The PS Medway Queen

Steam whistle of the Medway Queen. Property of the Medway Queen Preservation Society.

The Medway Queen was a typical paddle steamer built in 1924, to take advantage of the then-lucrative pleasure market. She mainly operated taking passengers from the Medway towns over to Southend-on-Sea, although she also did occasionally venture as far as Margate and Clacton. Following a collision on the Medway, she was retrofitted with the addition of a bow rudder in 1936, in order to improve her manoeuvrability. The bow rudder can be clearly seen in the photograph above.


 

On the outbreak of war in 1939, she was used to aid the evacuation of school children before being requisitioned by the Admiralty and was refitted to for mine-sweeping duties. In 1940, she was based in Dover, so when Operation Dynamo was enacted, she was among the first of the 'Little Ships' to go over to assist in the rescue of the BEF. Over the course of Dynamo, she went on to save more than 7,000 men. For more information on the Medway Queen please click the above link, or to access the information about her role in World War Two and Operation Dynamo, please, click here.

 


The strangely-shaped piece of wood pictured here is an actual part of the 1936 bow rudder assembly which was, due to years of neglect, removed and replaced when she was restored in Bristol between 2009 and 2014. Due to the extreme nature of the restoration works required, few, if any, of the timbers of the Medway Queen are now original. We are pleased to have this item in our museum and support the work of the Medway Queen Preservation Society.Part of the original deck of the Medway Queen. 


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