The historic steam tug Kerne celebrates her centenary in 2013 and is to undertake a series of sailings to mark this achievement.
Completed at Montrose, Scotland in 1913 as the Viking the Kerne was acquired by the Admiralty and deployed in Chatham Dockyard after being renamed the Terrier, serving the Navy through both World Wars. On her release by the Admiralty in 1948 she was bought by J.P. Knight Ltd. of London, renamed Kerne and sold to the Straits Steamship Company Limited ( a subsidiary of the Liverpool Lighterage Co. Ltd ) to operate on the River Mersey and in Liverpool Docks where she worked until April 1971 when she was superseded by diesel power. The Kerne was bought by a group of enthusiasts in September1971 who have maintained her in operating condition for 42 years, dedicating much time and effort into preserving and operating this now unique coal fired steam ship. The Kerne can be seen in steam, travelling along the waterways of the North West of England and open to the public in the spring and summer months.
The following Centenary Sailing Programme is planned for 2013 :-
Centenary celebration event
To be held at the Leigh Arms, Acton Bridge, on the Weaver Navigation in Cheshire on Saturday 18th May 2013 and Sunday 19th May 2013. The Kerne will be on public display along with a display of George Coles, Clayton and Shuttleworth Steam Traction Engine and Alan Porters, Burrell Steam Roller in a triple centenary celebration. The Kerne will be moored on the quay of the Weaver Navigation adjacent to the Leigh Arms. This event has been organised jointly by the Kerne Preservation Society and the management of the Leigh Arms who will have available their excellent food and Celebration Steam Beer, making for a party atmosphere.
Battle of the Atlantic
This commemorative event is to be staged from the 24th to the 27th May in Canning Dock Liverpool, in the vicinity of the Mersey Maritime Museum. It is a tribute to the Tug Boat crews who undertook the perils of the Atlantic in World War 2 to recover the damaged and broken convoy ships, often with only the basic navigation aids available to them and with little protection against U Boat attack. The event is staged by Liverpool City Council. Kerne has been invited to participate in the River Mersey parade of participating naval vessels, departing from the port on Tuesday May 28th at the conclusion of the celebrations.
Mersey River Festival
To be held from the 7th to the 9th of June, the river festival is to include a variety of narrow boats, sailing and power vessels from the 19th and 20th Century, with both static displays and sailings in the River Mersey. The event will be centred on the Albert Docks with the Kerne open to visitors in Canning Dock.
Passage to Manchester
During the week commencing the 11th August it is planned to sail the Kerne along the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal to Salford Quays and moor on the public quay adjacent to the Lowry Centre and Media City. Visitors are welcome on board over the weekend of the 17th and 18th August. Details of sailing and opening times will be published of the Kerne web site in due course.
Birkenhead Transport Festival
The festival is to be held on the 14th and 15th of September. Details of the content and programme will be published by the organisers and available on the Kerne web site in due course.
The Kerne website www.tugkerne.co.uk
will provide further details of each event in due course.