Lena Reekie

We are sad to announce the death from cancer of Lena Reekie, who founded the Faversham Nautical Festival and was the match secretary of the Kentish Sail Association for over 40 years.

Dick Durham writes, “I know it’s frowned upon these days to describe a person by their physical appearance, but if you were describing Lena Reekie to an alien you would say: ‘She’s slim, blonde and Swedish.’ Had the alien then been blessed with the good fortune to be invited to her birthday bash last August, as I was, he would have bought the wrong greetings card: one which read: ‘Have a Happy 60th Birthday.’ That she was 80 surprised Lena as much as everyone else. ‘I know,’ she said, ‘I know,’ in her husky voice, when I protested, genuinely, that this could not be so. If I can get halfway near to approaching my own demise with the grace, good humour and happiness that Lena displayed, I will die a happy man. RIP Lena

Read more on Kent Online…

Medway Queen and the Smithsonian

Medway Queen features in the online version of the Smithsonian Magazine. A contact out of the blue requesting information on MQ’s part in Operation Dynamo was responded to in quick time to meet a tight timescale and the article appeared online last week. Going from first contact to “in print” within just 3 days!

The article contains details of Medway Queen’s part in the operation with many links to other information including the MQPS website. Appearances in magazines such as this are always very welcome as they put the MQPS before a new audience that may not already be familiar with the ship, her story and our efforts to restore her.

Read the article in Smithsonian Magazine…

Does the Medway have the finest maritime heritage in the world?

Yes, the Medway has one of the finest (if not THE finest) collections of heritage vessels in the world! MSBA Chairman Brian Corbett is passionate about the Medway being a leading centre for British, European and World Maritime Heritage. He has drafted a paper to encourage the agencies involved with the River Medway to meet, as an interested and integrated forum, to share in and mutually benefit from, the River Medway attaining its rightful status.

Read or download the document…

CA Winter Warmer talk: Medway Queen, Thu 11 Oct

Clifford Mickleburgh has announced the Cruising Association Kent Section’s 2018/19 programme of “Winter Warmer” talks:

  • 11 October: Pam & Mark Bathurst, Medway Queen Preservation Society
  • 8 November: Peter Norris, Clarke & Carter Kent
  • 13 December: James Collier, RATS (CA Regulations and Technical Services)
  • 10 January Des Crampton, trip to Svalbard
  • 14 February: Roy Brooks, Scotline
  • 14 March: Chris Jeckells, Jeckells the Sailmakers
  • 11 April: Dick Holness, East Coast Pilot

More information on the CA Kent Winter Warmer 2018 – 2019 programme…

We are all invited to these excellent talks, which are held at 8pm at the Dog and Bear, Lenham, near Maidstone. It’s a good idea to book a meal (by 5pm please) on 01622 858219 for 7pm before the talk. A special CA 7-choice menu is available for £9.95.

The first presentation on 11 October is by Pam & Mark Bathurst of the Medway Queen Preservation Society. The Medway Queen was launched in 1924 and entered service on Thames estuary routes in May of that year. She was used as a minesweeper in WWII. Few ships associated with Dunkirk have fought so hard and escaped destruction so tenaciously and for so long as the Medway Queen. After the war she returned to her old route until 1963. From 1966 until 1974 she was a nightclub in the Isle of Wight. The hull rebuild was undertaken in Bristol with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund and completed in late 2013. Medway Queen was towed back home and is now moored at Gillingham Pier where she can be visited.

Famous cruise ship to visit Chatham on Fri 10 August

The Hebridean Princess is due in Chatham Dockyard, Basin 3, at 09.00 this Friday.
This is part of her ‘Treasures of Normandy and Channel Islands’ cruise and her passengers will be visiting the Chatham Historic Dockyard. This cruise will be on the future Hebridean Princess cruise programme, visiting the River Medway every three years. It is hoped that the facilities at Chatham will encourage visits by other ‘compact’ cruise ships.