This time "Medway Queen West" will take part in the model railway exhibition at Havenstreet on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway on Saturday and Sunday 13/14th May. Author Richard Halton will be on hand to sell signed copies of his “PS Ryde” book and his four “Medway Queen” books, including “The Medway Queen Club” published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club. This book contains first-hand accounts with illustrations of that period in the ship’s history. Richard is also interested in talking to anyone with information or memories of the two paddle excursion steamers purchased by Red Funnel from the Medway company in 1949. They started life as minesweepers in World War One, served as excursion ships between the wars, swept the seas again in the Second War and returned to excursion service afterwards. Red Funnel used them for a few years from 1949 as PS Lorna Doone and PS Solent Queen. In both cases they replaced older ships of the same names. If you are unable to attend the event Richard can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Medway Queen stand at the exhibition will be accompanied by “The Garden Railway” using N gauge trains and large scale figures to depict a 7¼ inch gauge miniature railway. The stand will have details of work being undertaken on the ship, full details of society membership (of course) and ranges of railway books and model accessories for sale to raise funds towards the continuing work on the ship. If you remember the “Medway Queen Club” stop by for a chat, if you don’t remember it, we’ll happily fill that gap in your knowledge of Island history.
The official introduction states:
"To mark His Majesty The King’s Coronation thousands of organisations across the country are getting together to give us all the chance to help out in our own local communities. Starting on Monday 8th May there will be opportunities for everyone to join in. No matter what you are good at, there’ll be something to suit helping hands of all shapes and sizes! From checking in on someone who’d like a bit of company or volunteering for a charity the more of us who join in, the bigger help we will be."
Medway Queen and the Medway Queen Visitor Centre will be open for visits and tours on Monday May 8th (usual opening times) with an additional emphasis on recruiting new volunteers to help with the project. Come along and have a chat with existing team members. We'll do our best to find something that interests you and fits with your existing life schedule.
Photo, top shows some of our volunteers at the launch of our children's book last year.
Courtesy of Martin Goodhew.
Sandwich Guildhall Museum, a member site, had agreed to host this year’s event. The Explorers announced the start of the scheme and all of the award winners let off party cannons to mark the occasion. Wheels of Time were delighted to have as their principal guest His Majesty’s representative, the Lord--Lieutenant of Kent, The Lady Colgrain, who was presented with a posy of flowers by Evelyn Batchelor. His Worship the Mayor of Sandwich, Cllr Jeff Franklin was in attendance to greet the Lord-Lieutenant and participated in the 2023 launch.
Wheels of Time now has a total of 56 museums and heritage sites (including Medway Queen) across the county. The Lord-Lieutenant spent time at the tables, meeting many of the volunteers who were representing the heritage sites. Their stalls had been set up to showcase the sites and display something about their offerings. Bob Shrubb, Chair of the Scheme said: “Many of the museums and heritage sites that are members of the scheme are small volunteer run charities that really enjoy the benefits of participating in the scheme. We are delighted to add three more sites this year. The Lord-Lieutenant, The Lady Colgrain said a few words of thanks to everyone present and said “Wheels of Time and “Roamin’ Rex” certainly captures the imagination of those young participants who feel inspired to seek out your museums and heritage sites and to collect a badge and lanyard. Wheels of Time is so much more though, for whilst they attend your sites, our youngsters are broadening their knowledge and learning more about the wonderful history we have here in Kent.”
Wheels of Time badges are FREE to collect by visiting the sites (normal entry fees apply). Opening dates, times and entry costs for individual sites can be found on http://wheelsoftime.uk.
Funding is key to these projects, as it always is. We also have to continue recovery from the spending at Ramsgate in 2021. We do have a generous offer from a member who will match donations (within limits) over the next few months so donate now and your generosity will be doubled.