Author Topic: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?  (Read 17321 times)

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Offline pete cain

Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« on: Mar 17, 2009, 09:04 PM »
I know it seems a bit of a daft question, but when you come down to it ; just what is so special about the QE2 ; when you really think about it,? (discarding all the hype) . In the  spirit of Rob's desire to look at her before all these crazy' goings-on ' I thought long & hard,so here's my reasons,(inviting all to voice theirs). I live & have lived all my life in a shipbuilding town, we have built many fine ships both commercial and naval over the years, the last commercial (of note ) being ORIANA.I would like to go on & on for ages here but it would get boring,so here goes; I served my apprenticeship for 5yrs, starting in 1966, I was launched by H.M. QE11 on Hms Sheffield (lost in the Falklands debacle) I worked on nuclear submarines, & on Hms INVINCIBLE,who, by the way is also laid up after valuable years of service awaiting her fate! . Hang on ,I'm getting around to it;   when I started earning wages I was on £4.2 shilings &4 pence per week. I worked my way through the system  witnessing all the trials and tribulations of helping to build ships , there were no computers (of note),a guy in the drawing office did it all with a pencil ,rubber & drawing board; down on the shopfloor we changed it about a bit (because it couldn't fit in) , we called him down & he (usually agreed the mod's) .He did his best ,we did our best ,a lot of blood, cuss, tears and joy & a little bit of pride went in to building ships; & then , like children,letting them go .That was just my trade (electrician), we had our own foundries to cast iron, brass etc , we could build our own pumping systems' joiners shops making bespoke cabinets & wardrobe units. What I'm trying to say is , an awfull lot of people went in to building a ship some were in it just for the money, but most in my experience  really did take a pride in building a ship and sending her off. A lot of personal investment  into a piece of metal.The reality was ,you built them but  you couldn't afford to sail in them  .The QE2 was beyond my reach until a few years ago, my wife I had the very good fortune to sail in her 3 times, & every time I was on board I knew what had gone on before me; building, refits, maintenance; celebrities, crew; comings, goings ; ME, (You), she is a repository of 40+ years  of experience, not an Ikea (type) computer designed ,pack em in ,multi-layred,ring fenced corporate idyll ,and she is the last one,and I feel SO, SO, sad that, the vandals who bought her as an asset ,and the one's who've got her now don't understand what they have , in spite of all the hype  about preserving her heritage, etc... such a waste. That's what's so special about my QE2.!!!!             

Offline singlemalt

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #1 on: Mar 17, 2009, 09:49 PM »
Pete,

Thanks so much for your reasoning about 'why' QE2. Struck  a lot of chords with me - we've already made the local connection  ;) so fully get your shipbuilding experience and pride in a job done well as one of the reasons 'why'.

Regarding Invincible - was the very first launch that I went to and one of my earliest memories. Was very young (3 maybe) and very much remember the excitement of the day and think I still have my Union Jack somewhere. According to family folklore..... we had a big old black Rover and were running late for the launch and so one of the last cars across the bridge into town. Supposedly lots of people in the crowd must have thought that our car contained one of the VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE that day and waved and cheered as we went past and I had great fun waving back at them all through the car windows with my Union Jack  ::) Obviously delusions of grandeur from a very young age!!

Was saying yes, yes, yes to your comments about Oriana -have already got into a bit of a conversation about it with Andy2 / ancoaster78 in another thread when I went off topic a bit - sorry Rob but you know how I like to ramble  :-[ - but think that Oriana was the first ship that captured my heart. My dad worked on it when serving his time (another electrician - spooky!!) then ended up on it as Chief Electrician and had many adventures that I grew up hearing about. I used to especially love the stories of all the grand ladies in their finery, dressing up for dinner and the tables he hosted.

To be fair, he was a bit of a grumpy old bugger and always maintained he much preferred eating in the Officers Mess to having to be polite to the table guests but happily indulged my desire for another story about Oriana and my predelictions for tottering around in my mum's too big high heels and pretending I was on my way to the Princess Room or Silver Grill  :-[  :-[

I think the point that I am trying to make is that I was swept away from as early as I can recall by stories of glamour and glitz on the high seas. Added to this the local 'pride' in a job well done with a special ship or two and I hope I can empathise properly with those with John Brown / Clydebank associations and pride in their most beautiful lady.

I think it was only when I finally set foot on QE2 that it all seemed to combine beautifully. It was a fabulous connection to my past and perfect realisation of how a ship can capture your heart on so many levels and yet feel so much like coming home at the same time. (And I will own up to very much enjoying the bits where I could swish about being a glam lady on the high seas!  ;D)

I don't know how to summarise it properly; can't find the exact words other than it all finally made sense and I very much appreciate and cherish the time I spent onboard and the memories and friendships - both continued and new ones - that have come about as a result.

Bit of a ramble in response but my reasons for 'why QE2' make perfect sense to me!   ;D
« Last Edit: Mar 18, 2009, 08:31 PM by singlemalt »
Wearer of swishy skirts and fab heels; otherwise known as the Cruise Director

Offline Andy F

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 18, 2009, 01:51 AM »
And it makes perfect sense to me also!  Great stories Pete & Ali and thanks for sharing your emotions with us. 

What makes QE2 special for me and which after all, binds us all here together, is that we all have our own personal experiences, recollections and fondest memories of her.  Whether you got to sail aboard her or not it doesn't matter for like me, you will have that very same deep rooted affection for her. Sure there are other ships, more modern and even in some cases, grander possibly depending on one's personal taste, but it's extremely unlikely any other ship to follow in her wake will come anywhere close to the experience that is/was QE2. She was one of a kind, unique and irreplaceable, the jewel in the Cunard crown and the very reason why I am here writing this now and you are (hopefully) reading this! 

Sadly we cannot turn back the clock and have to accept that she has finally gone yet we should be thankful for having had the opportunity to get to know this grandest of old ladies and above all, relish the many happy memories we all have of her, for no-ne can ever take these away.
Start every day with a smile and get it over with

Offline pete cain

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #3 on: Mar 18, 2009, 10:57 AM »
Dear Ali, & Andy, thank you so much for your comments,it goes to prove that, we cannot really explain ,just what it is that gets under one's skin, it just does!,as they say. As a matter of note (& I apologise in advance if it's already been covered in a previous thread, but ORIANA is well covered in Google, & makes interesting reading, shame about the outcome though.)  Bit more spookily Ali, we're now driving around in an old Rover, not worth anything since their demise,but somebody commented when we bought it that we had at last become middle class!,driving a Rover ,sailing on the QE2, just who do we think we are?.sorry folks my turn for a ramble,(makes a nice change from spitting out me dummy)...just thought of a phrase that might cover it, once bitten forever smitten,  pete cain.....
« Last Edit: Mar 18, 2009, 11:20 AM by pete cain »

Offline highlander0108

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #4 on: Mar 31, 2009, 06:05 PM »
just what it is that gets under one's skin, it just does

I have Sinatra's "I Got You Under My Skin" in my IPod QE2 Tribute playlist for that very reason.  :)
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
My Blog:  http://qe2-prideoftheclyde.blogspot.com/

Offline caledonia

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #5 on: Apr 04, 2009, 09:57 AM »
To me quite simply she was the finest, - i have travelled on other liners and quite simply they did not have that wonderful feeling of coming back to an old friend, the welcome you received from the crew, many who rememberd you from previous voyages and the wonderful service on board. I used to go on shore and just stand and look at the QE2 - to me she was the nearest thing to perfection ever constructed in a liner and i will never forget the first time i saw her moored in the middle of the Mersey - it really was love at first sight. You felt very proud when walking around port on the cruises where other mere mortal liners were in Port ( i always used to wear a QE2 hat to advertise we were on board) and passengers from the "other liners" would ask you about her - quite often with envy, my response to them simply was you have tried the rest next time travel on the best!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2009, 10:36 AM »
At the end of our very last voyage, September 2008, I wrote some of it up as part of my Flickr Diary of those wonderful days :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prondis_in_kenya/2971457456/

That day's diary entry is called "Dancing with my Lady"!

Offline pete cain

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 08:47 PM »
Dear Isabelle ,just read your "dancing with my lady " link, and was totally smitten with the sentiments, I was on board this time last year & have to admit to  smelling , touching, &  just about every sensory emotion I could squeeze in ,to 21days, because I knew it had to last the rest of my life....

RMS Queen Elizabeth 2

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Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2009, 07:26 PM »
I don't know what it is but she just has that appeal and i just love her she has character, class and magic.
Being British makes everyone proud and i think QE2 represents us as a country. Many people say it was Cunard that built her that ain't true it was the wonderful shipbuilders on the Clyde in Scotland that made her if it wasn't for them and there great craftmanship QE2 probabley wouldn't have been what she is now an Icon.


Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #9 on: Aug 18, 2009, 07:52 PM »
I've tried to answer this difficult question with a comprehensively biased new page on our site here :-

https://www.theqe2story.com/aboutQE2/
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline pete cain

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #10 on: Aug 18, 2009, 08:10 PM »
Thank,s Rob,(for everything), Pete c....

Offline Cruisemarsh

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 12, 2009, 01:45 AM »
She is the last true Atlantic liner built in the traditional sense (QM2 was designed and built with the use of todays modern technology) She was steady as a rock and reliable. You actually felt you were on a ship, not on a floating block of flats. She has a wonderful profile, with her graceful long streamlined through to midships and the delightfully tiered rounded stern. Words cannot really describe the true sense of what makes her special, she is the QE2 and that's as good a reason as any.
Queen Elizabeth 2: Legendary Grand Dame of the Seas.

Offline highlander0108

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #12 on: Nov 12, 2009, 03:21 AM »
I've tried to answer this difficult question with a comprehensively biased new page on our site here :-

https://www.theqe2story.com/aboutQE2/

For some reason, I had never read your answer Rob.  It sums up my thoughts perfectly.  Tonights read brought back all my good memories of my time onboard and given today's one year anniversary of her leaving the UK, hopefully not for the last time (I have to have hope that the UK is her ultimate final resting place) it was a timely reminder.  I need to print this and hand it out to people who just don't get my obsession.  :D

Ken
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
My Blog:  http://qe2-prideoftheclyde.blogspot.com/

Offline Twynkle

Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #13 on: Nov 14, 2009, 10:00 AM »
Rob - having read your thoughts here,
 https://www.theqe2story.com/aboutQE2/
just want to say that they are so well written
and make very good sense. Thank you!

In Chris's new book, The QE2 Story
there are quotes also showing just what is so special about QE2.

It's as if from day one of QE2's existence, everyone concerned has 'gone the extra mile'
That's what is so special - they made the difference  :) 
   
« Last Edit: Nov 14, 2009, 11:24 AM by Twynkle »

Cruise_Princess

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Re: Just what is so special about the QE2 ?
« Reply #14 on: Nov 28, 2009, 09:00 PM »
She just   HAS IT ALL....and no one since or in the future will ever have it again...

a bit like comparing Sophia Loren and Britney Spears..........if you know what I mean....!! 

 

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