On Friday the 16th January 15, the Society was proud to receive a visit from our newly appointed Patron, Admiral Lord Alan West of Spithead, together with Rt. Hon. Rehman Chishti, Conservative M.P. for Gillingham and Rainham, and Labour Medway Councillor for Gillingham North Ward Pat Cooper.
Our distinguished guests were taken on a tour of the ship and Visitors' Centre by our Chairman Brian Burton, Vice-Chairman John Kempton, and Committee Member Chris Camp.
During an interview with BBC Radio Kent Reporter Alex Walker, Lord West mentioned that the Medway Queen is a very special ship and he thinks that what has been done to the hull, the reconstruction, the riveting techniques are wonderful. She was a key part of the withdrawal from Dunkirk, saving 7,000 of our soldiers and he considers that this is something very special and is important that the Nation remembers what we owe to the people during the Second World War and ships like the Medway Queen.
Rehman Chishti stated, "In respect of the funding for the Medway Queen, we are doing everything we can, working with all of the Agencies, to ensure that funding is available. We need to ensure that the Medway Queen flies the flag again because it is a key part of our local military history. I am delighted that Lord West is here because it shows the significance of having someone of his calibre as a Patron of such a huge military historical aspect of the Medway Towns. We are going to do everything we can and will continue to do that and think that its important and vital for the local people and local military history to ensure that the Medway Queen flies the flag again."