Find out more about The Medway Queen from preservation society members today

The Medway Queen Photo Mark Stanford

The Medway Queen paddle steamer, which arrived in Ramsgate on July 18,will remain in the commercial quay for another week to 10 days before going on the slipway for hull maintenance and painting.

This is due to delays with Te Vega, the yacht that is currently on the slip. This vessel has a very deep draft which needs a high tide of at least five metres before she can be transferred safely off the slipway.

Two members of the Medway Queen  Preservation Society will be at Commercial Quay today (July 31) to talk to anyone who is interested in her progress.

Photo Ian Shacklock

No-one can get on the boat but if you want to learn a bit more about her, members Pam and her husband will be there from around 11am to 3pm.

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

She 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. The ship’s crew estimated that they evacuated 7,000 men while shooting down three Axis aircraft.

Photo Ian Shacklock

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.

Photo Frank Leppard

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


  1. not much movement since it came back to gillingham. atthis rate it will just deteriorate agian. , What is needed is a change of management with a bit more enterprise thinking. !!.

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