Author Topic: Ask the Captain - William Cooper (Captain from 2009 to 2012 in Dubai)  (Read 42508 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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Captain Bill Cooper was Captain of QE2 from 2009 until the end of 2012.  He was employed by V-Ships, and hired to take the ship under her own steam to South Africa, for her new role there.  As we know, this fell through, and he then found himself in charge of a ship in 'warm layup' while plans for what to do with her came and went.



He has now retired, but has kindly offered to accept questions from us about this fascinating time.  I think it is important that as much of his story is captured as possible. 

Scott Clegg, who was the QE2 Project manager from 2008 until the end of 2012, is also now willing to answer your questions about that time, although not about anything after the end of 2012.  As many of us will remember, especially early on, this was a fascinating period when we were all desperate to know what was happening/not happening, and why.  Now is your chance to find out

Please submit questions for Captain "Bill" and Scott by the 2nd of August and then, as before for the other Captains, we'll submit all the questions at once to them to reply to.

Thank you, and thank you to Bill and Scott for agreeing to do this for us.
« Last Edit: Jul 23, 2013, 11:00 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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Online Peter Mugridge

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Now, one particular question springs to mind - the handover from them to the present lot was at ridiculously short notice, but did he and the crew have any suspicions that something was about to happen and if so, how long before the handover was made did they have these suspicions?  What made them suspect something was up?
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online cunardqueen

When did Captain Cooper first realise that QE2 was to be his next command, and had he ever travelled on the ship or seen her before and when he took his first steps onboard was QE2 how he imagined her to be?
And if l dare ask , whats his thoughts on what should happen to QE2.....

Thanks for allowing us to ask these questions and for looking after QE2 on your watch...
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Jeff Taylor

I'd be curious to know what his "marching orders" were in terms of maintaining and/or improving the ship during his time in charge.  Did the owners encourage any efforts at preserving or maintaining the ship, or did they "penny pinch" or second guess his recommendations or actions.  Finally, was he privy to any discussions or deliberations about her future.  Obviously to the extent he is comfortable answering.  Thanks.

Offline Alan Snelson

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Hello Captain Cooper, When QE2 moved in to dry dock Jan 2013 do you know if she was using any of her own engines or was she moved entirely by tugs? Also what is the extent of work required to make her ready to sail under her own power and was any work being undertaken towards that end?
« Last Edit: Jul 04, 2013, 06:55 PM by Alan Snelson »
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Online Lynda Bradford

Thank-you to Captain Cooper for looking after QE2 while he was in charge of the ship and many thanks for agreeing to answer our questions. 

What was your reaction when you were asked to be Captain of the QE2 to take her to South Africa?  and at what point did you realise that your name would go down in history as a result of being part of QE2's story. 

Given that the plans to take her to South Africa fell through can you tell us a bit about your working life onboard the most famous ship in the world when she was in warm lay up. 

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Rod

Captain Cooper, forst of all, THANKS!
What is your history?
After the SA trip fell through, did you ever do the "what if" thing? Imagine what it would be like to take "The greatest ship in the world" to another port.
Good luck and fair winds in your retirement!

Offline Twynkle

QE2 was looking so good when we saw her in 2011.
Firstly - a great big thank-you to you and your Crew, Captain Cooper.

A couple of questions - when she tried to escape (when her mooring line snapped on 28th January 2011!), on discovering this - whereabouts where you?  And what on earth must you have felt, thought and done? :)

Please, are able to tell us something about the packing and stowage of all her pictures, heritage collection, tapestries, and statues etc? Do you think these, and other things like Queen Mary's piano and things from your Captain's quarters and the Wardroom etc have all been packed up well enough to survive the heat in tact?
All good wishes - and if you are in Glasgow on 27th July - we'd love it if you can join us on PS Waverley!
That would be extra-special!
Rosie.

Offline mgmike

Hello Captain Cooper, firstly many thanks to you and your crew for the excellent care you provided QE2.

I wondered what it was like for you during your early period on board QE2, how difficult was it to learn all her systems and procedures given that all of the crew were fairly new to the ship?  We have heard that QE2 was a "one off" from an engineering perspective, as a Captain did you find her a difficult ship to learn?

Offline Mauretania1907

Many thanks to you, your crew and V-ships for lookong after QE2.

Online Alex Tarry

I too would like to add my gratitude to Captain Cooper and his team for looking after the ship while it was under his command.

My question is, did they test the propellers in the run-up to the aborted South Africa trip, and how close were they to sailing before the voyage was cancelled.

Many thanks and all the best for your retirement...

Alex

Offline Chris

I'd like to add my thanks and I hope that the copy of our book got to you safely via Natasha at GEM.

When did you first see QE2 (first time ever) and what was your impression then. How did it feel to step aboard as her Captain, and did she live up to your original impressions?
🎥 Check out my QE2 & Cruise Ship Videos: https://www.youtube.com/chrisframeofficial/

Offline pete cain

I'd like to add my tribute to you & your staff for looking after QE2 whilst she was yours, thankyou.
  In your opinion, having seen her close up ,how long could she have remained at sea strutting her stuff?, I know folk on this forum say that Cunard looked after her till the end but, all those failures we're witness to, tell a different story don't you think?

Online Lynda Bradford

We are very pleased to announce that Scott Clegg, who was the QE2 Project manager from 2008 until the end of 2012, is also now willing to answer your questions about that time, although not about anything after the end of 2012.  As many of us will remember, especially early on, this was a fascinating period when we were all desperate to know what was happening/not happening, and why.  Now is your chance to find out

We have extended the deadline for submitting questions to 2nd of August and then, as before for the other Captains, we'll submit all the questions at once to them to reply to.

Thank you, and thank you to Bill and Scott for agreeing to do this for us.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Thank you, Captain Cooper, for your willingness to answer our questions -- and above all, thank you for the good care you gave to QE2 all the time you were in charge of her.

Did you already know QE2 before you became her Captain? When did you first set foot on her?

When you took over as her Captain, what sort of handover did you receive? Did you feel that your crew were sufficient in number, and sufficiently qualified, to sail her to Cape Town?