In about half an hour, the still-seaworthy amongst the Little Ships that lifted the BEF from the beaches of Dunkirk will sail from Ramsgate to recreate that journey. Some will be like grandfather's axe but still be the boats that make that heroic passage 70 years ago. Others will be absent, now too frail to pilot anything other than the calm reaches of the non-tidal Thames. Others will have become victims of age, rust and want of care.
One such is the Medway Queen, an old paddle steamer that after sinking twice at her mooring, with a disintegrating hull, eventually won enough money from the HLF for a new hull, now under construction. Grandfather's axe. Her superstructure sits on bits of borrowed dockside about the place, waiting the new hull. We wish her, and her restorers, well, and look forward to see her making her stately progress down the Swale for a future Ramsgate event.