Thursday, April 26, 2007


Back in the early 1980's I recall an occasion when the Medway Carnival was a display of all that was good in our community. We all came together representing so many charities, clubs, industry and commerce. The local haulage companies would turn out helping these groups and traffic in Strood, Rochester and Chatham would grind to a halt.

No doubt, there are those amongst you who will say we don't need a carnival now to make traffic come to a halt - it is a regular occurrence.

The point of this article is not to talk about our traffic system which has had a rough ride of late, thanks to traders local to Chatham. Having read about the Medway Queen and their search for original brasses and fitments, I recalled those days of the Medway Carnival. It was on one such occasion that I recall seeing this slight lady at the very back of the procession. She was pushing a pram and with a big picture cut-out of the Medway Queen, the lady was calling for support to save the Medway Queen.

That lady was non other than Noreen Chambers who is still one of the front runners in the campaign to save the famous paddle steamer. The very vessel that saved so many lives at Dunkirk in the Second World War and the same vessel that gave so many people of the Medway Towns so much pleasure as she pulled away from Strood Pier, on to Chatham and Gillingham before arriving in Sheerness.

Noreen Chambers continues to fight - Well done and keep up the good work with that wonderful team dedicated to saving our heritage.

If ever there is a deserving cause, the Medway Towns should be supporting this project.


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