The historic paddle steamer Medway Queen is currently undergoing restoration by teams of volunteers at Gillingham Pier (Pier Approach Road, Gillingham, Kent. ME7 1RX), and during the rest of 2017 a number of special events are being held.
The Visitor Centre and the ship herself are open on Saturdays in 2017 until 16th December. Normal opening times are 11am to 4pm with last admissions strictly at 3pm.
We have all four of the ship’s public spaces accessible to visitors and, of course, you can view the great engine and visualise how it would look and sound as it powered the ship through the water.
The upper forward saloon is a coffee shop, the lower forward saloon has a cinema and the lower aft saloon is hosting a series of themed displays throughout the year.
A number of special event days are planned for the year, including:
Summer “Memories of Dunkirk” exhibition in the lower aft saloon (Please note that lighting upgrade work is giving us problems)
Saturday 12th August Radio controlled trucks in the yard.
Saturday 19th August Fun, Food and Craft Day
Sat/Sun 9/10th September “Heritage Open Days” Maritime themed Art and Photo exhibition & showcase of volunteers’ work. This is being arranged in cooperation with MidKent College.
Autumn “Spithead Review” exhibition in the lower aft saloon
Saturdays 21st & 28th October “Granddad’s Toys” exhibition by Roy Sedge
Saturday 16th December is planned as an end of season “Members Day” but we will still be open to all. You might be able to do some Christmas Shopping in the book and gift shop.
Medway Queen operated as an excursion steamer on the Thames Estuary both before and after the war. As HMS Medway Queen in WWII she performed essential minesweeping duties and played her part in the Dunkirk Evacuation in 1940.
In the 1960s the ship became a restaurant and nightclub on the Isle of Wight.
Following a rebuild funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund she was moored at Gillingham Pier in 2013 with a Visitor Centre and workshops nearby.
Progress is linked to the number of active volunteers so we are always on the lookout for more.
More details will be found on www.medwayqueen.co.uk