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

  • 20 Jul 2013 09:30 | Deleted user

    It is with sadness that we pass on the news that David Harding died on the 14th of July, he will be missed by his many friends in the SBA.

    David was an active member of the Steamboat Association since it was formed in 1971 and attended many rallies with his boat Mudlark.

    The funeral will be at the Sutton Coldfield Crematorium on Monday 29th July at 2:00pm, and afterwards from about 3:00pm at the Moor Hall Hotel (just round the corner).
    Would anyone wishing to attend please let Trefor Milns know as soon as possible for catering purposes (contact details in members directory).

  • 18 Jul 2013 18:03 | Deleted user
    Memorial Service at All Saints Church, Brightlingsea, Essex : The Forgotten Tragedy
    2pm Thursday 8th August 2013

    You are invited to the unmarked graveside memorial service  for those who lost their lives in the Lorena tragedy at Brightlingsea 110 years ago, which will be led by Rev Ann Howson.

    On the night of 8th August 1903, 9 crew members returning to the steam turbine yacht Lorena were rowed by 2 Brightlingsea men from the Hard out into the Colne where it was anchored. Conditions became rougher away from the sheltered Creek, and there were twice as many crowded in the dingy as should have been. 400 yards from the Lorena one stood up crying out they were sinking as water swamped the small boat.

    The then current Deputy Mr W Miall Green, was aboard Yoland, another yacht moored nearby, and he took command of the immediate rescue by sending off the Yoland’s cutter towards the sound of the men’s cries. He then followed in his steam launch. Between them they managed to rescue 2 men, one from Brightlingsea & one of Lorena’s crew. (The Daily Mail two days later mentioned Miall Green as picking up the ferryman & stoker himself). Unfortunately the others could not be found.

    The next morning 5 bodies were found, then in the afternoon 2 bodies were found on St Osyth shore, one was Brightlingsea man Joseph Lock. Next day another was found, then after a week the last body was found on Cindery Island.

    The 8 men of the Lorena were put in one grave together, and immediately alongside Joseph Lock was buried, but no memorial was put up, and up to now, on the 110th anniversary of the tragedy it remains unmarked in the churchyard. Consequently few know of the loss of these mariners on one night at Brightlingsea, so to commemorate them and recall the quick actions of a past Deputy that saved two men’s lives, please take part in the short open air memorial service.

    The names the men drowned were:
    John Currie, James Douglas, Alexander Smith, John Johnson, John McGregor, Andrew Wilson, D. Wilson, F.McLaren  & the local Brightlingsea man Joseph Charles Lock  

    Lorena was a large yacht (more information here), figures are published for 269 & 300 feet long, and was the fastest and to be the most luxurious steam turbine yacht to have been built at that time. She had been built in Leith and was undergoing sea trials before her final fit, her crew had boarded at Leith. She was in Brightlingsea to refuel with coal. 7 of the 8 drowned men of the Lorena are believed to have been stokers, so would have been working hard both during the speed & time trials where they achieved a cruising speed of 18 knots, and during the coal loading. The Brightlingsea man Joseph Lock who helped to row, was by profession a bricklayer, but had been assisting the coal loading of the yacht. He left a widow & 4 children.           

  • 10 Jul 2013 20:57 | Deleted user
    Boats in a lock at the 2013 Trent Rally15 boats took part in a very enjoyable and very sunny rally on the river Trent last weekend. 

    On the Saturday boats cruised down the Soar stopping for lunch at Normanton.  On the Sunday the cruise took boats up the Trent and on to the Trent & Mersey Canal to Shardlow for lunch, followed by a stop off on the way back at an SBA member's garden railway.

    More photo's of the event are now available on the photo
    album page and a video is available below and in the video gallery.

    Boats attending: Chantilly, Heron, Lady Selsey, Meteorite, Myth of Malham, Nokomis, Orinda, Petagin, Phaeton, Primrose, Roundtuit, Senta, Taniwha, Tern, Ursula.

    If you have photos or video's of recent steamboat events why not email the webmaster with the details so that they can be shared on the website?


  • 01 Jul 2013 12:14 | Deleted user

    The hull of PS Medway Queen is nearing completion in the Albion Dockyard, Bristol. The yard has built the first fully riveted hull to be constructed in the UK for over 50 years and this phase of the restoration is now drawing to a close. The rebuild was supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. To mark the end of this phase of the project a re-dedication ceremony will be held at the dockyard on Saturday 27th July. This represents an eagerly awaited milestone in the restoration and it is also a significant event for engineering in the UK.


    The Albion Dockyard (Hanover Place, Bristol BS1 6UT) is not far from the SS Great Britain, and will be open to the public from 12 noon on Saturday 27th July until approximately 5pm, admission free. A short re-dedication ceremony will be performed at approximately 2pm. After the usual speeches Evelyn, Emelia, and Elizabeth, daughters of Andrew Summerell (MD Albion Dockyard Ltd.), will re-dedicate the ship. The sluices will then be opened and flooding up of the dock will commence. This is a lengthy process and it is unlikely that the dock will be completely filled in the course of the afternoon. After the dedication it is hoped that members of the Medway Queen Preservation Society will be able to tour those parts of the ship that are safely accessible. All of these arrangements are subject to operational conditions at the yard remaining favourable of course. The weekend of the 27/28th July is also the Bristol Harbour Festival weekend, with a huge variety of interest and entertainment just a few minutes walk from the dockyard. Even more reason for coming to Bristol and wishing Medway Queen well.


    The ship will not be leaving the dry dock immediately. There is more work to be done in preparation for the tow and then the tug has to be available and the weather outlook acceptable. When these conditions are all met the ship will be moved without further ceremony. Predicting exactly when this will happen is not possible but the MQPS website ( has a page dedicated to the “tow home” and details will be posted there as they become clear.


    It is intended that the ship’s arrival in Gillingham will also be marked in a suitable way but notice for this will be very short. The fitting out phase, supported by the EU Interreg IVA program under the "Heroes of the Two Seas" project, will then commence in earnest. As another of the series of events centred on the tow home the society’s Gillingham Pier workshops will be open to society members and to the public on all 4 days of the Heritage Open Days weekend of 12-15 September.

  • 18 Jun 2013 19:17 | Deleted user

    The summer edition of  "The Funnel" magazine has been landing on the door mats of SBA members recently.

    This edition includes a wide variety of articles including information on historic steamboats, technical articles and members reports of their boat building projects - one of which is available for non-members to download to get a taste of what the magazine is like.

    If you like what you read why not join the SBA?
  • 15 Jun 2013 22:36 | Anonymous member
    Please note that the correct date for the Malvern week end is
     29th/30th Nov/1st Dec and not as listed in the latest FUNNEL.

    These dates may be extended before and after the weekend at the same special rate at the Abbey Hotel.
    Please note that  extra days need to be booked and paid for by members directly with the hotel.

    Members who have already shown interest will be contacted during August and a non returnable deposit will be requested at that time.

    There are still a few rooms available, if you are interested please contact Richard Havard as soon as possible.
  • 13 Jun 2013 13:20 | Anonymous member
    Please note that due to navigation problems at Pembroke this event will not now take place this year. Once these problems have be resolved by the local authority a visit to Pembroke by water may well take place next year.
  • 13 Jun 2013 12:29 | Deleted user

    Congratulations go to SBA member John Tilley for winning the Trophy for the most innovative entry in Watercraft Magazine's Cordless Canoe Challenge held at this years Beale Park Boat Show. 


    John's entry Whimsy is a boat  that doubles as a motor bike sidecar. You can watch Whimsy in action in the following video:



  • 09 Jun 2013 22:34 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Details of the 2013 Windermere Rally have been posted in the events section of the website.  The Rally dates are 11-16 August.  You can now register online and download the full registration form.
  • 07 Jun 2013 20:11 | Deleted user
    Members may have noticed that pages 7 & 8 and 73 & 74 of the latest edition of the Funnel magazine were missing due to a printing error.  We are grateful to the printers for reprinting this edition of the magazine which will be sent to members shortly.

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