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.

Medway River Festival, 16 June 2018

This year the festival will take place at Chatham Historic Dockyard, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary by offering free access to everyone on 16 June. There will be “have-a-go” water activities on the Mast Pond and other activities on the river which you can watch from the area between HMS Gannet and the submarine HMS Ocelot. Other historic vessels will be open for visitors at the east end of Basin 1 (Chatham Maritime Marina) and there will be a Parade of Sail featuring historic vessels in the afternoon. High tide is at 3.30pm.

If any local boating clubs and organisations would like a stall at the Dockyard, please email info@msba.org.uk and we will pass on your request. We are hoping that the Council will provide tables and gazebos but this is to be confirmed.

Admiral’s Cruise, 23+24 June 2018

The flotilla rounding the Montgomery wreck on Day Two. Photos and article by Fred Trice.

Once a year, rain or shine, a very mixed group of Medway leisure craft led by local fishing boats, accompanied by police RIBs and sometimes the Sheerness lifeboat, makes its way up and down the Medway. Held over two days on an early summer weekend, the flotilla Beats the Bounds of the Rochester Oyster & Floating Fishery.

ROFF, a very ancient organisation indeed, can trace its roots back to a charter granted by Henry III to the City of Rochester and another by Henry VI giving the local fishermen rights to harvest fish and oysters from the river. The charter was given further weight in 1729 when George II passed an Act of Parliament allowing management of the river to be organised and policed  by ROFF.

Day One

The Admiral’s Court in Rochester Guildhall

Each year, Saturday starts early with the Mayor, as Admiral of The River, holding court in the Rochester Guildhall, listening to reports from the Chamberlain of the Fishery, as to how the year has gone. The health of the fishery is noted; poaching has been a problem in the past.

The Beadle leads the procession. Can you spot the local MP who is also MSBA Patron?

After the court the Mayor led by the Beadle makes his way round the corner to Rochester Cruising Club where a boat has been allocated as his Barge for the Day.

Hawkwood Stone, the upstream limit for the Rochester Oyster & Floating Fishery

The flotilla then heads upstream to the upper limit of the fishery with members of the great and good aboard. Then it’s back down the river for refreshments.

Day Two

Once again the fleet sets off following the ROFF fishing boats, this time heading downstream, frequently picking up vessels from some of the clubs and marinas as we pass. It is traditional that we fire a cannon at all the various clubs  we pass and they answer in the same manner.

The historic tug Touchstone laying a wreath over the wreck of HMS Bulwark

First “hove to” is the war grave of HMS Bulwark where a vessel is stationed  for a wreath laying with local sea scouts and piper aboard. Then it’s off out past Garrision Point, sometimes with a water display from the Sheerness tugs and on to the SS Richard Montgomery

One of the Sheerness tugs saluting the Admiral with  fire hoses

Again a “hove to” for a wreath laying and the Last Post before returning into Queenborough at the invitation of the Mayor of Queenborough and his good lady. Over 70 boats have been known to attend.