The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd


Latest news from on board.

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February 2018

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on March 12, 2018 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Just when you think Spring is round the corner, with lovely sunny days at the beginning of the month, an Arctic blast swept across from the East, confining some of us who live away from the flat lands of Merseyside and the Wirral to barracks. Never daunted, work carried on by those who live nearby, despite the freeze.

A replacement for the corroded skum pipe that was removed from the boiler has been fabricated, leaving the small job of reinstallation. To achieve this task requires skill...

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January 2018

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on February 13, 2018 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The New Year came in with work continuing down in the Forward Cabin, but now it was warm, with the new stove proving to be a very welcome and efficient addition to this refurbished area of the vessel. It is perhaps not to surprising how much easier fiddling jobs become with warm fingers, which brings us to the topic of the Forward cabin lighting. After much wasted time testing and re-testing what remained of the original 24 volt installation, a unilateral decision was taken to scrap the lot a...

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December 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on January 11, 2018 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (0)

With the year drawing to a close and thoughts moving towards turkey and the trimmings plus a small libation or two, our intrepid gang of volunteers pressed on to the bitter end (well, until 23rd December) when we allowed ourselves a short break to over-indulge and enjoy a bit of R & R.

During the month, work continued in the Forward Cabin, the most welcome element of which was the installation of our new coal-fired stove. In order to comply with the MCA recommendations, the stove si...

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November 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on December 6, 2017 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

As the days shorten, and the fingers get cold, Kerne’s intrepid team of volunteers carry on regardless with our winter program of maintenance and repairs.

Our first priority was to prepare the boiler for survey by the boiler inspector, so the cleaning of the fire, smoke and water spaces of the boiler started in October continued. Various valves have been removed as part of our rolling program of valve checking and refurbishment, during which we decided to remove and replace the co...

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October 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on November 7, 2017 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (2)

We moved into October with match in hand and furnaces to be lit ahead of our trip up the Manchester Ship Canal and Weaver Navigation for the annual Leigh Arms Steam Party at Acton Bridge. Warming fires over the next few days saw steam raised for a rather choppy departure from Canning Half Tide Dock into the Mersey on Wednesday 4th October. Unusually, there was a bit of traffic awaiting entry into Eastham Lock, Kerne finding herself fourth in a queue for entry, so we amused ourselves for an ho...

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September 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on October 2, 2017 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The new month dawned with fires in the furnaces and steam being raised in preparation for our sailing from Sandon Dock to the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port via a run up the Manchester Ship Canal to Runcorn. Engine trials were carried out on 1st September in order to test the work to resolve the low vacuum issue with the condenser, which we seemed to have resolved. The following day, ropes were cast as we left our Sandon Dock berth, heading north up the dock system to Langton Loc...

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August 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on September 7, 2017 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Attention on deck continued in August with the de-rusting of the anchor chain and the overhaul of the cat davit on the starboard side of the forward deck, which is used to lift and swing the anchor overside and to retrieve same when the anchor is lifted. The davit is not an original fitting for Kerne, but was salvaged from the 1936 former Isle of Man Harbour Board steam dredger ‘Mannin II’. Having been purchased for preservation in the 1980’s, she spent several years moored ...

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July 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on August 7, 2017 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Another busy month with our Tuesday/Saturday work parties as we strive to complete the various outstanding jobs scheduled for this year before the end of the steaming season. As with any piece of machinery of Kerne’s vintage, there is always something that crops up that throws a spanner in the works, and this time it is the condenser.

Last month I reported on our sailing out into the river – a most enjoyable trip marred only by a mysterious drop in condenser vacuum from our...

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June 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on July 6, 2017 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

As reported in March, the efforts of our volunteer force aboard Kerne has once again been recognised by the Transport Trust in the form of this years Restoration Award, and our enthusiastic Mate, Paul Kirkbride, had the honour of attending the Presentation Ceremony at Brooklands Museum to receive the cheque and award from HRH Prince Michael of Kent. It was good to see that Paul had appropriately swapped his usual paint-splattered boiler suit for the kind of suit that comes with a collar and t...

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May 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on June 5, 2017 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

We left the month of May with a newly issued Boiler Certificate, coal aboard and all required documentation for a short trip from our winter home to Canning Half Tide Dock for the Steam on the Dock weekend. The few days lull until we were due to sail enabled us to get some cleaning done, particularly down below in the Engine and Boiler Rooms where we ‘bulled’ up the machinery, washed down the bulkheads and polished the brass to good effect.

A leisurely trip down Crosby Chann...

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April 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on May 5, 2017 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

With ‘Steam on the Dock’ on the horizon, April was a month of intense activity. This important event is the second since our return to steam in September 2016 following completion of the Lottery Hull Project, and whilst that in itself was something of a triumph, there was still a lot of do to get the vessel into the condition we would wish her to be in. Followers of this Newsletter and our Facebook page will have gathered that two-day volunteer working has continued throughout the...

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March 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on April 5, 2017 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Roll back the calendar to 1st March 1913, the day the Steam Tug Viking left her birthplace of Montrose for her delivery voyage to Chatham. The crew that day could hardly have believed what was in store for this lovely little ship over the next few short weeks and years to come, never mind that 104 years later, a current member of her crew would be writing about the last month of the ship’s continued operating life – but here I am, doing just that. Their first shock would be that o...

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