Bedhampton volunteer enjoys chat with the Queen about Medusa restoration

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The Queen was left fascinated by the story of a dedicated volunteer from Bedhampton who has spent 30 years helping to restore a vessel that featured in the D-Day landings.

When Sam Small, 75, met the monarch at a garden party he told her how he and a team of workers have returned the Medusa - a harbour defence motor launch - to its former glory.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh hosted the Buckingham Palace event where thousands of guests enjoyed afternoon tea, a selection of sandwiches, cakes and other sweet treats.

A brief summer shower gave way to sunshine ahead of the garden party which was the Queen’s second of the year.

Mr Small, who was joined by his wife Katherine, chatted to the Queen as she met various groups of people at the social occasion.

He said: “I’ve been working on her for 30 years, we took her over to France last year for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

“We had the last piece fitted a few weeks ago, a 20mm gun and the Queen was very interested in the story.”

The vessel is moored at Gosport and during the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944 it was stationed in the English Channel guiding the thousands of warships and other vessels making the crossing away from mines in the water. Restoration which cost more than £1m was carried out by The Medusa Trust