The Consuta Trust




News - 2013


  • Planning application for our Museum has been refused by delegated authority - see the council reasons here which are inaccurate and weak. This is certainly not the END there were no objections and 52 letters of support. If you have any queries about the decision why not contact West Berkshire Planning The planning reference is 13/00575/OUT  and ask them  WHY don't they listen to public opinion!

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


Transporting Consuta from Henwood and Deans boatyard to Beale Park

Consuta was moved from the boatyard on Monday the 11th of November. This was a by a low loader so Consuta had to be loaded onto the lorry at Hambledon by crane then unloaded by crane at Beale Park. The timing of the arrival was a slight problem. We had thought we needed to be at Beale by about 12:00 but there was a delayed start at the other end so we decided to visit the Swan at Streatley which is now under new management for a quick lunch. This was a welcome idea as it was drizzling and we were getting cold. We are planning to have our social at this Inn and all were very please with the service and the food.

After this we returned to the park at about 2:30 just in time as the crane and transport lorry arrived. The craning was made right by the cowshed, however before we started we needed to pump out a lot of rainwater about four inches deep in the bilges (gosh had it rained that much?). There is a very big bilge pump onboard which has never been used, but it was jolly useful on this day. There was slight panic about the stern being down probably due to the weight of remaining water but all went well and she was soon on the trailer then pushed into the barn (ie the old cowshed).

Because there had been so much rainwater the coal dust in the bunkers had washed out into the bilges - this  will be no problem? as the bilges had already been degreased at the boatyard - coal dust is clean dirt isn't it?

The pictures below show some of the activities. We had a very young new volunteer who seemed to take a great interest in the operation, especially the crane - what an exciting world we do live in.

Thank you to all who came out to help on this rather dreary day; but the visit to the Swan certainly made it all worth while.

We will be having our Winter Social at this Inn next February 15th - so make a note of the date.



Now at Henwood & Dean's - the first coat of varnish has already been applied

Doesn't she look great?  - two more coats to go - photos 21st October

Below Removal from the water at Hobbs for the makeover work - 7th October

The crane out starts with the 1.5 ton boiler

Can't resist a photo of that prop 30" x 40"

Gone under Henley bridge - now going over it

Day one at the Boatyard



Aft cockpit never suffers from engine/boiler grime

Mid section - who keeps throwing coal into bilges?

Front cockpit bilges are coming clean

All brass ware has been removed except the aft steering wheel- it looked just a bit tricky.

Colin asked if we could remove the rudder to make repainting round the stern easier?

 Yes not too difficult, but we needed to get under the back deck. A job for a younger person - Paul is there on the left

The right photo shows the end of the bottom rudder bracket bolt, it was a wee bit tight.

Still day one at the Boatyard

This photo was taken on day one showing the start of sanding the topside. Consuta's name has gone

Now Day Two


All the varnish work has been sanded down ready for the first coat.

Above - the front cockpit and right - the aft cockpit, don't they look clean?

The foredeck The aft deck - note that the rudder has been removed



Pictures of adventure outing to Oxford and beyond - Monday/Tuesday 23/24 Sept

After a lot of indecision was the weather forecast to be a grey high or a sunny one?

We decided to go because there was quite a lot of support.

Consuta managed to get to Godstow Abbey just upriver from Oxford on the Monday.

On the Tuesday we went further upstream to Kings lock before turning back to Oxford to pick

up the day passengers who had come by train for the trip back to Pangbourne.

King's Arms in at Sandford Lock

An Oxford college barge just before coming into the Oxford reach

Getting ready to lower the Funnel for Osney Bridge

Edwin Clarke built Gaiety in 1887 for use as a Salter's passenger steamer. She seemed to be in reasonable condition now used as a houseboat. Further upriver we saw a Naval HSL launch now a house boat

Arriving at some rather nice moorings right by the old ruins of Godstow Abbey. This was a very short distance past Godstow lock.

The mooring is close to the Trout Inn - ideal place to have an evening meal for those who were camping

Very misty at 08:00 on Tuesday morning. The mist persisted until about midday and it was quite exiting travelling back along the wide reach called Port Meadow just North of Oxford

Gosh will it fit? there's only 2 inches to spare

 Yes, didn't scratch the paintwork - but we will have to try the other arch on the downriver return - tight clearance - took some video

Return under Osney with more passengers who had come by train We have just come through Folly bridge and here were two of the Saulters classic steamers Half size steam puffer Magic Dragon moored at Abingdon
Reach above Days lock - lovely and sunny now

Near Shillingford

Shillingford Bridge Hotel - emergency coal supply here


Blue Plaque day at Goring - Saturday 7th Sept

The weather was lovely during the morning. Consuta was moved upstream to the Goring from Beale Park

we arrived here about 12:00 and moored alongside Tony Hobb's Enchantress.

A speach and unveiling of the plaque to S.E. Saunders was made by Ray Wheeler

when you pass through Goring look for it on the wall of the Post Officer

Consuta made two trips with guests up river to the old Springfield Works site after the plaque.

Unfortunately there was a heavy rain shower on the late return to Beale Park, but the sun then came out.

See photos on Consuta's facebook page


The 1st August was a nice (hot) day - so we decided to make a test

Would Consuta fit through the channel under the footbridge which leads to the pond.

Yes there's enough headroom and the channel is quite wide - vegetation needs a trim.

The pond is deeper than some places on the main lake.

The Museum location site is extremely well screened from everywhere - very discrete indeed.

Talking about the museum Consuta looking good paddle power against the wind
approaching bridge with funnel down now she is through onto the pond A shady spot by a landing stage - for lunch
Consuta approaches the museum entrance Bow is there Note the white marker showing entrance

Time to go back Lower the funnel paddle power again - with the wind


Consuta was out steaming on three occasions during the later part of July

Henley to Beale Park; Beale Park to G&S Regatta above Cleeve lock; G&S Regatta then return to Beale Park

See some photos on our facebook page

Photos taken during the Henley Festival 11th and 12th July

courtesy of David Creasey




For pictures taken while working as an umpire launch on 22nd June

 see facebook pages

Consuta followed 21 races during a very busy, exciting, but tiring Saturday.


This photo taken at the end of the Women's regatta shows three umpire launches moored near the Flower Pot Inn below Hambledon Lock ready for the Henley Royal Regatta.


The 40 footer Majestic was built in 1904 by Saunders at Goring.



Some engineering work June 21st at Charvil

Consuta's packed gland plug cock valve - it is turned 90 degrees to blow the boiler down but had developed

a leak during the boiler steam test. When dismantling the valve we found that some of the packing

material had disappeared, no doubt blown away during a blowdown operation - anyway had been leaking

New packing fitted        Then valve bonnet replaced and tightened down Manderin Ducklings came along to Charvil during the work



Consuta moved to Charvil after boiler inspection - June 15th

The weather forecast was for light showers, well Consuta would have sunk if there had been heavy showers.

Boiler cold inspection three days earlier Raising steam for the steam test drying out at the end of the trip Surabaya also out in the rain?


The Council planning officer(s) said this cut needed dredging and widening to be used by Consuta, and have made this a reason to object to the proposed museum! this is despite our protestation that they were wrong.

We knew that Consuta would fit under the wooden pedestrian bridge into the small pond to get to the location of the proposed Museum.

As you can see the Funnel needs to be lowered to go all the way through. Will do this on another day.

Beale Park Boat Show 7-9th June

Great weather we carried lots of people over the three days; photos to follow shortly - some on facebook

although we picked up 30ft of rope complete with many fishing hooks on the prop - nasty

Cleared by Nigel and also two Newfoundland dog handlers in wet suits - many thanks guys.

Plenty of support for Consuta, and the Museum Project which was all very encouraging


Consuta relaunched on Tuesday 28th May

Twelve supporters came along to help despite the continuous rain; thankfully no wind.

The crane had packed up by 10:00am then we filled the boiler using an electric pump

Nearly finished - rain quite heavy now

Oh wish we had a boathouse

Filling the boiler using a 12volt pump connected to the Discovery battery - 70 gallons takes about 20mins Consuta takes to the water for 2013

Left - Touching up the antifoul where the boat sat on the cradle

Right - Roy of R.J. & Sons Cranes does a gentle job with the 35ton crane

Now what a pity that Consuta was not lifted in on the Monday (27th), it was a lovely day - photos below.

Three of us came over to the park to get the jetty prepared while the weather was fine.

With the right tool the weeds can be removed quickly Pontoon now at 90 degrees to the bank ready for the show. Just needs something to discourage the geese from using it as a toilet Beale Park cutting the grass ready for the Boat Show 7th to 9th June - don't forget

This is where it was proposed to place the museum. There is an electrified boundary fence about 3m high and the path leads from the car park to the river.

An Officer in planning prefers this to a museum building.

Read the report here

The red arrow is the location for the proposed museum - the blue arrow shows Consuta on the lake.


Saturday 20th April - 14+ helpers

What a lovely day and we even managed a bit of work?

Polishing and painting



Work Party on Saturday 23rd March


Nine people turned up on the day in awful weather - many thanks -

In case you wondered, it was snowing and the Thames was also still in flood!

We've discovered the Cowshed is warmer if the doors are kept shut, especially when an easterly wind blows.


Below some of the work carried out during the morning.

The work was followed by a lovely sociable lunch in the warm pub

Work Party on Saturday 2nd March

Thank you all who came along to help - I think we need a bigger shed, with a suitable workshop.

Photos are fairly obvious - de-rusting rudder, bubbling paintwork on funnel, lifting the boiler top off.

Cleaning tubes and ash from the smokebox, starting to clean the back head fittings, another look at Cygnet in the Tithe Barne (open to the public).

Scrapping paint and rust from the rudder. Paint had bubbled due to the effect of heat!  Many hands make light work removing the boiler top.
There were two buckets of ash in the bottom of the smokebox. The brasswork had really tarnished under the tarps while kept outside before Christmas. The new racing and river boats museum is now open in the barn and we all had a look over the Cygnet prize exhibit on display.


The Consuta Social

Saturday 9th February.

A great event held at Colin Henwoods Boatyard. Many thanks to Colin and Lucie Henwood and helpers.

Over 60 people attended. Good food, good company and a great start to the new year.

Below a few photos provided by John Gibbs and Paul Smith

Gosh - "It's a miniature Consuta - but hang on it's a cake". This was the surprise desert for the Consuta Luncheon. The bow of the boat in the picture was steamer The Flying Fox, now electric and called Lady Charlotte.

Lucy Jones vandalises Consuta chopping off the bow watched by Lucie Henwood

Such destruction - but it tasted lovely

Brian Smith explains some of the background to a future museum at Beale Park

The last work party of 2012 moving Consuta into the Cowshed - 18th December

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