Author Topic: Not RMS!  (Read 5516 times)

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Offline holynougat

Not RMS!
« on: Dec 25, 2009, 10:27 AM »
I am always quite surprised by the number of people who prefix Queen Elizabeth 2 with ‘RMS’. After the diesel engines were fitted she was MV.

I’m not sure why Cunard did not go for RMS when she was launched, I suppose back then there was no nostalgic connection with the prefix?



Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #1 on: Dec 25, 2009, 01:03 PM »
I'm told that the reason that QE2 was never an RMS (!) is because 'ships had been boring long enough' and they were trying to break many connections with the past.   Documents exist proving that the ship was not an RMS, and recording the decision made, by whom, when and why - all before the ship entered service.

I look forward to correcting this in Wikipedia amongst other places, once I've had time to get the facts straight with documented proof!
Passionate about QE2 for over 30 years.

Offline RMS Queen Elizabeth 2

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #2 on: Dec 25, 2009, 01:36 PM »
I've always fixed her as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 as many people have said that about her. She must have been made RMS after Queens Mary and Elizabeth retired?


Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #3 on: Dec 25, 2009, 01:45 PM »
Everybody just thought she was, because she was the last British transatlantic liner.
Passionate about QE2 for over 30 years.

Offline RMS Queen Elizabeth 2

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #4 on: Dec 25, 2009, 01:54 PM »
Yeah I must admit I thought she was. QE2 was the only Liner Cunard had when she first entered service. Thats to what I know of but I think later on other vessels began coming in but QE2 was the only main ship they had then.

Offline Matt

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #5 on: Dec 25, 2009, 02:19 PM »
Wasnt she placed with RMS, simply for the fact that she carried mail for the British Postal Service, 'Royal Mail'?

This is what i thought she did, like Queen Mary 2? Or is she not an RMS aswell?

Matt
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Offline holynougat

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #6 on: Dec 25, 2009, 08:16 PM »
QM2 is RMS, complete with Royal Mail post box.

QE2 was SS (steam ship) when she came into service and was redesignated MV after the new engines were fitted.

Having looked at the certificate of registry, that does not record the prefix of the ship - I could take a more detailed look, I suppose it is written somewhere.


Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #7 on: Dec 25, 2009, 11:02 PM »
I had always thought the same as Beepers; that holding a Royal Mail surface mail contract automatically bestowed "RMS" upon any ship, at least for the crossings on which the mail contract was valid?

She did carry the surface mail when doing an Altantic crossing, did she not?
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Offline Chris

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #8 on: Dec 26, 2009, 06:26 AM »
I believe that 'technically', after the re-engine QE2 was T.S.M.V - Twin Screw Motor Vessel - although MV was the most common prefix to her name.

Offline holynougat

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #9 on: Dec 26, 2009, 08:56 AM »
You need a Royal Mail contract in order to use the title RMS.

Can't comment on her early years, but she never used to carry mail towards the end of her life - I doubt the post office would have worked around her crusing / crossing schedule.

Offline highlander0108

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #10 on: Dec 26, 2009, 10:38 AM »
She did carry the mail back to the UK after 9-11.
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
My Blog:  http://qe2-prideoftheclyde.blogspot.com/

Offline Stowaway2k

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #11 on: Dec 26, 2009, 11:21 AM »
Looking forward to Rob's documentation of the RMS question.
Cunard did indeed make a very strong effort to remove QE2 from Cunard's past, even to the point of implying that the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were "boring", as Rob mentioned, and thus Cunard's entire "Heritage". :o ;)
Ironic that in recent years Cunard did a complete about-face on that very point, by turning to and relying on that boring past to sell QE2 and then QM2,and now QV and QE.
The press, probably by habit, from the very start reported on QE2 as "RMS", and as a result so did the public, up to the present day. A Google News archive search brings up example after example.
 Looking through all of my early QE2 material, I cannot find a single reference to QE2 by Cunard as RMS, and I think the Potter & Frost book doesn't mention the RMS question at all. 

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #12 on: Dec 26, 2009, 02:02 PM »
Would she have carried the surface mail on her Atlantic crossings, though, right up to the last one ( being the fastest vessel around )?
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Offline jdl

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #13 on: Dec 26, 2009, 07:31 PM »
To the best of my knowledge the RMS pre-fix only refers to Royal Mail Ship

ie as others above have pointed out this is only supposed to be use by ships that carry mail in any format from the British Royal Mail.  The classification of the ships powerplant be it SS or MV is of no significance to the RMS - the ship can be an RMS regardless of its powerplant, in essence it is an extra prefix to the ships name.

jdl

Offline Jem

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #14 on: Dec 26, 2009, 07:49 PM »
Here is one vessel that we know for sure is RMS St Helena http://www.rms-st-helena.com/abouttheship.html

Is the only other vessel QM2 ?

Offline Twynkle

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #15 on: Dec 26, 2009, 10:56 PM »
Yes - there are lots of references to the Royal Mail by sea, 'shipping mail' etc
and because my eyes dimmed well during further exploration, it was difficult to find out exactly when Cunard and other lines were awarded the contract with the Royal Mail itself.

This link comes from wikipedia - so probably needs further authentication
http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Royal-Mail-Ship
(Warning -  Please open carefully!! You may need some sun specs before clicking on this!
http://www.merchantnavyofficers.com/rm1.html)
QE2 has been waiting alongside in Dubai for over 2000 days...or 5 years, 5 months, and many days more - she needs to be earning her keep....

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #16 on: Dec 26, 2009, 11:02 PM »
Well, that ^^^^^ does list the QE2 and it does also state - as I suspected - that the prefix applied only when actually carrying mail.  So logically that implies that QE2 was indeed entitled to the prefix, whether bestowed formally or not, on those occasions when the mail was on board.

I note the article also mentions the Royal Mail pennant may ( but that doesn't mean it has to! ) be flown when mail is on board.  So the next step in this investigation is, presumably, to see whether any photographs exist of her flying this particular flag...?
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline holynougat

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #17 on: Dec 27, 2009, 08:48 AM »
To the best of my knowledge the RMS pre-fix only refers to Royal Mail Ship

ie as others above have pointed out this is only supposed to be use by ships that carry mail in any format from the British Royal Mail.  The classification of the ships powerplant be it SS or MV is of no significance to the RMS - the ship can be an RMS regardless of its powerplant, in essence it is an extra prefix to the ships name.

jdl

I'm sure you are right on this - but for example the QM2 is not RMS M/V Queen Mary 2, and neither is the St Helena, I think the key difference is that some ships are permanently designated RMS, while others are technically entitled to the title only while carrying mail...

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #18 on: Dec 30, 2009, 11:22 AM »
QE2 was entitled to be an RMS but was never made so for the reasons so far given. Cunard wanted to position the ship as something 'new' and labelling her as RMS was seen as too much of a throwback. I have seen correspondence involving Sir Basil Smallpiece (Cunard Chairman in 1969) rejecting RMS usage. I have also had the opportunity to discuss this with John Whitworth (Cunard MD in 1969) and he confirmed this.

However, this ruling does not seem to have been adhered to on the ship itself. Examples of cabin stationary (printed on board) clearly state 'RMS Queen Elizabeth 2' and several merchandise items do too. I think that is where the confusion comes from. One hand stated one thing while the other stated the opposite.

QM2 is an RMS but that is very rarely used by Cunard in it's marketing material.

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #19 on: Dec 30, 2009, 11:33 AM »
^^^^^

That's interesting and also a bit surprising; I'd have thought the extra prestige from having the RMS would be a very valuable marketing aid for the QM2?
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Jem

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #20 on: Dec 30, 2009, 11:18 PM »
I'm sure you are right on this - but for example the QM2 is not RMS M/V Queen Mary 2, and neither is the St Helena, I think the key difference is that some ships are permanently designated RMS, while others are technically entitled to the title only while carrying mail...
Slightly confused as it states on the vessels website she is RMS St Helena and I assume the only other remaining one of the two is RMS QM2. Could you explain why nether of these vessel are not RMS? Thanks :)

Offline holynougat

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #21 on: Dec 31, 2009, 08:37 AM »
Sorry for the confusion, both the QM2 and St Helena are RMS.

I was just addressing an earlier post where someone said that the title was in addition to the more standard MV or SS etc. and was pointing out the QM2 was Simply RMS QM2, not RMS MV QM2.

Offline Jem

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #22 on: Dec 31, 2009, 03:51 PM »
Sorry for the confusion, both the QM2 and St Helena are RMS.

I was just addressing an earlier post where someone said that the title was in addition to the more standard MV or SS etc. and was pointing out the QM2 was Simply RMS QM2, not RMS MV QM2.

Thanks for that. All makes sense now. :)

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #23 on: Jul 05, 2010, 10:05 PM »
So if QM2 is an RMS What type of mail did or does she carry?  Given her new schedules is it to be assumed its surface itmes as they seem to take forever to reach the other side of the pond  ;)
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Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #24 on: Jul 06, 2010, 12:59 AM »
Well, two days slower than QE2 she may be, but such is the state of shipping these days that she is still the fastest vessel across the Atlantic!
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Cruisemarsh

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #25 on: Jul 06, 2010, 09:11 PM »
I am pretty sure she was an RMS. She carried mail on her for Royal Mail and I am pretty sure there are photos of her flying the Royal Mail flag. But I will stand corrected if there is proof that she wasn't an RMS.
Queen Elizabeth 2: Legendary Grand Dame of the Seas.

Offline holynougat

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #26 on: Jul 08, 2010, 09:20 AM »
No reference was made on QE2's official documents to the title RMS, and the Royal Mail never designated her RMS, so no, she was not an RMS...

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #27 on: Jul 08, 2010, 09:34 PM »
QE2 was entitled to be an RMS but was never made so for the reasons so far given. Cunard wanted to position the ship as something 'new' and labelling her as RMS was seen as too much of a throwback. I have seen correspondence involving Sir Basil Smallpiece (Cunard Chairman in 1969) rejecting RMS usage. I have also had the opportunity to discuss this with John Whitworth (Cunard MD in 1969) and he confirmed this.

However, this ruling does not seem to have been adhered to on the ship itself. Examples of cabin stationary (printed on board) clearly state 'RMS Queen Elizabeth 2' and several merchandise items do too. I think that is where the confusion comes from. One hand stated one thing while the other stated the opposite.

QM2 is an RMS but that is very rarely used by Cunard in it's marketing material.
Passionate about QE2 for over 30 years.

Offline pete cain

Twitter feed
« Reply #28 on: Jul 15, 2010, 09:09 PM »
Don't know if ' twitter feed' on the site actually feeds into the forum , (I've looked but cannot find links,) said twitter mentions that QE2 was not an RMS, I always believed that she was ,& am sure did most people, however  just to muddy the waters,   P116 of 'TRIBUTE TO A QUEEN', John Maxtone Graham  ''in late April of 1987, the diesel-electric QE2 re-entered service. She is no longer royal mail ship Queen Elizabeth 2  for the company has deceided to relinquish all descriptive, initialled prefixes''. somebody is wrong, I've got a quote.
 Trouble is whilst looking for this info (which I knew I'd read somewhere) , I came across this quote,' THE QE2 A PICTURE HISTORY', William H. Miller Jr.  P64. '' And so,the last chapter of this beloved, highly successful superliner has begun-and, unlikesome other floating hotel projects, her future seems assured with Dubai's  immense wealth.'' I trully trully hope so , thanks to the people who are looking after her (for us all).

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #29 on: Jul 15, 2010, 11:04 PM »
Hello Pete,

Its an interesting topic - and we're tacking it here - http://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,1392.0.html  !!

To summarise - she was NOT an RMS, ever, but was mistakently thought to be, by many people.

Passionate about QE2 for over 30 years.

Offline Chris

Re: Twitter feed
« Reply #30 on: Jul 16, 2010, 02:04 AM »
'' And so,the last chapter of this beloved, highly successful super liner has begun-and, unlike some other floating hotel projects, her future seems assured with Dubai's  immense wealth.''

No one realised just how delicate the Dubai financial situation was back in 2007, how things have changed!

Offline Scott

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #31 on: Jul 19, 2010, 05:38 AM »
This was super informative! I found this photo that I took in the Captains cabin... probably a gift to the ship?

« Last Edit: Jul 19, 2010, 06:06 AM by Scott »

Offline Scott

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #32 on: Jul 19, 2010, 06:10 AM »
Actually as I look at it closer, the wood in the plaques match the panelling. and the one on the left has some very old plates on it... probably not a gift.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #33 on: Jul 19, 2010, 07:35 AM »
Hi Scott
That is a wonderful image - Thank you.

Although not a designated Royal Mail Steamship,
in just about every way she well deserves a special Royal pre-fix!
Rosie
QE2 has been waiting alongside in Dubai for over 2000 days...or 5 years, 5 months, and many days more - she needs to be earning her keep....

Offline pete cain

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #34 on: Jul 19, 2010, 08:57 PM »
Am determined to get to the bottom of this topic(because I truly believe QE2 deserves the title RMS), & as such it might take some time to find out & report as others have said, however it's funny how one gets diverted  ,& whilst browsing. ' Cunard ' (I know it's only a trading name nowadays) don't refer to QM2 as Rms in their publicity literature, even now, but whilst looking for onfo I came across this'official' publication from Cunard, titled FAREWELL CELEBRATION a tribute to the world's most famous ship.P4   ...June 1970 when she set a westbound record of just 3days,20 hours and 42 minuites by averaging 30.36 knots. That's pretty damn good& will probably never be bettered, it's probably been reported elsewhere in the forum, but I think it's worth repeating,I look through all the glossy mags & brochoures posted to me from CUNARD , before QE2 left servi ce & find myself thinking, are these people being cynical (at that time,spinning all the celebratory achievements of QE2,) & do they really really deep down realise now that they've lost an icon all  for 30 pieces of silver??????????????? . Been a while since I spit me dummy out......

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #35 on: Jul 19, 2010, 09:10 PM »
Its not that QE2 wasn't good enough to be an RMS, its simply that they (Cunard) didn't WANT her to be an RMS.  They wanted her to be new, exciting, different and modern and wanted to shake off all that old stuff that went before!  The exact opposite of QM2, in fact, which was designed to be retro and dripping in Titanic influences (because of the successful movie) including the RMS!
Passionate about QE2 for over 30 years.

Offline Chris

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #36 on: Jul 20, 2010, 01:29 PM »
Cunard won the mail contract back in 1839 and then he created the fastest most reliable mail transportation service using steam powered paddle wheels. RMS meant something in those days, right up until the days of the Queens.

By the time QE2 came along in 1969 mail could travel much faster by air - so what significance would RMS have at all to QE2? The only reason QM2 is RMS is because of nostalgic marketing... Cunard aren't making money carrying mail any more...

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #37 on: Jul 20, 2010, 01:42 PM »
The RM do, however, still offer a surface mail service and it follows that the fastest vessel on a regular route will be the prime choice for carrying the resulting mailbags.

If the RM were not able to pay the rate required by the owners / operators of the vessels in question, which should at least cover the coss of carrying the mail plus a bit on top, then surface mail would cease to exist as an offering.

As there are only a few crossings each year now, I am guessing that while the QM2 will carry the mail when she is doing a TA, the rest of the time it'll be going on freighters.

Which, incidentally, suggests to me that posting something surface mail to the USA a few days before a QM2 westbound TA departure will probably mean it gets there slightly faster than if it was posted a few days later.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Chris

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #38 on: Jul 20, 2010, 02:27 PM »
I don't think QM2 routinely carrys mail.
She has to carry a tribute bag at a certain interval to retain her RMS status but I don't think it's regular. Perhaps Michael can clarify?

Of course the most valuable parcel QM2 carried was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - the first signed copy in a steamer trunk no less! I wonder what the postage charge is on that ;)

Offline Twynkle

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #39 on: Jul 20, 2010, 03:04 PM »
A gentleman in The Post Office Museum Heritage Department in Clerkenwell, London pointed me 'downstairs' towards the thousands of archives.
It would have been possible to do a search that might have taken 600 days, at least!
Having chosen the alternative route, this is the result.

After opening the link, in the search window, enter: Royal Mail Liners
and  click on catalogue
and take a look at the at the last post -  finding POST 122/389

http://catalogue.postalheritage.org.uk/dserve/dserve.exe?srch_AnyText=Royal+Mail+Liners&dsqWords=And&srch_AltRefNo=&dsqCmd=SearchBuild.tcl&dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqServer=localhost&dsqApp=Archive&dsqDb=Catalog&btnSearch=search+the+catalogue


« Last Edit: Jul 20, 2010, 03:38 PM by Twynkle »
QE2 has been waiting alongside in Dubai for over 2000 days...or 5 years, 5 months, and many days more - she needs to be earning her keep....