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Shrewsbury firm contributes to steam tug's future

An ongoing project to maintain and preserve the last remaining operational British Naval coal-fired steamship to have seen service in two World Wars is being supported by a lubricants company, which has been oiling the wheels of British industry for nearly 150 years.

Shrewsbury-based Morris Lubricants was happy to help when The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society approached the company for oil to keep the steamship running smoothly.

The company supplied its Golden Film 220 and 460 Bearing Oils, high quality lubricants formulated to provide the necessary levels of friction reduction and wear protection required in bearing applications on steam driven equipment. The products resist water wash off and have a long service life.

Roger Dibnah, son of famous late steeplejack and television personality Fred Dibnah, has been involved with The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society for around six years and immediately turned to Morris Lubricants when thepreservation project needed practical support.

He shares a passion for steam heritage with Morris Lubricants’ managing director Andrew Goddard, whose family own traction engines and steam cars.

“The Golden Film 220 and 460 bearing oils are ideal for the application that we wanted it for and it was my personal preference,” said Roger, who trained as a marine engineer with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

“Over the last two or three years, we have done a major hull restoration project on the Kerne and she was in dry dock for 12 monthsShe was returned to steam last October for the cruise to the end of season steam event on the River Weaver at Acton Bridge in Cheshire.

“This year so far, she has been to the Steam on the Dock in Liverpool and we went on a cruise to a shipwreck in the Irish Sea recently.

“We want to be able to attend events around North West England and as far away as North Wales and the Isle of Man. It is our intention to make many cruises during the summer months, which will likely include Manchester along the Manchester Ship Canal, the River Weaver into Cheshire and other Merseyside destinations."

“Having served my time as a marine engineer, I think maritime heritage tends to be overlooked in this country while steam trains and traction engines get most of the publicity. The Kerne is the last tug of her kind and deserves to be preserved.”

Mr Goddard said the company was happy to support such a worthwhile heritage project and delighted that the Golden Film bearing oils were proving so successful and helping to keep the Kerne running smoothly.

“Both the business and my family have a keen interest in steam engines of all types and we think it’s important for the present and future generations to understand the engineering and social history associated with them,” he added.


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