Log in

   The Steamboat Association of Great Britain


SBA Founding Father dies

21 Jun 2018 20:26 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

It is with regret that I have to announce that Lord Euan Strathcona, the First President of the SBA, has recently passed away. 

I met him on a number of occasions, mainly relating to the sale of 'Beryl of Avon' which needed a boiler 'ticket' and a technical drawing of the boiler in order the the German authorities to accept her.

More information will be posted when available.

Kevin Slater CEng

Chair, Steamboat Association of Great Britain


  • 22 Jun 2018 10:20 | Anonymous member
    Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal died 18th June aged 94.

    Lord Strathcona; Euan to those who knew him, was a founder member and the first president of the SBA. He was an active steamboat owner before the formation of the SBA and during the late 1960's had worked with Peter Hollins to compile a record of all UK steamboats which was then published as a small ring bound booklet giving technical details and ownership for each launch; this was the first UK steamboat register and predates the SBA. Euan told me that they were both surprised by the number of steamboats that were still operational. Following this publication, in 1971 a circular was sent to all listed owners inviting them to join a steam boat event on the Beaulieu River that was to be hosted by Lord Montagu. This event was an outstanding success and lead to the formation of the Steam Boat Association during the event.

    Lord Strathcona retired as president of the SBA in 2003 and then in 2011 moved permanently to the family estate of Colonsay, Scotland.

    Euan regularly steamed ‘Vixen’ in the early SBA years, then later acquired ‘Beryl of Avon’ from Alex Moulton. I remember an early SBA rally at Bucklers Hard on the Beaulieu River when Vixen was moored alongside the steam harbour launch HSL376. Vixen had quite a large number of passengers on board with Euan on the helm who, in his commanding voice, gave the orders “Let go stern”, “Let go bow”, “George give me half revolutions ahead”; Vixen moved smartly ahead and I was thinking “Now that looked impressive”. Then Vixen stopped dead, unbalancing those on board who were standing, Euan calmly announced “Who placed that line? It’s not one of ours”.

    During World War Two Euan served in the Navy, where he had command of a Motor Torpedo Boat.

    Euan Strathcona was deputy chairman of the group working to save and return the SS Great Britain to Bristol. The SS Great Britain was at that time languishing as an abandoned hulk in the Falkland Islands. It seems astonishing now but in 1970 the Bristol council did not want the SS Great Britain in the floating harbour, however they were forced to reconsider when Euan's friend Maldwin Drummond managed to get the old Victorian dock where she had been built listed as a heritage structure and save it from property developments.

    Euan's grandfather had owned the Bank of Montreal leaving £18m when he died. Euan was heir to a Baronetcy and would later become 4th Baron Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal. During Euan's early days as a business consultant then aged 27 he had to travel by bike from his lodgings to work, because his car licence had been taken away, but at weekends he flew home in his private plane from Wolverhampton Airport to the Isle of Colonsay, which had the phone number of Colonsay 1. 

    Euan now 'Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal', became an active parliamentarian with various roles in the House of Lords, and was reputed to be the only government minister of the period who had a naval beard. By 1979 he became Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for the RAF; then in opposition he was spokesman for defence and energy.

    Euan was a likeable person and a good friend, his death is a sad loss to all who knew him, to the SBA and the Consuta Trust of which he was patron.

    Link  •  Reply

© 2021  The  Steam Boat Association of Great Britain

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software