Welcome to the Steamship Freshspring Society blog. Here you can keep up-to-date with all the latest news and events for the restoration of SS Freshspring. To receive notifications automatically, subscribe to our email newsletter or help support us in our cause by becoming a member.

Our Chairman as guest speaker at the Steamboat Association AGM on March 2cnd 2019

Posted on 22/03/2019 by Anne Budd


John Puddy was guest speaker at The Steamboat Association (SBA) AGM on the 2nd March. The event is a major occasion in the SBA calendar with around 100 people attending. The SS Freshspring story started with SBA in 2010 when their newsletter included a piece about a steamship being scrapped. The ship in question was SS Freshspring. We know the rest!

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Volunteer Tour Guides and Stewards Wanted!

Posted on 01/02/2019 by Stephen Attenborough


Could you welcome visitors onboard SS Freshspring? Would you enjoy learning and sharing information about the ship? We’re keen to give our visitors a first class experience and wondered if you’d like to be part of it. No previous experience is needed as full training will be given, but you do have to have an enthusiastic and friendly nature,…

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Steam returns to the Bideford to Torrington railway line, Saturday 25th August 2018

Posted on 18/08/2018 by Stephen Attenborough


On Saturday 25th August, John, our Chairman is running his miniature engine from Bideford Station ( to Torrington station ( along the Tarka trail and then back again. There is lunch available at the Puffing Billy, Torrington (…

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Freshspring receives her wheelhouse

Posted on 16/04/2018 by Stephen Attenborough


On Monday 16th April 2018 many months of work, as part of a project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Bideford Bridge Trust, Torridge District Council, Headly Trust and Balsdon Trust, saw SS Freshspring receive her timber wheelhouse. The wheelhouse still requires final fitting and fitting out, but vastly improves the looks of the ship once again…

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Steamship Freshspring Society AGM 2018

Posted on 04/03/2018 by Stephen Attenborough


This is the fifth Annual General Meeting of the Steamship Freshspring Society, which will conclude with a talk from Rear Admiral Nigel Guild. Non-members are welcome to attend, but are not eligible to vote. A buffet lunch is available at a cost of £6, orders must be placed by Friday 6th April, either by email to…

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Heritage Lottery Fund press release

Posted on 09/11/2017 by Stephen Attenborough


Press release. 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…

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Freshspring under tow, 1974

Posted on 27/10/2017 by Stephen Attenborough


We are fortunate enough to have recently been sent a couple of pictures of Freshspring under tow from John Beardsley, but these are from 1974. They show Freshspring passing Portishead, heading down the Bristol Channel on their way to Portsmouth. We believe that the tug is the either “Roysterer” or “Rollicker” Joining together…

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Original oil lamp returns and more for the archives

Posted on 24/09/2017 by Stephen Attenborough


We are very fortunate too have recently made contact with Mr Fox of Bristol, whose brother purchased Freshspring with Mr Burgess in 1979. He has enabled us to reunite one of the original lamps with the ship, along with a number of plans and documents we had not seen before. The drawings tell us it is a water gauge type oil lamp, A.P. 3520, and it does…

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A new banner

Posted on 13/08/2017 by Stephen Attenborough


With the reasonably dry weather we have been having over the past few days, volunteers on board have been able to make some good progress with painting on the out side of Freshspring. Up top, the funnel has had it's first coat of buff gloss. Meanwhile on deck, in the scuppers where water sometimes sits, is getting a quick coat of red paint to prevent…

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