Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Medway Queen in a sorry state

There is good news she is now in Chatham Dockyard and is being seriously renovated. she is seen here in Damhead Creek, Kingsnorth. 

The Medway Queen

In this picture she is a night club on the Isle of Wight
Medway Queen is the last estuary pleasure paddle steamer in the UK. Built in 1924 on the Clyde she saw service on the waters of the Thames and Medway in her early years and then on active service with the Royal Navy as a minesweeper in the English Channel. During her war years she became famous for her record number of crossings to the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940 rescuing 7000 men in seven trips. She returned back to pleasure steaming on the Thames and Medway after the war. Since being decommissioned in 1963 the Medway Queen has had a chequered life. Firstly threatened by the scrap yard before spending her days as a nightclub on the Isle of Wight. She was saved again and returned to the River Medway. After several incidents of sinking the Medway Queen is now being restored for future generations by the Medway Queen Preservation Society, Dame Vera Lynn and Sir Michael Jagger among others are patrons.
Regarding the Dunkirk Little Ships several our own Thames and Medway barges also made this trip and on one documented occasion a barge ran aground on a falling tide and was abandoned, intact the crew making alternative passage back to good old blighty, the barge was commandeered by an officer who mustered an amateur crew along with whoever could scramble aboard, and managed to sail back to safety.