The Medway Queen Preservation Society was founded in 1985, when the Paddle Steamer Medway Queen was seen lying abandoned at the former Chatham naval dockyard. Marshall Vine had been on the Medway Queen as a boy, and decided to do something about saving the ship, he put up a board with hand written details and contacts, and pieces from the local newspaper, inviting interested people to come to a meeting in Rochester. Some 30 people turned up, and the society was started.
The ship was raised in 1987 by hardworking volunteers, and taken to Damhead Creek on the river where she remained for some years being preserved by volunteers. Eventually, after much work and effort by the volunteers, a Heritage Lottery Fund award was made, and the ship was dismantled, to be re-built in Bristol. The new hull and superstructure was returned to the River Medway in 2013, and the next phase of her life, the fitting out of the hull and work to bring her engines up to scratch has begun.
Why are you Crowdfunding?
We have decided to try Crowdfunder to raise money so that we can take part in the May 2015 Dunkirk Commemorations in Ramsgate. This will be a massive event where some 60,000 people are expected to attend. Because of the PS Medway Queen's part in the Evacuation of Dunkirk, we would love to be a part of the 75th Dunkirk celebrations.It is such a special event that will probably not happen again, it would be such a shame for us and all the people that support us if we were not able to be a part of it.In order to be able to take part, we need funds. The funds from Crowdfunder will go directly to the maintenance and restoration of the PS Medway Queen, there are a number of jobs that need to be done before we can go, some of them are:
- Our upper deck We have a wooden deck that needs to be made watertight before we can go. - We want to get the scuppers made and fitted in the promenade deck.- The decking on the lower forward saloon needs to be completed, so we can then fit chairs and seats inside.
We are also wanting to use the money we raise to transform a space within the ship and create a museum dedicated to the Evacuation of Dunkirk. The money would go to the creation of floor to ceiling murals and boards, interactive spots, mannequins that imitate soldiers of that time, a presentation space to show our movies and more.
Having this space would allow visitors, school groups and the like to come on board and explore the history of the Evacuation of Dunkirk. The space would stay long term, so its an investment into the project and the community.
We have a variety of different rewards available for funders of our project.If you have any questions please e-mail us on [email protected]