For some time the new aft deckhouse has been taking shape in the workshops. In excursion service Medway Queen had very primitive weather protection for the aft companionway which would be seen as inadequate now whether sailing or on hire as a venue. When she performed a similar static role on the Isle of Wight a glazed deckhouse was installed to give the necessary protection and security and work is now progressing to replace our temporary structure with something more serviceable.
Just because we've been quiet online, it doesn't mean nothing is happening down at the Pier ..........
Judith has taken pictures, today, of work going on to panel the aft saloon deck-head, install new units in the galley and glaze the new aft companionway deck-house. The galley is being fitted out to modern hygiene requirements so that we can make use of it. As such it is a non-heritage area but when its finished you'll be able to enjoy a cup of tea and a snack on board. The deck-house is needed to protect the aft companionway from the weather. Medway Queen as a venue needs to operate all year round and not be laid up in the winter months. A similar structure was put in place when she was a club on the Isle of Wight.
We haven't forgotten that some areas of the Visitor Centre could also benefit from a little TLC. See below. A lick of paint and a bit of a tidy up can work wonders!
Two busy weekends in the offing - At Gillingham Pier we have the two Heritage Open Day Saturdays coming along and for "Medway Queen West" we have the start of the autumn exhibition season with TINGS and a small local show in Earley near Reading.
The Heritage Open Days scheme now runs for a longer period encompassing two weekends. Medway Queen will be open as usual on Saturdays 14th and 21st September from 11am to 4pm (last admission 3pm). The big difference is that ship tours are FREE on those two days (but we won't be offended if you offer a donation!). Come and see the progress we are making. If you like the idea of volunteering on the restoration, or helping to staff the Visitor Centre and tours come and talk to us!
Away from the pier the Medway Queen West support group starts it's busy autumn schedule at The International N Gauge Show on 14/15th September near Leamington Spa. A big two day show concentrating on N gauge model railways where our new model "Tool Vans" (pictured) will be on sale alongside a host of other stuff including a record amount of second-hand items. On the following Saturday (21st) the group will have a stall at St. Peter's Church Hall in Earley for the local club's exhibition there. If your "other interest" is model trains come and see us.
Currently I am working on the crew's memories and this has led to FIVE new entries on our website "personnel list" and additional detail for many others. Splitting the document into separate crew and troop sections is becoming more likely! Fortunately all work so far has extended our existing knowledge rather than contradict it. Most accounts, even the official ones, were written up after the event but they broadly agree with one another. Dates and times are sometimes uncertain but that is to be expected. My next step will the soldiers accounts.
To be sure of a timely publication I am working to a strict timetable with a view to all text being ready in a couple of months' time - that's not as long as it sounds. New information on crew and soldiers is always welcome so, please, if you have anything in the family history that might be relevant get in touch ASAP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Medway Queen is open to visitors on Gillingham Pier on Saturdays from 11am to 4pm (last admission 3pm).