Author Topic: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974  (Read 1623 times)

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Offline Alun Davies

Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« on: Mar 23, 2018, 05:02 PM »
Hi
My name is Alun Davies (Taff) I joined the Q.E.2 in September 72 as an Engine Room Boy having completed my sea training at the Prince of Wales Sea Training School in Dover. I joined at the same time as Chris Shaftoe and shared a cabin with Chris until we became Assistant Mechanics and moved from our cabin on 5 deck to one on 6 deck. Whereas Chris was always destined to join the ship I was told I would be joining Blue Star Line so you can imagine how I felt when I was told I would be joining Q.E.2.
   Had a great time while I was on board, and had some brilliant runs ashore, by the way I can remember Rod as an Engineer.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #1 on: Mar 23, 2018, 06:49 PM »
Welcome aboard Alun!  You joined QE2 in the same month I was born, so we knew QE2 in different eras, I think yours was the most interesting though!

How long were you aboard for?

I'm sure Rod will welcome you shortly - he's been a great asset to the forum, answering lots of questions and giving us "I was there" links to QE2 stories we've otherwise only read about.

..... so you can imagine how I felt when I was told I would be joining Q.E.2.

Can you elaborate a bit more?  How did you feel?  I take it you'd heard of QE2?  What did she mean to a young man in 1972 ?
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 Alun Davies

Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #2 on: Mar 23, 2018, 09:33 PM »
Hi Rob
  I left the ship in April 74 to attend South Kent Technical College in Dover to sit my City and Guilds in Marine Mechanics.
   How did I feel joining the ship? Ecstatic and apprehensive I had never been abroad before,the only ship I had ever been on was a paddle steamer to Weston-Super-Mare when I was a young kid.It took me longer to get to   the valley where I lived from Dover than to fly to New York,I could not phone my parents to tell them as we didn't have a phone (didn't know anyone with a phone),had a few days leave telling everyone that I was joining the ship, as they were aware of the Q.E.2.When I finally arrived in Southampton for a cruise to the Med.I could not believe the size of the ship, you soon get your bearings. 

Offline Scott Ebersold

Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #3 on: Mar 23, 2018, 09:34 PM »
Welcome Aboard Alun!  That must have been quite a surprise when you heard you'd be on QE2 rather than the Blue Star Line. How does all that work and how did you find out?

Offline Patty

Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #4 on: Mar 23, 2018, 10:15 PM »
Hi
My name is Alun Davies (Taff) I joined the Q.E.2 in September 72 as an Engine Room Boy having completed my sea training at the Prince of Wales Sea Training School in Dover. I joined at the same time as Chris Shaftoe and shared a cabin with Chris until we became Assistant Mechanics and moved from our cabin on 5 deck to one on 6 deck. Whereas Chris was always destined to join the ship I was told I would be joining Blue Star Line so you can imagine how I felt when I was told I would be joining Q.E.2.
   Had a great time while I was on board, and had some brilliant runs ashore, by the way I can remember Rod as an Engineer.
Hi Alun, welcome to the site. My Dad was on the QE2 I believe in 1972. He was in the Engine Room too.
Not sure if you can find my post elsewhere? I did post a photo of him with my brother, he was also in the MN . I wonder if your paths had crossed. What a fantastic surprise for you ending up on the QE2

Offline Scott Ebersold

Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #5 on: Mar 23, 2018, 10:18 PM »
Here is the post that Patty was referring to with the photo of her Dad (and brother).
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,8227.msg93008.html#msg93008

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #6 on: Mar 24, 2018, 01:21 AM »
Hi Alun ! And welcome to The QE2 Story Forum.  This is definitely the place to be for all things QE2 ! Please do tell us more about your time on QE2.  June  :)
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Offline Alun Davies

Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #7 on: Mar 24, 2018, 08:38 PM »
Hi Scott
I believe at that time either Cunard owned Blue Star or they were in a partnership together,I am sure someone on this site would know the facts.
How did I find out I was joining the Q.E.2? I was called into the captain's office at the training school where I was informed that he had received a telegram from Cunard to say I would now be joining the Q.E.2 and not Blue Star,I had to pack my kit as I would be leaving P.W.S.T.S. can't remember if I left that day or the following morning,he informed me that I had to report to Southampton to join the ship on Saturday, I only had a couple of days leave not that I cared much about that.My parents couldn't believe it when I finally got home and told them and I have my late elder brother to thank as he was the one who took me to Cardiff to apply for the M.N.without my parents knowing.
Patty I am sorry but I can't say I recognise your father from the photo.


Offline John D Hobley FinstR

Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #8 on: Mar 29, 2018, 11:45 PM »
Hi Alun.
I have replied to Chris in my post below yours in the Officers & Crew & Workers Introductions and again is so nice to hear of someone else coming through from the PWSTS so welcome to this QE2 web site. I assume not much changed just a couple of years after I left but I have posted a few pics in my post which you may remember some of the PWSTS.
I too went back to Dover and stayed in a Caravan site beyond the Castle while at the college with a few others on same course. Great fun..!
I wasn't too sure if PWSTS sent anyone after me as Commander Cox based in Cunard House in Southampton wasn't best pleased when I decided to leave and tried very hard calling a meeting with myself and my parents to get me to continue with my training. I was offered something ashore that no persuading at the time would change my mind much to Commander Cox disappointment and my parents too I should add.. Would I have left if I knew then what I know now..definitely not..lol.! Still life's been good and I stayed in Southampton until recently enjoying many days enjoying myself with my family on the Solent ever since..
Have you checked out the PWSTS web site .? Have you seen what its like now.? Sad but I guess inevitable.!
Did you also crew the launches as I was allowed to do for the first year or so..?
Also was the Flash Club still going ..? What was it as fir the life of me I can't remember but still have my subs card..lol any ideas..?
Look forward to hearing more from your posts Alun.
Bye John.

Offline Alun Davies

Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #9 on: Apr 06, 2018, 08:43 PM »
Hi John
            When I was in college I first stayed in digs in Dover left there pretty quickly and then stayed with a Mr and Mrs Buchan in Deal there was a few of us there, absolutely brilliant luckily one of the boys owned a car to get us back and forth to college.
             After college I did the same as you left Cunard and got a job ashore stayed there for 42years.I actually had a transfer to a factory in Eastleigh and lived in the Southampton area for nearly 20 years,back in Wales now.At the factory I met up with a fellow Mechanic from the Q.E.2 you may remember him David (Nobby)Clarke sadly Nobby died in the mid nineties.Not a lot of work was done when we were on the same machine.
              I can't remember the Flash Club, and I also worked on the launches enjoyed that time,got a bit boring sometimes but some of the questions the passengers asked I could not believe.Having looked at your photos I think I recognise the Scottish deck hand as being Neil Mckenzie and in another I think the decky in the blue shirt and jeans is Steve Smith (Smithy),also is that Ron Mclure in the photo down the Engine Room.
               I have seen the P.W.S.T.S.website and sent them a photo of my class Derwent 1972.
               

Offline John D Hobley FinstR

Re: Alun Davies (Taff) 1972-1974
« Reply #10 on: Aug 27, 2019, 12:51 PM »
Hi Alun.
Apologies for long delay in reply.
Well your memory of names is far better than mine I have to say..
Yes that was a Neil and we shared a cabin on my first trip as there was no other engine room boy at the time.
Our time sharing was short but good fun as I remember.

I did go back to sea with the QE2 after sitting the exams at the college in Dover.

I was like your friend with the car as I was the car owner in our little group but I travelled back home most weekends to Worthing staying just for the week. Girlfriends and all that..!lol

You are also spot on with the other names too.. with Ron who I was in watch with a lot and Knobby but did very little work with him for some reason more social on board and in the Parkers in Southampton. Sadly, yes I had heard about his passing. Also it could be Steve Smith.. also our Cox on the launches was from Wales but can’t remember his name.?

It seems like you that I also stayed in Southampton ( guess many seamen and ex QE2 people did..) and started another career in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. I spent a long and very happy time living in Warsash near Southampton and kept my love of the sea by owning a boat moored in the Hamble. However, work took me to Wales a couple of times and now we have fallen for the area so, I’ve swapped my sea boots for wellington boots and here in Wales my wife and I will stay.

Thank you for giving me the names I had forgotten I am really delighted at that.

I am sure you would agree it was a great way for us to start your working career and life skills in general.

I just wish I had kept and taken a lot more pictures but when you know you’ll be back in a week or so there wasn’t the urgency I guess.. I am also so pleased that my leaving didn’t stop Cunard investing in more engine room boys.

As I did think of that many times after leaving especially after oour family meeting with Commander Cox at Cunard House Southampton. As I said before, he wasn't best please at the time and never actually said it but, certainly hinted at what effect this would have as a couple had left after a few years on Cunard’s training program.. and now I’m older and I like to think wiser.!  I really do get his point of training someone who ends up leaving as this has happened numerous occasions to me.

So it is nice to hear that certainly a few more boys enjoyed what we achieved and did..!

Have you posted any pictures of your time on board.?
What age was you when you joined the QE2.?
I know many where young boys at PWSTS and it’s a subject that has come up occasionally across the whole of the QE2 in it would be interesting finding out how young some of the youngest where who joined her.?

In these days of exams, colleges, universities higher education to leave school at 15/16 is something many can’t get their heads around but many did back then of course as we know but not many left home at such a young age.. So I have been curious on how many more joined as such a young age.? I was 16 when I went in PWSTS turning 17 joining QE2 in New York.
Thanks for the names and memories Alun.
JD