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Author Topic: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2 (Heritage Trail)  (Read 3378 times)

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Online Andy Holloway

The Asprey Silver Model of QE2 (Heritage Trail)
« on: May 30, 2017, 05:02 PM »
It's interesting and very pleasing, to see that the silver model of QE2 is still in Cunard's hands and safely on display onboard Queen Elizabeth.

For those interested, and for those not, there is a very interesting story surrounding the discovery of the silver model of QE2.

When Cunard were moving their offices from South Western House to Mountbatten House, both in S'ton, in the late 90s, there was a huge amount of memorabilia and old documents stored in the basement that needed to be sorted and a decision made on where it went. A lot of the items were packed and sent to the John Moores University in Liverpool, to be placed in their historical archives section.
Charged with this monumental task was Captain Ron Warwick, who spent many long hours sorting through old receipts for coal in the early 1900s, manifests from 1920, crew lists from the 1930s etc, etc.  While undertaking this task Capt Ron became very friendly with the Caretaker who had a workshop/store in the basement and would often share cups of tea and coffee with him, chatting over old times with relation to Cunard. One day the caretaker told Ron about a 'secret' store he had, the entrance to which was behind an old door stood against the wall. Being interested in anything Cunard, and possibly getting fed up with looking through dusty files Capt. Ron asked to see in this store.  Inside were several filing cabinets and lots of boxes. Capt. Ron began randomly looking through the drawers of the filing cabinets and was realising that they contain nothing different to what was in the rest of the cabinets outside.  On the point of giving up he opened one drawer and was about to close it when he saw an envelope which attracted his attention for some unknown reason. Further investigation revealed that this envelope contained several black & white photographs of a silver model of QE2, including one of it's hall mark! Never having seen these photos, or for that matter the silver model before, Capt. Ron became very interested and checked to see if there was anything else that gave a clue as to the origins of this model or, it's whereabouts, sadly that was it.   
A lot of investigation, and speaking to old Cunarders, failed to unearth any information about the silver model, but Capt. Ron was on a mission and, after reporting his finding to Pam Conover, Cunard's CEO, he was tasked with finding the model and returning it to Cunard's possession. 
Then a stroke of luck, he was talking to someone one day about the model and this person informed Capt. Ron that he had seen a similar model in the Cunard Offices in The Strand. Taking himself off to London Capt. Ron went to the old Cunard offices, now occupied by Kaverner, Cunard's then owners, and managed to talk his way into the Board Room and there is was!  He took loads of photos on it in situ and returned to S'ton to report to Pam Conover. There then started a long period of negotiations with regards to the model of QE2 being returned to Cunard's ownership.

Eventually it was 'agreed' between Carnival, who had subsequently purchased Cunard from Kaverner, and Kaverner that the model would be returned to Cunard and it was taken to a bank vault in London for safe keeping. However when the - hefty - bill for storage arrived some months later, it was decided that the model would be stored on QE2 and included on the ship';s P&I.   So the model was duly delivered to QE2 and placed in one of the bonded stores, where it lay for some time. When QE2 went in for refit in 1999 it was decided that the model would be put on display and it's resting placed would be in the Midships Rotunda, where it stayed until QE2 was withdrawn from service.

The model is an exact copy of QE2 as she was the day she was delivered to Cunard, was made by Asprey's and bears their Hall Mark.

I 'believe' it was commissioned by the Shipyard and presented to Cunard on 'handover' day. What the value today would be i could not even hazard a guess at, but there must be several zeros at the end!

I always wondered what had happened to the model as it was always one of my favourite pieces of QE2 memorabilia, so was so pleased to see it still sails the seas with Cunard.
« Last Edit: Jul 23, 2019, 02:15 PM by Lynda Bradford »

Offline pete cain

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 08:39 PM »
 Andy,  Wow, I tried many times to get a good shot of this beauty whilst it was on QE2 , never could, knew there was a story behind this artifact , but thank you so much for filling in the history. It only goes to show there's a story out there for QE2 story ;) ;)
 As a postscript, not knowing where to post these images, whilst in Stavanger, purely by chance, having missed her (unnanounced arrival) a very quick stern shot of Marco Polo arriving alongside, last time I saw her she was parallel to Saga Ruby in the Baltic, posted on the forum (my best ever shot for me I believe , never to be repeated).
 As a post postscript , the one thing I really REALLY loved about Queen Elizabeth was her voice, that horn whilst leaving port is to die for,QE2's voice will for me never ever  be beaten , but  Queen Elizabeths comes close, doesn't reverbrate through your ribcage whilst leaning on the rails, but good..
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 08:51 PM by pete cain »

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2017, 09:28 PM »
It was also the starting point of every good Cabin cavalcade. When every cabin was different...
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Twynkle

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 08:26 AM »
Hi Andy - this is a great account of the earlier history of Asprey's Silver Model, thanks so much!

Just wondering about the history further back regarding this model - at the time of commissioning (by Cunard?) and it's manufacture and presentation, etc!
I think there maybe a plaque on its plinth, and more of the story would be interesting too...

And...Maybe there other valuable items / artefacts etc belonging to QE2, removed earlier in her service career which have also been stored for safe keeping elsewhere...



(Way off topic!
Going back to 2008, Andy - were you still on board QE2 - August, Iceland and Norway?
It was windy where we had anchored off, in Iceland - strong sun, and queues building for the tenders that had been held up because of the breeze. Atit G. was also on board at the time, and is still on duty with Cunard!
A tall, older officer (SECO) was i/c the queue - was it you?)

PS - to THe Mods - just wondering, do you think the Silver Model should have a topic of it's own?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 10:32 AM by Twynkle »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online CasinoChris

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 12:30 PM »
Regarding QE2 models, I wonder if the British Royal Family are still in possession of the one presented to the Queen Mother ?
Supposedly it was an Airfix Kit that had been silver plated!

Online Andy Holloway

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 06:52 PM »
Hi Andy - this is a great account of the earlier history of Asprey's Silver Model, thanks so much!

Just wondering about the history further back regarding this model - at the time of commissioning (by Cunard?) and it's manufacture and presentation, etc!
I think there maybe a plaque on its plinth, and more of the story would be interesting too...

And...Maybe there other valuable items / artefacts etc belonging to QE2, removed earlier in her service career which have also been stored for safe keeping elsewhere...

The plaque i think was one of the photos Capt. Ron found and was part of the investigation into exactly what they were looknig for. As nobody knew anything about the existence of this model, it having been lodged in the 'inner sanctum' that was the Board Room of Cunard/Trafalgar House since it was presented.  Capt. Ron took the photos to a friend who was a sliver smith who, with his detailed knowledge of these types o things deduced the size that the model 'could' be! Thereby letting Capt. Ron know what he was looking actually for.


(Way off topic!
Going back to 2008, Andy - were you still on board QE2 - August, Iceland and Norway?
It was windy where we had anchored off, in Iceland - strong sun, and queues building for the tenders that had been held up because of the breeze. Atit G. was also on board at the time, and is still on duty with Cunard!
A tall, older officer (SECO) was i/c the queue - was it you?)


Ref Iceland August 2008, No i had left QE2 by 2008, in the 'ethnic cleansing' of 2005 but having served my penance with Princess & P/O Australia had been 'allowed' back to Cunard and was on QV at that time of year.
Sorry but i can't think who that Security Officer was.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 10:44 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline Malcolm

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #6 on: Jun 01, 2017, 10:36 AM »
these hideous machines

They are hideous. Although I found that QE was less hideous than her older sister, Vicky! I think the big thing that made me think that was that Vicky was launched pre-selling of QE2 and made no reference to her. Vicky gave the impression that she was trying to be everything that QE2 wasn't. QE was launched after QE2's sale and there was a lot of ex QE2 memorabilia about her.

Offline Malcolm

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #7 on: Jun 01, 2017, 10:37 AM »
For those interested, and for those not, there is a very interesting story surrounding the discovery of the silver model of QE2.

I'm very interested :) What a great story - Thank you :)

Offline pete cain

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #8 on: Jun 01, 2017, 09:20 PM »
Just looked at Andys post above, & have to admit that when taking the photo (inspite of looking at that model in great depth & for some time) it cannot depict her delivery, because the first penthouse suites have been added,
« Last Edit: Jun 03, 2017, 09:31 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #9 on: Jun 02, 2017, 11:28 AM »
The model itself was tied up with the deal for Carnival to purchase Cunard from Kvaerner.

Online Andy Holloway

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #10 on: Jun 02, 2017, 11:36 AM »
A very 'TACTFUL' answer Michael!!!

Best Regards

Andy

PS
I've sent you a pm.

trevorc

  • Guest
Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #11 on: Jun 02, 2017, 02:42 PM »
That QE2 model is so beautiful. How many models were made?

Online Andy Holloway

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #12 on: Jun 02, 2017, 06:40 PM »
That QE2 model is so beautiful. How many models were made?

Only the one, as far as i can ascertain. 

Online Andy Holloway

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #13 on: Jun 02, 2017, 07:33 PM »
I always thought that this model was the epitome of British craftsmanship and loved looknig at it every time, and that was many believe me, i walked past it, the Chief security Officer's Cabin was 1 deck forward and the Security Office was 2 deck aft!

Anyway if i ever saw a passenger taking a close look at it i would often make a comment to them along the lines of "If you're thinking of stealing it then you're second in line, i'm first"! This was usually followed by a short discussion on the beauty of the model and me giving the passenger a bit of background to it's history.

One West bound transatlantic it was the first day out and i was already late getting changed for Caronia cocktail party. As i was 'moving swiftly' through the Rotunda there was a gent kneeling on the seats taking a close interest in the model, in passing i made my usual comment to which he turned, and suddenly we recognised each other, we had served together a couple of times during our Royal Marines careers! 
I was only able to stop long enough to note his cabin number and arrange to meet the next day. When i told the  Captain, Ian McNaught, about my meeting he immediately invited my RM friend to attend the Captain's Cocktail party, to which i was also able to add an invitation to The Wardroom Cocktail party!

Captain McNaught also gave an open invite to my friend to visit the bridge, which was of great interest as my friend had served onboard an RN Frigate as part of the Royal Marines Detachment.

Certainly a case where The QE2 Silver Model brought two people together who almost certainly would not have met, as small as sometimes QE2 might have felt.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #14 on: Jun 02, 2017, 08:30 PM »
As illustrated in Myles' photo above, the model looked superb in QE2's Midships Lobby.  The reason was the space was relatively darkly lit, but the model was lit from underneath by blue light.  It looked fabulous, and it was hard to walk through the space without looking.  The spirit of the atlantic statue was similarly cleverly lit, to appear underwater.  On Queen Elizabeth, the model is lost in a big very bright space.  Based on the two brief times I've seen it, I don't think it works where it is now.  It would work much better in my living room.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #15 on: Jun 02, 2017, 08:42 PM »
I wonder how much the model is actually worth. l realise its priceless, but for insurance purposes as they say .
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline pete cain

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #16 on: Jun 03, 2017, 08:02 PM »
Is it solid or hollow (more interesting will it float ::)

Online Brandon Sterkel

Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #17 on: Jun 03, 2017, 08:27 PM »
Although I'm glad that the model is in a safe, secure place, I think that it truly belongs on board QE2.
Queen Elizabeth 2: A 50 Year Legend!

trevorc

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Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #18 on: Jun 13, 2017, 12:36 AM »
Although I'm glad that the model is in a safe, secure place, I think that it truly belongs on board QE2.

And QE2 belongs on the river Clyde.

Online Thomas Hypher

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Re: The Asprey Silver Model of QE2
« Reply #19 on: Aug 01, 2017, 01:34 PM »
Is the QE2 Aspray model made of real silver? If so is it of solid construction? or made around a frame of some kind? I can imagine it is pretty heavy!
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!