QE2 Story Forum

Introductions and Our own QE2 Stories => Passengers & Enthusiasts Introductions => Topic started by: jamesatmaisonverre on Jun 04, 2012, 09:35 PM

Title: qe2 introduction
Post by: jamesatmaisonverre on Jun 04, 2012, 09:35 PM
Hi All,
My name is james and i am from cork in ireland. Hope you are all well.
My interest in the qe2 began in 2008. Nevr really had an interest in the qe2 because she just seemed too modern to be a real liner. When i heard she was coming to cobh for her farewell tour, i said i better go down and take a look. I went to roches point and climbed the cliffs outside the lighthouse wall and waited. Then on the horizon i saw her accompanied by a flotilla guiding her into cork harbour. To tel ou the truth it was kinda surrial because as the ship approached a squal stirred in the air as if the might and majesty of the ship was making its presence known, almost supernatural. Quite terrifying when you are on a cliff edge. When the squal past the ship was at the anchorage for the titanic and got me thinking of all the emigrants that left our shores and stirred in my imagination the tenders approaching the ship with its human cargo. The uploaded image reflects the scene.
As the ship past the lighthouse the sun started the ship i began to get excited seeing the ship so close as the sun began to shine. I snapped a few more images before heading to my car, next destination, cobh. I did not see the ship dock but when i got there i counld not get over how small she was. As i walked along the quay, i finally got it, i saw the true ocean liner. My interest had begun.
I went into the hills to snap some more photos and then went home. The day previous i had bought tickets to boat to sail out with qe2.
She had actually sailed in a day early because of bad weather so she stayed over night.
The next day we boarded the boat to sail out with qe2. She went up river and then turned with the assistance of the tugs, her stern actually 10 ft away from the naval ship etna. We were about 20ft from the hull as you can see in the next image. She looked huge. then went down river and i could not believe how efficient her hull was. The ship was moving with no bow wave, amazing. We sailed out with her until she dissapeared behind spike island.
And that is the compact version.
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Jun 04, 2012, 09:44 PM
Great story, and photos James!

Sailing alongside QE2, up close, in 2007 was a dream come true to me.  As our ship (MV Balmoral) travelled at maximum speed, QE2 just appeared to be effortlessly gliding along, barely strolling.  She was of course - probably on just 3 or 4 of her 9 engines.  It is something I will absolutely never forget, and honestly, even after having cruised on her, probably the best way to experience her.  You will never see such a ship again travelling under her own power.  Treasure those memories!
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Jun 04, 2012, 10:39 PM
Hello James, and céad míle fáilte romhait!

That is a wonderful story you tell -- it is easy to imagine oneself there with you, watching out for the QE2 and next day sailing away alongside the beautiful ship.

You might be interested to read this thread :


which is of the same final visit to Cóbh, as seen from the passengers' point of view. I believe that Cóbh was one of the highlights of that final farewell tour -- she got such a warm welcome there that the passengers were happy to have the extra night in port!

Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: jamesatmaisonverre on Jun 05, 2012, 11:50 AM
Hi Rob,
Thanks a million, it is fabulous to be gliding next to her alright and feeling the momentum. She had been to Ireland a few times but unfortunately I only saw her that time which was a shame but what an impression she left. I have a few cunard bits, so decided to build a model and put it in a case. As you know it is the airfix kit which requires a bit of adjustment as she is not 100% accurate, but as they are not in production any more, a good sound investment. I also built a model of the qm2 1:700 to match her, of course when she was british in 2004 version which was a pleasure I must say but very time consuming. The qe2 seems indestructible to me when I think of all the atlantic swells she had to deal with. I thought it fitting to build the airfix model because it depicted her in her original state and I must say she was fabulous before they added the apartments. She was sleek and sophisticated. Always had a hard time deciding between france and qe2 but then again they had so much in common. But then again we can thank the normadie for that cant we, which was so influencial on both ship designs in my view.
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: jamesatmaisonverre on Jun 05, 2012, 12:05 PM
Hi Isabelle,
Thanks for the response, how are you getting on? Love the irish, unfortunately I don’t really speak it whish is a shame I guess. I am going to be very presumptous now so forgive me in advance if I slip up.
Dzi?kujemy za rodzaju s?owa

Just to help you out a bit, there is no ó in cobh, its just like that, it’s a modern word derived from its original cove which it was called before queenstown after queen victoria.
Yes, that was a very interesting post, never knew it was talked about that much to be honest. It was a spectacular day but bloody cold. From our boat we could see the hills lined with thousands of people bidding farewell to the mighty ship which was a fabulous scene. The hankies were on sales for €4 in local stores and they are quite rare now, a bit of a collectors item. There were only 2000 of them produced and they said ‘qe2 cobh 2008 which was embroidered on them. I went down the day before the ship pulled in and bought four of them. I gave two to family, one which is going to go with my airfix kit and the other is framed with a picture of the ship passing roches point. We were delighted to hear the ship was staying over night, it was a very exciting time and we were sad to see her go, but what a send off. I will look at the videos later as I am at work and I cant see them.
Kind regards
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: Rod on Jun 05, 2012, 10:20 PM
Welcome to the forum James. Glad to have you here!
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: jamesatmaisonverre on Jun 05, 2012, 10:41 PM
Hi Rod, thanks a million, nice to meet you.
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: cunardqueen on Jun 06, 2012, 07:25 PM
 Welcome to the forum. Delighted to read your story, when you have time the longer version will be appreciated by one and all. ;)
I was on the QE2 for her round UK voyage, and take it from me, as well as most if not all on board Cobh really set the tone for the voyage. For me it was the sail into the lovely port with the bell ringing from the church that really slapped you in the face and made you realise, gosh this is it, this was the start of end.Something which we headnt really thought about at the start.
 The overnight was indeed just the icing on the cake and an unexpected bonus for all board. It would be interesting to find out just how much income was generated by that visit. 

 The hankies, were such a great idea, lm sure heaps more could have been sold. What l do think was nice for the local residents, was just how close you could get to QE2 herself, and see inside the windows etc. 

Belfast on the other hand provided a different viewpoint.
What l kick myself for was my memory stick packed up so l dont have any photos from the sailaway, upto shortly after we arrived.

When you have the time, it would be great if you could post more of your photos.
Im sending you a private message as well.
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: jamesatmaisonverre on Jun 08, 2012, 03:08 PM
Hi Myles,
Thanks for the response. What a nice story, a good viewpoint from the other side of the show. The Cobh Cathedral or St. Colmans as it is known locally is fabulous. I was not there for the docking but i got a good idea when i was also in the water for the qm2's maidan arrival which was nothing short of spectacular. I remember sitting on the little boat listening to the pilot boats comunicating, the qm2 was stopped and about to moor her lines when the harbour shouted @another five metres'. this ginormous vessel had to blast her pods one more time to bring her up to irish docking standards which i found so funny, shame the bus service was not as efficient.
The bells going off when qe2 arrived really must have signafied a sese of for whom the bell tolls which must have been quite daunting at the time.
The residents love the ships coming like i do, something stunning on the usually sull skyline, a kinda tribute to days gone by but in a more positive light of bringing people to cobh instead of taking them away. The visit generated €2m for the local economy which was brilliant. I think it was good that they did not produce more hankies because in todays mass production society it made the visit even more special for people and have a rare souvenier to take home that wont be produced again.
I have a few here so hear they are, i am not at home at the mo but will post more later.
Kind regards

the first image is one of my favourites of qe2 just before departure
the second is her going slightly up river before turning
and the third was her making for open water as the sun set.
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Jun 08, 2012, 04:53 PM
Hello James

Thanks for posting your story and these fantastic photos of the QE2. 

I think it is wonderful that even though you did not have an interest in QE2 before that you were hooked as soon as you saw her.  She is a lovely ship who always generated a lot of interest wherever she went. 

I have visited Cobh a fews times on other ships including the QM2 last year it is a beautiful little town and we have been made very welcome each time we have visited.

Hope you enjoy the Forum.  Keep posting. 
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: jamesatmaisonverre on Jun 10, 2012, 09:59 AM
Hi lynda,
thanks a million, es i thought the qe2 strange because i was into older liners, i think it was the first hand experience. I missed the qm2 last year but saw it on its maiden arrival the year before. That is some ship!!
Looks bigger than all the rest, very daunting ship, especialy at waterline level.
Cobh is a nice place but a bit rough at times unfortunately, but ou cant have everything. It breaths history which is fabulous.
Look forward to talking to you more.
Kind regards
Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Jun 10, 2012, 07:13 PM
i thought the qe2 strange because i was into older liners

In a way, this happened to me too.  I made a big effort in 1997 to go to Long Beach to see Queen Mary - a ship which had been in my dreams many times.  She totally fascinated me by being so old, as well as being from here.  The fact that she still existed at all, and not just in books, utterly fascinated me, and still does to this day.

Although passionate about her, QE2 always seemed new to me, state of the art, advanced, modern.  Going aboard her in 1987 as a boy gave me this feeling - she felt like a wonderful modern massive hotel full of exciting technology.

Then suddenly in 2007 I woke up with a shock and realised that she was OLD!  She was historic.  She was the last of her kind, and the end was now nigh!  This really forced a total rethink for me (and many others).  Here was a ship, really very similar to Queen Mary in Long Beach, but still sailing (for a while longer anyway).  Portholes, varnished veneers in the rooms, teak decks, sleek lines ....  I immensely enjoyed sailing on her in 2007 and 2008.

I just wish that somehow Cunard had made me make that momentous mental shift a few years earlier, as I would very definitely have sailed on her more times than I managed.

Title: Re: qe2 introduction
Post by: jamesatmaisonverre on Jun 11, 2012, 10:47 AM
Hi Rob,
It is so funny you said that. That is exactly how I felt about the qe2. I was massive into white star liners and had a massive resentment against cunard for obliterating the shipping line. At the time I thought the qe2 was some kinda space age modern design and was so far removed from the traditional liner. The queen mary was always an odd looking thing to me, I much prefer the lizzie, that was one good looking ship so I was excited to get grahams book on the ship which cost £30 which was so worth it, what a beautiful book. I always thought the qe2 was trying to be something she was not, trying to compromise between the traditional and the modern although I have a massive appreciation for her legacy.
When I walked along the quay beside her hull, realised if you took off the funnel and chopped the bow off, you saw the liner. She truly was mutton dressed as lamb which was reinforced by her rivets. Her long sweeping boat deck and wedding cake tear lines.
I certainly would have liked have seen the lizzie for real, shame cunard did not buy her back after the Florida escapade.
My disappointment in the white star escapade came with artefact retrieval on the titanic and how the legacy of the shipping line was being tarnished by ridiculous documentaries on complete rubbish to fund these exhibitions to destroy the wreck and its memory. It just made me angry, I started losing interest after that really and here I am today.