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Author Topic: Not RMS!  (Read 16679 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?

Online 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!
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RMS Queen Elizabeth 2

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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?


Online 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.
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RMS Queen Elizabeth 2

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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?

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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.


Online 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 Frame

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.
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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. 

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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 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online 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...?
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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.

Online 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?
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