Author Topic: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)  (Read 63838 times)

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Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #75 on: Nov 12, 2015, 09:16 PM »
Thank you very much, Myles and Cunarder Man, for writing about this especially moving day.  The recollections do not diminish, do they ?  I think for all of us, they become more vivid !
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #76 on: Nov 11, 2017, 12:46 AM »
9 years ago today we watched her final departure from Southampton on BBC South Today - there was not a dry eye in our house that night. 9 long years and finally something good is happening with her - long overdue.
« Last Edit: Nov 11, 2017, 08:06 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last 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, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #77 on: Nov 11, 2017, 08:08 AM »
9 years ago today we watched her final departure from Southampton on BBC South Today - there was not a dry eye in our house that night. 9 long years and finally something good is happening with her - long overdue.

Must have happened so many of us at the time... little did we know that we would be meeting in this Forum sooner or later, exchanging memories!

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #78 on: Nov 11, 2017, 06:25 PM »
As we remember the 9th anniversary of QE2's final departure from Southampton, it is good to know that her future is looking brighter.   The new cruise terminal with QE2 items and reports of work being carried out on the ship, all good.   

Emotions were high on the day she departed and she continues to attract a lot of love. 

Love seeing the pictures and hearing the stories of the final departure. Cunarder Man's post is worth reading. What an experience.....
 
It was a long day, one which I'll probably never forget.

We, that is my son, his wife to be and my mother arrived in town a couple of days before the 11th. Much as I would have loved that we all joined QE2 this was impossible.

On 10 November 2008 we were fortunate to attend a lecture by Stephen Payne in the QE2 terminal about the QE2. A friend who was First Officer, then Navigator on QE2 in the eighties was due to join us, but unfortunately he couldn't make it at the last moment.

I don't think I slept all that well the night before in fear I would miss her last arrival into Southampton. Like many others I had a ticket on the Ocean Scene which left around 0530 to head out to meet up with QE2. Those who had booked on SS Shieldhall were not so lucky.

It was very dark and the cold wind bit through you! The Captain of the Ocean Scene provided a useful commentary as we headed south and in due course QE2 became visible heading in, or was she, somewhere near the Brambles.

Ocean Scene slowed down and an announcement was made that Solent control had stopped all vessels heading out as QE2 had been blown onto the sandbank. Tugs had been dispatched from Fawley and the rescue mission was on to see her free. I recall our Captain saying that 'we' we're fortunate to be where we we are and we probably had the best view of what was going on.

Later that day I was due to meet a friend who was a reporter and I wondered if he had heard this news. I phoned his mobile and asked if he had heard anything? He had not, but he said he would get back to me soon. Of course, this is when you realise that it would have been a good idea to charge your phone overnight! However, I received his call and I was told that 'I' was now the reporter, quite literally on scene, and would I mind going live on the news? So there I was, and the rest is history. Over the next hour I was interviewed live on TV and radio. Indeed, later whilst having breakfast I was on BBC Radio Belfast!

QE2 was free and heading to her home port for the last time; she looked magnificent, proud and a true Queen of the Seas just as she always did.

Later that morning we all stood on Town Quay to watch the poppy drop. Silence fell over the waters at 11am.

Around lunchtime we all headed to QE2 terminal where my mother and I checked in. My wife does not share the obsession I have for the ship and she was quite happy to stay at home with our daughter who was then still at school. They has strict instructions to watch and record the BBC South News broadcasts!

On board we caught a glimpse of HRH Prince Phillip and the Harrier saluting the ship. I met a couple of celebrities who had been closely associated with the ship over the years. They were on board for lunch and no doubt, this too was a memorable day for them all.

About 3pm a Royal Navy flotilla sailed by and saluted the ship in recognition of the valuable contribution she had made complementing the fleet  in 1982. A small poppy wreath had been placed on one of QE2s rails in memory of the soldiers who had been carried on QE2 and had not returned from Mount Tumbledown.

Later on the open decks there was celebration of her 40 years; nobody on board wanted her to go, but she had to. Captain McNaught paid a most fitting tribute to her and thanked the City of Southampton. Their Queen, who called this city 'home', was leaving.

The band played on the quayside, the ropes were wound in and tugs pulled her off. Search lights beamed to the sky and floodlit the ship as she pulled out. She reversed down to Mayflower Park where thousands gathered to say their goodbye. The fireworks were magnificent and somewhere in the myriad of small vessels around us my son and his fiancée were on a Blue Funnel vessel. Eventually we made contact and flags waved good style!

Navigating through the flotilla of vessels must have been a challenge. Mind, there are rules and small vessels tend not to mess with The Queen. Fireworks shot into the sky from Hythe Pier and from numerous locations along our route out to sea. The small vessels began to turn and head home - their lights getting smaller as we progressed and our speed increased. The decks began to clear as fellow passengers headed in to warm up, prepare for dinner and unpack. I recall venturing out on deck later and still fireworks could be seen on the Isle of Wight and to the north around the Southsea area.

The pilot disembarked and we were on own with an expert crew under the command of the best Captain ever. What lay ahead was her last 16 days during which we would savour and treasure what this fine and mighty liner had to offer.



« Last Edit: Nov 11, 2017, 06:31 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

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #79 on: Nov 11, 2017, 07:45 PM »
The Brambles was on the news in the car - we arrived in time to watch the Poppies as they dropped out of the blue sky,
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was due and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships were also paying their respects.
QE2 was taking on bunkers and we joined one of the ferries as several small boats arrived - also to bid their farewells too, to the great ship. The Blue Funnel line's Maid of the Harbour picked up passengers at approximately 6.00pm and we waited, warm in the small wheelhouse, until the fireworks began - and ended. We watched as someone was fixing his great Flag - little did we know it would be the beginnings of a grand friendship with Cunarder Man - we have so much to be grateful to QE2 for!!
Sailing down Southampton Water alongside QE2, we passed Cunard's own fireworks as she saluted her team, and then on towards the Solent - someone must have given the full steam ahead signal.
QE2 swiftly reacting; she was sailing at probably 15-20 knots or more as she left these shores without looking back.
I've tried to add a video I made at the time - her last whistle....
however I'm sorry because the connectivity here has made it impossible to add it to this post :(
 
« Last Edit: Nov 11, 2017, 07:50 PM by Twynkle »

Online cunardqueen

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #80 on: Nov 11, 2017, 09:15 PM »
My views are still the same, unchanged, while l can never forgive Cunard for selling QE2, l perhaps should be thanking them. I stopped cruising, and now l couldnt give two hoots about the Cunard ships (perhaps it shows)

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.
As it happened met some QE2 friends, ended up in a salsa bar to remember the good old days , l missed the last train to London and stayed over with a very dear QE2 lady friend.

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.             

Quote
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...   

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 Trevor Harris

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #81 on: Nov 11, 2017, 09:21 PM »
Nine years ago today.  :'( :'(
Enjoyer of classic cinema, literature, and music.

Online cunardqueen

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #82 on: Nov 11, 2017, 09:28 PM »
Maybe not the most glamorous of ways to embark on QE2 for a last visit, but it did give some superb new views..
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 #83 on: Nov 12, 2017, 01:57 AM »
The Brambles was on the news in the car - we arrived in time to watch the Poppies as they dropped out of the blue sky,
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was due and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships were also paying their respects.
QE2 was taking on bunkers and we joined one of the ferries as several small boats arrived - also to bid their farewells too, to the great ship. The Blue Funnel line's Maid of the Harbour picked up passengers at approximately 6.00pm and we waited, warm in the small wheelhouse, until the fireworks began - and ended. We watched as someone was fixing his great Flag - little did we know it would be the beginnings of a grand friendship with Cunarder Man - we have so much to be grateful to QE2 for!!
Sailing down Southampton Water alongside QE2, we passed Cunard's own fireworks as she saluted her team, and then on towards the Solent - someone must have given the full steam ahead signal.
QE2 swiftly reacting; she was sailing at probably 15-20 knots or more as she left these shores without looking back.
I've tried to add a video I made at the time - her last whistle....
however I'm sorry because the connectivity here has made it impossible to add it to this post :(
 


QE2 ended up doing around 30 knots not that long after departure and near the Isle of Wight as posted on this forum in at least one place for prosperity. One of if not her fastest departure from Southampton.

Thomas
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last 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, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #84 on: Nov 27, 2017, 01:45 AM »
Hi everyone,

I'm unsure where to post this, and unfortunately it doesn't have more views on YouTube, and I'm not sure how many people here on the forum have seen this.

Skilly's video shows a unique and excellent view of that sad evening.



Thomas

PS. On another note, my Dad has given me the video camera he used on QE2 on our last trip in July 2008 due to not having time due to work to get the footage off the HD tapes - which includes footage he didn't think worthy of putting up on YouTube. He has given me permission to post what he thinks as less than perfect footage on my channel (where I'll credit him as Dad so not to link it to his main channel) provided it isn't full of obvious mistakes etc. This footage includes footage of me on the aft decks of QE2 (exhibiting my usual unnaturalness in front of the camera lol). I am waiting for my Dad to not be as busy with work so I can collect further equipment from home that I'll need to capture the footage.
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last 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, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #85 on: Nov 27, 2017, 10:17 AM »
Skilly's video shows a unique and excellent view of that sad evening.

Thank you, Thomas, for what is indeed a unique and different view of that final departure, so splendid but so sad...

And yes, please go ahead and let us see more of your Dad's videos -- all these memories are precious!

Offline skilly56

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #86 on: Nov 29, 2017, 11:30 AM »
Credit where it is due - that departure video was filmed by my youngest son Blair, who was 3/O on the last voyage to Dubai.
Considering the quality of camera he had that night, he did well to get some decent footage of the historic event.
Now, after half a dozen years working in the Aussie offshore with me, he is sailing as 1/O on P&O's 'Aurora' at present.

Skilly

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #87 on: Nov 29, 2017, 12:13 PM »
Credit where it is due - that departure video was filmed by my youngest son Blair, who was 3/O on the last voyage to Dubai.
Considering the quality of camera he had that night, he did well to get some decent footage of the historic event.
Now, after half a dozen years working in the Aussie offshore with me, he is sailing as 1/O on P&O's 'Aurora' at present.

Skilly

Small world Skilly! - I saw Aurora depart Southampton last Wednesday, with a friend (an ex P&O Bridge Officer).

Anyway sorry for going off topic!

Thomas
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last 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, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #88 on: Nov 07, 2018, 11:19 AM »
Just 4 days now until the 10th Anniversary of QE2's departure.

Were you packing then, getting ready to sail with her - or like us, getting out the warmest clothes ready to drive down early - and find the Blue Funnel's Maid of the Harbour's Berth for the first of two fully booked sailings that day?

How should we mark this anniversary...?

Online cunardqueen

Re: QE2 Final day in Southampton and final departure (11/11/2008)
« Reply #89 on: Nov 07, 2018, 08:03 PM »
Quote
How should we mark this anniversary...? 
Quite simply a toast The old QE2 is gone, Long live the new QE2 .
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

 

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