Saturday, July 31, 2010

Preserving the past

I love history, granted it's not everyone's cup of tea, but something that fascinates me. I'm pretty much interested in everything, however it's mostly English history that fascinates and intrigues me, all the way back to the distant and occasionally not so distant past. Which is why I was delighted (for once) that Medway council decided to part with some of my cash and restore the Medway Queen.

Medway Queen                                              
A paddle steamer famous for its exploits in saving more than 7,000 Allied troops during the Dunkirk evacuations of 1940 is to return to the River Medway.
Medway Council has secured £900,000 to bring back the Medway Queen from dockyards in Bristol next year.
The 1924 vessel made seven crossings, rescuing more than 7,000 men from the beaches of France.
Councillor Jane Chitty, cabinet member for economic growth, said the ship was part of Kent's naval heritage.
Restoration work on the ship's hull began in Bristol last April with money from a £1.86m Heritage Lottery Grant.
Medway Council applied to the European Regional Development Fund for a grant to complete the restoration and bring the ship home.
'Naval heritage'
The Heroes 2C project is being carried out in partnership with the Medway Queen Preservation Society and MidKent College.
Ahead of the ship's arrival, college students have been using their skills in woodwork and engineering to restore parts such as handrails and lamps.
During its final crossing in 1940, the Medway Queen was badly damaged and limped home on a single paddle.
The ship was refitted at Chatham Dockyard and served out the war as a training vessel.
It returned to paddle steaming on the Thames and Medway after the war and was decommissioned in 1963.
It's history projects like this that will help eventually to restore English pride in past achievements, not the watered down anti-English so called imperialistic history that socialist English hating teachers have foisted down on our kids today. History should be a wonderful subject enthusiastically taught to our kids showing (yes warts and all) where the people of this land came from, what they did and why we are.It's lack of this knowledge and ignorance of our roots that has enabled past governments to push through legislation against the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights as well as hand away sovereignty to a foreign oppressor.
If we lose our past, we lose our future.

5 annotations:

English Pensioner said...

Good news indeed. My interest is in anything historical which involved any form of engineering, and this certainly falls in to that category.

Woman on a Raft said...

Yes, agree, this is exactly the sort of project we should be doing more of. It's only a question of how to fund it.

JuliaM said...

Isn't this (and not the wretched Olympics!) just the sort of thing the Lottery was set up for..?

Anonymous said...

Yes...LOL We feel the same way in Scotland.

An excellent post, but I wonder if it's not something that might have been done by the ‘big society’. Volunteers getting together to fix or restore stuff that's broken instead of government doing it out of taxes.

Likewise these Olympics of yours and our Common Wealth (huh...common wealth?? that turned out to be a joke as all the wealth really didn't seem to be that common) games.

I believe that not a penny piece of our money should go to either. Businesses which will benefit, charities, local people, yes... but billions in taxes when we can't keep hospitals open? No.

Sports legacy for the people in return? Nope. Not anywhere else, but with Lord Sir Seb, CBE OBE organizing it, who knows, England may turn out to be different and every kid by 2014 may be a slim sleek bundle of energy with muscles and a 6 pack. Or, more likely, they may look up from their games consoles for a minute at people with titles on telly opening things, and then go back to level 8 on their game as they stuff another mars bar (deep-fried in Scotland) down their necks into their capacious stomachs and shout out to their mum that they have run out of Coke or Irn Bru in Scotland.

Five years down the line the stadia will be empty and the village they built on the cheap will crumble into another slum.

Oh dear, I do sound depressive this morning, but it’s all true. At this time government funds must be conserved, cuts of up to 40%. No time for Olympics and Commonwealth Games. India has money, let them have the Commonwealth ones and China could afford the Olympics again.

Good luck with your boat. I hope that the work will provide some kids with apprenticeships and a chance of a decent start in life.

Curmudgeon said...

I saw the Waverley moored at Largs harbour earlier this year - absolutely wonderful. And surely all the preserved railways around the country are a prime example of the "Big Society" in action.