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Author Topic: Not RMS!  (Read 16704 times)

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Offline Boris

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #60 on: Oct 20, 2018, 07:35 AM »
What I know of the intricacies of awarding Mail contracts to liner companies would fit on the back of a postage stamp. (Remember postage stamps?). And, to be honest, I have little intention of investing time in correcting my ignorance. Life's too short.

But my take on it is that the reason QE2 was never awarded a contract to carry the mail was that she was ineligible: only on a fixed run for part of the year. Why on earth would the GPO consider awarding her a mail contract? OK, she was on a bus run Southampton~New York, but then for 6 months she tootled off to the Caribbean or other warmer climes. Basically, I suggest the first test is you need to be a liner to gain the Royal Mail contract. Hence, of course, RMS Queen Elizabeth and RMS Queen Mary.

And you don't have to be a passenger liner: when I worked with Union Castle all their passenger liners, and a few of their cargo liners, were RMS. (But not the SS Reina del Mar, which spent its year cruising).

I would also suggest you would have to be UK flagged. (Neither of the two Safmarine-owned passenger liners managed and crewed by Union Castle were RMS - yet they undertook exactly the same run as their sister ships).

Most likely your liner run would also have to touch on UK on a frequent basis. (The public don't want to wait forever for their mail to be delivered, even if it is sea mail. After the mail bags were loaded at Cape Town the run to Southampton was about 13 days at the most, from memory).

So whether the Cunard management of the time wanted to distance themselves from past Cunard liners, consciously decided to start a fresh leaf, or whatever, I think is immaterial. SS QE2 would never have been awarded a Royal Mail contract by the GPO even if Cunard had pleaded for it.

Happy to be educated if my views are incorrect.
« Last Edit: Oct 25, 2018, 12:01 AM by Boris »

Offline Boris

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #61 on: Oct 20, 2018, 08:15 AM »
Well I guess that my Falkland Island pewter beet tankard is ...right out of ths wall!! It says LPLL!
LPLL? Lower Perkiomen Little League?

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #62 on: Oct 20, 2018, 08:35 PM »
  What about SS QE2... ;) Taken onboard on the Farewell Eastbound crossing.
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online skilly56

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #63 on: Oct 21, 2018, 05:32 AM »
SS = 'Senior Ship' in this case!

Offline Philippe Spanner

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #64 on: Oct 29, 2018, 05:53 PM »
I'm sure most people are aware that Cunard started the company after winning the mail contract. The pony express was started in Canada (not by Charlton Heston film account of 1860's). In 1849 Cunard mail and news would then travel by pony express.
http://www.newscotland1398.net/ponyexpress/ponyexdx.html
Phil Spanner. Joined QE2 while in King George dry dock during repairs to turbines in 1969.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #65 on: Oct 29, 2018, 06:21 PM »
Thanks for posting the link, Philippe.  It was really interesting to read the snippets of information and I look forward to reading more.
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Offline Paul Joyce

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #66 on: Oct 30, 2018, 12:05 AM »
I was surprised to read that Queen Elizabeth 2 was not RMS because I have a Royal Mail Stamp referring
to her as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 which would suggest that at some stage she was RMS.
Also a lot of the stationary printed on board in the seventies and early eighties also referred to her as RMS.
« Last Edit: Oct 30, 2018, 03:58 AM by Paul Joyce »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #67 on: Oct 30, 2018, 05:19 PM »
I was surprised to read that Queen Elizabeth 2 was not RMS because I have a Royal Mail Stamp referring
to her as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 which would suggest that at some stage she was RMS.
Also a lot of the stationary printed on board in the seventies and early eighties also referred to her as RMS.

The mystery deepens! If even the Royal Mail thought she was an RMS... what better source could there be?

Thank you, Paul, for the picture of the stamp :) .

We have a topic about QE2 postage stamps, here (please click).

It would be brilliant if you could tell us the story of this stamp (it looks like a very special cover too!).

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #68 on: Oct 30, 2018, 10:35 PM »
Paquebot = "Packet boat" so that was actually posted on board QE2 herself.

The stamp was issued as part of a series featuring British ships; first day of issue was 15th January 1969 and the ships featured were as follows:

QE2 on the 5d stamp, Stanley Gibbons catalogue number 778.

Elizabethan Galleon on a 9d stamp, SG number 779.

East Indiaman on another 9d, SG780.

Cutty Sark, also on a 9d, SG781.

SS Great Britain on a 1 shilling version, SG782.

RMS Mauretania on another 1 shilling version, SG783.


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Offline cunardqueen

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #69 on: Oct 31, 2018, 09:16 PM »
Quote
  Paquebot = "Packet boat" so that was actually posted on board QE2 herself. 

Many moons ago when l was a Postman Higher Grade (PHG) in Orkney the ships agent would drop a mail bag past the sorting office , It contained all the mail from onboard visiting cruise ships , usually postcards, and every item had the "Paquebot" stamped by rubber stamp on every item. This included foreign stamped mail and allowed it to be carried through the Royal Mail system.
QE2 had her own "QE2 Posted onboard" rubber stamp. It was for me a great stamp to use, just have the postcard addressed and stamp the rubber stamp , buy your stamps from the Pursers office and it saved writing on your postcards.
One year l had my Christmas cards all written out and stamped and had them all stamped with the QE2 posted on board stamp. 
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #70 on: Oct 31, 2018, 09:51 PM »
I was surprised to read that Queen Elizabeth 2 was not RMS because I have a Royal Mail Stamp referring
to her as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 which would suggest that at some stage she was RMS.
Also a lot of the stationary printed on board in the seventies and early eighties also referred to her as RMS.

The QE2 Story shop is selling this stamp framed from £7.50 (incl pp to UK).   Nice little item. 
« Last Edit: Oct 31, 2018, 09:53 PM by Lynda Bradford »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #71 on: Nov 12, 2018, 07:43 PM »
I just want to follow up on some of the above posts.

There is no doubt at all, that QE2 was never an RMS.  She was often incorrectly referred to as an RMS, including by people who should have known better (and possibly did know better) but that never made her one.

Cunard's own historian reviewed the official documents, and the MD at the time made it quite clear, she was not an RMS.  Ian McNaught backed this up when I asked him (and I have that in writing), and I triple-checked it by referring to the ship's documents in Dubai myself while standing on the bridge with the owners.

Sorry to bang on about it, or "crush" people's illusion, but facts are important, especially nowadays...

The reason I believe people referred to her as an RMS (maybe even when they knew she wasn't) was to stress that she was a transatlantic liner and not just another cruise ship.  QE2's history, pedigree and success is not determined by 3 letters.
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Offline Rod

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #72 on: Nov 12, 2018, 10:44 PM »
To add to the mystery/puzzle/conundrum.
There was a room in the corner of the booze hold on 8 deck that was built as a "specie" room, that was designed to carry valuable mail, registered mail etc.
 Chief barkeeper used it to store his very old brandies. But, he and the other bartenders, did always refer to it as the "Specie Room".

But all the time I was on there the airmail writing paper supplied to guests in their cabins and available in the libraries was white paper and the heading was the ship and under it was RMS Queen Elizabeth @?
That paper was supplied by Cunard.
« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2018, 10:46 PM by Rod »

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #73 on: Nov 12, 2018, 10:47 PM »
There is a quote from Michael on this very thread ( https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?action=post;quote=15309;topic=1392.0;last_msg=101244 ) which says that QE2 was not an RMS although she was entitled to be.

She did carry mail, they just never had her formally made an RMS.

So the existence of the secure mail compartment should not be a surprise.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #74 on: Nov 12, 2018, 11:28 PM »
I just want to follow up on some of the above posts.

There is no doubt at all, that QE2 was never an RMS.  She was often incorrectly referred to as an RMS, including by people who should have known better (and possibly did know better) but that never made her one.

Cunard's own historian reviewed the official documents, and the MD at the time made it quite clear, she was not an RMS.  Ian McNaught backed this up when I asked him (and I have that in writing), and I triple-checked it by referring to the ship's documents in Dubai myself while standing on the bridge with the owners.

Sorry to bang on about it, or "crush" people's illusion, but facts are important, especially nowadays...

The reason I believe people referred to her as an RMS (maybe even when they knew she wasn't) was to stress that she was a transatlantic liner and not just another cruise ship.  QE2's history, pedigree and success is not determined by 3 letters.


Agreed, she was so much more than a designation however prestigious the designation and the facts shouldn't be lost or drowned out (like they seemed to be on Wikipedia before the facts were taken onboard, pardon the pun) particularly with some of the myths being told by some people in Dubai or in the mainstream media (surprise, surprise ::)) due to ignorance (I think) and the truth being equally if not more fascinating/interesting than the myths being told.
« Last Edit: Nov 13, 2018, 01:23 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Paul Joyce

Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #75 on: Nov 13, 2018, 08:24 AM »
This is the very nice writing paper that was given out on board that Rod referred to.
I really like the drawing they used of her.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Not RMS!
« Reply #76 on: Nov 14, 2018, 03:55 PM »
Lovely drawing of QE2 !   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !