30th May 1963 Medway Queen

On Thursday 30th May 1963 Medway Queen was on charter at Herne Bay Pier to take part in filming a sequence for the movie "French Dressing" starring James Booth, Roy Kinnear and Merisa Mell. Directed by Ken Russell, who had started his career making documentaries for the BBC, "French Dressing" was his debut as a (sometimes controversial) big screen director. The plot of this film is set in a down at heel seaside resort called Gormleigh-on-Sea where local attempts are made to revive it by starting an international film festival.

Medway Queen handbill advertising her 1963 sailings from Southend to Clacton-on-Sea.

Medway Queen started her main season of sailings two days later on Saturday 1st June with two round trips between Strood and Southend. The following day she was on the Strood, Southend, Herne Bay run but it became a breezy weekend with the wind in the NE, the worst possible direction for the Thames Estuary blowing straight in from the North Sea. As a result, on Whit Monday 3rd June Medway Queen got only as far as Southend on her way from Strood to Clacton where Capt Horsham decided to abort the trip and cancel the rest of the day.

John Megoran

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