The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd


May/June 2016

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

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 was still a considerable number of jobs still to do, which kept a team busy aboard that weekend refitting more of the various pipes and valves together with the valve box. Given the favourable weather, deck crew continued with the scaling, priming and painting of the Boiler Room casing  funnel base and decks.


On the 9th June, Kerne finally left Cammell Laird’s, our ‘home’ for over twelve months. With her repaired mast lashed down on the starboard deck, she was towed out of the Wet Basin by the motor tug Seaport Alpha and across the river into Liverpool’s Sandon Dock. It has been quite an emotional journey, as we move into the final phases of refitting following the excellent work on the hull carried out by Cammell Laird’s.


Whilst there is still work to be done by our volunteers, we wish to express our grateful thanks to the Directors, Management and workforce of Cammell Laird and to the Heritage Lottery Fund, who by their fantastic support have helped ensure the continued operation of this historic vessel for many years to come.


Now, as we are now back to our home mooring, numerous components have been removed from store and returned to the vessel for refitting. Work is now preceding on many fronts, including repairs to and fitting out of the wheelhouse, the overhaul of steering gear and chains, refitting the final valves, bilge lines, safety valve waste pipe, and whistle steam pipe. Deck scaling and painting continues.


Down below, the engine and boiler and now, once again, connected via the main steam pipe, the telegraphs have been overhauled and are having their pulleys and chains reconnected, and we have taken delivery of a large quantity of timber needed to line the bottom of the coal bunkers, this being kindly donated and delivered free of charge by C Owens (Builders and Contractors) Ltd of Swinton, Manchester.


Enthusiasm is high for our return to steam, evidence by the fact that the Captain has started repainting the ships name and port of registry on the casing. We must be getting close!


Away from the vessel, we once again attended the excellent Lymm Transport Day on Sunday 26th June with our Exhibition Stand. We were able to give some of our new audio/visual equipment and generator a very successful ‘run out’ which considerably increased the public interest to such a degree that some of us were unable to look round the site at the various traction engines, vintage and classic cars and bikes, nor the large collection of historic boats on the nearby Bridgewater Canal. That’s dedication for you!



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