Both tasks are weather dependent but the hope is that all will be complete by the latter part of August and we can then re-open the ship to the public and, take part in the Heritage Open Days Festival in some physical form alongside the planned digital participation. At the time of writing we are planning and preparing for that re-opening and our hope is that soon we will have a rain-proof, freshly painted ship open to the public on Saturdays. Albeit with a very close eye on social distancing and other hygiene measures.
The temporary deckhouse was installed in 2014 as a short term solution to make the ship secure and watertight and it has served its purpose. On Monday the 20th July 2020 all nine Volunteers who attended the ship set about removing the old deckhouse and fitting Ron's new one. Whilst carrying out social distancing one team started on the removal while the others started to transport the new sections to the ship. By our first break the old deckhouse had been completely removed. After morning break we set about erecting the sections of the new one which all went together without a hitch. All members of the team knitted together to get this completed on a very hot day.
By the end of the day the main structure was in place with roof on and deckhouse secure. This was only made possible by having a very well made structure with the quick assembly in mind. Well done Ron. The team, whilst working on a very hot day, showed the true spirit of the Medway Queen under Covid restrictions; they got the Job done.
On Wednesday, the 22nd July, the over flashings were fitted together with the roof completed ready for the coatings to be applied. Internally the false floor was removed and handrails re-instated to the companionway and it is now available for normal use although there is still some minor work to be done. The next phase is to refurbish the forward Captain’s cabin while the weather is still good followed by the whole structure being given its final coat of varnish.
Well done to Ron and the team for a great effort.
Mick Appleyard, July 2020
The workshop is now divided for one way social distancing (below right). A new signing on station has been set up with a slider board for attendance. The workshop mess room was cleaned out and made suitable for four volunteers only. New safety posters are displayed in the workshop and ship.
On board the ship a one way system has been set up on the main deck and the forward saloon is to be used as a mess room suitable for ten volunteers. At the first meal break Mick gave a team briefing on the approved return to work procedures detailing how the workshop and ship would operate (below left). The risk assessment was explained and then passed round for all to sign. David Howells then gave a briefing on the immediate tasks to be undertaken.
The society is always looking for new volunteers in all departments. However, with the Covid restrictions in place, there is insufficient capacity to make good use of additional workshop volunteers at present. As the other functions of the society also come back to life there will be a need for help on the admin/management side and with ship tours and other public facing roles. We have a specific need for someone to help with and expand our social media presence. IF YOU CAN HELP, CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org