Because of the coronavirus outbreak the Dunkirk Little Ships will not now sail to Dunkirk this year and the events in Ramsgate 2020 have been cancelled.
The famous Medway Queen paddle steamer was due to take part in the 80th anniversary commemorations of the Dunkirk Little Ships. A fleet of Dunkirk Little Ships was to have assembled in Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour in May to mark the 80th anniversary of Operation Dynamo; the Evacuation of the British Expeditionary Forces from Dunkirk.
But Richard Halton, on behalf of the Medway Queen Preservation Society, said: “Under the circumstances we have reluctantly decided not to take Medway Queen to Ramsgate this year but there is a possibility that the anniversary of Dunkirk will be celebrated there in 2021.
“The ship will also be closed to visitors until further notice.
“We have a couple of merchandising projects linked to the Dunkirk anniversary which I am driving. These will go ahead as planned; in any case both are too far advanced to cancel without loss financially or in terms of work completed.
“The new book, Medway Queen – memories of Dunkirk, will be published late next month and a 00 gauge commemorative railway wagon will be available in May. I will circulate details when the time comes – anything we can do to maintain a revenue stream over the next few weeks/months is worthwhile.”
The book contains many first-hand accounts of the operation, from both crew and evacuated servicemen.