Author Topic: Chris Woolley, QE2 Junior First Hotel Officer 1969 - ?  (Read 3922 times)

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Offline Woolston

Hello everyone, my name is Chris Woolley, I joined QE2 for her maiden Transatlantic voyage on a pierhead jump from Carmania. I was a Junior First Hotel Officer, (previously known as a 2nd Assistant Purser) aged 23.  I still have no understanding as to why the management changed the titles.  It just caused confusion, particularly for passengers, who still used the services of the "Pursers Office" on One Deck.  Anyway I was'nt very keen on going and after about 18 moths, transferred gratefully to Cunard Adventurer.
My memories of my time in QE2 are: 
"Niagara,Niagara!!"; passengers sleeping in the Hospital due to the flooded staterooms; a complete power failure and blackout in the Hudson River; escalators from the galley to the restaurants continually breaking down, delivering exhausted waiters and cold food to the retaurants; cold weather in New York meant static discharge from all the hand rails; dealing with cross and disgruntled passengers, who deserved better from the pride of Cunard. It really was, a work up for everyone.  On the positive side, the social life in the Wardroom was great, does anyone remember the excellent Joe Yexley (?) and the wry smile he gave presenting the end of voyage, bar accounts?  I made friends that have lasted to today, 40 years later.  The celebrities that travelled, the characters in the crew and the satisfaction of working in a ship that drew the crowds everywhere. The officers cabins (innovative en suite double rooms), ideal for "entertaining"; the overnight turnarounds in NY.  In retrospect I am glad I did it!!   
« Last Edit: Jan 10, 2014, 08:48 PM by Alan Snelson »

Cruise_Princess

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Re: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #1 on: Mar 29, 2010, 03:53 PM »
We look forward to heaaring many more of your wonderful behind the scenes memories  thanks for sharing!  and yes it should ALWAYS be the pursers office...receptions are for hotels NOT ships!

RmsAquitania

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Re: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #2 on: Mar 29, 2010, 11:41 PM »
Cruise Princess is right, its the pursers office not the hotel whatever, If I remember correctly on RCL they call it guest relations, Im a passenger not a guest ! LOL

Cruise_Princess

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Re: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #3 on: Mar 30, 2010, 11:40 AM »
What do RCL know..? They don't think they have ships anyway....I mean....the land of WHY NOT?  What the hell is THAT all about? I dont want to find out either.....

What REALLY annoys me is being in the lift and passengers talking about what FLOOR' they are going to!!!!  Talk about 'dumbing' down cruising.



AHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #4 on: Apr 02, 2010, 09:36 PM »
Hello and Welcome!

It's good that you have joined us -
and hopefully you'll find something here that'll bring back some good memories of the better times!
It's good to know that it was possible to make great friends despite all the problems!
Rosie




« Last Edit: Apr 03, 2010, 08:46 AM by Twynkle »
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: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #5 on: Apr 27, 2010, 11:46 AM »
Hello Chris, great to have you on board, and what an amazing story to start off with - thank you!

Niagara-Niagara was often heard in QE2's later years, but I'm surprised to hear it was heard when she was new!  I knew there were problems, but didn't realise this was one of them.

Would love to hear some more about her drawing the crowds wherever she went - was this a permanent occurence, or just when she was absolutely brand new?

Enjoy the forum!

Cheers,

- Rob.
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 cunardqueen

Re: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #6 on: Apr 27, 2010, 03:39 PM »
Welcome aboard Chris and look forward to hearing more of the early days on QE2.

Quote
What do RCL know..? They don't think they have ships anyway....I mean....the land of WHY NOT?  What the hell is THAT all about? I dont want to find out either.....

The land of why not indeed ::).. On dear old QE2 l never heard the word "No !!" it was always yes :). Years ago l had  a rather flamboyant steward and during one of our conversations l remember asking him where does he draw the line with passenger requests. And it was his reply l found highly entertaining " As long as its clean and legal we can do it,.. otherwise its open to negotiation....."  and it was said without  a smile...
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Beardy Rich

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Re: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #7 on: Apr 29, 2010, 12:50 PM »
What do RCL know..? They don't think they have ships anyway....I mean....the land of WHY NOT?  What the hell is THAT all about? I dont want to find out either.....
What REALLY annoys me is being in the lift and passengers talking about what FLOOR' they are going to!!!!  Talk about 'dumbing' down cruising.

AHHHHHHHH!!!!!
Memo to RCL... a wall is a bulkhead, a ceiling is a deckhead and a floor is a deck!
Rich Drayson. Ex Snr Mechanic QE2 1984-1988.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #8 on: Apr 29, 2010, 12:57 PM »
^^^^^

And a room is a cabin, right is starboard, left is port, the supposedly pointy bit is the bow ( not the front ) and the blunt bit at the back is the stern. ;D
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline riskygizmo

Re: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 06:11 PM »
hello woolston,

Three cheers for Joe Yexley. He probably deserves a whole forum all to himself. I'm sure I have a photo of him looking exhausted
at a busy Wardy cocktail party -  I'll try to find it and post it on here somewhere. I remember how the Wardy would become eerily empty towards the end of a trip as some of the guys would start drinking in the public rooms just to avoid Joe and his bar bills.

Ah, happy days.
Full Away on Passage.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 My Memories
« Reply #10 on: Jul 23, 2011, 03:06 PM »
One of my favorite memories of Yexley was when the ship had blacked out somewhere...Think it was Trinidad and jellyfish.
Back in the days of steam turbine the turbines had to be rotated when cooling down to avoid castrophic distortion. In the event of a blackout they had to be turned by hand by the equivalent of a ratchet with a 6 foot handle. No ventilation in the engine room over 150 degrees 10 mins in 10 out. Yexley brought his whole crew down with cans of juice and gave us a break.
But please do not mention the barbills anymore. My house would be paid off by now!