The Steamship Freshspring Society is a Registered Charity whose aim is to return SS Freshspring to operation, preserving the past and inspiring knowledge for the future.

SS Freshspring will initially become a static exhibit in Bideford, Devon. She will be progressively sympathetically restored to provide an educational resource, provide short day excursions and carry cruise passengers in comfortable well-appointed cabins along with seafaring cadets or volunteers accommodated in dedicated cabins.

The primary aims of the Society are to:

  • to preserve and ensure future sustainability for SS Freshspring as a working example of 19th and 20th century marine technology for the benefit of the public;
  • to attract and inspire young people and provide engineering education facilities to encourage them to consider a career in maritime and or engineering;
  • to provide facilities to teach basic skills in the management of a historic vessel and steam machinery;
  • to provide education support in mainstream education in STEM related subjects.

The Society

The Steamship Freshspring Society is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) and was entered on the Register of Charities on 7 May 2013, with the charity number 1151907.

Supporters of the Society

The Steamship Freshspring Society is proud to be working in conjunction with Jobs In Maritime and National Maritime Development Group, University of The West of England, Integer Training, Whitelands Engineers, Torridge District Council and the Trust has received kind support from Nautilus International, National Heritage Memorial Fund, National Historic Ships UK and The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.


NEWS - Apr 2018: Freshspring receives her wheelhouse

Freshspring receives her new wheelhouse




On Monday 16th April 2018 after 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, SS Freshspring received her timber wheelhouse. The wheelhouse still requires final fitting and fitting out, but vastly improves the looks of the ship once again and creates a useable visitor and education space.

John Puddy, chairman of the Freshspring Society, said: “This is a great day for us because we have taken delivery of our new wheelhouse which has been fully restored by Cornish-based shipright Butler and Co"

This would not have been possible without the hardwork carried out by our dedicated volunteers, for whom we are very grateful.


NEWS - SS Freshspring receives Lottery funding boost

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 £155,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) to transport the ship from Newnham on Severn and berth her in Bideford.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the award is for a two year programme including works required to open the ship to the public as a heritage attraction. There will be a considerable emphasis on education from school age children to the general public. The grant includes funding to employ an Education and Project Officer.

The Steamship Freshspring Society have worked together with National Historic Ships UK to create a Statement of Significance for Freshspring.  You can read the Statement on her vessel entry page here.

ss Freshspring