Consuta Trust News 2011



News items  2012

  • Consuta is now safely housed in the old Cowshed building - 2013 work parties soon.

  • The Consuta Social was held on Saturday 9th February - see 2013 news page

  • See more Consuta photos and video on facebook and also photo gallery from previous years.   

The end of the boating season

The last work party of 2012 - 18th December - arranged to help move Consuta indoors

Covers off, and the Discovery about to pull Consuta round to the Cowshed

Ready for the straight push - this is a tight squeeze through the doors

All done - time for a chat and a pub lunch

A few went to have another look at Cygnet in the Tythe Barn museum

Consuta was craned out for the winter - Friday 2nd November

The weather and river conditions had sadly never permitted that last end of season cruise.

 However on the Friday, the weather was lovely and sunny,

although you won't be surprised to know that the river had strong stream warning boards out.

About 16 helpers came along on the day to help, great to meet up and have a bit of a chat.

After Consuta was safely parked by the cowshed, twelve of us then had a pub lunch.

Consuta 4.5 tons - 51ft long, lifted, ready to be washed down and placed on her trailer for the winter


Some of our helpers took the opportunity to have a last boat trip of the year by paddling the Shallop across the lake to the slipway

The Shallop now cleaned off being lowered onto the trailer

Consuta  attended a lot of events this year - see some interesting photos - all arranged in chronological order

Private cruise to Sonning and Return on Wednesday 12th Sept

Not a hot day but plenty of sun and no rain

1st class passengers get a cup of tea

The tail of Mapledurham Lock

cruising down river towards Caversham


Nuns Acre party on Sunday 9th September lovely day great company

The College Barge by the Streatley Swan

Waiting to go down through Cleeve lock

Looking over towards Nuns Acre private gardens

Is this a stealth boat or converted submarine?

Dunkirk Little Ship L'Orage

Swimmers right by Nuns Acre

The private anniversary outing on Monday 3rd September - probably had some of the best sunshine of this summer; a great day out.

The engineer starts to prepare the boiler for the outing

Ladies in the bow compartment - 1st class

Such a hot day so stopped for ice-creams at Sheridans

Blowing the whistle

A stop-over at a lovely riverside property

Back home on our moorings at Beale Park

Friday 31st August  had some lovely weather which was ideal for moving Consuta upriver to the lake at Beale Park.

Some photos on facebook

The weather for our regular annual visit to the Henley River and Rowing Museum unfortunately was rather wet,

 but Consuta made five trips with a full complement of visitors.


Because of unsuitable river conditions Consuta had not steamed since the 8th July

so we arranged a supporters outing on 23th August because the weather predicted no rain - and it was fine.

The previous day Paul had  and self had taken the opportunity of checking out the valve settings as they were known to be wrong,

so we were keen to see the improvements.

First passenger pickup just 200 yards downstream from our mooring - lovely weather

Duet seen in steam on the way downriver

Then we saw Streatley on the Marlow reach

Marlow mooring by the slipway near the weir and church, looking up to the chain bridge

Looking into the town from the mooring

Valve chest cover off for valve adjustment - look at the size of the valve

So did we get the valve events right - not  bad but not quite right so further minor adjustments when we got back to Charvil



Thames Traditional Boat Rally and the Goring and Streatley Regatta

were both cancelled due to strong river currents

The Henley Festival 4th - 8th July

Despite the very wet weather and the strong river currents Consuta was able to provide short trips for Festival visitors on all days except Sunday,

however by Sunday RED NAVIGATION WARNING BOARDS were out on the Henley Reach.


Consuta is now safely back at her Charvil mooring. The next planned event is a steam day at the River & Rowing Museum on Wed 29th August .


The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Henley 25th June

The Queen travels on Alaska from Hambledon Lock to the Henley Management College on the day - photo Ian Rutter

Consuta was one of twenty boats in a choreographed display for the Garden Party - photo David Creasey

Consuta with all on board in 1900 period dress approaching the Garden Party from Hambledon lock - photo David Creasey

Henley Women's Regatta - Saturday 16th June

The weather was not very nice with strong winds blowing down the course and a strong river stream, making it very hard work for

the race crews and rather difficult for the umpire launches as well. The river current was about 2/3 mph.

The number of races had to be scaled down because of the conditions, even so there were seven umpire launches involved including Consuta

Crews have a break while waiting for the next race

Drivers have a chat; Consuta moving up to the race start position

Typical high acceleration required at the beginning of a race

Two eights followed by Consuta near the start, looking towards Henley (church)

The Beale Park Boat Show - 8th to 10th June

The first days -  Thursday (setting up day) and Friday (first Public Day) were wet, turning very windy.

In fact the public could not be admitted on the Friday because of the wet ground conditions, but Saturday weather looks promising.

Those that came along did however have a good time helping set up the Saunders history display, although out tent was not really suitable for the wind.

General view looking out at the event site in the rain

The Display tent set up by the Consuta Trust with history display photos provided by the Goring and Streatley Local Historical Society

Did Sam Saunders make this steam engine, and which boat was it from?

Inside the display tent. On show were also the petrol engine casing and steering wheel removed from Consuta before restoration plus two vintage Saunders engines

The weather on Saturday was excellent, and it wasn't bad on Sunday either

some photos below from both days - a great show and lots of coinage in Consuta's donation box

Consuta's jetty looking towards the Saunders display tent

Queues formed on land for trips on Consuta

Five steamboats were present

Magic Dragon was moored on the river but made occasional visits onto the lake

The shallop under way

Not sure about this but very colourful.

Tower of London and Beefeaters dress

Tony Woodford's model Consuta performed very well

The Saunders display tent looking at two Saunders engines - one petrol and the other steam

The gondoliers made an impressive sight

Arther thinks - "I'd like one of these"

Consuta, a gondola, and a submarine

Consuta with a full load of trippers

We lost count of the number of trips - 15 plus

The Goring and Streatley Diamond Jubilee River Pageant - 4th June

Some forty plus boats took part on the river event including of course Consuta. Photo shows approach to Goring moorings and lock

Consuta carried the Lord Lieutenants of Oxfordshire and Berkshire, and the Beale Park Shallop looked splendid with Henry VIII?

The 10 oared Shallop with all on board in regalia

The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire on Consuta

Local Steam Launch Puffin

The Shallop turns with ease in the strong current

Two ladies also enjoyed the pageant on Consuta

Lunch at the Swan, Streatley - just above the weir


Thank you to all who came along and helped Consuta's winter refurbishment

If you would like to know more about Consuta or join our band of helpers; no experience necessary; please send an email

The re-launch of Consuta -  22nd May

Beautiful weather - perfect for re-launching consuta and refitting the boiler and associated pipe work

The 35ton crane made easy work of the lift, extra shackles were used at the bow strap to keep the hull level which didn't have the extra weight of the boiler Consuta  now on the pontoon with pipefitting work under the watchful eye of Tony. Fortunately no parts were missing although extra spanners are needed for all the various sizes of nuts and bolts The Shallop now painted up ready for the Goring pageant on 4th June also had use of our crane. A couple of our volunteers helped row the Shallop down to the pontoons


Boiler inspection steam test - 14th May

It was a damp drizzling morning for the steam test. First thing was to fill the boiler with water by towing the trailer round to the water hose. Quite comfortable sitting in the car watching for the water level to come up. Sorry no pictures of the steam raising, this one here is after the steam test had been concluded; no problems although a few minor leaks. The pressure gauge was reading about 10 psi low through the range ie less than 5% error at full pressure of 180 psi, so the gauge has been removed for correction.

Note the colour scheme; red lead all over, but only the backend painted with satin black. Interesting to see how the red lead faired on the boiler barrel compared with the smokebox. Everything is now ready for refitting into Consuta on 22nd May.

Work party 28th April


We had time off to look over Cygnet now displayed in the Tythe Barn


Work party 14th April

Not sure how many helpers turned up but nine carried on to a pub lunch. Our usual, the Bull at Streatley has closed temporarily, so we tried

the Swan at Pangbourne now under new management but even though the carpark was fairly empty the Inn was very busy - Fish and Chips!!

We decided to go over the border (the toll bridge) to the Ferryboat Inn at Whitchurch which served excellent fair

Jim and Paul complete the anti fouling task

Boiler talk over a cup of tea - boiler paint is red lead

Fuseable plug - the old and the new

Tea break outside - almost sunny

Boiler top moved onto roof rack for repainting

Using acid cleaner on the fuseable plug bung hole

A Consuta work party 24th March


About 12-14 people turned up to help get Consuta ready for the summer season or just a chat - work done was quite varied

Various tasks being carried out - brass polishing - engine cleaning - antifoul painting - bilge cleaning

Lifting the 1.5 ton boiler - more antifoul painting - an examination of the fuseable plug more later on why this had caused trouble - a well earned mid morning break

Some workers stay on for a takeaway lunch in the warm sunshine - the boiler has now been painted with old fashioned red lead all over


The Consuta Social Luncheon held at the Henley River and Rowing Museum 3rd March


Some sixty Consuta supporters and guests came to the Consuta Social held in the Thames Room of the RRM Henley looking out towards the River. The social also included a tour of the museum; most made a bee-line to see the steam launch Eva built by J.I. Thornycroft in 1974 now on static display at the museum.

For the eagle eyed visitor there is some early film showing the steam umpire launches Consuta, Maritana and Hibernia following an Oxford and Cambridge race - year unknown.


On show at the Consuta Social

A Scale Model of Consuta

1 inch to the foot.

Tony Woodford brought along this lovely detailed steam model of Consuta.

This delightful model built to scale by Tony using the original lines of Consuta also simulating the build technique of multi veneer strips (glued not stitched on the model).

The model of Consuta is fitted with a twin cylinder steam engine and steam boiler all radio controlled.

We were told that trials have only been made in the bath so far.

Also on display are a couple of sections of Saunders copper stitched hull sections removed from Victoria during renovation work (see bottom right).

1st March - Boiler lifted off trailer and ashpan removed to allow access to Fusable plug

Lifting tackle ready to raise boiler with firebars removed to allow the trailer to be pulled away - three point lift - 1.5 tons

Now off the trailer and the ashpan has been removed, this will allow access to the fusable plug in the firebox crown


Moving boats around on Thursday 23rd February

We had the call that Cygnet could be moved into the new Museum - The World of Boats - housed in the Tithe Barn. This meant pulling out Consuta to get Cygnet from the cowshed; then putting Consuta back in and moving Consuta's boiler - still on its trailer in the front of the shed. The boiler is to be lifted off the trailer another day for some work in the firebox.

Boiler now in the Cow Shed. The crew in the Tithe Barn asked if we want6ed any kindling wood - so there it is in the trailer, It was such a nice warm day we decided to locate and collect the pontoons which had been blowing about on the lake ever since being used by Pangbourne College last year.



Work party February 18th

Ray preparing the boiler for a repaint with redlead - it's currently outside

General view of the interior of the Cowshed

Aft cockpit floor boards removed for a repaint - placed in the Discovery Will the boiler top fit in the Discovery as well? - NO it WON'T!

Tony P. cleaning the engine Nigel cleaning the bilges under the boiler

Zak  and Tony C. working on Cygnet - due to go on public display shortly

First Consuta work party of 2012


Saturday January 21st and it was quite warm sitting outside the shed in the sun.

There was a good turnout of some twelve people; a few shown here having a tea break. Sorry we don't have any more pictures.

Other work was to clean out the bilges (again), clean up the engine and clean brass fittings (as always).

Ten of us went on for a pub lunch and a bit of a chat; a splendid day out.

The boiler is still outside which means access is a bit restrictive.

John however removed the pressure gauge stop cock which broke off due to crystallised cracking (glad it didn't happen while in steam), so replacement or repair are options?