Author Topic: Hello! My name is Helen - and I was at the launch of the QE2  (Read 3210 times)

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Helen Aiken

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I have been following the site with interest and you are "liked" on my Facebook.
 
My name is Helen Aiken. I was born in Clydebank and my family were all involved in John Brown's shipyard.  I now live in Essex.
 
My grandfather worked in John Brown's as a Shipwright on the Queen Mary.  I believe he was also in one of those in charge of the gang who supervised the drag chains at launches.
 
My father worked in John Brown's as a Shipwright on the first Queen Elizabeth.  He moved on to Yarrow's Admiralty Shipyard at Yoker in Glasgow. I still have a litle work table he made for my mother from the off-cuts from the wood veneers used on the ship.  ( He only used bits thrown on the floor as he considered anything else as theft )
 
On Wednesday 20th September, 1967 I attended the launch of the QE2 - and I still have my ticket for the West Stand - (next to the Queen!) even though all the tickets were taken in on the day (I smiled and asked nicely).  A prized possession and I am not sure if anyone else thought to ask to keep theirs.  I also have a small picture taken by my mother as she stood down below with all workmen.  No digital cameras around then!

The ticket shows the ship as Cunard Liner No. 736.  No-one knew the name of the ship until the Queen read out it's name.  All the betting shops in Clydebank were doing great business as everyone put bets on the names put forward.
 
The QE2 is very very special to me.  She is the last big liner from Clydebank and carries the pride of all those who worked on her.

I love reading about all those who have contact with her - she feels like part of my family - and I am looking forward to reading all your stories.  :)

Helen

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Hello! My name is Helen - and I was at the launch of the QE2
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 09:47 PM »
Welcome aboard Helen, that must have been one of the very best places to be on launch day and it sounds like you have a very interesting family history as well.  Is there any chance you could post up that photograph you mention?  We would love to see it on here. :)
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Stowaway2k

Re: Hello! My name is Helen - and I was at the launch of the QE2
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 06:32 AM »
Hi Helen,

I "second" what Peter said...    :)

It would also be fun to see a photo of the table your dad made for your mum.

Have you ever seen film of the launches of the Queens?  Have you spotted yourself or other family members in photos or film?

Thanks for coming here and posting.

Helen Aiken

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Re: Hello! My name is Helen - and I was at the launch of the QE2
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 08:36 AM »
Lovely to hear from you both  :).  The picture my mother took was from a little brownie camera so it is just a faded snap with the heads of the workers in front of her, a bit of a crane, and looking up the side of the ship.  Not exciting but a snapshot of time really.  I will scan it and try to put it up.  Not sure how, but I will work it out. I will do the same for the table.  My father was really good with his hands and loved working with wood.  He made work  tables for my mother and her two sisters in days when something like that was so difficult to find.   My father and grandfather (my mother's father) were so passionate about the ships they spent hours every night "building boats" in their imagination in the kitchen.

I have never seen any of the films of the launch - can you direct me as to where to find some please?  Might be worth having a look :)

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Hello! My name is Helen - and I was at the launch of the QE2
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 10:10 AM »
Hello Helen,

From a fellow "Bankie" welcome to the Forum.  I loved hearing your story as I also was born and brought up in Clydebank and remember QE2 being built, her launch and seeing around the ship before she left Clydebank. 

Have a look at the instructions on how to post photos on the Forum
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/board,91.0.html

and if you need any help please myself or any of the Moderators.    https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,2333.0.html
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 10:39 AM by Lynda »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Matteo 91

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Re: Hello! My name is Helen - and I was at the launch of the QE2
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 06:03 PM »
Hello Helen, welcome aboard the forum!

To attend the launch of QE2 ... what an honor!

Offline Rod

Re: Hello! My name is Helen - and I was at the launch of the QE2
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 11:29 PM »
Helen, sorry it took so long to welcome you.
You will find lots of people on here waiting for your "take" on the launching.
I spent 20 years on that wonderful Clydebank issue. In the good old days, when customer service was #1!

Offline Richard Dumnick

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Re: Hello! My name is Helen - and I was at the launch of the QE2
« Reply #7 on: Oct 23, 2012, 02:03 PM »
Hello Helen,

What an exciting story. Thank you so much for sharing and I hope to hear more in the forums. I'm new here myself.

-Richard

 

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