Paddle steamer The Medway Queen will be heading to Ramsgate for maintenance

The Medway Queen painting by Ian Boyd

By Dan Thompson

UPDATE: Arrival date is now earmarked for Thursday (July 15). We are told: ” “We are now looking at Thursday, when we HOPE to do everything in one, leave Gillingham early AM and get on the slipway on the PM high tide at Ramsgate.”

The Medway Queen website says: “The ship’s journey to Ramsgate has been delayed due to the slipway being in use and also the weather. The sun has now come out but the wind is too strong offshore for her to be towed down until either over this weekend or early next week.”

July – ship on Ramsgate slipway for maintenance. We plan to open to the public on the following Saturdays:
Saturday 17th July (Covid restrictions in force)
Saturday 24th July
Saturday 31st July
Possibly Saturday 7th August
Open from 11am to 5pm with last admissions at 4pm.
​Access will be from the East Pier, Ramsgate Harbour. CT11 8LS.
(Access may be limited or subject to change due to the work programme and other factors, admission fees apply)”

Keep updated at–contact.html

Historic paddle steamer The Medway Queen is making a  temporary move to Ramsgate for the summer, where the ship will be put on the harbour slipway for hull maintenance and painting.

This ship carried passengers on the Thames Estuary, took part in the Dunkirk evacuations, and became a swinging 1960s nightclub.

She is leaving Gillingham Pier during the high tide on Monday afternoon (July 12), before mooring out in the Medway Estuary over night and coming to Ramsgate during the morning of Tuesday July 13. The Medway Queen will go up onto the slipway on Tuesday afternoon during Ramsgate’s high tide (about 3pm).

The Medway Queen was launched in 1924 and entered service on Thames estuary routes in May of that year.

She was used as a minesweeper in World War II and is famous for her seven trips to Dunkirk in 1940. She brought men from the beaches back to both Dover and to Ramsgate.

After the war she returned to her old route until 1963. From 1966 until 1974 she was a nightclub in the Isle of Wight.

In 1984 the Medway Queen was brought back from the Isle of Wight to the Medway area by a group of local businessmen, headed by Jim Ashton, who intended to restore her.

In 2006, after many difficult years, a bid to the then Heritage Lottery Fund was successful and the hull has now been rebuilt. More recently, superstructures on the deck have been rebuilt.

To follow the ongoing restoration or become a supporter of the Medway Queen, visit