QE2 Story Forum

The QE2's Story (in-service) => Design, Concept & Build => QE2 Build => Topic started by: Michael Gallagher on Oct 18, 2011, 08:27 PM

Title: QE2 launch
Post by: Michael Gallagher on Oct 18, 2011, 08:27 PM
At precisely 1428 hours on a sunny afternoon Her Majesty stepped forward on the launching platform and said:

“I name this ship Queen Elizabeth the Second. May God Bless her. May God Bless her and all who sail in her.”

There was a thin cheer in the yard from the 30,000 or so spectators as the Queen announced the name. She cut the ribbon using the same gold scissors that her mother had used to launch Queen Elizabeth in 1938 and her grandmother to launch Queen Mary in 1934 which released the bottle of wine which duly smashed onto the side.The Queen then pressed the button that electrically released the launching trigger.

Then nothing happened. For 70 seconds it seemed as if the ship did not move. The Queen looked amazed; the smile slowly faded from Prince Philip’s face. Workmen high up on her deck leaned and shouted “Give us a shove!” Shipyard director George Parker joined in the spirit of the request and bowler-hatted, he sprang to the bows and gave the liner a shove. He jubilantly waved his bowler when, by a coincidence, she began to move.

In a little over two minutes 30 seconds after the Queen had named her the new Elizabeth had slid smoothly into the Clyde. She reached almost 20 mph as she slid down the ways and then dripped 33 feet as she left the slipway.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Oct 18, 2011, 08:49 PM
At precisely 1428 hours on a sunny afternoon Her Majesty stepped forward on the launching platform and said:

.......In a little over two minutes 30 seconds after the Queen had named her the new Elizabeth had slid smoothly into the Clyde. She reached almost 20 mph as she slid down the ways and then dripped 33 feet as she left the slipway.

Then there was the sound of cheering from the crowds, factory horns hooting up and down the Clyde, ships on the Clyde blowing their whistles . 

It was when I heard this sound I knew she was something special.  A Queen was born!

Thanks Flagship for this information.  I can just imagine her being given a shove  ;D
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Bob C. on Oct 18, 2011, 09:04 PM
Somewhere I saw a video clip of the launch with George Parker (I think) at the top of the stairway on the forward stocks giving her a shove or two.  It was in a video of the QE2 launch that I found online well before the QE2 Story Forum started and I have not been able to find it since.

Anyone else seen this?
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Twynkle on Oct 18, 2011, 09:54 PM
Here's one from the BBC, was it this one? BBC video footage "On this Day 20 September 1967"
(It only lasts 44 secs!)
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,5981.0.html

It's an interesting subject - and one that must have been important at the time of all launches on the narrow Clyde
I guess that weight, height, length, cable weight, cross winds, tugs, tide are only very few important things to consider when working out the logistics of getting her into the right position in the water, without indecent haste!
I wonder who / which department would have been responsible for getting it right...?
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Andy F on Oct 18, 2011, 09:55 PM
Interesting then that by comparison, HM didn't name the next Cunard Queen Queen Mary the Second but simply Queen Mary 2.

Going slightly off topic here admittedly but whereas QE2 was usually referred to as that in the spoken sense and rarely by her full name, her successor on the other hand is commonly referred by both long and shortened versions.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Michael Gallagher on Oct 18, 2011, 10:08 PM
NOTE THAT THE CONTENT OF THIS POSTING (AND ALL POSTINGS ON THIS DISCUSSION FORUM) IS COPYRIGHT © THEQE2STORY.COM AND THE POSTER, AND NOT TO BE USED ELSEWHERE - EXCEPT BY MEANS OF A HYPERLINK TO THIS POSTING - EXCEPT BY REQUEST.

The intricate launching calculations had been worked out by a computer – a week’s work reduced to 30 minutes compared with the normal methods with the slightest error having to be eliminated. Many factors had to be considered for the river was narrow and the ship was long.

The problems of a launch of this size were enormous. Very early on in the proceedings, John Browns had to decide the width and slope of the slipway on which the liner would slide down to the water. The effects of temperature on the launch lubricant grease mixture had to be considered and a host of other factors had all to be checked, evaluated and re-checked.

John Starks, assistant managing director heading John Brown’s design team:

“The first step is, obviously, to make sure that it will move. When it starts to move the first things that starts to happen is that the stern begins to lift. As it does so pressure on the forward end of the slipway is increased very considerably as it is taking the whole weight of the ship, apart from any buoyancy that the water is taking. One must, therefore, make sure that the ship is then strong enough to take the stress at the forward end.

“You also have to ensure by calculation that the ship will float off the slipway as opposed to dropping off and you also have to make sure that it is waterborne while it is reasonable clear of the slipway. The next thing that you have to decide is how far the ship can be expected to travel and you have to decide what drag chains you are going to attaché at what points to prevent the ship from going too far.

“What most people do not appreciate is that the ship takes a very rough ride during its launch. She bends during the course of the launch and we have to make sure that all her structure is absolutely sound. We, therefore, inspect the ship very carefully. She probably gets far more local stresses during the launch than she ever will during the course of her working life.

“The most critical factor by far in the launch is the depth of water available at the aft end of the slipways. The River Clyde is extremely tempremental; sometimes the water is deficient and sometimes is it excessive. If we have too much water, the danger is that the ship will really be afloat before she is clear at the end of the slipway and the danger is that, since high water is usually associated with high wind, if she is not clear at the end of the ways she could damage herself on one of the cranes. The problem usually solves itself because if the wind and water are that high, it is obviously no condition in which to launch a ship. This happens very infrequently and is obviously something to be avoided, but nevertheless the problem is still there.

“We, therefore, watch the weather forecasts very carefully before the day. We also measure the heights of the tides for a good many days before the launch to check whether the river is running true to form, under prediction or over prediction. We also measure the river in Greenock and Glasgow as a precaution and we are halfway between the two we can get a very good idea of what the river is doing. Having obtained this information we then can, within certain limits, ballast the ship to aim off for weather conditions, but obviously in a ship of this size the resources pen to us are limited”.

The man responsible for the slipway was Robert Craig, head foreman shipwright. He had worked at John Brown’s since he left school in 1918 and Q4 would be his 47th launch as head foreman. He built the slipway from the information given to him. Its declivity (downward inclination towards the river) was ½ inch to the foot. Every square foot of the sliding and standing (fixed) ways to bear a weight of more than two tons – he claimed for Q4 it was 2,089 tons.

He used 16,300 feet of 12” square timber to build the supporting poppets (cradles) at each end of the ship. Once the ship rested on 300 keel blocks but these had now been knocked away; the berth had been stripped of the huge shores like tress trunks, bilge blocks and wedges.

Q4 rested on two sliding ways, each formed of 25 lengths of timber 30 feet long, six feet wide and 12 inches thick. The sliding and standing ways had been greased with a concoction of nine tons of tallow compound, 70 gallons of sperm oil, 14 cwt. of soft black soap and seven gallons of fine spindle oil. Robert Craig took responsibility for this.

Q4 was held by six mighty triggers, each with its eight inch wooded tongue set into the sliding ways. Wires trailed from a tiny electrical device to the button on the high platform where the Queen would perform the launching ceremony. As the Queen pressed the button the powerful trigger arms would snap back in their pits with a report like an artillery salute. Then Q4 would glide towards the river; and just in case the liner is reluctant to leave the berth, two hydraulic rams would give her a nudge – a push with the power of 1,200 lbs per square inch behind it.

In the river six tugs would be waiting to handle the ship – three at the fore and three at the aft. Another will be standing by for any emergency. Lines would be rocketed from the tugs to the new Cunarder and towing lines would be secured and the new ship would move towards her fitting-out berth.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Andy F on Oct 18, 2011, 10:22 PM
An excellent insight and many thanks as always Michael.

Nothing can beat the moment when a ship thunders down the ways, dragging the chains and takes to the water for the very first time.  Such occasions are of course almost unheard of now sadly and it will only be a matter of time before this will be gone forever, consigned to the memory and history books, which makes this story even more important. 
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Bob C. on Oct 19, 2011, 02:59 AM
Here's one from the BBC, was it this one?
(It only lasts 44 secs!)
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,5981.0.html

Thats the one Rosie!  You are the best, thanks!

And no, the desk is still on the ground along with me, unfortunately.  I'm retiring from the Navy next September and planning a rip to Dublin and also working on getting over to Clydebank for a visit.  Hopefully you and a few other forum folks will be around to meet.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Oct 19, 2011, 10:00 AM
A brilliant description of what needs to considered prior to launching a ship.  Interesting that the time spent doing the calculations was reduced from a week to 30 minutes as a result of computers.  I was offered a job in John Brown's as an IBM Key Punch Operator in 1965 but I turned it down.  Now I wish I had taken the job - I could have had an input into this!

If you want to see what an IBM Punch Machine looks like have a look at the British Pathe video Youth on Q4 (https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,2342.0.html) and you see the young women keying in the information.


What is fascinating is the different steps that need to be considered from building the slipway, to the temperature and weather conditions on the day, the stresses on the structure, and of course the river conditions.  There must have been a wide range of skills in the design team that allowed them to do all these calculation.   

 Robert Craig the Head Foreman Shipwright, who had worked in John Browns from when he left school in 1918, would have worked in the yard at the same time as my Dad, who started his apprenticeship as an electrician in 1926. My Dad was a Managing Foreman by the time QE2 was launched in 1967.   
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Barrie Evans on Oct 19, 2011, 11:58 AM
A brilliant description of what needs to considered prior to launching a ship.  Interesting that the time spent doing the calculations was reduced from a week to 30 minutes as a result of computers.  I was offered a job in John Brown's as an IBM Key Punch Operator in 1965 but I turned it down.  Now I wish I had taken the job - I could have had an input into this!

What is fascinating is the different steps that need to be considered from building the slipway, to the temperature and weather conditions on the day, the stresses on the structure, and of course the river conditions.  There must have been a wide range of skills in the design team that allowed them to do all these calculation.   

 Robert Craig the Head Foreman Shipwright, who had worked in John Browns from when he left school in 1918, would have worked in the yard at the same time as my Dad, who started his apprenticeship as an electrician in 1926. My Dad was a Managing Foreman by the time QE2 was launched in 1967.   
Good morning Lynda,If you had taken up the option of working at John Browns , would that have ment that you would of carried on the family conection working for them?. Did your dad ever work on the Q E 2? and did your mum and dad ever cruise on the Q E 2? Where now days all the desighn and construction of all the aspects of builing ships ,and launching them,are stored in the computer,can you imagine how much paper work was involved into a launch of the ships in days gone by.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Oct 19, 2011, 07:33 PM
Thank you for your posting Michael, as usual!

I enjoyed reading this as my bedtime reading last night, fascinating stuff!

I wish I'd had this information to hand when I was asked about the launch in my Radio Scotland interview last month!
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Sep 01, 2014, 10:16 AM
Q4 Launch

On 20 September 1967 there was an air of excitement in the town of Clydebank as the town’s people and workers eagerly awaited the event they had been preparing for, it was the day of the launch of the Q4.  For weeks before there had been speculation about the name of the ship with local betting offices taking bets on names such as:
Sir Winston Churchill
Prince of Wales
Prince Charles
Britannia
Princess Anne
Princess Margaret
Queen Elizabeth II
Prince Phillip

On the eve of the launch when it was announced that Princess Margaret would accompany the Queen and Prince Phillip to the launch there was further speculation that Princess Margaret may be the chosen name.  But up until the launch this closely guarded secret was only known by a small number of people Sir Basil Smallpiece, his deputy, the Queen and her secretary.

The town of Clydebank was decked in “bunting” the town council workforce had been out painting lampposts and sprucing up the town ready for the Royal occasion and people were dressed in their finery ready to cheer the ship on her way. 

Launch tickets were a prized possession and those who were lucky enough to have been allocated a ticket made their way to the John Brown shipyard.  Instructions were that the gates would be open from 1pm to 1.50 pm and no children under the age of 7 years of age would be admitted.  The map on the back indicated the entrance gate the ticket holder should use to ensure they went to the correct enclosure.  But not having a ticket did not deter the public from watching the launch as an enterprising farmer on the opposite bank of the Clyde allowed the public to watch the launch from his field, perhaps for a small fee. 

(https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/albums/userpics/10596/normal_Launch_ticket_R.jpg)

There was even the option to cruise down the Clyde on one of the small vessels such as the   PS Caledonia for 15 shillings or 25 shillings with lunch (https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,5323.0.html) or the Queen Mary II

The ship towering over the launch platform, looked majestic as she sat on the recently greased slipway ready for this eventful occasion.

By the time the Royal party entered the shipyard the high-spirited crowds had assembled and were cheering the Queen as she walked to the launch platform.  The sight of the Q4 sitting in the stocks was so magnificent that even the Queen must have been impressed. 

The tugs were waiting in the Clyde, the excitement of the crowd was building and at 14:28 on 20 September 1967 the Queen stepped forward to launch the ship

Quote Michael Gallagher (see post 1)

Quote
At precisely 1428 hours on a sunny afternoon Her Majesty stepped forward on the launching platform and said:

“I name this ship Queen Elizabeth the Second. May God Bless her, May God Bless her and all who sail in her.”

There was a thin cheer in the yard from the 30,000 or so spectators as the Queen announced the name. She cut the ribbon using the same gold scissors that her mother had used to launch Queen Elizabeth in 1938 and her grandmother to launch Queen Mary in 1934 which released the bottle of wine which duly smashed onto the side. The Queen then pressed the button that electrically released the launching trigger.

Then nothing happened. For 70 seconds it seemed as if the ship did not move. The Queen looked amazed; the smile slowly faded from Prince Philip’s face. Workmen high up on her deck leaned and shouted “Give us a shove!” Shipyard director George Parker joined in the spirit of the request and bowler-hatted, he sprang to the bows and gave the liner a shove. He jubilantly waved his bowler when, by a coincidence, she began to move.

In a little over two minutes 30 seconds after the Queen had named her the new Elizabeth had slid smoothly into the Clyde. She reached almost 20 mph as she slid down the ways and then dipped 33 feet as she left the slipway.”

A fly past salute by the 736 Naval Air Squadron based at Lossiemouth was a fitting tribute to the launch of a Queen, and up and down the River Clyde ship and works horns were sounded as the new ship eased her way into the Clyde. 

The rest is history but we are so glad that cameras and film cameras captured the moment so that we can remember this special day every year. 

Why not have a read from the initial post on this topic and think about posting your own launch memories on this topic

Also during the month of September have a look a the QE2 launch photos and links to photos that have been posted and if you have photos of this wonderful occasion we would love to see them.
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,379.0.html

The film footage captures the moment well and brings back lots of memories:
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/board,68.0.html

See also the QE2 launch photos in the Gallery Album
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=4
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Hank Hargrove on Sep 08, 2014, 07:21 AM

Q4 Launch

On 20 September 1967 there was an air of excitement in the town of Clydebank as the town’s people and workers eagerly awaited the event they had been preparing for, it was the day of the launch of the Q4.  For weeks before there had been speculation about the name of the ship with local betting offices taking bets on names such as:
Sir Winston Churchill
Prince of Wales
Prince Charles
Britannia
Princess Anne
Princess Margaret
Queen Elizabeth II
Prince Phillip

On the eve of the launch when it was announced that Princess Margaret would accompany the Queen and Prince Phillip to the launch there was further speculation that Princess Margaret may be the chosen name.  But up until the launch this closely guarded secret was only known by a small number of people Sir Basil Smallpiece, his deputy, the Queen and her secretary.

The town of Clydebank was decked in “bunting” the town council workforce had been out painting lampposts and sprucing up the town ready for the Royal occasion and people were dressed in their finery ready to cheer the ship on her way. 

Launch tickets were a prized possession and those who were lucky enough to have been allocated a ticket made their way to the John Brown shipyard.  Instructions were that the gates would be open from 1pm to 1.50 pm and no children under the age of 7 years of age would be admitted.  The map on the back indicated the entrance gate the ticket holder should use to ensure they went to the correct enclosure.  But not having a ticket did not deter the public from watching the launch as an enterprising farmer on the opposite bank of the Clyde allowed the public to watch the launch from his field, perhaps for a small fee. 

(https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/albums/userpics/10596/normal_Launch_ticket_R.jpg)

There was even the option to cruise down the Clyde on one of the small vessels such as the   PS Caledonia for 15 shillings or 25 shillings with lunch (https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,5323.0.html) or the Queen Mary II

The ship towering over the launch platform, looked majestic as she sat on the recently greased slipway ready for this eventful occasion.

By the time the Royal party entered the shipyard the high-spirited crowds had assembled and were cheering the Queen as she walked to the launch platform.  The sight of the Q4 sitting in the stocks was so magnificent that even the Queen must have been impressed. 

The tugs were waiting in the Clyde, the excitement of the crowd was building and at 14:28 on 20 September 1967 the Queen stepped forward to launch the ship

Quote Michael Gallagher (see post 1)

A fly past salute by the 736 Naval Air Squadron based at Lossiemouth was a fitting tribute to the launch of a Queen, and up and down the River Clyde ship and works horns were sounded as the new ship eased her way into the Clyde. 

The rest is history but we are so glad that cameras and film cameras captured the moment so that we can remember this special day every year. 

Why not have a read from the initial post on this topic and think about posting your own launch memories on this topic

Also during the month of September have a look a the QE2 launch photos and links to photos that have been posted and if you have photos of this wonderful occasion we would love to see them.
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,379.0.html

The film footage captures the moment well and brings back lots of memories:
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/board,68.0.html

See also the QE2 launch photos in the Gallery Album
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=4

I've heard there were rumors the ship might be named the William Shakespeare or the John F. Kennedy (what that has to do with Britain is beyond me; it must have more to do with the 60's). Is that true?
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Sep 08, 2014, 09:05 AM
The speculation in the newspapers at the time listed many famous people that the ship could be named after. John F Kennedy was one such name as was Twiggy (a famous model at the time). 
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: June Ingram on Sep 19, 2014, 03:23 PM
20 September 1967, a special day for our beloved QE2.  20 September 2014 and she is still with us albeit very far away and in isolation.  Let us send our good wishes to her as she awaits our help.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Sep 20, 2014, 09:36 AM
Today 20 September 2014 is the 47th anniversary of the QE2, a ship loved and remembered.  Why not take some time today to have a look at the launch photos and videos and enjoy the moment

Videos
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/board,68.0.html

Photos
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/board,108.0.html


Quote
At precisely 1428 hours on a sunny afternoon Her Majesty stepped forward on the launching platform and said:

“I name this ship Queen Elizabeth the Second. May God Bless her. May God Bless her and all who sail in her.”

Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Adam Hodson on Sep 20, 2014, 12:13 PM
Today 20 September 2014 is the 47th anniversary of the QE2, a ship loved and remembered.  Why not take some time today to have a look at the launch photos and videos and enjoy the moment

Videos
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/board,68.0.html

Photos
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/board,108.0.html

Happy 47th Birthday to her! ;)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Twynkle on Sep 20, 2014, 01:35 PM
NOTE THAT THE CONTENT OF THIS POSTING (AND ALL POSTINGS ON THIS DISCUSSION FORUM) IS COPYRIGHT © THEQE2STORY.COM AND THE POSTER, AND NOT TO BE USED ELSEWHERE - EXCEPT BY MEANS OF A HYPERLINK TO THIS POSTING - EXCEPT BY REQUEST.

The intricate launching calculations had been worked out by a computer – a week’s work reduced to 30 minutes compared with the normal methods with the slightest error having to be eliminated. Many factors had to be considered for the river was narrow and the ship was long.

The problems of a launch of this size were enormous. Very early on in the proceedings, John Browns had to decide the width and slope of the slipway on which the liner would slide down to the water. The effects of temperature on the launch lubricant grease mixture had to be considered and a host of other factors had all to be checked, evaluated and re-checked.

John Starks, assistant managing director heading John Brown’s design team:

“The first step is, obviously, to make sure that it will move. When it starts to move the first things that starts to happen is that the stern begins to lift. As it does so pressure on the forward end of the slipway is increased very considerably as it is taking the whole weight of the ship, apart from any buoyancy that the water is taking. One must, therefore, make sure that the ship is then strong enough to take the stress at the forward end.
.....
.....In the river six tugs would be waiting to handle the ship – three at the fore and three at the aft. Another will be standing by for any emergency. Lines would be rocketed from the tugs to the new Cunarder and towing lines would be secured and the new ship would move towards her fitting-out berth.

This description in its entirety is so good - and leads to questions regarding the hull, and who might have been inside (and where etc)  as well as who else was on board - apart from those on the foredeck. I wonder who did the steering, and where was this done from - or was the manouvering all done by the tugs? - was the / an ECR in operation..etc?  I guess there's possibly enough data and description for a book, need to dig out Potter and Frost again! It was probably the only time that QE2 wanted to blast her whistle and didn't have the means!
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Michael Gallagher on Sep 20, 2014, 04:06 PM
Difficult to believe it was seven years ago today we were in Greenock celebrating the Birthday Girl and then seven years tomorrow we were in Liverpool holding the first Cathedral Concert in her honour.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Sep 21, 2014, 02:17 PM
Yesterday, of course, I was returning home from my charity challenge and as the train from Fort William to Glasgow Queen Street leaves the West Highland Line at Craigendoran Junction passengers enjoy a fine view over the whole Clyde during the descent from Garelochead via Helensburgh Upper.

Unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the train to be able to photograph the view; the weather was perfect for the occasion as well!
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Clydebuilt1971 on Sep 22, 2014, 08:59 AM
This description in its entirety is so good - and leads to questions regarding the hull, and who might have been inside (and where etc)  as well as who else was on board - apart from those on the foredeck. I wonder who did the steering, and where was this done from - or was the manouvering all done by the tugs? - was the / an ECR in operation..etc?  I guess there's possibly enough data and description for a book, need to dig out Potter and Frost again! It was probably the only time that QE2 wanted to blast her whistle and didn't have the means!

Rosie, I would imagine it would be purely down to the drag chains keeping her as straight as possible whilst entering the water and then the tugs to get lines on ASAP before she drifted too far. Other than her rudder etc being installed the ship herself would have had no active steering gear at the time of launch.
The drag chains are critical until the ship is fully afloat as they prevent the ship coming off the slip too fast and also serve to keep her in a reasonably straight line at the same time. At the launch of RFA Mounts Bay at Govan a few years back the ship became tangled up in the chains and weights as she made her way down the slip into the Clyde - this caused her to deviate off the chosen line and also meant that she didnt have the "braking" force required to slow her so she kissed the quayside on the other side of the river.
http://www.clydesite.co.uk/articles/bad_launches.asp (http://www.clydesite.co.uk/articles/bad_launches.asp)

Personally I would love to talk to engineers who made the calculations for dynamic launches such as these - what they took into account etc etc. The engineer above makes mention of stresses on the forward end as the after end begins to float - I see why flooding a drydock is preferential these days if not as dramatic!!



Sorry to ramble!

Gav
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Clydebuilt1971 on Sep 22, 2014, 09:07 AM
Difficult to believe it was seven years ago today we were in Greenock celebrating the Birthday Girl and then seven years tomorrow we were in Liverpool holding the first Cathedral Concert in her honour.

A nice bow shot of her 20/09/2007 taken from mv Balmoral as we escorted the old girl down river.

Gav
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: June Ingram on Sep 22, 2014, 05:39 PM
Gav, absolutely beautiful photo of our girl !
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: pete cain on Sep 22, 2014, 08:10 PM
Regarding Rosies reply#17 above, I can only quote my 1 and only experience of being on board a dynamic launch, in this case HMS Sheffield (lost in the Atlantic- Falklands debacle). An awful lot of the stresses transferred from the rear end of the vessel  as it starts to float, are taken by the forward launch cradle, it is packed with lots & lots of soft wood which is designed to crush in a specific way, thus controlling the take up of buoyancy.
  The chains as mentioned, check the speed of entry ( & maybe even turn the vessel slightly to allow for tidal flow). All very stressful , & meticulously worked out by the boffins. We had a generator running (don't know why possibly for pumping but conjecture there folks). There were bodies all over the place down below sounding her, my task was to tighten or repack hull glands  as & when called upon, as it happens I got a free (white knuckle) ride ,cos once she's released & on her way gravity is in charge.
  The type 42 Destroyers were miniscule in comparison to QE2, however Oriana was not , the theory I guess is one of proportion
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: June Ingram on Sep 22, 2014, 08:22 PM
Thank you very much, Pete, for your first hand account.  June   :)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Clydebuilt1971 on Sep 23, 2014, 08:38 AM
I'll second that June - always good to get first hand accounts from those who have experienced it!!

Gav
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Oct 17, 2014, 12:14 AM
Found this today, the length of the programme shows how important it was.

Radio Times programme guide
http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/schedules/bbcone/london/1967-09-20
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: June Ingram on Oct 17, 2014, 04:30 PM
Thanks very much, Rob, for the link to the programme guide.  Do you know if there is an archive which has the broadcast in entirety ?  Would University of Glasgow have that  ?

June   :)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: jdl on Oct 19, 2014, 08:13 PM
Some more fantastic insights into the launch and all the behind the scenes work that went into the birth of a lady.

I also know from a friend from Glasgow that all the local schools were given the day off in celebration
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Oct 19, 2014, 08:40 PM
Some more fantastic insights into the launch and all the behind the scenes work that went into the birth of a lady.

I also know from a friend from Glasgow that all the local schools were given the day off in celebration

It was a big occasion in Clydebank and the surrounding area and yes the school children were given time off school and were happy to wave flags to welcome the Queen to the town. 
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: June Ingram on Oct 20, 2014, 04:43 PM
What a wonderful thing that was to give the school children the day off so they could welcome the new Queen - our beloved QE2.  What an awesome experience that must have been, and I am sure many life long memories were made that day !   :)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Jan 17, 2015, 03:05 PM
The Glasgow Herald 20 September 1967 had an pull out section on the Q4. Thanks to the Google News archive I searched for 20 September 1967 too  see this starting on page 9 of the digital version of the paper.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=GGgVawPscysC&dat=19670920&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

The images are not good but it is wonderful to see the detail about the ship, the people involved, the timetable for the Royal party.  Adverts from companies adding their congratulations. 

You need to go to page 9 and then you can double click on the digital image to make the page bigger. 


Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Jan 17, 2015, 03:20 PM
Glasgow Herald 21 September 1967 with the story published the day after the launch including the controversy over the name.  Also the story about the launch for the RY Britannia presented to the Queen, a joint present from Cunard and John Brown's Shipyard. 
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=GGgVawPscysC&dat=19670921&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Cunarder Man on Jan 18, 2015, 03:45 PM
Glasgow Herald 21 September 1967 with the story published the day after the launch including the controversy over the name.  Also the story about the launch for the RY Britannia presented to the Queen, a joint present from Cunard and John Brown's Shipyard. 
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=GGgVawPscysC&dat=19670921&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

Glasgow Herald released this as a special and posted it out as a souvenir, I'm sure I have one. Will dig it out.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Mar 04, 2015, 07:30 PM
While looking for someone completely different in the Glasgow Herald archives, i saw this article about QE2 that was published on 30 April 1968

"When she was less a ship than a shape"   

I have no idea why this was published 7 months after she was launched, but have a read and enjoy!
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2507&dat=19690430&id=kJxAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FqUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6534,5839327
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: June Ingram on Mar 04, 2015, 08:43 PM
Great find, Lynda !   :)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: pete cain on Mar 05, 2015, 05:05 PM
Nice read Lynda, thanks
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Sep 20, 2015, 08:35 PM
On 20 September, 1967 I remember the shipyards and ships on the Clyde blowing their horns and sounding their whistles at the point when QE2 was launched. 

At seventeen years of age I was amazed that a ship was given such a reception and when I went home I said this to my Dad, who said she is not any ship, she is a Queen, an important ship.  As my Dad was a Managing Foreman in John Brown's he asked if I would like to go into the shipyard to see the ship in the fitting out basin.  I think it was the following week-end that I stepped onboard QE2 when she was just a shell of a ship but it was at that point in time that I knew she was something special and since then she has lived in my heart. 

I have attached a photo of my Dad, in a key position as the Queen walked past.  He is front row, third from the left with grey hair and you can see the line left from the bowler hat.   He was a very handsome man, even when he was in his eighties and as I have mentioned in another topic he was in with the bricks  (https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,5769.msg58315.html#msg58315) having worked in John Brown's as an apprentice in 1926 right through to 1970 when he was a manager. 

I am told as Plant Managing Foreman foreman he would have been the man who would press the button to release the ship.  I was told this by a man who had been an apprentice in my Dad's Department, but like so many story I cannot verify it as my Dad was dead by the time I learned about this. 

Today I remember QE2 and the start of her life,but I also remember my Dad who contributed to the build of many great ships throughout his working life at John Brown's Clydebank. 
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: June Ingram on Mar 16, 2016, 06:55 PM
NOTE THAT THE CONTENT OF THIS POSTING (AND ALL POSTINGS ON THIS DISCUSSION FORUM) IS COPYRIGHT © THEQE2STORY.COM AND THE POSTER, AND NOT TO BE USED ELSEWHERE - EXCEPT BY MEANS OF A HYPERLINK TO THIS POSTING - EXCEPT BY REQUEST.

The intricate launching calculations had been worked out by a computer – a week’s work reduced to 30 minutes compared with the normal methods with the slightest error having to be eliminated. Many factors had to be considered for the river was narrow and the ship was long.

The problems of a launch of this size were enormous. Very early on in the proceedings, John Browns had to decide the width and slope of the slipway on which the liner would slide down to the water. The effects of temperature on the launch lubricant grease mixture had to be considered and a host of other factors had all to be checked, evaluated and re-checked.

John Starks, assistant managing director heading John Brown’s design team:

“The first step is, obviously, to make sure that it will move. When it starts to move the first things that starts to happen is that the stern begins to lift. As it does so pressure on the forward end of the slipway is increased very considerably as it is taking the whole weight of the ship, apart from any buoyancy that the water is taking. One must, therefore, make sure that the ship is then strong enough to take the stress at the forward end.

“You also have to ensure by calculation that the ship will float off the slipway as opposed to dropping off and you also have to make sure that it is waterborne while it is reasonable clear of the slipway. The next thing that you have to decide is how far the ship can be expected to travel and you have to decide what drag chains you are going to attaché at what points to prevent the ship from going too far.

“What most people do not appreciate is that the ship takes a very rough ride during its launch. She bends during the course of the launch and we have to make sure that all her structure is absolutely sound. We, therefore, inspect the ship very carefully. She probably gets far more local stresses during the launch than she ever will during the course of her working life.

“The most critical factor by far in the launch is the depth of water available at the aft end of the slipways. The River Clyde is extremely tempremental; sometimes the water is deficient and sometimes is it excessive. If we have too much water, the danger is that the ship will really be afloat before she is clear at the end of the slipway and the danger is that, since high water is usually associated with high wind, if she is not clear at the end of the ways she could damage herself on one of the cranes. The problem usually solves itself because if the wind and water are that high, it is obviously no condition in which to launch a ship. This happens very infrequently and is obviously something to be avoided, but nevertheless the problem is still there.

“We, therefore, watch the weather forecasts very carefully before the day. We also measure the heights of the tides for a good many days before the launch to check whether the river is running true to form, under prediction or over prediction. We also measure the river in Greenock and Glasgow as a precaution and we are halfway between the two we can get a very good idea of what the river is doing. Having obtained this information we then can, within certain limits, ballast the ship to aim off for weather conditions, but obviously in a ship of this size the resources pen to us are limited”.

The man responsible for the slipway was Robert Craig, head foreman shipwright. He had worked at John Brown’s since he left school in 1918 and Q4 would be his 47th launch as head foreman. He built the slipway from the information given to him. Its declivity (downward inclination towards the river) was ½ inch to the foot. Every square foot of the sliding and standing (fixed) ways to bear a weight of more than two tons – he claimed for Q4 it was 2,089 tons.

He used 16,300 feet of 12” square timber to build the supporting poppets (cradles) at each end of the ship. Once the ship rested on 300 keel blocks but these had now been knocked away; the berth had been stripped of the huge shores like tress trunks, bilge blocks and wedges.

Q4 rested on two sliding ways, each formed of 25 lengths of timber 30 feet long, six feet wide and 12 inches thick. The sliding and standing ways had been greased with a concoction of nine tons of tallow compound, 70 gallons of sperm oil, 14 cwt. of soft black soap and seven gallons of fine spindle oil. Robert Craig took responsibility for this.

Q4 was held by six mighty triggers, each with its eight inch wooded tongue set into the sliding ways. Wires trailed from a tiny electrical device to the button on the high platform where the Queen would perform the launching ceremony. As the Queen pressed the button the powerful trigger arms would snap back in their pits with a report like an artillery salute. Then Q4 would glide towards the river; and just in case the liner is reluctant to leave the berth, two hydraulic rams would give her a nudge – a push with the power of 1,200 lbs per square inch behind it.

In the river six tugs would be waiting to handle the ship – three at the fore and three at the aft. Another will be standing by for any emergency. Lines would be rocketed from the tugs to the new Cunarder and towing lines would be secured and the new ship would move towards her fitting-out berth.

Michael makes mention of ballasting the ship to take into account weather conditions.

Does anyone actually know how QE2 was ballasted for her launch ?  ie what where ?
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Apr 10, 2016, 12:51 AM
We have received a wonderful message from Christopher Wallace, who writes as follows :

I’ve finally got around to sending my favourite picture of the QE2 to you & The Forum, plus a recent photo of the QE2 docked in Port Rashid Dubai (taken on 18 February 2016 by a friend of a friend of mine).
 
The first photo of the QE2 was taken on Sunday 24th September 1967 when I was taken to see her along with my 3 brothers and my Late Uncle James N. Wallace (four days after the Queen launched her at John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank.)

(https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/albums/userpics/10003/normal_1967.JPG)
 
We were standing at the edge of the wheat field of what was/is (?) Old Mains Farm, opposite the Fitting-Out Basin of Brown’s Yard.

I’m the wee dark haired boy (without a woollen hat!) with my right arm raised in salute to the new Cunarder. I was aged 6 and I remember telling my Mum when I got home, that “when I grow up I want to sail on the QE2 to New York.”
I had a long wait.......41 years later I was lucky enough to book passage on what was to be her Final Westbound Crossing in October 2008! Who says dreams don’t come true!!!
 
Her rudder is clearly visible in this photo as her engines etc. still had to be fitted.
I remember being disappointed at the “yughy” green undercoat paint of her upper superstructure. I had expected her to have white paint there, like the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth.
 
On the left hand side of the picture, you can see part of the famous 150-ton crane which I’ve heard is now a ”listed” structure and is all that remains of John Brown’s Shipyard. Without checking my library of Cunard & John Brown’s books on their liners, I think that this crane was installed at the shipyard during (or prior) to the building of the Lusitania around 1904/1905.
 
My Uncle James had a great memory of watching the Queen Mary sail down the Clyde for the first time after leaving the fitting-out basin back in 1936, prior to her sea trials and Maiden Voyage.
He had a great view point from the top of Dumbarton Rock further down the river. I inherited his Dinky die cast model of “Cunard White Star 534”.
It doesn’t have her name on the underneath which suggests that he must have bought it some time before September 1934, when the world knew what the ship would look like, but no-one knew her name!
 
The second photo shows the QE2 docked in Port Rashid Dubai. This photo was taken recently by a friend of a friend of mine on 18th February 2016 and shows that she’s still in one piece and still has her iconic funnel. Phew!!

(https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/albums/userpics/10003/normal_IMG_4466.JPG)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Aug 11, 2017, 08:49 AM
There's a great photo here of the launch

Link not available
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Fairfield on Sep 20, 2017, 09:33 AM
Somewhere I saw a video clip of the launch with George Parker (I think) at the top of the stairway on the forward stocks giving her a shove or two.  It was in a video of the QE2 launch that I found online well before the QE2 Story Forum started and I have not been able to find it since.

Anyone else seen this?

It's on a documentary about her final voyage. I took stills at the time.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Twynkle on Sep 20, 2018, 09:16 AM
Another 'Happy Anniversary' to QE2

and, if you need more - here's another!!


Guessing that it would be too much to ask Dubai whether they'd consider running videos we've collected here on a public large screen in the Foyer...?
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Sep 20, 2018, 10:11 AM
The videos bring back lots of memories. 

Happy Anniversary QE2
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Clydebuilt1971 on Sep 20, 2018, 10:17 AM
Happy 51st auld yin!

Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Thomas Hypher on Sep 20, 2018, 12:35 PM
Happy 51st QE2!

We will have to wait and see what Dubai do to mark the occasion, having said that it's late afternoon in Dubai already...
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: June Ingram on Sep 20, 2018, 02:46 PM
Happy Anniversary to QE2 !!   :)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Sep 20, 2018, 03:17 PM
Happy 51st QE2!

We will have to wait and see what Dubai do to mark the occasion, having said that it's late afternoon in Dubai already...

Maybe they'll give a 51 second blow of her whistle, with the press in attendance... And maybe they won't...
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Thomas Hypher on Sep 20, 2018, 03:36 PM
Maybe they'll give a 51 second blow of her whistle, with the press in attendance... And maybe they won't...

Maybe in future years...
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Sep 20, 2018, 05:01 PM

https://instagram.com/p/Bn8pdo3HocP?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1r7ro3vxlkote
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Sep 20, 2018, 07:03 PM
Happy 51st QE2!

We will have to wait and see what Dubai do to mark the occasion, having said that it's late afternoon in Dubai already...


Maybe Dubai did arrange a cake today for those onboard the ship

She did get a birthday cake for her 45th when Captain Cooper was in charge. 

(https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/normal_SAM_0452.JPG)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: cunardqueen on Sep 20, 2018, 08:20 PM
Indeed Happy 51st QE2.
I work with people who have no idea what QE2 is ! :'(
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Thomas Hypher on Sep 20, 2018, 10:26 PM
Maybe Dubai did arrange a cake today for those onboard the ship

She did get a birthday cake for her 45th when Captain Cooper was in charge. 

(https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/normal_SAM_0452.JPG)

As it turns out Dubai have marked the occasion with a post on Facebook and Instagram.

Edit: Sorry, just realised I duplicated Rob's post  ::)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Brandon Sterkel on Sep 21, 2018, 08:15 AM
Happy 51st Birthday, QE2! :)
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Twynkle on Sep 20, 2019, 06:07 PM
Happy Anniversary to QE2!

Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Sep 20, 2019, 07:39 PM
Happy Anniversary to QE2!

Here here!
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Twynkle on Sep 21, 2019, 11:53 PM
Thank you, Rob!

Don't you still feel just so sad - it seems almost unbearable at times, still.
This really does go to show what a remarkable ship QE2 has been...

In some ways, it's good that she is so far away now - otherwise, if she was being pulled apart on these shores in the same way - I'd have been well locked-up by now; the result of enraged madness!
I wonder too, about what's happened to the two lovely Cunard Benches...

No other ship....
R.


Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Thomas Hypher on Sep 22, 2019, 10:11 PM
Belated happy anniversary to such a special ship. She doesn't look 52 years old, still living up to James Gardener's desire to make her look like a big, sleek yacht.
Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Sep 06, 2020, 06:42 PM
My friend sent me this Memories of Scotland newspaper article, remembering QE2's launch.

Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Sep 20, 2021, 10:06 AM
Happy Birthday QE2

I can hardly believe today is 54 year since the launch of QE2


On the day the excitement was rising in Clydebank in anticipation for the launch of the ship and the bookies were doing a good trade in accepting bets for the name of the ship.  The pubs were preparing a dram or two to toast the new ship and had plenty of beer to quench the thirst of the workers. 

The Glasgow Herald front page story (https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Bn9AAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vaMMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5594%2C3250422) announced the Government had approved a government loan to Cunard for £6.4 million for the completion of the ship. There was also fears that high winds could lead to the postponement of the launch.

 A special 12 page feature (https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Bn9AAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vaMMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4581%2C3355599) was included in the newspaper to celebrate

The ship waited patiently to be released from the building stocks that held her securely and to slip into the water, her first step to becoming an ocean going liner. 

I am proud of my Dad who had worked in John Brown's shipyard from 1926 to 1970 and at the time of the launch of QE2 he was Electrical Plant Manager.  he had a prominent place in the line up when the Queen visited. He is the man with the grey hair with his back to the crowd and you can just make out the line of the bowler hat on his head. 

Title: Re: QE2 launch
Post by: June Ingram on Sep 20, 2021, 08:15 PM
Happy Birthday and Name Day to our beloved QE2 !

Thank you, Lynda, for bringing forward this topic and for the photos and telling us about your Dad !

What a special day it must have been to be there in person and to have been a part of QE2 coming into being !

A toast !