We hoped it was going to be a busy weekend and so it turned out. Entries for the Art and Photographic exhibition on board Medway Queen came from students at MidKent College and elsewhere, including our own members. Thank you all. We had a good stream of visitors, a number of whom had only just heard of the ship and came for the first time, as well as a couple of possible new volunteers. Footfall for Sunday alone was estimated at almost 80 visitors with many saying that they wanted to return at a later date for an official guided tour.
The whole point of Heritage Open Days is that admission is free so it was never planned to be a money spinner. Some exhibits were sold and that along with refreshments, donations and shop sales brings in some much needed income. We achieved the aim of getting our message to different groups of people, some of whom will be interested enough to return and do the guided tour on a normal open day. If you are one of them please do follow up on the event and come back for the tour.
By contrast, in the far regions of Warwickshire, many miles to the North West, our Reading Support Group were actively adding fund-raising to their efforts to spread the word about Medway Queen. The group have never taken “Reading” in their title to be any sort of geographical limitation and The International N Gauge Show is one of the larger events that the group regularly attends. This year saw exceptionally high levels of interest and sales takings. Saturday is always the busiest day and our daily record was duly shattered (as were our volunteers); the weekend as a whole was equivalent to 5 days of average activity! It is also some distance from “base” so we got to know the M40 quite well in the process.
We need to undertake more of these types of activity both on Gillingham Pier and further afield in the way the London & South of England Support Group (based near Swanage), Mark and Pam Bathurst (talks) and the Reading Support Group do. The limitation is numbers of volunteers in the relevant teams. If you think you can help, locally or further away, in any capacity, please get in touch via the website contact page. Even if you want to help but are not sure how, come and talk to us, we'll find something for you..