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

  • 11 Nov 2017 12:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We received the following press release, announcing this positive step in the preservation of Freshspring - which, as John Puddy sais, "all started with an article in Funnel by James Carstairs. Without that, Freshspring might not exist now."  Well Done SBA!

    Freshspring Society achieves National Lottery support for historic steamship.

    The project to restore SS Freshspring, a rare historic steamship, has taken another major step forward. A £61,000 National Lottery grant has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The news comes less than 18 months since the Trust was awarded £155,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) to transport the ship from Newnham on Severn and berth her in Bideford.

    Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the award is for a two year programme including works required to open the ship to the public as a heritage attraction. 

    There will be a considerable emphasis on education from school age children to the general public. The grant includes funding to employ an Education and Project Officer.

    SS Freshspring is remarkably complete – her hull and superstructure are substantially intact, whilst her steam engines are in outstanding condition due to the care given to them over time. With her pre-Second World War configuration, her form reflects the type of general cargo vessel that was the work-horse of the British and the Worlds mercantile fleets from the 1920s to the 1950s. The only other vessel of similar appearance and scale in the UK is SS Robin of 1890. 

    Furthermore, the proposals to bring Freshspring back to operational condition for a sustainable future use whilst retaining her external form and sympathetically converting her internal water tank spaces mean that she will be the only operational vessel of this type. 

    In the meantime, the proposals to present her afloat in Bideford as a static heritage exhibit mean that she will be the only vessel of her type and age accessible to the general public.

    John Puddy, The Trust Chair stated, “ This is a huge step forward for the Trust, The National Lottery grant was substantially matched in Devon by Torridge District Council, Bideford Bridge Trust and The Balsdon Trust, demonstrating very considerable local support. In addition match funds have been awarded by The Headley Trust along with individual Trust Membership support. I thank all those in our team who worked so hard to make this such a successful project with a very bright future.”

    Work will be starting on the restoration of the ship’s bridge, boatdeck and access shortly to ensure the ship can fully open for April 2018.

    For information see:

  • 28 Sep 2017 16:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Brian Smith informs us that the Tamesis Trust has received full planning permission for proposed museum at Beale Park on the Thames at Pangborne.

    As the planners comment: "the proposal provides a unique opportunity to display maritime artefacts and boating memorabilia which is of historic value and an educational asset. Given that the site is currently used for tourism the proposed use complements this and will deliver both a social and economic benefit."

    Congratulations to Brian and his team - you can read the press release here

  • 26 Sep 2017 17:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    John Jewsbury is organising a visit to preserved Clyde Puffer VIC56 ! See Events listings for full details.

  • 09 Sep 2017 10:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Sunday and Monday 17th and 18th of this month there will be a ‘Victorian’ theme to the weekend at Loch Katrine.

    As steamboats were the vogue at that time, so we will be putting in a presence with as many boats as possible.

    Some boats will be launching and steaming on Saturday 16th (checking latest repairs are working!) but the main part of the Victorian Weekend will be Sunday and Monday.

    We will be having dinner on Sunday evening at the Faerie Tree Inn in Aberfoyle at 7pm.  Please let Gudmund or Roger know if you are coming so we can let restaurant know numbers.

    As usual visitors will be welcome of you don’t have a boat, again let Gudmund or Roger know which days you plan to join us to ensure there will be a berth for you.

    All the best

    Gudmund Jorgensen or Roger Martin (contact details in the members directory)

  • 03 Aug 2017 20:06 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is with considerable sadness that we announce that Dick Bradford passed way yesterday, the 2nd August. 

    He was a much loved and respected member of the SBA and a very active member of the Thames steam-boating community. 

    He will be greatly missed.

    Dick's funeral will be held at Reading Crematorium, All Hallows Road, Reading, RG4 5LP. (This is situated just off the A4155, Henley Rd.) on Monday August 14th at and afterwards at the New Inn, Chalk Green House Road, Kidmore End, RG4 9AU at 3.30pm.

  • 30 Jul 2017 08:15 | Anonymous member

    We are now well advance in planning this event, with more than 30 members booked to attend. We have plenty of rooms reserved until late August and any new or old participants can obtain further details from the organisers, via telephone or e mail. Please see Events Listing for more details.

    We would particularly welcome members who have not taken part in this social, non boating, event in the past. Do get in touch if you are interested.

    The Hotel requires final room numbers by early September so don't delay!

  • 19 Jul 2017 13:25 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The announcement and booking from for the 2017 Windermere Rally have now been posted here.  Booking need to be in by 28th July (sorry for the short notice) so please register online or download, print and return the form by then.   Roger Heise, organiser
  • 16 Jul 2017 10:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Take a look, many new and updates boats and other items...

  • 09 Jul 2017 15:35 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Information about the Windermere Rally 2017 is published on the events page here.  Things will be a bit different this year!

    The booking form and online booking will appear in a day or so (now 9th July) when I have done it.

    I fear it will now be on the 18th as I am off to the Trad Rally - its all too many steamy things at the moment!

  • 27 Jun 2017 12:07 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is with great regret we hear of the death of Susan Hall, wife of Bill Hall, a past chairman and officer of the SBA. Susan was an active member of the Association in her own right.  

    Susan's Funeral will take place on Friday 7th July 2017 at Beeston Methodist Church, Chilwell Road. The arrangements are as follows:

    The family will attend a committal at Bramcote at 11:15. 

    A service of thanksgiving will commence at 12 noon at the church. Tea and coffee will be available at church from 11 am. We invite you to move into church by 11:40 for music and pictures to remember Susan.

    Refreshment will be available at Latinos Restaurant, hard by the church, following the service where we hope you will join us. If you intend to do so , please let me know beforehand to ensure adequate provision without waste.

    Contact: email:  tel: 01159227654

    Directions: Parking locally may be constrained. An alternative is to come into Beeston by tram from the park and ride on the A52 at Toton Lane where it is crossed by the B6003 Toton lane. Chilwell Road is 6 stops (10 minutes) down the line.

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