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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 June 2006, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
1.8m to repair WWII rescue boat
Medway Queen
The Medway Queen rescued soldiers from France in World War II
A 1.86m grant has been awarded for the restoration of a paddle steamer which helped to rescue 7,000 soldiers in the WWII evacuation of Dunkirk.

The Medway Queen, known as "The Heroine of Dunkirk", has been kept at Damhead Creek, on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent, by her own preservation society.

Now the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given the society money towards repairing the boat's hull.

The Medway Queen was built in 1923 and has twice been rescued after sinking.

She has been a pleasure craft, a wartime minesweeper and a floating nightclub.

'Well-loved' ship

Sheena Vick from the HLF said: "This vessel played an important part in shaping history [and] saving it, in memory of lost generations and for future generations to appreciate, is something that we feel passionate about.

"We have worked closely with the volunteers to find a way of conserving the vessel and are delighted to be able to give them this boost to carry on their hard work."

Noreen Chambers, from the Medway Queen Preservation Society, added: "Now that funding is in place, we are ready to go ahead on the restoration rebuild of this famous, heroic and well-loved ship."

Lottery claims officers visited the Medway Queen last May to assess whether a heritage grant could be made.

Plea to restore steamer
09 Oct 03 |  Kent

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