Edgecam, the market-leading CAM software developer for the engineering industry, is again sponsoring an exhibition team which highlights the ongoing restoration of the renowned paddle steamer Medway Queen. Team leader Richard Halton says: “Edgecam is the perfect partner to help the Medway Queen Preservation Society promote the miracle that is Medway Queen, to a wide audience. Edgecam represents the best of the modern engineering industry, sponsoring the best of old engineering techniques.”
In the heart of Bristol’s floating harbour the second miracle in the long life of the paddleMedway Queen Edgecam sponsorship steamer Medway Queen is taking place. The first miracle was, of course, the “Miracle of Dunkirk” where Medway Queen and her crew rescued far more than their fair share of British and French soldiers from the beaches and the harbour mole. The second miracle is her own rescue from dereliction and her re-build and restoration which is now well under way. The rebuild is taking place under Heritage Lottery Fund supervision to the original 1924 drawings. The construction is riveted throughout and follows the plate on frames method used before welding became the standard ship building technique. In fact Medway Queen will be the first riveted ship to be built in a British yard for over 50 years.
One of the Medway Queen Preservation Society’s many strengths is the amount of effort that goes into promoting the project to the public. Two full scale exhibition teams are operating along with other promotional groups and a further team that concentrates on talks to primary schools, with a talk on Dunkirk and the ship’s part in the evacuation; all on an entirely voluntary basis.
Richard Halton says “We’re pleased to announce Edgecam’s continuing support of one of those exhibition teams, based in Reading, in 2011. Such support is vital to the work of spreading the word at a wide variety of events and it enables the team to take part in shows that might otherwise not be possible. The support given by this leading engineering software company is invaluable to the preservation of the engineering technology of the past.”
The ship’s frames are now complete to main deck level, the bulkheads are in position and work has started on the shell plating. The stern rudder has been re-furbished and installed, the bow rudder is being assessed for similar treatment. You can follow the rebuild on the society’s web site www.medwayqueen.co.uk, by looking at the “Shipyard Blog” or at the two web cams which have been set up over-looking the dry dock. In parallel with work on the hull the yard is working on the main steam engine. The original block has been re-machined and other components are being restored. The completed hull will be moved back to the Medway area for fitting out later in 2011. This second phase of the restoration will be supported by the EU Interreg IVA project “Heroes of the two seas”.
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