Author Topic: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)  (Read 25808 times)

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Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #100 on: Nov 11, 2018, 12:42 PM »
And QE2 today 10 years on.....

Online cunardqueen

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #101 on: Nov 11, 2018, 05:22 PM »
A copy of two posts into one from several years ago.

My views are still the same, While l can never forgive Cunard for selling QE2, l perhaps should be thanking them, for if it hadnt been for that l wouldnt have discovered my new found joy of the glorious West coast of America and my new style holidays. The only trouble is, the blasted luggage,  on QE2 you pack what you think you might need, and thats something l can never change. The new ships of Cunard hold zero interest.

But my eternal thanks to Michael, it was a day l dreaded, l never really expected it, but to be given the chance of a final few hours onboard my QE2 was something i will be and am forever thankfully .  The way l departed QE2 was quick,l liken it to the olden days of having a tooth removed , your punched in the face to dull the pain, and before you know it, its all over, However a tap on the shoulder and lm told its time to go, no long goodbyes, no bon voyage greetings to friends , down from the yacht club and out through the midships lobby, l remember walking along with Robert Lloyd the artist, who must have thought who is this bumbling bag of tears, and before l knew it back in the QEII terminal some 22 years since l first embarked . then the long walk out of the docks to join RedJet 4 to escort QE2 down Southampton water.

Whatever the future holds for QE2, l do wish her well, it wont be the QE2 that l know and l have no wish to see her in her new incarnation , in whatever form it takes.             


I was very fortunate in that a few hours onboard allowed a chance to say goodbye to a few crew and oddly enough l saw my very first cabin 4028 from 1986 it hadnt changed much but oh boy the memories of the years inbetween.

The day never really went how l imagined it would. A quick jaunt over to the Isle of Wight to see a QE2 friend for a QE2 toast then managed to see the Harrier Jump jet salute. Boarding via the crew gangway provided a rare change to see behind the scenes and observe QE2 close up in an area you wouldnt normally get to.
 l never did get my final walk on the deck outside. A bite of Afternoon tea and some time of solitude in a quiet corner of the Queens Room.  But each and every minute was very precious and then when in the Yacht club speaking with two dear friends the tap on the shoulder came to signal time to go . That was it l was on the quayside within minutes...   Michael looking back that was the easiest way for me ,You very cruel, BUT so very kind :)  no longing goodbyes, downs the stairs and off within minutes.

Cant believe l walked all the way upto the red jet terminal and boarded red jet 4 to see her safely away After that ended l somehow ended up in a salsa bar with a couple of QE2 friends and then missed the last train to London and ended up staying overnight with a long term lady friend before heading upto London to check out of the hotel and for the flight back home.

Like l say it was a funny old day seeing QE2 for the last time, but l was extremely lucky to be given the chance to do it. And for me it was something l couldnt put a value on.

While l can never forgive Cunard for selling QE2, l perhaps should be thanking them, for if it hadnt been for that l wouldnt have discovered my new found joy of the glorious West coast of America and my new style holidays. The only trouble is, the blasted luggage,  on QE2 you pack what you think you might need, and thats something l can never change.

So thats my Last QE2 day...what about everyone else..?
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #102 on: Nov 11, 2018, 07:08 PM »
An end of an era. There wasn't a dry eye in our house as we watched BBC South Today's excellent coverage and tribute to QE2. I always end up reflecting on Captain McNaught's words that are in the video below (the finality of it all and the realisation) when thinking about the final departure and it still makes me emotional today.

First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #103 on: Nov 11, 2018, 07:51 PM »
Love hearing the memories, please keep posting your memories of QE2's last day in Southampton. 

I wish I had been there to experience first hand the atmosphere.  But even watching on TV it was very emotional.

Before writing the newsletter I had checked some of the BBC links and found the video footage had been removed.  It may be ten years but I hope the videos are still available to view somewhere on the BBC site. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #104 on: Nov 12, 2018, 10:25 PM »
Before writing the newsletter I had checked some of the BBC links and found the video footage had been removed.  It may be ten years but I hope the videos are still available to view somewhere on the BBC site.

If not, fear not - I recorded the entire display in one take from Town Quay with an unobstructed view and it's safe on DVD.  When I get round to it, I'll copy it onto my video computer, encode it and then upload it to YouTube.

I'm sure I won't be the only one to have the entire display either.
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Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #105 on: Nov 14, 2018, 03:57 PM »
Looking forward to it, Peter !   :)
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #106 on: Nov 16, 2018, 02:31 PM »
Looking forward to it, Peter !   :)

Likewise  :)
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #107 on: Nov 16, 2018, 11:13 PM »
It may take a while, but I will get round to it one day.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #108 on: Nov 11, 2019, 09:42 AM »
On 11 November 2008 QE2 was to dock in Southampton for the last time, but not before creating early morning news when she hit a sandbank approaching Southampton waters.

Forum member Cunarder Man, onboard a Blue Funnel vessel, witnessed this and was able to give a first hand account to BBC

He has recounted his story for The QE2 Story:

Quote
 

I probably did not get much sleep in anticipation of heading out to welcome my favourite liner into Southampton for the last time. There was no need for an alarm as I was on an adrenaline rush with excitement. I set off from the Holiday Inn Hotel to Ocean Village, it was cold, dark and wet. Surprisingly, the Ocean Scene, a Blue Funnel vessel, wasn’t busy and around 5 am we cast off and headed into the darkness of the Solent. I recall the Shieldhall making steam and passengers boarding in anticipation of their excursion to greet QE2.

I fully expected QE2 to be early into port that morning and I was somewhat surprised that she wasn’t visible by the time we reached Fawley. However, soon after that we slowed and the Captain announced that he had received information from Harbour Control that we were to proceed no further until given further instruction. The Captain pointed out that QE2 had stopped and, with my binoculars, I was able to identify her iconic mast and funnel both illuminated and well defined against the early morning darkness.

Essentially we were bobbing around awaiting instruction. We learned that other vessels hoping to accompany QE2 home had been refused permission to leave Southampton, including Shieldhall.

Time passed in the eerie darkness and in a short while we had been informed that QE2 was on a sandbank and that attempts were being made to get her off and underway. We later learned that this was the infamous Brambles sandbank and the wind had played a significant part as she made her turns in the channel. Tugs were dispatched from the Fawley oil refinery and, as far as I was aware, they contributed to successfully refloating QE2. The whole exercise took about an hour and, by about 7am, QE2 was heading towards Calshot.

Although it was rather early I decided to contact a friend at BBC South to ensure he was aware of the situation. He was rather surprised to hear my voice so early and even more so that the ship had encountered a difficulty heading home. My mobile telephone battery was low and I did think that communication would be lost. However, after a few calls to check information my friend returned my call informing me that ‘I was their man out there’ and asked if I would accept a call from the news desk directly to be patched live into a TV report? I accepted and prayed that my battery would hold out! The call came and I described the current situation and what I had seen. The cold of the sea air and the wind chill made it difficult to articulate the words to describe the sItuation.

What are your memories of QE2's last day in Southampton?

If, like me you were not in Southampton, but glued to the TV eager to hear every news report, from the ship's arrival to when she slipped her moorings, to sail away from her home port for the last time.  Please post your memories. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #109 on: Nov 11, 2019, 10:59 AM »
My parents and I watched a lot of BBC South Today's excellent coverage that afternoon and evening having all sat down in our living room in the cottage we used to live in, in Oxfordshire that afternoon. I had our laptop set up for the latest updates on the occasion and I seem to recall I may have had Maritime AIS open to track QE2. By the end of BBC South Today's coverage there wasn't a dry eye in our living room. The event still makes me sad 11 years to the day later, and Captain Ian McNaught's words (paraphrased) "this ship has always called Southampton home but when she leaves tonight she will NEVER come back" are particularly poignant and memorable.
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #110 on: Nov 11, 2019, 12:36 PM »
......... there wasn't a dry eye in our living room. The event still makes me sad 11 years to the day later, and Captain Ian McNaught's words (paraphrased) "this ship has always called Southampton home but when she leaves tonight she will NEVER come back" are particularly poignant and memorable.

I think you have captured how a lot of people felt on the day. 

Michael Gallagher had posted the full text of Captain McNaught's speech on this topic that he posted in 2012.

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?topic=4681.msg49210#msg49210
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #111 on: Nov 11, 2019, 12:44 PM »
The Poppy Drop to commemorate Remembrance Day must have been a poignant moment.  Cunarder Man captured the moment in this photo.  Would love to see more photos. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #112 on: Nov 11, 2019, 12:46 PM »
The Poppy Drop to commemorate Remembrance Day must have been a poignant moment.  Cunarder Man captured the moment in this photo.  Would love to see more photos.

I seem to recall it was a Harrier which performed the drop? Another british icon sadly no longer in service.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #113 on: Nov 11, 2019, 12:53 PM »
I seem to recall it was a Harrier which performed the drop? Another british icon sadly no longer in service.

The Getty Images video mentions it was Tiger Moths the dropped the poppies.
https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/video/90th-anniversary-of-armistice-day-remembrance-day-news-footage/666336336

There are fantastic pictures in the Visit of Duke of Edinburgh topic along with the itinerary for the day.

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?topic=8244.msg93252#msg93252

QE2's last day in Southampton proved to be a moment in history, which our much loved QE2 played the leading role. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #114 on: Nov 11, 2019, 02:16 PM »
Some (hopefully unseen) images from a day etched into the hearts of all who were there...

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #115 on: Nov 11, 2019, 03:39 PM »
Some (hopefully unseen) images from a day etched into the hearts of all who were there...

Amazing photos!!  Seems like yesterday.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #116 on: Nov 11, 2019, 05:47 PM »
Brilliant photos that capture the occasion.  I particularly like the two where she is lit up and ready to go, but the photo of QE2's bow is particularly nice. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online cunardqueen

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #117 on: Nov 11, 2019, 09:25 PM »
And who will forget that day . Im forever indebted to Mr QE2 for my last few hours onboard my ship. It wasnt what i planned , no last walk around the boat deck , But l did partake of afternoon tea and saw a few of the crew from over the years,my old room steward/ess , my very first cabin from 1986 , a final drink in the yacht club with two friends, and then a tap on the shoulder to say Thats it, time to say Goodbye , and l was on the quayside in minutes , Completely shell shocked it was over, and lm glad it was like that, a bit like death it shouldnt be prolonged . Then the walk up the docks to join Red Jet 4 to see QE2 away. back onshore a few final drinks with some very dear friends, l missed my last train to London.

Having done the Farewell UK and both crossings , there was no way l could have done or afforded the Dubai trip. I knew l had to be there to see QE2 away and the chance to visit onboard for a few hours is something l will treasure very much, hellish though the ending was . 

My sailing days with Cunard..Over .When you sailed on the best the only way you can go is down.       
« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2019, 08:38 PM by cunardqueen »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

« Last Edit: Mar 04, 2021, 08:36 AM by Rob Lightbody »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #119 on: Nov 11, 2019, 10:51 PM »
I seem to recall it was a Harrier which performed the drop? Another british icon sadly no longer in service.

The Harrier performed a salute by means of a nose-dip as part of the ceremony.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

 

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