Author Topic: Hello. I'm Alistair :)  (Read 1906 times)

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Offline Alistair

Hello. I'm Alistair :)
« on: Jan 27, 2010, 01:09 AM »
I am Alistair Hay.
I just stumbled across this and Rob's site by accident a short while ago. It's a fantastic resource for finding out about a legendary ship.
I grew up in Clydebank. My parents worked in Singer's so I have no direct connection with the John Brown yard apart from it physically dominating the town centre. I remember the QE2 being built and of course being launched and I remember the day she sailed away. I cycled with a friend down to the river bank at what was then the "tank testing ground" or the "TANKIE" as we called it where we used to spend hours playing on our bikes. It was a dull cold morning. I will never forget the sight of that leviathon moving slowly round the corner from the fitting out basin, funnel all lit up and looking absolutely stunning. My friend and I were 15 but I think we were both well aware that we were seeing not just a ship passing us, but an era passing too. I of course built the Airfix model of her shortly after that and one of the Concord so I unwittingly predicted an unlikely partnership long before it began  ;D

I don't think I saw her again until she returned to the Clyde in 2007 for the 40th anniversary of her launch. I had watched the BBC Scotland program about her that same week and it brought back a lot of good memories of that time.
It was a miserable day but I drove down in time to see her leave. I fell in love with her all over again but was sad to hear the news that she was to be retired and sold to Dubai.

I was lucky enough to be working in Dubai (complete co-incidence!) when she retired there last year. I missed her arrival as I was working but I drove along to Port Rashid that evening to make sure she was actually there. I had gone home to see her come back to the Clyde for the last time in October. That was amazing. It was a beautiful yet very sad day. Anyway, back at Port Rashid, it was like seeing an old friend again when I saw her red funnel in the distance. However, the heavens opened that evening and the rain and thunder and lightening were of biblical proportions. "Someone's not happy I thought!"

I was back in Dubai for a week's vacation last November and went down with a friend of mine to see her. I noticed that the white superstructure was being re-painted but now I realise that was AFTER she had been dry-docked and her entire hull was re-painted too. My friend in Dubai, who is a local, is now fully aware of the history and significance of this amazing ship. He tried through a contact to get me up close or on board but was not successful  :'(

I did manage to get my picture in the Gulf News on the day she arrived in Dubai. I had been reading the web version and they were having big features about the arrivel of the QE2 and asked that if any readers had ever had any experience of the ship they would like to know. I wrote in telling them I had seen her being built and had also been on her, along with thousands of other Bankies before she sailed away. Next thing I knew I was being phone interviewed about it and I had to send in a picture of myself which was duly printed along with my story the next day. No-one I knew in Dubai saw the article so my 15 minutes of fame was more like 15 seconds!
I was glad to see that Nakeel's original plans to butcher her have been ditched but I am now concerned about her fate. It would be great to see her back on the Clyde or even at Southampton but with the current economic climate I don't think that is going to happen. 

I'm also entering a second childhood and builidng a new model of her to replace my long lost Airfix model. It's  1/450th model I saw on a Youtube clip being sunk in a bathtub. Within half an hour I had traced the manufacturer and found a modelshop in the US that sold them mail-order. My rate of progress is slower than the original but one day I hope to post a picture of her when completed.

Did you know that the QE2 was mentioned in an episode of StarTrek TNG? So, the QE2 is NOT the most famous ship in the world. She is the most famous ship in the galaxy!  :D

I'm looking forward to participating in this forum and learning more about the finest ship in the world.


Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: Hello. I'm Alistair :)
« Reply #1 on: Jan 27, 2010, 08:48 AM »

Welcom Alistair have a good time here.


Offline Alistair

Re: Hello. I'm Alistair :)
« Reply #2 on: Jan 27, 2010, 05:29 PM »
Thanks Louis. Looking forward to the journey!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Hello. I'm Alistair :)
« Reply #3 on: Jan 27, 2010, 11:09 PM »
Welcome, Alistair!

Sail with us here, and I am sure that, after a while, you will feel that you have been on board and that you have experienced QE2 inside and out, and even below deck (most of us are hearing about this area for the first time!).

You were so lucky to have seen her on some of her greatest days -- her launch, her 40th anniversary and farewell visits to the Clyde, and her arrival in Dubai. You must have some very special memories indeed!

Offline Twynkle

Re: Hello. I'm Alistair :)
« Reply #4 on: Jan 28, 2010, 12:00 AM »
Hello Alistair
Welcome aboard!
It sounds as if you know already that this is
the Place to Be for all of us who are nuts about QE2!

Hope that you enjoy yourself here.

QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Hello. I'm Alistair :)
« Reply #5 on: Jan 28, 2010, 07:42 PM »
Welcome aboard Alistair!  Great that you started off with such a brilliant QE2 Story already!  Hope you enjoy the forum!
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.


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