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

to promote high standards
of workmanship,
safety and seamanship


Topical notes about the SBA and the world of steamboats

  • 25 Sep 2014 19:45 | Deleted user
    The Canal & River Trust’s Appointments Committee, made up of three Trustees and three Council members, has carried out a review of the Trust’s governance with its proposals approved yesterday (24 September) at the meeting of the Trust’s Council.
    This is the first review of governance since the formation of the Trust – as required by its constitution when the Trust was formed in 2012.
    The core of the review has concerned the Trust Rules which define the size and make-up of Council.  This includes the constituencies invited to nominate or elect people to serve, terms of office, and election regulations.
    The changes to the Trust’s governance rules will come into effect from March 2016.  They include: 

    ·         Friends (people who give a regular donation to the Trust) will elect a member to sit on Council.  This is an additional seat on Council and will serve from March 2016 to 2020

    ·         Volunteers registered with the Trust will also elect a member to sit on Council.  This will replace the nominated seat currently held by WRG and the first term will serve from March 2016 to 2020

    ·         With the election of a volunteer representative in place of the nominated seat currently held by WRG, the IWA is being invited to nominate a representative to sit on Council as a reflection of its membership and historic role, and its practical support for local canal societies

    ·         An increase in the size of Council to 40 people (from 35) – allowing for further elected members to sit on Council when appropriate as part of the longer term ambition to increase the number of people elected rather than nominated.  These places on Council will be allocated by the Appointments Committee in future years.

    In addition to the changes to governance, the Appointments Committee have reported to Council that the chairs of West Midlands, Manchester & Pennine and Museums & Attractions partnerships have been reappointed.  There are interviews planned in October for the Chairs of North Wales & Borders and South Wales & Severn partnerships whose current chairs are unable to serve for second term due to other commitments.
    Lynne Berry, chair of the Appointments Committee, comments: “In the two years since the launch of the Trust, great strides have been made in establishing a fantastic new charity.  Part of making sure that we adapt and change in the right way is to review the rules and make-up of our governing Council and put forward proposals for Council to consider.

    “It’s great that we have a growing and prominent body of Friends and volunteers registered with the Trust who will now elect members to sit right at the top of the Trust.  I look forward to the exciting prospect of online elections in 2015 after which these elected groups will be set to join Council in March 2016. 
    “Inviting the IWA to take up the Council place currently allocated to WRG will provide a direct role for IWA in the governance of the Trust, so that its involvement does not depend upon its members standing for the elected boater places.”

    To find out more about the work of the canal and river trust visit their website.

  • 19 Sep 2014 20:08 | Deleted user
    The latest edition of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) South East Region Newsletter, Cargoes - Autmun 2014 is now available. 

    It includes numerous articles of news from various parts of the canal network. 

    This edition and back issues can be downloaded from the IWA website here.
  • 19 Sep 2014 19:51 | Deleted user
    Representatives from Canal & River Trust and The Inland Waterways Association met with members of the House of Commons HS2 Select Committee this week as they visited the Lichfield and Trent & Mersey canals to see for themselves the changes sought to mitigate the impact of HS2 at these important waterway locations.

    At Cappers Lane near Lichfield, the Committee met with IWA’s Gren Messham, members of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust and Lichfield Cruising Club.  The group reported that progress to ensure HS2 didn’t prevent the canal’s restoration, and made up for loss of facilities at the Cruising Club, were slowly moving in the right direction.

    At Fradley, members of the committee and local MP Michael Fabricant were briefed by Gren Messham and the Trust’s Peter Walker on the financial and environmental benefits of a proposed alternative alignment of the high speed rail route.  The current preferred route includes several canal crossing points between Fradley Junction and Wood End Lock, while proposed new embankments and crossings close to the listed Woodend Lock and Lock Cottage on the Trent & Mersey Canal would have a dramatically adverse impact on a particularly tranquil length of rural canal currently enjoyed by many boaters, walkers and cyclists.

    The Trust and IWA have been working closely together since January 2012 to develop an alternative alignment for HS2’s Phase 1 route, avoiding the canal at Fradley.  Their jointly- commissioned report by renowned engineering consultancy Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd sets out how an alternative alignment would: avoid the canal; reduce embankment heights, noise and visual intrusion and; potentially save the project millions of pounds.  Representatives from HS2 Ltd, who were in attendance, confirmed that they were giving serious consideration to the proposals.

    Peter Walker from the Canal & River Trust commented: “The visit by the Committee to Wood End Lock provided an opportunity for members to see for themselves the effect HS2 could have on the area around Wood End Lock and to see the benefits of our proposal to move the line away from the canal.  We were encouraged by the response from the visiting MPs and from HS2 Ltd and will maintain our efforts to ensure that HS2 is designed and constructed in a way that protects, enhances and complements our historic canals and waterways.”
    IWA Trustee Gren Messham added: “IWA’s petition, with those of the Canal & River Trust, Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust and Lichfield Cruising Club, have successfully highlighted the need to do more to protect these canals for waterway users everywhere to enjoy.  We have today had the chance to show the Select Committee why this is so important, and explain the viable proposals we have jointly developed to mitigate these impacts.  We look forward to HS2 Ltd evaluating these proposals in conjunction with the Canal & River Trust, and advising the Select Committee accordingly.”

    As well as continuing direct engagement with HS2 Ltd and collaborating closely with IWA, the Trust has used the Parliamentary petition process to ask formally for the Bill to be amended to address its concerns and to maximise the regeneration opportunities at Fradley Junction and along the entire Phase 1 route.

    Find out more about the HS2 campaign and download HS2 Select Committee briefing document

  • 17 Sep 2014 18:23 | Deleted user
    The aims of The Maritime Heritage Trust are to represent and promote the interests and operators of traditional and historic vessels at all levels of government and also to increase public interest and support for maritime heritage, which in turn will raise awareness of its cultural importance and have wider benefits for economic drivers such as employment, education and tourism.

    Their Autumn 2014 newsletter includes articles on VIC 56 and 96 and the SS Freshspring and can be downloaded here.

    For more information on Maritime Heritage Trust visit their website
  • 16 Sep 2014 19:33 | Deleted user

    The steam-powered yacht Nemo sank in 1875 in 300m of water in Lake of Geneva.

    Some more information and photographs of S.Y. Nemo can be found on the following webpage: however Gilbert Paillex is interested in learning, more details on the S.Y. Nemo, such as were she was built (believed to be in England), details of here engine, transport to Switzerland, etc.

    Please contact the SBA secretary who will pass on any information.

  • 10 Sep 2014 21:10 | Deleted user
    We have heard that Wally Mounster of Hobart, Tasmania, one of steamboating's legendary characters, is seriously ill and currently in palliative care. We have sent a note of greeting to his wife, Robyn to be passed to him and any who know Wally are invited to do the same. Mark Rudall is happy to pass messages on so contact can be made via him:
  • 25 Aug 2014 16:13 | Deleted user
    Robin Ford of the Thames Traditional Boat Rally writes:

    Dear Tradrally supporter

    Following this year’s cancellation of The Rally and the retirement of our Chairman and President after 20 years or so service, the  time has come to take a fresh look at how The rally should develop in the future and how it should be run.

    This year’s cancellation was due to conditions after the winter floods on the traditional site at Fawley Meadows, Henley, but its cancellation has sparked considerable support for the concept of a traditional boat rally and several participating societies and clubs are holding their own smaller scale participants -only events as a form of compensation.

    There has been much discussion as to how The Rally should be developed and run for the future (if at all) and a meeting of interested parties will be organised in September: probably at Penton Hook Yacht Club.

    The Rally has been run by Thames Traditional Boat Rally Ltd, a company limited by guarantee, and Janet Rivers Goodhead has offered to stay on as Treasurer and Robin Ford has agreed to stay on as Marketing Manager or adviser to a new participant. Mike Phillips is also prepared to continue as Webmaster.

    The purpose of this document is to seek your views on the way The Rally should develop and be managed for the future. We should be very grateful if you could complete the attached questionnaire and email or send it back to us at the address shown.

    Whether you are a boat owner, day visitor, trade exhibitor or society, your views are important to us. Please do not be restricted by the questions asked: all comments and ideas will be welcomed.

    Robin Ford

    You can download a copy of the questionnaire here.

  • 01 Aug 2014 13:32 | Deleted user

    Colin Wise is looking to arrange wedding transport for his daughter by steamboat to The Old Mill in Aldermaston on the River Kennet on August 24th.

    Please contact the SBA secretary Kingsley Robinson ( if you are able to help.

  • 26 Jul 2014 09:52 | Deleted user

    A message has been received at rather short notice inviting steamboats to share in the visit of 55 tall ships during the first week of September (see there website here). Boats normally on the Thames plus any others able to steam to the meet might well find this a great opportunity to be involved in something very spectacular and colourful alongside other traditional boats. Take a look and if you're in a position to go, let our Hon Secretary, Gillie Slater, know.

  • 15 Jul 2014 18:50 | Deleted user
    Puffing a-Wey was, once again, a chance to see steam launches of all sizes on the picturesque River Wey Navigation.
    Run in conjunction - and at the request of - the National Trust, who own the waterway, the event was based in central Guildford at Dapdune Wharf, once the major depot on this waterway. Eleven steamboats attended and most gave rides to an enthusiastic public. The event spectacularly boosted numbers to Dapdune and some 60 children spent time on the various craft activities also on offer in one of the boatsheds.
    A spectacular barbecue on the Saturday evening fed some 60 people and was laid on by a 'host family' based at Dapdune. The site is perfect for steamboaters - with camping resources provided and an excellent slipway.


    Photos courtesy of Jon Cowdock, see more in the photo galleries.

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