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

  • 09 Jun 2018 12:35 | Anonymous member


    The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd has been awarded ‘The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service’ in the Queen's Honours List, published on 2nd June 2018.

    This is an MBE equivalent and the highest award given to a voluntary group. It is the first time a historic vessel preservation group has been honoured in this way.

    The award was created in 2002 by the Queen to celebrate the anniversary of her Coronation and recognises excellence in voluntary activity carried our by groups in the community. The assessment process for the award was conducted on behalf of the Queen by Captain Hugh Daglish LVO JP DL Royal Navy ex Commander of HMY Britannia and His Honour Judge John Roberts DL.

    The award citation honours the rescue and preservation of Kerne, one of Britain’s oldest operational steamships. The Queens award is recognition of the work of our group over the last 47 years. Our member’s dedication has been an example of what can be achieved for the benefit of the nation’s maritime heritage and is enjoyed by many thousands of people who have seen Kerne steaming to events and come aboard to learn about a living ship of the Titanic era.

    Chris Heyes and Paul Kirkbride are attended Buckingham Palace on  Tuesday 5th June for a Royal Garden Party and The Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside is to make a presentation on board Kerne at a later date.

    S T Kerne

    On behalf of The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd.

    Bob Stead

  • 29 May 2018 12:59 | Anonymous member

    Angela Smith of Tern TV asked if we can help her with a program they are making for the BBC...

    "Hi there,

    Tern TV is currently making a second series of Grand Tours of Scotland’s Lochs for the BBC. 

    We are looking for archive stills of steam boats on Loch Awe.  I wondered if you could please promote our query within the club because there may be Scottish members who have their own private archive collections who could help?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes,


    Angela Smith

    Production Executive

    Tern TV, 4th Floor, 114 Union Street, Glasgow, G1 3QQ

    Direct Line: +44 (0) 141 241 6073 "


    You can email her on

  • 27 May 2018 12:35 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If, like me, you are sick and tired of fielding opt-in/out emails this will come as good news: We (the SBA) have updated our Privacy Policy to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). We didn't need to do much as we already had a pretty good setup. The minor changes that we have now made mean that we are compliant with the new legislation. If you are curious to read our new policy, or are having trouble getting to sleep at night, there is a link to it from this page: 

    And the even better news it that you don't need to do anything - after careful consideration at Committee and seeking suitable advice we are happy that the minimal data that we keep on our members was 'freely given' under our previous Privacy Policy and that the changes for GDPR haven't required us to 're-seek' your permission to continue to hold it - albeit with perhaps a tad more security than before and other statutory requirements with which we have to comply - such as your 'right to be forgotten'.  

    Now can we all please get back to the serious business of Steamboating!

    Kevin Slater SBA Chair

  • 16 May 2018 14:28 | Anonymous member

    While consuming (quite a lot) of the Duckett's underused stock of Single Malt one evening at the President's Rally, talk turned to "things the web editors should do" - so here is one complete:

    With the new availability of castings for the Taylor Engines (see small ads) it was suggested that we should remind members of the excellent series of articles penned by John Winn covering the building of one of the compound versions.

    So, using the also newly available Funnel back issues page, you have no excuse not to put tool to metal (as it were) and start reading from Issue Number 67

  • 16 May 2018 13:41 | Anonymous member

    Winter Weekend information and Booking Form now in Events Register.

    9th/10th/11th November 2018

    Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa, Blackburn Road, Clayton-le-Moors, Blackburn

    Organiser: Dot Bullough

    Please note the due date for payments in the booking form is incorrect - it should say 1st October 2018 :-)

  • 28 Apr 2018 10:20 | Anonymous member

    Dot Bullough advises us as follows:...


    The SBA Winter Social is coming north!


    9th-11th November 2018


    Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa



    Provisional Saturday Visit

    Short steam on the ELS Railway and

    private steaming at Bolton Steam Museum


    2 nights B&B/dinner Friday & Saturday/Lunch Sunday

    (including use of leisure facilities)

    and Saturday visits

    Approximately £350 per couple/£220 for single


    If interested please contact Dot Bullough


    telephone: 0161 723 3366

  • 19 Apr 2018 13:31 | Anonymous member

    Dot Bullough informs us of this great deal....

    We wanted to offer you a special 10% off all our cruises in May. 

    To book, please go to our website and use the special offer code May10%2018 to get your special price.

    We are offering the following cruises during May;

     Acton Bridge to Ellesmere Port

    Ellesmere Port to Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge

    Acton Bridge to Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge and vice versa (2.5 hour cruise at £22.50)

    Canning Dock, Liverpool to Acton Bridge

    Please Click here to see our 2018 cruise timetable and please...Click here to go to the website.

    Or to see the deal on their web site click here.

  • 29 Mar 2018 16:57 | Anonymous member

    Having just taken over from Roger Heise I would like to introduce myself to those of you that don’t know me – even after many years on the Committee. 

    My background is in Marine Engineering having served on everything from tramping ‘Steamers’, to so called ‘Supertankers’, to Container-ships and, eventually, Passenger Ships. A bonus from the Passenger Ship days was that I met my wife, Gillie, on-board one (she was a passenger).

    Since coming ashore I have gained Chartered Engineer status via the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and am actively involved with the Institute both locally and nationally.

    I am passionate about promoting Engineering as a career opportunity for youngsters and to that end I am a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassador and have recently had two of ‘my’ teams reach the national finals of the Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Challenge.

    I have some ideas about the direction that I would like to see the SBA take, but I will let the dust settle before launching anything – don’t panic, it will be evolution rather than revolution!

    There is one rumour that I would, however, like to kill right now – the printed Funnel is not at risk; there will always be a printed version of the Funnel for the duration of my time at the helm (and probably an awful lot longer).

    I would like to thank Roger for all the work that he has done over the last 3 years and wish him a happy ‘retirement’ and, hopefully, more steaming on-board Etna. His input re the website and related matters will still be sought so he isn’t totally off-the-hook just yet.

    My first Committee meeting as Chair will be in May and I will be welcoming two new members to the Committee: Adrian Greco and John Jewsbury and a returning member: Felicity Palmer.

    So, Bye for now and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during the coming season.

    Kevin Slater CEng MEng MIMarEST

  • 29 Mar 2018 13:50 | Anonymous member

    Henry Cleary informs us of an upcoming meeting of interest to members:

    Saturday 7th April, Portsmouth

    Keeping our traditional boats and ships sailing often needs joint action and with European Maritime Heritage we share experience and campaign on common challenges. 

    Come and hear British and European operators of historic vessels discuss common problems and solutions. The UK's Maritime Heritage Trust, an umbrella body including SBA, is hosting a joint Conference with EMH on Saturday 7th April with National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth.

    The afternoon will include guided visits to Boathouse 4 and restored vessels including Steam Pinnace 199 and HMS Medusa.

    Tom Cunliffe will be our guest speaker at the evening Gala Dinner in Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club, Pembroke Road, Portsmouth.

    Come and share your views on how we can promote traditional vessels together and meet fellow enthusiasts from overseas who want to keep our vessels sailing.

    Organiser: Maritime Heritage Trust

    Organiser phone: +44(0)208 670 9247

    Organiser email:

    Further info:

  • 27 Mar 2018 07:19 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As announced at the AGM Cyril taylor's engine castings are available from the original foundry that he used.

    John Hendry and myself will be visiting the foundry shortly to sort & identify what goes with what.

    We will then produce a detailed list of the various items.

    Meanwhile the direct contact information is:-

    Charles Tyers

    Fenland castings

    tel: -1778348940

    regards John Maltby

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