Author Topic: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey hull colours 1983-1984  (Read 35302 times)

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Offline Rod

Re: QE2 in white/grey / Pebble Gray 1983 1984
« Reply #60 on: Apr 01, 2012, 09:33 PM »
At one time...I seem to remember the funnel being mostly white?

Offline Bruce Nicholls

Re: QE2 in white/grey / Pebble Gray 1983 1984
« Reply #61 on: Apr 02, 2012, 10:25 AM »
The first time I saw QE2 was in the Channel from a ferry to France during the Grey Period. I was desperately disappointed with the rusty run down looking ship I saw. I don't think I even took a photo, it was that bad!

Offline Alan Snelson

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Re: QE2 in white/grey / Pebble Gray 1983 1984
« Reply #62 on: Apr 03, 2013, 07:00 PM »
Not a colour combination I ever liked though thankfully I was no longer working aboard when she took on the look.

Came across the attached first day cover amongst my collection.
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Offline riskygizmo

Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey 1983-1984
« Reply #63 on: Apr 13, 2013, 01:03 PM »
Never liked the look. I've written about it elsewhere on the forum, to my eye the charcoal hull and the white funnel casing was the look She was designed with and suited Her perfectly.

Reading Flagship's post above re Lord Mathews' rationale for the change (paint Her something close to battleship grey after Her war service) did leave me wondering about the fitness of those in charge to be in charge, but, in fairness, grey hulls with black over red funnels was the Cunard look in the immediate post war era for the Old Queens and the Maury as they carried out their "demob duties".



Image from talkmodeltoys.com
« Last Edit: Apr 13, 2013, 01:35 PM by riskygizmo »
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Online Michael Gallagher

Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey 1983-1984
« Reply #64 on: Apr 13, 2013, 02:56 PM »
And of course Mauretania ended her days white with Cunard funnels and Aquitania ended hers in the same Queen Mary livery as seen above.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey 1983-1984
« Reply #65 on: Apr 13, 2013, 10:46 PM »
Is it not the case, however, that the Mary and Elizabeth were grey after the war because they had been painted thus during the war for their troopship duties in order to make them less visible through the periscope of a U Boat?  QE2, on the other hand, was repainted for purely image driven reasons.

How long after the war was it before they were repainted with black hulls?
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Offline riskygizmo

Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey 1983-1984
« Reply #66 on: Apr 14, 2013, 11:55 AM »
Is it not the case, however, that the Mary and Elizabeth were grey after the war because they had been painted thus during the war for their troopship duties in order to make them less visible through the periscope of a U Boat?  QE2, on the other hand, was repainted for purely image driven reasons.

How long after the war was it before they were repainted with black hulls?

Yes, Peter. The grey scheme had been part of their wartime camouflage. Battleship Grey had been adopted by the Royal Navy in 1903 at the start of the Dreadnought age and the height of the Anglo German naval arms race (Riddle of the Sands and all that). The Imperial German Navy had introduced a "shades of grey" scheme in 1896 and the RN had noticed that it's own ships, with liner like black hulls, white upperworks, buff funnels and lots of shiny brightwork, whilst very smart and good for "showing the flag" might make any fight a bit of a one sided affair.

In the First World War another scheme had been tried. The dazzle ship, with random colours and shapes painted on their sides', designed to confuse the plotting of periscope depth U Boats. The Mauretania had a spell so painted. (Interestingly the NCL seem to be trying to bring something like it back ;D)

As far as a return to Cunard colours at the end of WW2, from what I can ascertain, the funnels were painted fairly soon after hostilities ceased. The hull and superstructure schemes were left until the ships were released from TUFT service and refitted for commercial operation.

The Elizabeth was first, released 6 March 46, refitted and back in service 16 Oct 46

The Mauretania                   "         2 Sept  46                        "                    26 apr 47
   
The Mary                             "        27 Sept 46                        "                     31 Jul 47

The Aquitania                      "         1 Apr 48, chartered to the Canadian Gov till 1 Dec 49 then retired Jan 50.

 
« Last Edit: Apr 14, 2013, 01:36 PM by riskygizmo »
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Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey 1983-1984
« Reply #67 on: Apr 14, 2013, 02:28 PM »
That means we can narrow down the time frame for Riskygizmo's picture; assuming it's a Southampton image ( and the style of tugs and the tender seem to imply this ) then it's obviously a summer scene - angle of shadows as well as clear skies - and so is probably dated to very shortly before the Mary was repainted back in July 1947???
« Last Edit: Apr 14, 2013, 02:46 PM by Peter Mugridge »
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Online Michael Gallagher

Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey 1983-1984
« Reply #68 on: Apr 14, 2013, 02:34 PM »
The photo of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth was taken on 29 September 1946. Elizabeth had been demobbed in April 1946 and was getting ready for her October 1946 refit while Mary was demobbed that day and would return to service in July 1947.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey 1983-1984
« Reply #69 on: Apr 14, 2013, 02:47 PM »
Great thank you Michael; looks like they had a good late summer in 1946 doesn't it? :)
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Offline riskygizmo

Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey 1983-1984
« Reply #70 on: Apr 14, 2013, 07:02 PM »
Not long after the Mary, Maury and Lizzie resumed their white over black liveries the Caronia entered service in her "cruising green" colours, a look, as far as I can tell, she sported for her whole Cunard career. The Mauretania had a spell in green towards the end of her life, as did the Carmania (and, I think, the Franconia) before being painted all white.
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Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey hull colours 1983-1984
« Reply #71 on: Apr 24, 2013, 10:19 PM »
Getting there is Half the fun!

Advert attached showing QE2 in Grey

This was in Kiplinger's Personal Finance March 1983
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7QQEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA43&dq=qe2&pg=PA43#v=onepage&q&f=false

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Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey hull colours 1983-1984
« Reply #72 on: Jul 26, 2013, 10:53 AM »
Getting there is Half the fun!

Advert attached showing QE2 in Grey

This was in Kiplinger's Personal Finance March 1983
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7QQEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA43&dq=qe2&pg=PA43#v=onepage&q&f=false

I have a couple of these in the house of which one is of QE2 & Concorde - the others are QE & QM - All are framed but I'll try to scan and post (in the appropriate sections)

G

Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey hull colours 1983-1984
« Reply #73 on: Apr 18, 2014, 02:22 PM »
She looked very different in grey, in a good way I think. Although, nothing beats the traditional, dark blue/black, red and white.
« Last Edit: Apr 18, 2014, 02:27 PM by Adam Hodson »
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Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: QE2 in white/grey / Pebble Gray 1983 1984
« Reply #74 on: Apr 18, 2014, 02:34 PM »

93-17w by Captain Martini, on Flickr

She certainly looks quite nice in this photo, even with that 'interesting and different' colour scheme - but then again, she always looks nice.
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Offline Hank Hargrove

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Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey hull colours 1983-1984
« Reply #75 on: Apr 18, 2014, 08:25 PM »
Am I the only one who likes the gray phase? Even if it was difficult to maintain?
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Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey hull colours 1983-1984
« Reply #76 on: Apr 18, 2014, 08:47 PM »
Am I the only one who likes the gray phase? Even if it was difficult to maintain?

Certainly not - I like the grey phase too. I do think the colours are an interesting and different combination, but they work quite well on her. It is a shame it was so difficult to maintain, but as I said earlier, nothing beats the traditional colours. :)
"The QE2 is one of the last great transatlantic liners, and arguably the most famous liner in the world"

"QE2 and Concorde, a partnership that lasted almost 30 years... two stunning pieces of engineering, never to be forgotten!"

Offline Hank Hargrove

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Re: QE2 in white / grey / pebble grey hull colours 1983-1984
« Reply #77 on: Apr 21, 2014, 03:01 PM »
Certainly not - I like the grey phase too. I do think the colours are an interesting and different combination, but they work quite well on her. It is a shame it was so difficult to maintain, but as I said earlier, nothing beats the traditional colours. :)

Agreed!
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Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: QE2 in white/grey / Pebble Gray 1983 1984
« Reply #78 on: Apr 21, 2014, 03:49 PM »

93-17w by Captain Martini, on Flickr

The more I look at this picture the more I like it, interestingly. Also there is something very special about that pencil thin funnel, especially in Cunard red.
« Last Edit: Apr 21, 2014, 05:54 PM by Adam Hodson »
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"QE2 and Concorde, a partnership that lasted almost 30 years... two stunning pieces of engineering, never to be forgotten!"

Online Trevor Casey

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Re: QE2 in white/grey / Pebble Gray 1983 1984
« Reply #79 on: Aug 03, 2017, 06:10 PM »
Note from the Forum Administrator - this text below may not be used outwith this forum without permission.


PEBBLE GREY HULL
AUGUST 1982 – JUNE 1983


Upon her return to service after her service in the Falklands, the most noticeable ‘change’ by far was the external colour scheme of QE2. Amazingly, the ‘new look’ was on the instruction of Cunard’s Chairman Lord Matthews who had been given the ideas by his wife!! The goal being to give the ‘new’ QE2 a symbolic and exciting appearance.

Hull

• The dark-grey hull was repainted in a light pebble grey that was almost white. The boot-topping remained red.

• The ship’s name and homeport on the bow and stern were painted black.

Funnel

• For the first time, the funnel was redone in the traditional Cunard red with two black bands. Each black band was eight-inches thick (made up of two four-inch strips of tape). Soon after QE2 had re-entered service, the tape was soon flapping about in the breeze!

According to Cunard: “The new colours of the ship, both inside and out, reflect the new spirit of QE2 and her crew while respecting a tradition of luxury and service…symbolic of the lighter, more contemporary flair of QE2…The painting of the funnel in traditional Cunard red and black is to emphasise Queen Elizabeth 2’s continued dedication to the high standards set by her predecessors”.

Red Stripe

The original plan called for a broad red stripe to be painted around the hull – a job that was to have been undertaken in Hong Kong in March 1983 during QE2’s Circle Pacific Cruise. This was never done as the decision to return QE2’s hull to charcoal grey in the next scheduled dry-docking had been made by then

Reaction to the New Scheme

According to noted maritime historian John Maxtone-Graham, 'Liners to the Sun': “I had reservations about it; although putting the company’s colours up on the funnel was long overdue, the pale grey hull seemed a mistake. From a distance, it read white and was not flattering. The Sidney Greenstreet principle was at work: a fat man in a white suit looks fatter. The QE2’s light-coloured hull sprawled and, worse, showed its middle age”.

Experience with the New Scheme

The new pale-grey coloured-hull of QE2 soon proved to be unpractical as well as unpopular. The grey was terribly difficult to maintain in a pristine form and no matter how careful the tugs in ports were, QE2 always lost some of her paint or obtained scuff marks from tugs nudging bows. Evidence of close contact with dockside fenders also always showed. The light colour also always displayed unsightly streaks of rust dribbling down the vessel’s sides from portholes and hawse pipes.

Her external appearance as she circled the Pacific during her 1983 World Cruise drew many criticisms. The fact that this voyage was subject to a ‘Whicker’s World’ documentary by Alan Whicker drove home the poor external condition of the ship when broadcast. A full stem-to-stern clean-up was undertaken halfway during the voyage in Hong Kong.

Back to Black

After a reasonable trail period it was decided by Cunard to return the hull colour to the original colouring during  QE2’s scheduled dry-docking at the end of 1983. However the repainting was done earlier during emergency repairs to QE2’s turbines in Southampton between 10 and 27 June 1983.

Hull

• Repainted in the original charcoal grey.

• The ship’s name and homeport on the stern were re-painted white due to the new hull colour.

Funnel

• The Cunard-coloured red funnel remained.

Superstructure      

• The khaki painted superstructure on Boat Deck behind the lifeboats and underneath the Bridge was re-painted white for the first time.

From June 1983 QE2 she then wore the traditional colours of the old Cunard ships and more than ever deserved, through livery and [war] action, the title of Queen.

Picture of the stern?
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