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Author Topic: Britannia figurehead (statue) on QE2 (Heritage Trail)  (Read 5051 times)

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Offline peter ward

Does anyone know whatever happened to the Britannia figurehead which graced the entrance to the old Britannia restaurant .? there used to be a competition between the boys as to what could be put on her without being noticed by the headwaiters, and to how long it would stay there. I've seen her with bow ties on , waiters cloths draped over her arm, even carrying a tray !great days ..
« Last Edit: Jul 23, 2019, 07:40 PM by Lynda Bradford »
peter

Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #1 on: Mar 11, 2011, 06:10 AM »
Peter you can find it on Boat Deck A stairway just outside the Queens Grill

Offline peter ward

Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #2 on: Mar 11, 2011, 11:15 PM »
thanks louis,
peter

Offline Matron

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Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #3 on: Mar 13, 2011, 09:52 AM »
she had a bit of an alarming 'refit' (can't remember the exact year but may have been 2004) and was repainted a very anaemic colour.  Did she also have her arm replaced?  Here is a photo of the 'before' but I haven't got one of the 'after' - maybe someone else does.
2000-2007

Offline Matron

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Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #4 on: Mar 13, 2011, 09:59 AM »
One of Flagship's photos in this thread https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,2297.0.html shows the newly anaemic and re-armed Britannia in the background
2000-2007

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #5 on: Mar 13, 2011, 11:56 AM »
The years did take it out of the figurehead and by 2000 her left arm and triton were missing. Artist Abigail Wright (a student of the original sculptor Charles Moore) took it upon herself in late 200l and during 2002 to have Britannia restored in her workshop on HMS Belfast in London. The figurehead was re-unveiled by Captain Warwick on HMS Belfast prior to being returned to QE2 in November 2002.
« Last Edit: Mar 13, 2011, 11:59 AM by flagship »

Offline Matron

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Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #6 on: Mar 13, 2011, 12:27 PM »
Before the restoration, her eyes were rather scary, but at least she had some - I seem to think that they weren't repainted, giving her a bit of a blank look!  She certainly looked happier with her arm and triton restored though, and her shield, dress etc looked more cheerful afterwards!
2000-2007

Offline Bob C.

Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #7 on: Mar 13, 2011, 03:04 PM »
Here's how she looked in her original condition in 1969.  Note the intricate design on her gown that seems to have lasted through the early 2000's.  Also note that the object in her hand was originally a spear.  These would have been nice to restore/keep in her final days onboard.
« Last Edit: Mar 13, 2011, 11:19 PM by Bob C. »

Offline Matron

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Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #8 on: Mar 13, 2011, 10:14 PM »
Bob - she's beautiful in her original condition - shame the restoration wasn't true to that....
2000-2007

Offline peter ward

Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #9 on: Mar 14, 2011, 12:40 PM »
bob,thats how I remember her ...with the spear and not the trident.there was one occasion when somebody (don't know wether passenger or crew) wrenched the spear from her grasp and threw it at the bulkhead in the centre of the restaurant just in front of the captains table .she then spent a while with a cloth over her arm  to cover up the clamp that was holding her hand together whilst the glue set ...somebody then put a waiters tray on top !
peter

Offline Bob C.

Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #10 on: Mar 14, 2011, 06:22 PM »
Great story Pete!  And great insight as well into the lore that would have escaped most of us had it not been for this outstanding forum!

Offline Twynkle

Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #11 on: Jan 09, 2015, 08:33 AM »
Britannia hopefully has been well preserved along with everything else that belongs on board QE2.
Scary - she certainly is / was!
In your post above (March 13th, 2011), Michael - you mention a sculptor 'Charles Moore' - might it possibly have been Henry Moore?
He may have traveled on board at some stage too.
Also - is there a history of the Figurehead...think I was too scared ( ;) ) to look and see whether she has a little brass plate...Isabelle, did you by any chance take a photo of one??

QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #12 on: Jan 09, 2015, 11:28 AM »
I must have seen something, because I was vaguely aware that this figure had a history of some kind. No photo though.

She was not my favourite work of art on board, but like all others, there was a good reason for this figurehead to be there, and presumably many passengers loved it.
« Last Edit: Jan 09, 2015, 08:50 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #13 on: Jan 09, 2015, 06:41 PM »
It was Cornish sculptor Charles Moore. Carved in Quebec yellow pine it measures six-foot high by two foot six inches and weighs over 300 pounds.
It was specially-commissioned and presented by Lloyds as a gift to the ship and the picture below shows the Chairman of Lloyds, Ralph Hiscox OBE, presenting it to Lord Mancroft, Deputy Chairman of Cunard on 17 October 1968.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Britannia figurehead
« Reply #14 on: Jan 10, 2015, 12:24 AM »
Ooh, Thank You Michael
The information is interesting...little wonder she's looking a bit pasty!

Not a direct link to 'Britannia', however this may raise a smile too!
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PO-5-ttYn3UC&pg=PT373&lpg=PT373&dq=Lord+Mancroft+Cunard+1968&source=bl&ots=FdZ9ke4Q29&sig=1PiRcPMFEwv4N2XV6cLPwQ3mthQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1W6wVOT7CIb1asHagbgI&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Lord%20Mancroft%20Cunard%201968&f=false 
(it probably belongs in at least two other topics, Books and famous 'Guests...however it also brings back the Sixties/Seventies and Britannia seems to fit in quite well there too!)
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.