The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd


Latest news from on board.

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March 2017

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

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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February 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on March 17, 2017 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (1)

Firstly, apologies for the late publication of February’s News, my excuse being a busman’s holiday away from ships in Liverpool – by spending a couple of weeks on the Celebrity Eclipse in the Caribbean. This ship is a little under 122,000 tons and her three Wartsila diesel engines produce some 90,000 Horse Power, compared with Kerne’s 153 tons and our W.V.V. Lidgerwood steam engine’s output of some 300 Horse Power. This means of course that Kerne is more powerful...

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January 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on February 6, 2017 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Once recovered from the excesses of the Festive Season, it was back to work in the bilges.

The stokehold floor plates were lifted, and the hull plating and bilges were scaled as required and painted; the tunnel between the Boiler and Engine Rooms receiving similar treatment. Our enthusiastic volunteers then moved forward and attacked the platework below the boiler, and up to the deck. An additional job in this area related to horizontal stringers welded to the frames by Cammell Lairds ...

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December 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on January 9, 2017 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Happy New Year to All.

December’s workload carried on where November’s left off – bilges. This month we added Aft Cabin and Boiler Room to the list. The former is suffering from seepage from the Engine Room,  we had lying oily water instead of salt water, so it appears that the plug in the lower section of the bulkhead is not watertight, or the gland is leaking. Nothing critical, but another job to add to the list. In the Boiler Room, the bilges have been cleaned ...

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November 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on December 7, 2016 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

If October was a month of considerable achievements, November carried on where we left off as we reached a most important goal - the successful conclusion of the Heritage Lottery Fund Hull Repair Project. This came following many hours of work by the Projects ‘Admin Team’ for the submission of final documentation by Project Leader Peter Sutcliffe to the HLF. After several days of nail biting, we received the very welcome formal confirmation that our submissions were in order and t...

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October News

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on November 2, 2016 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (7)

We will start this report where we left off the September News – at the Leigh Arms Steam Party.

Having arrived at Acton Bridge, we berthed upstream of the swing bridge, rather than on our usual berth for the last 40 years or so just below the bridge, in order to allow the Daniel Adamson to berth there on her first visit to the event. As it happens our ‘new’ berth has better access to the pub therefore making it easier for the public to get to the Kerne and us to get t...

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September 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on October 5, 2016 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I will start this months report by referring back to August 2014. Having had our Heritage Lottery application accepted and ringing ‘Finished with Engines’ for the final time before strip-down commenced, we looked inevitably forward to the day we would be back in operational condition. We were under no illusions that there was a hard road ahead of us that involved the removal of the boiler and all other pipes, fittings and contents of the Boiler Room to facilitate the hull repairs....

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August 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on September 8, 2016 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

This past month has seen a lot of activity aboard (nothing new there) but our goal of completing engine trials remains annoyingly close but incomplete.

There are no major issues, but we have been frustrated by a number of niggling problems pertaining particularly to boiler valves. Whilst all the boiler valves were removed and the boiler ‘openings’ blanked off before the boiler was lifted from the vessel in June last year, this hasn’t prevented teething troubles when r...

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July 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on August 3, 2016 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

It is now 2 years since we started on the ‘hard graft’ element of the Heritage Lottery Project. On 3rd August 2014 we sailed into Sandon Dock, and raked out the fires for the final time before the strip down commenced. Whilst there has been any number of factors that have delayed the completion of the hull repairs and our return to serviceable condition, we had privately hoped that this could be achieved before the second anniversary of our last sailing - and we almost made it...

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May/June 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on June 30, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Apologies for the lack of the May News, due to holidays, incapacity and the dreaded IT issues, so here is a combined report for the last two months.


The beginning of May saw our Exhibition Stand out over the May Day Weekend at Bolton Steam Museum which houses the Northern Mill Engine Society’s fine collection of large stationary engines. Sadly, we were not able to display Kerne in the ‘Steam at the Dock’ event in Liverpool the following weekend, as there w...

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April 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on May 5, 2016 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

At last, after what seems to have been the wettest winter for many a long year, spring has finally sprung. Whilst this is great news when it comes to painting the exterior of the boat, we just happen to be concentrating on the darkest recesses of the vessel.


Work has continued down in the Engine and Boiler Rooms, with painting being completed in the lower areas of the bunkers (albeit in our ‘spare’ white paint). Work then extended into the stokehold bilge area w...

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March 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on April 9, 2016 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

This month has seen steady progress on several fronts.

Whilst the boiler casing had been tacked in position prior to the re-floating, the gaps between the tacking welds had acted as gutters allowing the recent volumes of rainwater to cascade down into the Boiler Room and bunkers and onto our lovely new steelwork. This, together with the erected scaffolding in the Boiler Room, considerably delayed our program of repainting. The good news is that the casing is now firmly attached to the ...

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