River Medway Pleasure Steamers

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River Medway Pleasure Steamers


The River Medway has been central to the evolution of pleasure steamers services in the Thames Estuary but it has rarely been covered in print. In this new book, Andrew Gladwell takes a nostalgic look back at the well-loved steamers from the heyday of services on the River Medway. Services started in 1837 and modestly provided a service for almost one hundred years before the highly successful New Medway Steam Packet Company was formed in 1919. At this time, the enigmatic Captain Sydney Shippick transformed the company out of all recognition with his 'Queen Line Steamers' such as the Audrey, Queen of Southend and, perhaps the most famous of all - the Dunkirk heroine, Medway Queen of 1924. A decade later saw Shippick's rapidly developing Medway company in fierce competition to the mighty General Steam Navigation Company. By the mid-1930s, Shippick's dream had come true with the ground-breaking motor ship Queen of the Channel. She was a modernistic pleasure steamer that revolutionised Thames and Medway services. After the war, services re-commenced to well-loved resorts such as Southend, Herne Bay and Clacton from the Medway towns until services finally ceased with the withdrawal of the Medway Queen in 1963. Since that time the River Medway has seen a variety of pleasure steamers cruising on it. The most famous of these has been the former River Dart coal-fired paddle steamer Kingswear Castle which has operated from Chatham since 1985. In this new book, Andrew Gladwell brings together a fascinating selection of images and ephemera that evoke the great days of pleasure steamers on the River Medway from the 1830s to the present day.

Length: 193 pages
Publisher: Amberley Publishing (28 Aug 2013)
Language: English
Author: Andrew Gladwell


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