Medway Queen returns to Kent after restoration

The Medway Queen The Medway Queen was built in 1924 as a pleasure cruiser but was commissioned into the Navy in 1939

Related Stories

A "little ship" that helped rescue thousands of soldiers during the Dunkirk evacuations of WW2 has arrived in Gillingham after restoration.

The Medway Queen paddle steamer, built in 1924, was designed to take holidaymakers on trips around Kent.

The ship was commissioned by the Navy in 1939 and became known as the "Heroine of Dunkirk" after helping to evacuate British troops.

It was then left to rot before being rebuilt in Bristol.

Restoration work on its hull began at the Albion Dockyard, Bristol in 2011, with money from a £1.9m Heritage Lottery Grant.

It was constructed in the traditional way - with rivets - the first ship of its size to be built this way in the UK in more than 50 years.

'Brilliant run'

A tug then towed the paddle steamer around the coast before arriving in Kent.

The vessel will go on public display, the Medway Queen Preservation Society said.

The Medway Queen, one of the most famous "little ships" of WW2, took more than 7,000 trapped men from beaches in 1940.

It set off from Avonmouth on Thursday being towed by the tug Christine.

"It's had a brilliant run around the coast, and it's surprised us all that it's arrived back so quickly," Mr Goodhew said.

Work will continue on the restoration after the Medway Queen and is expected to last two or three years.

The visitor centre will open with tours of parts of the ship taking place in the next few weeks, Mr Goodhew said.

"There's a lot still to be done. It's a big job."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Kent

Weather

Canterbury

22 °C 18 °C

Features

  • ScissorsWithout Scotland?

    How might things change for the rest of the UK


  • VigoroAnyone for Vigoro?

    The bizarre Edwardian attempt to merge tennis and cricket


  • Payton McKinnonLeft behind

    Why do so many children die in hot cars?


  • Dr Mahinder Watsa Dr Sex

    The wisecracking 90-year-old whose agony column is a cult hit


  • White Rhino, KenyaSky rangers

    How drones may be used to fight wildlife poaching in Africa


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.