1924, P.S. Medway Queen


Paddle Steamers 1812-1924

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The PS Medway Queen was built at the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company in Troon, Scotland, in 1924 for service on the River Medway. She is a paddle driven steamship, the only mobile estuary paddle steamer left in the United Kingdom. Requisitioned by the Admiralty as a minesweeper in 1939, she was renumbered No J 48 (N 48), serving for the duration of World War II in the 10th minesweeping flotilla, protecting the English Channel. She was one of the “little ships of Dunkirk” in May 1940 making a record 7 trips and rescuing 7000 men in the evacuation of Dunkirk. Rebuilt by Thorneycrofts of Southampton in 1946, she returned to civilian service with New Medway Steam Packet Company for the 1947 season. When Elizabeth II was crowned, PS Medway Queen attended the 1953 Coronation Review at Spithead. She made her last sailing on 8 September 1963. Scheduled to be scrapped in Belgium the Belgian ship-breaker, upon discovering the vessel was none other than “The Heroine of Dunkirk”, declined to continue. She was the subject of a £1.8 million National Lottery Heritage Memorial Fund grant to restore her hull. By 2014, her hull had been reconstructed and she is sitting at Gillingham Pier on the River Medway.

Additional information

Dimensions 47.5 × 34.5 cm