It is with great pleasure that we can report that Medway Queen has been appointed “South East Regional Flagship for 2020” by National Historic Ships UK.
This puts us in great company with HMS Belfast as National Flagship and with the 3 other Regional Flagships: the tall ship Zebu, SS Explorer and MV Spartan.
National Historic Ships UK tailored the 2020 awards in response to the impact of Covid-19 on the maritime heritage sector. They made a significant change to the Flagship of the Year scheme which usually reflects the cruising programme or visitor numbers of each craft. In 2020 they welcomed applications for ‘virtual flagships’ in recognition of the fact that many historic vessels have had to cease operations and cancel or postpone events through circumstances beyond their control.
The Flagship Awards provide an opportunity to demonstrate and celebrate the value of our sector during these exceptionally challenging times and the 2020 Flagships have been selected for their tenacity in continuing to raise their profile throughout the Covid-19 outbreak by online activities, social media, developing learning resources, offering virtual tours and other creative means.
In Medway Queen’s case the website has gained significant new features and some other areas, such as the history pages, have been upgraded. The headline change is the addition of a “Virtual Tour” which enables visitors to get a sense of how the ship looks now and what is in store when they are able to visit in person once again.
During an extended Dunkirk anniversary period (25th May to 5th June) a daily news-feed has posted details of HMS Medway Queen’s activities on that same day in 1940, and that will remain available on the site afterwards. This is set against the society’s proven track record in outreach (digital and physical) to all sectors of the community over many years.
- Canal charity gives public safety boost to Carr Mill Reservoir, St Helens
- Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust Volunteers receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
Two topical promotional projects, model railway wagons and a “Memories of Dunkirk” book, produced by our “Medway Queen West” support group, which were intended for sale at the Ramsgate commemorative events, have been switched to focus on sales via the website.
The award has inspired the Medway Queen’s PR team to make every effort to increase their online presence to maintain the ship’s public profile during the pandemic and beyond.