Surplus steel pipe and fittings donated by National Grid have raised £6,000 towards the restoration of one of the most famous “little ships” of World War Two, the Medway Queen.
National Grid’s Grain LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal in Kent gave the steel pipe and fittings to the Medway Queen Preservation Society who arranged for their scrap partner Medway Metals to handle the material. The money raised was donated to the Medway Queen Restoration Fund to help restore and bring the famous paddle steamer back to the Medway.
Built in 1924, the Medway Queen was the last estuary pleasure paddle steamer in the UK. She was a familiar site on the Medway Canal before going on to active service with the Royal Navy. During her war years she became famous for her record number of crossings to the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940, rescuing 7,000 British servicemen in seven trips.
Brian Burton, vice chairman of the Medway Queen Preservation Society said, “We wish to thank National Grid for the generous donation of scrap, which raised £6000 that will go towards the engine restoration of the Medway Queen”.
The ship is currently dismantled and being restored by specialist shipbuilders. Once the hull is completed she will be towed back to Medway for fitting out. This restoration work will provide valuable apprenticeship and training for local people in the Medway area. Trainees will also have the opportunity to participate in the partner French and Belgian shipbuilding projects.
National Grid Grain LNG project manager Paul Johnson said: “National Grid wants to be a valued partner in the communities in which we work. Supporting local interests and bringing opportunities to local young people is a key part of the company’s vision. Throughout the construction of the Grain LNG importation terminal, we have been committed to supporting the local community and, as a long term neighbour, we will continue working closely with the Medway community supporting local initiatives where we can.”
For further information and photographs, please contact Sarah Harris, National Grid Media Relations on 01926 655372