight (GMT) on Thursday February 10th - that is this week.

  • 31 Jan 2022 13:18 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Notice to all members:
    Copies of the formal announcement of the 2022 AGM and all supporting documentation is now available on the website page Members/Next AGM-2022.  Members can see this page when they are logged in.

  • 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).

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