The Medway Queen has been transferred to the slipway for repair works

Medway Queen Photo Frank Leppard

The Medway Queen paddle steamer, which arrived in Ramsgate on July 18, has finally been moved on the slipway for hull maintenance and painting.

The delay was due to a wait for yacht Te Vega to be moved. That vessel has a very deep draft which needed a high tide of at least five metres before she could be transferred safely off the slipway.

Photo Ian Shacklock

he 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.

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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 Ian Shacklock

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. Careful Joros, We must not talk about boats on here especially those who sail on them or the censors who do not allow free speech will be blocking us yet again.

    • There have been some appalling comments about migrants. I’m not surprised the editor has closed comments.

  2. Good news about the Medway Queen now on slipway. 2 friends went to see her this week and were warmly welcomed by a trustee lady who kindly talked knowledgeably which they felt was worth another trip when as now she is up on slipway. They also joined straight away to help her repairs and for future generations to learn about and sail on part of our maritime heritage. Love all the articles and pics about her progress, thanks Kathy.

  3. Great seeing it on the slipway,Looks wonderful. Marvelous work by all involved. was a few people taking photos this morning. More were taking photos of yesterdays migrant (now deflated boat) and their travel items left aside on Marina Esplanade.

    Ramsgate is on the up !

  4. It’s counter productive to have a news column like this one then to block readers from making any comments.
    If some are anti whatever it is then to counter their comments others can respond. We live in a democracy not a dictatorship. Uprisings around the world have all been caused by suppression of the people by denying them the Democratic right to an opinion, eventually all that suppression gives way to uproar and civil unrest.

    • It seems to me that the Editor is very patient with the range of postings on here.
      She rarely removes contributions, and then only the most unpleasant one.
      With rights come responsibilities. You could always start your own newspaper.

      • Andrew ‘with rights come responsibilities’ Yep totally agree. Where I depart is you saying that comments are rarely removed and then only unpleasant ones. I beg to differ. a little under a year ago I asked a perfectly straightforward question on the comments of a certain County Councillor following a posting by them. After being posted for a little over an hour my posting was removed. I can only assume that my question hit a raw nerve!

          • Andrew. One comment removed is ‘rarely’’ True! “But only the most unpleasant one’s” Nothing unpleasant about my comment. Just seeking an explanation from a County Councillor. You certainly like to have the last word, as I suppose we all do.

            Anyhow back to the article The Medway Queen a fantastic part of Britain’s maritime history across the spectrum from leisure cruising, floating nightclub, evacuating children from Gravesend to East Anglia at the start of World War 2 and it’s involvement in the rescue of British and allied troops from Dunkirk in 1940. Makes you proud to be British. with all that history. Now my last comment could start another load of comments from the usual suspects on what makes one proud to be British!

  5. Well, here’s what I think then, Ann. I think people who want to expand aviation rather than reduce it are ignoramuses. I think people who do not feel sorry for migrants are very unpleasant human beings. I think the Tories have completely screwed up apropos coronavirus.

    I look forward to reading your logical and fact-based responses. Don’t forget, the above are simply personal opinions.

  6. Marva I respect your comments and admire you for standing your ground as indeed I do. You like me get a lot of flack from others who disagree with us but at least their— yours —and my comments are seen and read so others can respond. Which is what democracy is all about. I’m not anti you Marva I’m anti censorship.

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