A date for your diary: It was the society’s habit while at Damhead Creek to celebrate the ship’s birthday on or around the anniversary of her launch. This tradition can now be revived and with her 90th birthday coming up this April plans are in hand for a celebratory event on one or both days of the weekend of 26th-27th of April. Details depend on completion and acceptance of the new gangway and other safety requirements. The details will be announced on www.medwayqueen.co.uk or you can phone the society in April for more details.
At the time of writing, early in the year, the Visitor Centre is open from 11am to 3pm on Saturdays with very limited access to the ship. It is intended that the hours will be extended when a better gangway is provided for the vessel but ship access will always be limited to the non-working days of the restoration team.
Forward Restoration Plan
The project is being scheduled within the society’s current resource limits and the first priorities are acceptable public access to the ship and commencement of a maintenance regime to safeguard what we have already achieved. The restoration priorities will be the aft saloon and the ship’s engine room. The former will be restored as the ship’s restaurant to allow fundraising to take place on board. The latter, widely seen as the heart of the ship, is planned to be a visitor attraction and is a major aspect of her restoration to working order. The aim is to present the ship in her 1939 condition as accurately as the available information will allow. The rate at which this work progresses is entirely dependent on availability of funding and skilled volunteers – see above.
The work carried out so far has only been possible with significant support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. This phase is now completed and we have to raise considerable amounts of money to complete the restoration. The project needs the help of volunteers with practical ship fitting skills as well as administrators and people to deal with the public.
This is your chance to get involved in this fantastic maritime heritage project and all offers of help should be made to the society at Gillingham Pier or on 01634 575717 (daytime, Monday to Thursday). MQPS Gillingham Pier, Pier Approach Road, Gillingham. ME7 1RX