Following the re-dedication of the Medway Queen at the Albion Dockyard in July the workforce there has been busy with completion of the construction and finishing touches to our ship. Apprentices and instructors from the Medway Queen Preservation Society were also in
for a while to complement the Bristol Albion workforce. The successful rebuild of Medway
Queen’s hull and establishment of the Gillingham Pier base has only been possible
because of a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and
considerable financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the
INTERREG IVA 2 Seas Programme.
The tug “Christine”, operated by A. J. & A. Pratt of Rainham, has been contracted to tow “Medway Queen” back to
and is now on her way to .
When she arrives and all necessary surveys are complete and certificates issued
Medway Queen will be towed out of the dry dock, manoeuvred through the locks
and onto the river Bristol Avon. This and subsequent
phases of the operation will be entirely dependent on both weather and tides.
These factors are beyond anyone’s control although the
tides at least are predictable. You can follow the Christine’s progress back to Gillingham
They are expected to take an inshore route along the
and for those who don’t already know, search
for the “Christine” ( South Coast
registered tug), not for “Medway
The date and time of arrival in
are dependent on operational requirements and will only be predictable by
following the tug’s progress; it is expected to take an
inshore route along the . South
Our estimate is around 5 days after leaving
weather. Medway Queen’s arrival at Gillingham
Pier will be a major event for the area and we are planning this in three
stages: (1) Arrival on the Medway in charge of the tug “Christine” and mooring
up in the river to await a suitable tide. (2) Berthing at Gillingham Pier and,
finally, (3) A celebration event for members and guests shortly after “Medway
Queen” has been settled into her home. Bristol
When “Medway Queen” arrives the Visitor Centre will be open, but we anticipate that it will be necessary to exclude the public from the pier itself while the ship is mooring, on safety grounds. The society hopes that an impromptu “escort” of suitable vessels will follow the ship on the final stages of her journey without, of course, impeding the smooth running of the operation.
Please note that visitors will not be able to board Medway Queen at this stage.
Ship restoration is hugely expensive and Medway Queen is no exception. The support received from the HLF and the ERDF and generous grants from many other organisations and individuals have provided us with the means to reach the stage that we have, which is a fantastic achievement in itself, but we still have a long way to go to complete the job and get the ship working again. The fitting out phase of Medway Queen’s restoration will take place at Gillingham Pier but funds are now in extremely short supply and progress will be very slow unless we are successful in raising significant amounts of money. Our current priorities are providing safe access to the vessel for workers and visitors, restoring the aft saloon to enable it to be used for functions to generate revenue towards the restoration and restoring the engine room and machinery to working order as an attraction to encourage visitors
A “Completion Fund” has been set up to encourage donations large and small towards the cost of finishing the job. The speed with which Medway Queen can be returned to working order is entirely dependent on fund raising. We are applying to numerous grant giving bodies for aid but all will require us to provide partnership funding. Please dig deep; look on our website www.medwayqueen.vo.uk for details or call at the Visitor Centre on Gillingham Pier.
|Medway Queen afloat|
Scottish Branch Committee