Queen of the waves

Surrey-based systems and engineering company, Frazer-Nash, has announced a contract to begin work on the paddle steamer Medway Queen on behalf of the Medway Queen Preservation Society.

The Medway Queen was originally built in 1924 and is the UK’s only surviving estuary paddle steamer. The Medway Queen Preservation Society was formed in 1984 to restore the ship to working condition.

Frazer-Nash has offered engineering and restoration advice to the society since 2004. The company’s latest project will see it providing a project management team to oversee the rebuilding of the ship’s hull.

The restoration of the hull will pose a number of challenges to the Frazer-Nash team, including the production of original design specifications that will require the reintroduction of a hot riveting process to meet current health and safety requirements.

Andy Gill, project manager at Frazer-Nash, said: ‘This is a very exciting project for Frazer-Nash, drawing on our extensive modern naval architecture knowledge, coupled with taking a pragmatic engineering approach to solving unusual and difficult problems. Crucially, given the unique nature of the ship, it is important that we fully understand its heritage and avoid compromising this.

‘With proven experience in handling the restoration of historic vessels and having been actively involved in the Medway Queen’s pre-build phase, Frazer-Nash is very well placed to take on this role. Ultimately, we’re looking forward to the day when it can take to the water once more.’