Author Topic: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?  (Read 14887 times)

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Offline Rod

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #20 on: Dec 29, 2013, 08:29 PM »
Jane and the rest of you, I was fortunate enough to sail with Cunard, during the times of "gentlemen"
During the last, say, 10 years of my career, essentially when shoreside management was moved to the US, things changed, both for the crew and pax...... Bremmerhaven, was the start of the slide down.....they made some good decisions, and bad ones!
NO! I am not prepared to elaborate!

Offline Jim Bennett

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #21 on: Jan 05, 2014, 07:49 PM »
Hi Jane,

My first post on the forum - so here goes.

I joined QE2 in September '78 as a Junior Engineer and served until September '83, just before the major refit to strip out the old steam plant. When I first joined, Bill Farmer was the ship's Chief Engineer and John Grant was Deputy Chief. I think it was when Bill Farmer retired that your dad returned to the ship as Deputy chief.

I remember him well and am very sad to hear he has passed on. He had a very rare quality in senior management - the ability to relate to everyone no matter what their place in the hierarchy and as a result he was afforded great respect and trust from those who worked with him. He wore four stripes on his uniform, but he didn't need them! I agree wholeheartedly with Willum and Rod - he was a proper Gentleman and I think rest of the people who worked with him would say the same. I bet he was a great dad!

On another note - I remember you and your mother sailing on the ship, I think, at least once if not twice during my time on board.


Offline Jane Crosthwaite

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #22 on: Jan 06, 2014, 10:38 AM »
Hi Jim and welcome!  Thank you so much for your lovely response about my dad.  I am so grateful to you, Willum and Rod as it means a lot to me to read your words.  I just wish I had discovered this forum whilst dad was alive as it has thrown up a lot of questions I would ask him.  I am lucky that my mum kept those diaries and also kept all the letters dad ever wrote her from aboard ship (there are 495!) so do have some written record to refer to.

During dad's second stint on QE2, I was on board with mum in both July 1980 and July 1981 for the Norwegian Fjord cruises and also in April 1982 for a cruise to Madeira and Lanzarote.  My final trip on the QE2 was in October 1982 for a Southampton-New York-Bermuda-New York-Southampton voyage. 

We used to stay in dad's quarters and I was on a put you up bed in the sitting/office area.  I loved the dinners in the Columbia restaurant and meeting the passengers who were sitting on dad's table - was a bit of a lottery who you had but remember that most were great (with a few horrors).  In particular I fondly remember two lovely American couples who were travelling to Bermuda who were very lively and one of the ladies who had a good singing voice used to get up in the restaurant and serenade us with a rendition of 'Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly'.  They also used to take me to the piano or theatre bar after dinner (mum and dad went to bed) and on one occasion I probably had too much wine (I was 17 at time - dangerous age) and was spotted wobbling along back to dad's quarters carrying a black forest gateau by Stan Childs who told dad and then I was grounded in the cabin for a day!!

I remember Stan Childs and also his wife Brenda who was on board for the Madeira/Lanzarote trip and who was very nice.  Mum kept in touch with her until she sadly passed away.  I know that mum was also friendly with Doreen Farmer (mum travelled on old QE on final trip to Las Palmas and was seated on Bill Farmer's table along with Doreen - Dad was in Glasgow at time so she was on her own).  Mum used to take me to visit her when I was a toddler as don't think they lived too far from us.  The other person I recall was Ray Divett (who was always coming in for a chat - I liked him) and know that dad was very sad when he passed away - he even kept a cutting of the death notice in his address book.  In fact Gwen Divett sent me a condolence card when dad died which was very touching.  Other names that spring to mind are Michael Blake (who left Cunard in the 70's I think to run a travel agency in Atlanta and kept in touch with us for many years - his son is the one playing in the paddling pool with me when we were toddlers on that proving voyage in 1969), and Arthur Yardley, Ken Allen, Geoff Mills, Jack Marland and Maurice Tate.  Am sure I will be reminded of more when I read the letters.  I am not sure how all of them fit into the Cunard and QE2 picture as some might be from when dad was on QE or the Adventurer/Countess/Princess days in the 70's.

After he retired dad spent most of his time pottering at home in his workshop where he built two steam locomotives and joined the local model engineer's club.  Sadly my mum had MS so he also spent a lot of time as her devoted carer until her death in 2002.  Am very pleased he continued to live independently, albeit with increasing aches and pains, and he was delighted to have two grandchildren.  He led a remarkable and fascinating life and I am enjoying putting the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.  Thanks again, Jane.




Offline Jim Bennett

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #23 on: Jan 06, 2014, 04:54 PM »
Hi Jane,

Can't believe Stan grassed you up!!  :) Your post brings back some memories - particularly the names. I remember telling Stan Childs, who was the Staff Chief at the time, about a year before I was planning to get married, that I needed the time off to do so and what dates I needed. (He used to do the leave roster). He said he would see what he could do, but couldn't promise! Needless to say, all went to plan and I didn't need to go AWOL in the end.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has fond memories of Ray Divett. Rod will remember that Ray used to like a huge amount of sugar in his tea - and perhaps that we used to occasionally try to see how many sugars it would take before he rejected it saying it was too sweet. We never did find out. You couldn't dissolve any more in the mug! In a reference to "Only Fools and Horses" Ray used to insist on calling me Dave - I have no idea why - but I also remember one occasion when he followed me the length of the working alleyway yelling "Dave!" trying to catch me whilst I deliberately ignored him - much to everyone else's amusement.

Happy days.

Offline Jane Crosthwaite

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #24 on: Jan 06, 2014, 06:29 PM »
I could not believe he grassed me up either at the time!  I had requested the black forest gateau especially for the table that evening at dinner and was carrying the leftovers back to dad's cabin (albeit swaying quite a lot) and in hindsight I suppose Stan realised how it could have been potentially embarrassing for dad for his daughter to be seen staggering through the Queens Room whilst the cabaret was going on  ;D  Anyway typical of dad that he did not mention the incident directly to me at all but left my mum to 'have a word' - I honestly cannot recall him ever getting really angry with me - utter softy!

Sounds like Ray Divett was a lot of fun - certainly impression I always got.  He used to come sauntering into dad's quarters (always with a cigarette or two on the go) and sit down and loved a chat.  Such a nice man.  He and dad shared a flat in Glasgow whilst QE2 was being built so guess they became quite good friends as a result.

It was such fun going on those trips, especially as dad's daughter as I got a kick out of being able to go through doors marked 'crew only' or similar.  On the April 1982 trip we had a mum and her teenage daughter sitting on dad's table in the restaurant which made a nice change for me to have company my own age.  She and I used to hang out in the piano bar (remember the pianist called Flo - she was fantastic and was very tolerant of my requests) or the theatre bar.  One evening we got chatting to a couple of chaps - can't remember what they were but assume perhaps junior Engineering Officers as certainly they reported to my dad.  I was a bit naughty as started asking them questions about what was their boss like etc etc without disclosing who I was.  Fortunately they told me that 'old Ronnie' was OK - imagine how it could have gone!  I decided to come clean after that to save further embarrassment and the look on their faces accompanied by 'Oh God she's the Chief's daughter' will stay with me forever!

As you say, happy days indeed and wonderful to share the memories.  I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to go on these trips.  I have never set foot on a cruise ship since despite feeling tempted as afraid nothing could ever match those experiences.

Offline Jane Crosthwaite

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #25 on: Jan 14, 2014, 06:32 PM »
Have found this photo from 1985 at what was I assume presentations to those who had retired?

Can anyone put names to faces??  I think might be Stan Childs standing at back next to dad but don't know when he retired and after all this time not sure if I can definitely place his face.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #26 on: Jan 14, 2014, 07:44 PM »
Great photo, Jane.
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Alan Snelson

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Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #27 on: Jan 14, 2014, 08:03 PM »
I can help with a couple of names for you Jane.

I believe you are right about Stan Childs and to Stan's left in the blue suit is John Sawyer, former Hotel Manager until John Duffy took over. Seated in the front row the one with glasses is John Grant, another Chief Engineer and to his right in the blue suit is John Bainbridge, former Executive Chef.

Several of the other faces look familiar but the names have slipped from my memory at the moment.
Don't just be part of her past, be part of her history!

Offline Jane Crosthwaite

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #28 on: Jan 14, 2014, 09:03 PM »
Thanks Alan, I don't think I ever actually met John Grant so although name familiar I would not have recognised him.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #29 on: Jan 14, 2014, 09:07 PM »
Thanks for sharing Jane.  Even though I cannot put names to faces in the photo it is still good to see.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Rod

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #30 on: Jan 14, 2014, 09:55 PM »
Third from the left I believe is George Frazer, Technical Storekeeper

Offline Jim Bennett

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #31 on: Jan 15, 2014, 03:42 PM »
Definately right for John Grant and Stan Childs. I would put my money with Rod on George Fraser. One or two of the other faces look familiar but I can't place them.

Good photo!

Offline Willum

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Offline Jane Crosthwaite

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #33 on: Oct 22, 2014, 05:05 PM »
Sorry I have taken an age to acknowledge this but thanks Willum for finding and posting this - made my day!

I have finally got my parents' slides and cine film transferred to discs and am in process or sorting and editing.  I have some images and some cine clips but wondered if this thread is best place to post them when I am ready or would it be better to make new thread or put them in the pictures section?  If anyone could advise me what the forum prefers I would be grateful - they cover different times and places of QE2 so not all same subject as it were.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #34 on: Oct 22, 2014, 05:53 PM »
Hi Jane. It's sort of your call. If they relate to a specific time/place/event then feel free to create as many new topics as you think it needs wherever you think best, we can always tidy up afterwards if necessary.

In terms of the gallery, I'd suggest also putting the best of them there if you can be bothered to do so!

They serve different purposes, forum topics to let us discuss things, the gallery to look at lovely photos!!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Jane Crosthwaite

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #35 on: Oct 22, 2014, 06:04 PM »
Thanks Rob, will put them where I think fit and very happy for you to tidy up if necessary.

Now back to editing - could take a while!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #36 on: Oct 22, 2014, 06:26 PM »
Hi Jane -

I am, as I am sure we all are, looking very much forward to seeing your photos and hearing more.

June   :D
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #37 on: Oct 22, 2014, 06:28 PM »
Hope you enjoy sifting through the various images, Jane.  Looking forward to seeing the photos on the forum and as Rob has said we can merge and tidy as required.   :)
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online cunardqueen

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #38 on: Oct 22, 2014, 07:49 PM »
Probably way of course here but the guy 2nd in from the right Bernard Crisp ?...or is it just a very good likeness...
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Twynkle

Re: New Member - did you know my father, Ron Bateson?
« Reply #39 on: Oct 23, 2014, 10:20 AM »
Hi Jane,
A very belated nevertheless warm Welcome to you.  It's more than great that you have joined us!
Being unwell, then away when you first joined the forum,
I'm sorry to have missed your arrival.

Thank you for your lovely contributions and for the magnificent photographs.
There's no doubt that your father loved QE2,
it looks from your photos that he was almost certainly one of the happiest,
proudest as well as most important people on the ship!
Rosie


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