Pembury Evening WI was formed in 1964 and we have a membership of about 35. We meet on the 1st Friday of the month at Pembury Village Hall. We have a wide range of speakers.
Below is part of our latest newsletter, the full one can be seen in the news section of oub website and is a taster of what we did at our last meeting.
JUNE MEETING – We welcomed Mrs Gillian Ellen to our meeting. She came to speak to us about Dunkirk’s Little Ship’s and in particular the Medway Queen, a paddle steamer launched in 1924, which mainly sailed from Chatham to Southend. When it was first in service, holidays were not long so a day trip was a treat. This resulted in the trips being busy and the boat crowded. In 1939 the Medway Queen was used to evacuate women & children to Lowestoft before being taken over by the Navy as a mine sweeper in the North Sea. In 1940 when the British Expedition Forces were told to retreat to Dunkirk, the Medway Queen was one of over 800 ships that went to rescue them from the beaches. The first day of the rescue was a bit chaotic but thereafter the men being rescued were more organised. Each time the Medway Queen returned to Ramsgate she had approx. 1000 men on board. She managed 7 trips before being damaged and limping home. Once repaired she continued to work as a mine sweeper until the war ended when she became a training ship, finally returning to her original state in 1947, but the heyday of day trips was over. The Medway Queen is currently at Gillingham Pier being restored to her former glory and can be visited most Saturday’s in the year, the website is for more information. www.medwayqueen.co.uk/