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Author Topic: QE2 launch  (Read 23421 times)

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Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #20 on: Sep 22, 2014, 08:59 AM »
This description in its entirety is so good - and leads to questions regarding the hull, and who might have been inside (and where etc)  as well as who else was on board - apart from those on the foredeck. I wonder who did the steering, and where was this done from - or was the manouvering all done by the tugs? - was the / an ECR in operation..etc?  I guess there's possibly enough data and description for a book, need to dig out Potter and Frost again! It was probably the only time that QE2 wanted to blast her whistle and didn't have the means!

Rosie, I would imagine it would be purely down to the drag chains keeping her as straight as possible whilst entering the water and then the tugs to get lines on ASAP before she drifted too far. Other than her rudder etc being installed the ship herself would have had no active steering gear at the time of launch.
The drag chains are critical until the ship is fully afloat as they prevent the ship coming off the slip too fast and also serve to keep her in a reasonably straight line at the same time. At the launch of RFA Mounts Bay at Govan a few years back the ship became tangled up in the chains and weights as she made her way down the slip into the Clyde - this caused her to deviate off the chosen line and also meant that she didnt have the "braking" force required to slow her so she kissed the quayside on the other side of the river.
http://www.clydesite.co.uk/articles/bad_launches.asp

Personally I would love to talk to engineers who made the calculations for dynamic launches such as these - what they took into account etc etc. The engineer above makes mention of stresses on the forward end as the after end begins to float - I see why flooding a drydock is preferential these days if not as dramatic!!



Sorry to ramble!

Gav
« Last Edit: Sep 22, 2014, 09:19 AM by Clydebuilt1971 »

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #21 on: Sep 22, 2014, 09:07 AM »
Difficult to believe it was seven years ago today we were in Greenock celebrating the Birthday Girl and then seven years tomorrow we were in Liverpool holding the first Cathedral Concert in her honour.

A nice bow shot of her 20/09/2007 taken from mv Balmoral as we escorted the old girl down river.

Gav

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #22 on: Sep 22, 2014, 05:39 PM »
Gav, absolutely beautiful photo of our girl !
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline pete cain

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #23 on: Sep 22, 2014, 08:10 PM »
Regarding Rosies reply#17 above, I can only quote my 1 and only experience of being on board a dynamic launch, in this case HMS Sheffield (lost in the Atlantic- Falklands debacle). An awful lot of the stresses transferred from the rear end of the vessel  as it starts to float, are taken by the forward launch cradle, it is packed with lots & lots of soft wood which is designed to crush in a specific way, thus controlling the take up of buoyancy.
  The chains as mentioned, check the speed of entry ( & maybe even turn the vessel slightly to allow for tidal flow). All very stressful , & meticulously worked out by the boffins. We had a generator running (don't know why possibly for pumping but conjecture there folks). There were bodies all over the place down below sounding her, my task was to tighten or repack hull glands  as & when called upon, as it happens I got a free (white knuckle) ride ,cos once she's released & on her way gravity is in charge.
  The type 42 Destroyers were miniscule in comparison to QE2, however Oriana was not , the theory I guess is one of proportion

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #24 on: Sep 22, 2014, 08:22 PM »
Thank you very much, Pete, for your first hand account.  June   :)
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Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #25 on: Sep 23, 2014, 08:38 AM »
I'll second that June - always good to get first hand accounts from those who have experienced it!!

Gav
« Last Edit: Sep 23, 2014, 08:42 AM by Clydebuilt1971 »

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #26 on: Oct 17, 2014, 12:14 AM »
Found this today, the length of the programme shows how important it was.

Radio Times programme guide
http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/schedules/bbcone/london/1967-09-20
« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2014, 08:55 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #27 on: Oct 17, 2014, 04:30 PM »
Thanks very much, Rob, for the link to the programme guide.  Do you know if there is an archive which has the broadcast in entirety ?  Would University of Glasgow have that  ?

June   :)
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Offline jdl

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Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #28 on: Oct 19, 2014, 08:13 PM »
Some more fantastic insights into the launch and all the behind the scenes work that went into the birth of a lady.

I also know from a friend from Glasgow that all the local schools were given the day off in celebration

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #29 on: Oct 19, 2014, 08:40 PM »
Some more fantastic insights into the launch and all the behind the scenes work that went into the birth of a lady.

I also know from a friend from Glasgow that all the local schools were given the day off in celebration

It was a big occasion in Clydebank and the surrounding area and yes the school children were given time off school and were happy to wave flags to welcome the Queen to the town. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
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Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #30 on: Oct 20, 2014, 04:43 PM »
What a wonderful thing that was to give the school children the day off so they could welcome the new Queen - our beloved QE2.  What an awesome experience that must have been, and I am sure many life long memories were made that day !   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #31 on: Jan 17, 2015, 03:05 PM »
The Glasgow Herald 20 September 1967 had an pull out section on the Q4. Thanks to the Google News archive I searched for 20 September 1967 too  see this starting on page 9 of the digital version of the paper.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=GGgVawPscysC&dat=19670920&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

The images are not good but it is wonderful to see the detail about the ship, the people involved, the timetable for the Royal party.  Adverts from companies adding their congratulations. 

You need to go to page 9 and then you can double click on the digital image to make the page bigger. 


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

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #32 on: Jan 17, 2015, 03:20 PM »
Glasgow Herald 21 September 1967 with the story published the day after the launch including the controversy over the name.  Also the story about the launch for the RY Britannia presented to the Queen, a joint present from Cunard and John Brown's Shipyard. 
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=GGgVawPscysC&dat=19670921&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
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Online Cunarder Man

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #33 on: Jan 18, 2015, 03:45 PM »
Glasgow Herald 21 September 1967 with the story published the day after the launch including the controversy over the name.  Also the story about the launch for the RY Britannia presented to the Queen, a joint present from Cunard and John Brown's Shipyard. 
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=GGgVawPscysC&dat=19670921&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

Glasgow Herald released this as a special and posted it out as a souvenir, I'm sure I have one. Will dig it out.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #34 on: Mar 04, 2015, 07:30 PM »
While looking for someone completely different in the Glasgow Herald archives, i saw this article about QE2 that was published on 30 April 1968

"When she was less a ship than a shape"   

I have no idea why this was published 7 months after she was launched, but have a read and enjoy!
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2507&dat=19690430&id=kJxAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FqUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6534,5839327
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Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #35 on: Mar 04, 2015, 08:43 PM »
Great find, Lynda !   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline pete cain

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #36 on: Mar 05, 2015, 05:05 PM »
Nice read Lynda, thanks

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #37 on: Mar 16, 2016, 06:55 PM »
NOTE THAT THE CONTENT OF THIS POSTING (AND ALL POSTINGS ON THIS DISCUSSION FORUM) IS COPYRIGHT © THEQE2STORY.COM AND THE POSTER, AND NOT TO BE USED ELSEWHERE - EXCEPT BY MEANS OF A HYPERLINK TO THIS POSTING - EXCEPT BY REQUEST.

The intricate launching calculations had been worked out by a computer – a week’s work reduced to 30 minutes compared with the normal methods with the slightest error having to be eliminated. Many factors had to be considered for the river was narrow and the ship was long.

The problems of a launch of this size were enormous. Very early on in the proceedings, John Browns had to decide the width and slope of the slipway on which the liner would slide down to the water. The effects of temperature on the launch lubricant grease mixture had to be considered and a host of other factors had all to be checked, evaluated and re-checked.

John Starks, assistant managing director heading John Brown’s design team:

“The first step is, obviously, to make sure that it will move. When it starts to move the first things that starts to happen is that the stern begins to lift. As it does so pressure on the forward end of the slipway is increased very considerably as it is taking the whole weight of the ship, apart from any buoyancy that the water is taking. One must, therefore, make sure that the ship is then strong enough to take the stress at the forward end.

“You also have to ensure by calculation that the ship will float off the slipway as opposed to dropping off and you also have to make sure that it is waterborne while it is reasonable clear of the slipway. The next thing that you have to decide is how far the ship can be expected to travel and you have to decide what drag chains you are going to attaché at what points to prevent the ship from going too far.

“What most people do not appreciate is that the ship takes a very rough ride during its launch. She bends during the course of the launch and we have to make sure that all her structure is absolutely sound. We, therefore, inspect the ship very carefully. She probably gets far more local stresses during the launch than she ever will during the course of her working life.

“The most critical factor by far in the launch is the depth of water available at the aft end of the slipways. The River Clyde is extremely tempremental; sometimes the water is deficient and sometimes is it excessive. If we have too much water, the danger is that the ship will really be afloat before she is clear at the end of the slipway and the danger is that, since high water is usually associated with high wind, if she is not clear at the end of the ways she could damage herself on one of the cranes. The problem usually solves itself because if the wind and water are that high, it is obviously no condition in which to launch a ship. This happens very infrequently and is obviously something to be avoided, but nevertheless the problem is still there.

“We, therefore, watch the weather forecasts very carefully before the day. We also measure the heights of the tides for a good many days before the launch to check whether the river is running true to form, under prediction or over prediction. We also measure the river in Greenock and Glasgow as a precaution and we are halfway between the two we can get a very good idea of what the river is doing. Having obtained this information we then can, within certain limits, ballast the ship to aim off for weather conditions, but obviously in a ship of this size the resources pen to us are limited”.

The man responsible for the slipway was Robert Craig, head foreman shipwright. He had worked at John Brown’s since he left school in 1918 and Q4 would be his 47th launch as head foreman. He built the slipway from the information given to him. Its declivity (downward inclination towards the river) was ½ inch to the foot. Every square foot of the sliding and standing (fixed) ways to bear a weight of more than two tons – he claimed for Q4 it was 2,089 tons.

He used 16,300 feet of 12” square timber to build the supporting poppets (cradles) at each end of the ship. Once the ship rested on 300 keel blocks but these had now been knocked away; the berth had been stripped of the huge shores like tress trunks, bilge blocks and wedges.

Q4 rested on two sliding ways, each formed of 25 lengths of timber 30 feet long, six feet wide and 12 inches thick. The sliding and standing ways had been greased with a concoction of nine tons of tallow compound, 70 gallons of sperm oil, 14 cwt. of soft black soap and seven gallons of fine spindle oil. Robert Craig took responsibility for this.

Q4 was held by six mighty triggers, each with its eight inch wooded tongue set into the sliding ways. Wires trailed from a tiny electrical device to the button on the high platform where the Queen would perform the launching ceremony. As the Queen pressed the button the powerful trigger arms would snap back in their pits with a report like an artillery salute. Then Q4 would glide towards the river; and just in case the liner is reluctant to leave the berth, two hydraulic rams would give her a nudge – a push with the power of 1,200 lbs per square inch behind it.

In the river six tugs would be waiting to handle the ship – three at the fore and three at the aft. Another will be standing by for any emergency. Lines would be rocketed from the tugs to the new Cunarder and towing lines would be secured and the new ship would move towards her fitting-out berth.

Michael makes mention of ballasting the ship to take into account weather conditions.

Does anyone actually know how QE2 was ballasted for her launch ?  ie what where ?
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #38 on: Apr 10, 2016, 12:51 AM »
We have received a wonderful message from Christopher Wallace, who writes as follows :

I’ve finally got around to sending my favourite picture of the QE2 to you & The Forum, plus a recent photo of the QE2 docked in Port Rashid Dubai (taken on 18 February 2016 by a friend of a friend of mine).
 
The first photo of the QE2 was taken on Sunday 24th September 1967 when I was taken to see her along with my 3 brothers and my Late Uncle James N. Wallace (four days after the Queen launched her at John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank.)


 
We were standing at the edge of the wheat field of what was/is (?) Old Mains Farm, opposite the Fitting-Out Basin of Brown’s Yard.

I’m the wee dark haired boy (without a woollen hat!) with my right arm raised in salute to the new Cunarder. I was aged 6 and I remember telling my Mum when I got home, that “when I grow up I want to sail on the QE2 to New York.”
I had a long wait.......41 years later I was lucky enough to book passage on what was to be her Final Westbound Crossing in October 2008! Who says dreams don’t come true!!!
 
Her rudder is clearly visible in this photo as her engines etc. still had to be fitted.
I remember being disappointed at the “yughy” green undercoat paint of her upper superstructure. I had expected her to have white paint there, like the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth.
 
On the left hand side of the picture, you can see part of the famous 150-ton crane which I’ve heard is now a ”listed” structure and is all that remains of John Brown’s Shipyard. Without checking my library of Cunard & John Brown’s books on their liners, I think that this crane was installed at the shipyard during (or prior) to the building of the Lusitania around 1904/1905.
 
My Uncle James had a great memory of watching the Queen Mary sail down the Clyde for the first time after leaving the fitting-out basin back in 1936, prior to her sea trials and Maiden Voyage.
He had a great view point from the top of Dumbarton Rock further down the river. I inherited his Dinky die cast model of “Cunard White Star 534”.
It doesn’t have her name on the underneath which suggests that he must have bought it some time before September 1934, when the world knew what the ship would look like, but no-one knew her name!
 
The second photo shows the QE2 docked in Port Rashid Dubai. This photo was taken recently by a friend of a friend of mine on 18th February 2016 and shows that she’s still in one piece and still has her iconic funnel. Phew!!

« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 10:13 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 launch
« Reply #39 on: Aug 11, 2017, 08:49 AM »
There's a great photo here of the launch


https://instagram.com/p/BXnsiOHgOhj
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