The Visitor Centre on Gillingham Pier, and the ship herself will be open on Saturdays as usual in 2017 from 11th February (half term holiday) until 16th December. Normal opening times will be 11am to 4pm with last admissions strictly at 3pm. We now have all 4 of the ship’s public spaces accessible to visitors and, of course, you can view the great engine and visualise how it would have looked and sounded as it powered the ship through the water.
The large upper aft saloon is being prepared for private hire for meetings, celebrations and parties and will be available from the spring onwards. The forward saloon hosts a coffee shop. The lower forward saloon is a cinema room with films about the ship and the lower aft saloon will be used for various displays and exhibitions including our “Memories of Dunkirk” which will run from 27th May through to mid-August. Knowledgeable guides are always on hand to answer your questions and point out items of interest.
Disabled access to the ship may be restricted by the tides and below decks requires the use of short flights of stairs, but no ladders. Toilets are available on shore and Visitor Centre access is via ramps. Admission to the Visitor Centre is free but there is a charge of £5 (for an annual ticket) per adult to go on board Medway Queen. Accompanied children under 16 have free admission to the ship. Terms and conditions at www.medwayqueen.co.uk .
A number of special event days are already being planned for the year, including the following:
Saturday 11th February “Volunteers Day” come along and see what’s involved.
Sat/Sun 15&16 April (Easter) “Review of the Fleet” model Boat Show. Medway Queen was at the Coronation Spithead Review in 1937, 80 years ago, and again in 1953.
From Saturday 27th May “Memories of Dunkirk” exhibition in the lower aft saloon. This will run through the summer until mid-August.
Sat/Sun 9/10th September “Heritage Open Days” Art and photo exhibition & showcase volunteers’ work.
Saturday 16th December is planned as an end of season “Members Day” but we will still be open to all. You might be able to do some Christmas Shopping in the book and gift shop.
For all of these events standard admission charges will apply and annual tickets will be valid. Additional events are in the pipeline and will be announced on the society’s website and in the press when details have been agreed.