Peter Patey, from Ipswich, had many fond memories of trips on PS Medway Queen when he was child.
Peter had assumed that the old ship had been scrapped, along with so many others, so when his family found that Medway Queen was still around they started planning a special surprise for his 70th birthday.
They planned a "mystery tour" for a party of 15 people, including Peter, and ended up at Gillingham Pier with a guided tour of the old ship followed by tea and a very appropriate birthday cake at the Visitor Centre They all enjoyed their visit and Peter was very grateful for the surprise and his reunion with the ship which he had sailed on as a child to and from Southend-on-Sea.
The International N Gauge Show approaches and I couldn’t resist the temptation to create another promotional wagon.
This time it is a “Tool Van” to complement the “Engineers’ Dept” wagons produced last year and now sold out.
These models are based on the Dapol N Gauge GPV and are painted in the same colours, dark red and dark blue, as the 2018 open wagons. The price has crept up a few pence to £11-90 per wagon but we have held the P&P charge to £3-30 per order within the UK. Overseas postage at cost. One each of the wagons plus P&P comes to £27-10 within the UK.
Unheralded and unexpected but very welcome; Prunella Scales and Timothy West turned up to visit PS Medway Queen on Saturday.
The couple are well known for their interest in historic ships and waterways including the TV canal journey programmes. They "did" the ship tour accompanied by Brian and Martin Goodhew and expressed a desire to support the Medway Queen restoration project.
Following the excitement of Prince Michael's visit everyone was quickly back to "work" ........
Whether it was physical work on the ship, admin, PR or Saturday tours and sales there's a real job to do. On the Saturday (8th June) following the visit we had the first Fun Food and Craft Day, organised by Judith, at Gillingham Pier.
Judith says "We had a fabulous day with over 100 visitors of all ages. Many of which enjoyed the guided tour of Medway Queen."
Photos, left: Judith Maguire.
A few weeks later the "Saturday Team" were covering two locations at the same time with a sub-section in action on Chatham's "Great Lines" for an armed forces and veterans event. With their sales table tucked under the gazebo and backed up by the carnival float they are seen here ready for action.
The rest of the team kept the normal Saturday opening of the ship running as usual. This stretches the resources of what is still a rather small team but somehow they manage.