It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the death of one of our Vice-Presidents, John Chambers. John was a great guy and we owe him so much, without doubt he was one of the great heroes of our project to save Medway Queen. We will post further details regarding funeral arrangements etc. as soon as they become available, however we understand there is to be an inquest and that might mean that the funeral will be delayed. Please keep Noreen and their family in your thoughts and prayers at this sad time.
We understand that Noreen would like to have an idea as to how many people would hope to attend John’s funeral although the date has yet to be arranged. Mark and Pam Bathurst have volunteered to coordinate numbers for Noreen, so please let them know if you are thinking of attending. Email:- email@example.com
The photograph above shows John and his wife, Noreen, at the re-dedication of the Medway Queen at the Albion Dockyard, Bristol, in July 2013
Photo: Richard Abels
Brian Burton has stepped down from being a director of the New Medway Steam Packet Company. This follows 17 years of work with the ship, and I want to thank Brian on behalf of myself and the society for all his work. Brian first heard about MQ at a GMB conference in Belfast in 20000, and along with Mick Laws and the GMB Union the first thing they sorted was the new funnel and fiddly, made by the apprentices at Appledore shipyard in 2002. Following this via their union contacts, they raised several thousand pounds for the ship. They, and the union, working with the MQ team of course, lobbied before our third application to the Heritage lottery fund, with a meeting with the Culture Secretary and a debate in Parliament, which led to our being awarded the money for the rebuild of the ship’s hull. In tandem with the rebuild, Brian and the team over a number of years of talks and meetings helped to secure the EU funding we received under the Heroes 2C project. This saw funds for 11 trainees/ apprentices at the workshop and also additional funds for the work in Bristol. I thank Brian again for his work for the ship. The above is only a brief account of his efforts, for which again we are very grateful, and wish Brian all the best.
We have a number of model ships available for sale in aid of society funds. All have been donated for that purpose.
The models mostly need some tidying up and in some cases the display cases need attention. The best of the batch for condition, character and historical interest are undoubtedly the lightship and PS Waverley. All models are available to view at the ship and Visitor Centre during normal opening times on a Saturday. At other times telephone Brian Goodhew at the Visitor Centre to make enquiries: 01634 575717.
The models are as follows (dimensions are approximate estimates)
1. Glen Gower - model mounted on display base 30inches approx.
2. Robert E Lee - in display case which needs work. 15inches approx
3a Small paddle steamer in case. 6inches approx
3b RMS Mauritania in display case. 15inches approx
4. South Goodwin Lightship. Working light but untested. Historical notes. approx 12inches -- SOLD
5. PS Waverley (not illustrated) approx 54inches
All models need to be seen before purchase as in most cases some work will be required. As far as I know Glen Gower and Waverley are working models but untested and without control gear.
This N gauge model display was included in the Easter model show on board Medway Queen. It was doing it's bit for MQ again yesterday at an Open Day staged by the Berkshire Area Group of the N Gauge Society near Reading.
When used as part of a large running layout a variety of trains pass by on the quadruple main line (top right) while the shipyard and drydock display a selection of Medway Queen promotional wagons past and present. Wagons lettered "Gillingham Pier Ports Authority" for N Gauge and 00 are available from the Visitor Centre or through the MQPS website.
The Medway Queen Preservation Society is grateful to the local Coop Community Fund for their generous donation of £2,569, the result of fund-raising at the Parkwood, Rainham COOP store. Brian & Shirley Goodhew and Roy & June Sedge went along to the store for today's ceremony. Pictured here with COOP staff outside the shop.
John Kempton, Chairman of MQPS said "This is more than we expected. Very many thanks to the Co-op and its members and customers, what fantastic support for the ship, and so heartening."
Picture courtesy of Steve Thompson
(COOP Gravesend Care Centre Manager)
Bringing you up to date information on the refit of the PS Medway Queen