The Medway Queen was built by Ailsa Shipbuilding Company for the New Medway Steam Packet company, for the service between the Medway Towns and Southend-on-Sea. She spent the whole of her working life in this area except for occasional excursions and, of course, for her wartime service.
She saw active wartime service between 1939 and 1945 with her finest moment in 1940 when the ship and her crew made seven crossings to the beaches of Dunkirk rescuing 7000 British and French troops. The bravery of her gallant crew lead to the title “Heroine of Dunkirk" being bestowed.
The Medway Queen Preservation Society is based in the Medway area of Kent, but draws support from all around the world. Its a volunteer led society, but employs professionals for the rebuild of the ship. The society's aim is to restore the ship, bring her back to working condition.
With the support of the EU Regional Development Fund, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, MQPS has set up an apprentice training workshop where the restoration will be completed. The rebuild of the ship's hull is being done in David Abels dry dock, right next to the SS Great Britain.
Over the next few months the Medway Queen Preservation Society will be attending a number of events with a "Medway Queen" stall. If you are at any of these events you are invited to stop by for a chat to get the latest news and so on.
The larger events that will be covered are:
- Brighton Model World - February 22-24th
- London Festival of Model Railways, Alexandra Palace - March 23-24th
- Classic Boat Museum, East Cowes, Isle of Wight - April 21/22nd
- Southampton Maritime Festival - May 5-6th
There is more information on the Medway Queen and the work of the preservation society on their website.