Author Topic: QE2's Captain - William Cooper - and his crew.  (Read 4254 times)

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Offline Rob Lightbody

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QE2's Captain - William Cooper - and his crew.
« on: May 01, 2011, 11:30 AM »
QE2's Captain is William (Bill) Cooper.

Note - 4 images attached.

Bill is from Newcastle, England, and was brought on to prepare the QE2 to travel to South Africa, and then to take her there (as were most of the current crew).  Everything was set, and they were ready for sea trials to take place the next day, when the project fell through.

Bill made me incredibly welcome on board, from the moment I arrived.  Coffee and biscuits were waiting for me on the bridge to welcome me, and he made me feel instantly at home with his beaming smile and sparkling white uniform and had an answer to every single one of my very many questions!

His job combines that of a captain, obviously (QE2 is still an operational ship after all) but also encompasses other areas because she has less officers - for instance staffing matters.  He is immensely proud of the work he is doing, and has every right to be.  His crew are fantastic, and there is a real sense of family amongst them - a proud family doing their best to look after the great ship - a ship that they rightly feel is theirs now, after looking after her for two and a half years.

Nothing was too much trouble - for instance i desperately wanted to see the princess grill bar, but we couldn't get the lights to come on - i mentioned it in passing to him, and lo-and-behold the next time i looked in - every single light was working - fantastic.

She has 38 permanent crew (she used to have more) and additional staff are brought on as necessary.  During my visit there were additional people working in the engine room for instance.  The crew live in the penthouses (except the 2 top suites) and the officers accomodation, as it makes sense to keep this front section of the ship including the bridge fully operational.  The crew eat in the QE2's 1-deck crew mess, and I enjoyed lovely lunches and dinners there.

It feels like there is more crew than there actually is - i frequently seemed to pass them in various bits of the ship, always looking busy with something.

I was also honoured to be invited out to dinner with the Captain and his lovely wife, and very much enjoyed spending the evening with them.

She is in very good hands.  Thank you to all her crew for looking after me so brilliantly when I was on board.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 08:42 PM by Rob Lightbody »

Passionate about QE2 for over 30 years.

Offline Chris

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Re: QE2's Captain - William Cooper
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2011, 04:05 PM »
Thank you Rob and it's wonderful to meet QE2's latest Captain.

The work the Captain and Crew are doing was on without anyone knowing their names and faces. It's wonderful now that you've been aboard that we can all personally thank them for keeping our magnificent ship safe.

Online cunardqueen

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Re: QE2's Captain - William Cooper
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2011, 08:20 PM »
Yet again a highly interesting feature.. ;D
How did Captain Cooper feel being in charge of the greatest ship in the world, Was he previous to this a passenger or cargo captain and how does he enjoy life onboard. What would be his wish for the QE2 if he had his way?
Perhaps we should have a Ask the captain session with the present master?
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2's Captain - William Cooper - and his crew.
« Reply #3 on: Jul 04, 2011, 07:12 PM »
I thought I'd add another photo of Captain Bill that I took when I was there, just before I left.
Passionate about QE2 for over 30 years.

Offline Lynda Bradford

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Re: QE2's Captain - William Cooper - and his crew.
« Reply #4 on: Jul 05, 2011, 09:10 AM »
Is there more than one Captain who stay onboard for a limited time e.g. One month on, One month off. 

Captain Cooper and his crew are steering QE2 through a difficult time in her life.  Well done to them all!
I was only eighteen the first time I stepped onboard QE2 in 1968. She was a thoroughly modern lady and I fell in love with her.


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