Adverts only show for non-members



Author Topic: Cunard in the Air (and the Heathrow Bears)  (Read 1059 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2109
  • Total likes: 3573
  • QE2, a home from home - beautiful from all angles!
Cunard in the Air (and the Heathrow Bears)
« on: Dec 22, 2017, 12:47 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm sure many of you (in the UK at least) have seen this lovely Christmas advert with an appearance by Cunard (through/linked to Sir Basil Smallpiece):



Thomas
« Last Edit: Jan 04, 2018, 07:13 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »
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!

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2109
  • Total likes: 3573
  • QE2, a home from home - beautiful from all angles!
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #1 on: Dec 22, 2017, 12:49 PM »
Of note is that Petula Clark appears on the BOAC-Cunard VC10 (real aircraft at Duxford) in the beginning of the video. She is the singer of the song (recorded in the 1960s).
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!

Online Peter Mugridge

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3122
  • Total likes: 2137
  • At Mach 2 three days after being on QE2...
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #2 on: Dec 22, 2017, 09:15 PM »
Yes, I thought straight away when I saw the advert "That's at Duxford!".

The VC-10 was a very impressive aircraft... here's one of mine of the same one...  I have a few more if anyone would like to see them, but this one in particular really shows the solidity and bulk of the design.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

trevorc

  • Guest
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #3 on: Dec 22, 2017, 11:31 PM »
Loved the BOAC-CUNARD thing

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2109
  • Total likes: 3573
  • QE2, a home from home - beautiful from all angles!
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #4 on: Dec 23, 2017, 03:33 AM »
Yes, I thought straight away when I saw the advert "That's at Duxford!".

The VC-10 was a very impressive aircraft... here's one of mine of the same one...  I have a few more if anyone would like to see them, but this one in particular really shows the solidity and bulk of the design.

I'd like to see your other photos! The RAF only retired their VC10s a few years ago. Very impressive aircraft designed for Hot and High airports, mainly in Africa.
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!

Online Peter Mugridge

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3122
  • Total likes: 2137
  • At Mach 2 three days after being on QE2...
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #5 on: Dec 23, 2017, 01:05 PM »
It was as recently as last year that the last RAF VC-10 retired, actually.

OK... here's another one from Duxford:

"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online Andy Holloway

Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #6 on: Dec 23, 2017, 02:24 PM »
I'd like to see your other photos! The RAF only retired their VC10s a few years ago. Very impressive aircraft designed for Hot and High airports, mainly in Africa.

When the British withdrew from Aden [now known as Yemen] in 1967 i was one of the 'lucky ones' who flew back from Bahrain - Aden to Bahrain courtesy of an RAF C130 in troop carrying mode! - in an civilian VC10, sadly i can't remember the airline who were the operators, but they no longer exist. There was also a very strange layout of seats on a VC10, as you flew backwards! 

Online Peter Mugridge

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3122
  • Total likes: 2137
  • At Mach 2 three days after being on QE2...
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #7 on: Dec 23, 2017, 06:46 PM »
Backwards facing seats... that would have been an RAF transport example; until a couple of years ago the RAF had all seats - apart of course from the pilots - facing backwards.

That has now changed and the seats are normal forward facing ones.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #8 on: Dec 23, 2017, 10:32 PM »
Very impressive aircraft designed for Hot and High airports, mainly in Africa.

I am fairly sure that I was a passenger on a VC10 airliner flying from Frankfurt to Tokyo with a stopover in Anchorage (i.e. cold and low) in the late 1980s.

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2109
  • Total likes: 3573
  • QE2, a home from home - beautiful from all angles!
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #9 on: Dec 23, 2017, 10:43 PM »
I am fairly sure that I was a passenger on a VC10 airliner flying from Frankfurt to Tokyo with a stopover in Anchorage (i.e. cold and low) in the late 1980s.

If I remember correctly they were designed with excess thrust (for the time) for flying to and from Cape Town in the 1960s, and other routes to and from the equator. Hence hot and high. They also had an extensive flap system for improved landing performance (with strengthened undercarriage) for less suitable runways. There is some amazing footage of an RAF VC10 displaying at Biggin Hill a few years ago. Amazing aircraft!
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!

Online Peter Mugridge

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3122
  • Total likes: 2137
  • At Mach 2 three days after being on QE2...
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #10 on: Dec 23, 2017, 10:44 PM »
I am fairly sure that I was a passenger on a VC10 airliner flying from Frankfurt to Tokyo with a stopover in Anchorage (i.e. cold and low) in the late 1980s.

I'm not sure, unless you flew with the RAF?  The type left airline service in May 1981.  Can you remember who operated the flight you were on?
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2109
  • Total likes: 3573
  • QE2, a home from home - beautiful from all angles!
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #11 on: Dec 23, 2017, 10:48 PM »
Here's the video:


The last all British airliner  :( . One also holds the speed record for the fastest subsonic airliner (so not Concorde or the Tu-144) from New York to London.
« Last Edit: Dec 23, 2017, 10:54 PM by Thomas Hypher »
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!

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #12 on: Dec 24, 2017, 10:06 AM »
Thanks Thomas - Loved the Heathrow Bears Video which is just right for Christmas.   :)

I remember the BOAC cabin bags in the 1960/70's - I always wanted one. 

Not sure what the Walker shortbread link is about and I missed the link to Basil Smallpeice. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2109
  • Total likes: 3573
  • QE2, a home from home - beautiful from all angles!
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #13 on: Dec 24, 2017, 10:35 AM »
Thanks Thomas - Loved the Heathrow Bears Video which is just right for Christmas.   :)

I remember the BOAC cabin bags in the 1960/70's - I always wanted one. 

Not sure what the Walker shortbread link is about and I missed the link to Basil Smallpeice.

They look great! Wonder if they can be found on EBay (would probably cost a small fortune now though)?

Sir Basil Smallpiece was the MD of BOAC before coming to Cunard. I believe he instigated the short term merger of BOAC-Cunard. I am not sure what you mean by the Walker shortbread link?

Thomas
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!

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #14 on: Dec 24, 2017, 10:43 AM »
They look great! Wonder if they can be found on EBay (would probably cost a small fortune now though)?

Sir Basil Smallpiece was the MD of BOAC before coming to Cunard. I believe he instigated the short term merger of BOAC-Cunard. I am not sure what you mean by the Walker shortbread link?

Thomas

I know the history of Basil Smallpeice and Cunard, I just could not see the reference in the video, as mentioned in the first post. The Walkers shortbread was the gift given to the bear, in the video.  It was the significance of this that I was thinking about.  e.g. why Walkers shortbread and not a box of chocolates?
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: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #15 on: Dec 24, 2017, 10:46 AM »
Thomas I had another look and I see the BOAC Cunard on the side of the plane.  I now get the reference being made to Basil Smallpeice.  Coffee required!
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Pete Hamill

Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #16 on: Dec 24, 2017, 12:48 PM »
Quite ironic really that Cunard had a tie with BOAC. Maybe it was a case of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" since these were the very things that effectively killed Cunard's trans-Atlantic service.

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2109
  • Total likes: 3573
  • QE2, a home from home - beautiful from all angles!
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #17 on: Dec 24, 2017, 02:18 PM »
Quite ironic really that Cunard had a tie with BOAC. Maybe it was a case of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" since these were the very things that effectively killed Cunard's trans-Atlantic service.

It turns out it was, but from BOAC's point of view (when Sir Basil Smallpiece was their MD) due to Cunard's partnership with British Eagle (forming Cunard Eagle Airways) - it had the potential of endangering BOAC financially at the time. So surprisingly not the other way around given Cunard's own perilous financial situation at the time (running off capital etc.).

His Wikipedia article goes into more interesting detail:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Smallpeice
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!

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #18 on: Dec 27, 2017, 09:35 AM »
CUNARD IN THE AIR

As the 1950s dawned Cunard's Atlantic conquest was complete. Ever since establishing the first scheduled service across the Atlantic its ships had ruled the Atlantic and, despite or perhaps in spite of, fierce competition Cunard ships had crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic every year since in 1840, in peace and war, without fail. To celebrate its dominance and 11 decades in service Cunard produced a special brochure ‘Conquest of the Atlantic’ in 1950.

Its fleet of 11 Atlantic ships included the largest liner in the world, Queen Elizabeth, and the fastest liner in the world, Queen Mary and these two ships alone maintained the weekly express service between Southampton and New York crossing in just over four days and often meeting each other mid-Atlantic at high speed with whistles blasting.

This was the Golden Age of transatlantic travel - the era of film stars, royalty, business moguls and millionaires crossing the Atlantic being photographed by dozens of press photographers as they stepped ashore in Southampton or New York.

Decades of success had maybe resulted in complacency at Cunard when the company failed to notice the significance of Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight in 1927. But in 1958 the ghost of that Lindbergh flight caught up with Cunard, as for the first time, more people crossed the Atlantic by air than by sea and the number taking to the air rather than crossing by ship would increase yearly thereafter

The end for dominance of the Atlantic at sea level was in sight and Cunard was facing the greatest revolution in its history.

The reversal of roles between ships and aircraft across the Atlantic was swift. In 1954 ships carried nearly a million passengers and the airlines just under 600,000. In 1964 the airlines carried 3.5 million passengers while the ships’ share had sunk to about 700,000. Even in the peak emigration years before the First World War the shipping lines carried more than 2.5 million passengers so it was apparent that jet air travel had generated a tremendous growth of new traffic.

Cheap air travel threatened Cunard’s future as a transatlantic carrier so the old adage ‘if you can’t beat ‘em...’ came into play and Cunard, long before many of the great cruise lines of today were established, was one of the first companies to take advantage of air travel to deliver its passengers to its ships in the Mediterranean, Bermuda and the Caribbean. Cunard was going into the ‘holidays at sea’ market and its marketing was certainly bold, with the new ‘Go Sun Hunting’ slogan replacing the revered ‘Getting there is half the fun!’ Decades later, millions of cruise passengers would be flying to and from their cruise ships the world over and Cunard played a role in the creation of this boom.
Not wanting to miss out on the new boom in air travel, a shrewd Cunard went a step further in March 1960 when the Cunard Steamship Company bought a 60% shareholding in Eagle Airways Ltd for £30 million. On 28th July 1960 Cunard Eagle Airways was formed and the new airline became the first British independent airline to afford and operate pure jet planes thanks to the arrival of Cunard and a £6 million order for two new Boeing 707-420 aeroplanes powered by Rolls-Royce Conway engines.
Harold Bamberg, founder of Eagle Airways, being appointed Aviation Director and Cunard Eagle hoped that his industry knowledge would assist them in capturing a significant share of the one million passengers that crossed the Atlantic by air in 1960.

The approval, despite opposition from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) of the Government of new ‘Colonial Coach’ fares for travel by British residents on routes linking the UK with its remaining colonies meant UK airlines were free to introduce them and Cunard Eagle’s rivals were able to take advantage of, and benefit from, these new fares but not Cunard Eagle.
 
In June 1961 Cunard Eagle became the first independent airline in the UK to be awarded a licence by the newly constituted Air Transport Licensing Board (ATLB) to operate a scheduled service on the prime Heathrow – New York JFK route at a frequency of one round-trip per day. The licence was valid for 15 years from 31 August 1961 to 31 July 1976 and the company would use Boeing 707 jets and Bristol Britannia turboprops.

At the same time the airline also won the right to serve Manchester, Glasgow, Prestwick, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and Washington. More modern aircraft and additional routes would continue to be added to the Cunard Eagle network.

The decision angered the state-controlled British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and appealed against the granting of the licence to Cunard Eagle citing its own order for 45 Standard and Super VC10 long-haul jets and an earlier ministerial promise not to permit another British competitor on the Heathrow – New York route. BOAC’s appeal was upheld resulting in the revocation of Cunard Eagle’s licence in November 1961.

Cunard Eagle became the first British independent airline to operate jet services with fare-paying passengers after taking delivery in February 1962 of a Boeing 707-465 – its first jet aircraft.

On 5 May 1962, the airline's first 707 inaugurated scheduled jet services from London Heathrow to Bermuda and Nassau was inaugurated. Marketed in the UK as the ‘Cunarder Jet’ and in the States as the ‘Londoner’, Cunard Eagle succeeded in extending this service to Miami.

Despite these new jet deliveries and ‘firsts’ Cunard Eagle was not a success and would struggle to be the success it had the potential to be without the London – New York Atlantic air service.

BOAC, which had been formed in 1940 by the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd, countered Cunard Eagle’s attempts to muscle in on the Atlantic, when on 6 June 1962, BOAC and Cunard announced BOAC-Cunard Ltd, to operate scheduled services to North America, the Caribbean and South America. BOAC provided 70% of the new company’s capital and eight Boeing 707s. The independent Cunard Eagle Airways, of which Cunard still held a 60% shareholding, provided two more 707s.

In his announcement to staff, Sir Basil Smallpeice said:

“BOAC-Cunard Limited will carry the Cunard name in the air over a very wide area of the Western Hemisphere. Put into the simplest terms, it means that the Cunard Group now has a direct and substantial interest in the results of an air line of such magnitude as to own initially ten Rolls Royce Boeing jet aircraft. It is in the interests of us all, therefore, to make the maximum effort to ensure the success of BOAC-Cunard Limited.

Cunard called the new partnership

“...probably the most significant development in sea-air co-operation which has yet been achieved by two major operators”.

The air routes of the new company operated between Great Britain and the United States, except to the West Coast of America, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Caribbean, together with the extension of those services to parts of the north and west of South America and those linking Bermuda, the Bahamas with the USA. When necessary amendments to route licenses were obtained flights would operate under the livery of BOAC-Cunard – the lettering of the livery seemed to match the 70% and 30% holdings of each company. Until those amendments could be made the services would fly on behalf of the new company by existing license owners – BOAC and Cunard Eage.

As well as access to the air craft the partnership also meant both companies could co-operate throughout the world to promote their air and sea operations and sales outlets and booking procedures for the two were rationalised. By the end of June an “interchange of commercial staff between the office of BOAC and Cunard”, where practicable, had begun.

The deal was criticised in some quarters with MPs asking is a private shipping line should have a preferential share in future profits of a state-controlled airline and the reserves the Government intended to create for BOAC.

On Sunday 24 June1962 the first service on behalf of the new company – a BOAC 707 jetliner left London Airport at 0930 hours bound for Manchester, Glasgow and New York. It was followed shortly afterwards by a ‘Monarch’ flight operating direct to New York.

Harold Bamberg had been appointed Chairman to the board of BOAC-Cunard but after becoming disenchanted with Cunard's corporate culture he resigned from the board in 1963 while continuing as Managing Director of Cunard Eagle Airways. His growing disenchantment with BOAC-Cunard resulted in the decision to reconstitute Eagle by buying back control from Cunard and renaming the company British Eagle International Airways.

The BOAC Managing Director, Sir Basil Smallpeice resigned from the airline in December 1963 and joined Cunard a few months later. Sir Basil would later take the Chairmanship of Cunard and would become the ultimate ‘saviour’ of the company with the significant changes that were necessary in his ‘do or die’ initiative and by the end of the 1968 the greatest passenger fleet on the Atlantic in 1957 had been reduced to two ships with what would eventually become QE2 under construction.

The initial losses of the new BOAC-Cunard venture were turned around and 1964 and 1965 saw profits but the National Union of Seamen’s strike of 1966 cost Cunard £4 million and once again assets, had to be sacrificed and this meant the disposal of ships. Cunard had to invest large sums of money to adopt the containerisation of its cargo vessels, the development of its small tanker subsidiary and in the re-organisation of its passenger operations which included the replacement for the Queens which was under construction. On the other hand Cunard had the problem of having to find additional share capital required by BOAC-Cunard for investment in future aircraft and this would have reduced the money available for expansion on the shipping side.

Cunard at one point seriously considering leaving the shipping business and going solely into the airline business. One can only speculate at what would have happened. There are images of Concorde in BOAC livery – that could have been BOAC-Cunard livery and Cunard could have been crossing the Atlantic in hours rather than days! Perhaps British Airways itself would not have been created in March 1974 after BOAC, British European Airways, Cambrian Airways and Northeast Airlines were merged to form British Airways.

On 16 September 1966 Cunard announced that an agreement has been reached with BOAC for the sale to them of its 30% holding in BOAC-Cunard Limited. This meant an addition of £11.5 million to Cunard’s capital resources giving it a profit of £3 million on the original deal.

Sir Basil said:

“Cunard is a shipping company; and it will prosper in the long term by making its shipping operations profitable”.

The joint selling arrangements and the air / sea interchange would continue to be strengthened as both Cunard and BOAC believed this would be in their best interests.

This was not the end of Cunard in the skies. In the mid-1970s it created a subsidiary company called HeavyLift Cargo Airlines, later Cunard HeavyLift with the Cunard name painted on the planes. HeavyLift operated a fleet of Belfast aircraft and the company became a leader in the transportation of outsized and volumetric cargo. Cunard sold Cunard HeavyLift in the early 1990s

But it is perhaps the partnership Cunard formed with British Airways Concorde that will be remembered long after Cunard Eagle, BOAC-Cunard and Cunard Heavylift.

This partnership became the most spectacular air / sea marriage when Cunard and British Airways joined forces to create the QE2 / Concorde that matched the world’s fastest and most famous passenger aircraft with the world’s fastest and most famous ocean liner.

Concorde and QE2 became two rivals in a partnership of equals that should not have worked but it became one of the most successful travel combinations ever with Cunard buying more Concorde seats at one time than any other!

The first time Cunard linked QE2 and Concorde was in March 1977 when a special holiday. For £1,110 per person, passengers would fly Concorde from London to Washington on 30 March 1977 and spend four nights in the Watergate Hotel in Washington before taking a train to New York where, after three nights in the St Regis Hotel, they would embark QE2 and sail back to Southampton.
1983 was the first year that Cunard chartered Concorde and this partnership would last for the next 20 years. Various air-sea-hotel packages would spread out the flight demand, as a single Concorde flight carried just 100 passengers while one QE2 sailing could take up to 18 times that number. When the Cunard-chartered Concorde filled up, overflow passengers were booked on regularly scheduled BA supersonic flights between Washington, New York, and London and also on the Air France Concorde to and from Paris.
By 1985 Cunard was by far the world’s principal user of Concorde after British Airways and Air France and accounted for 75% of Concorde’s charter business – that year’s Concorde programme being worth £12 million and involving 14,000 seats. Cunard’s ever-increasing financial commitment to Concorde was greater in 1985 than Concorde’s profit was for the previous financial year. A total of 130 transatlantic flights were timetabled to tie in with QE2’s 26 crossings and her New York cruise departures.
1985 also saw what was heralded as the ‘photograph of the century’ when nine Red Arrows and a Concorde flew over QE2 in the English Channel on 18 May 1985.
Sadly the final farewell came on 24 October 2003 when Concorde passed over QE2 on the Atlantic for the last time. QE2’s Master, Captain Ray Heath sent the following message to the Captain of Concorde:

“From one British icon to another: QE2 and Concorde have been an improbably, unique and successful transatlantic partnership for the past 20 years. We are sorry to see you go”.

After 20 years one of the most successful partnerships in travel was over and now both Concorde and QE2 are retired but their legacy will live forever.
« Last Edit: Dec 27, 2017, 09:39 AM by Michael Gallagher »

trevorc

  • Guest
Re: Heathrow Bears
« Reply #19 on: Dec 27, 2017, 02:46 PM »
Michael, your knowledge stuns me every time! Thank you!

 

British Movietone Movie - September 1968 - XMAS DEADLINE FOR CUNARD'S QUEEN

Started by Rob LightbodyBoard QE2 build film footage/videos

Replies: 3
Views: 1048
QE2 Cunard Heritage Trail

Started by KEVBoard Passenger & Enthusiast Memories

Replies: 32
Views: 9643
Cunard Annual Report and Accounts 1968

Started by Michael GallagherBoard Design, Concept & Build

Replies: 0
Views: 309
Out to Sea: Cunard History....

Started by TwynkleBoard Cunard

Replies: 1
Views: 753
Cunard drops naming policy... ?

Started by Chris FrameBoard Cunard

Replies: 13
Views: 1909
The Cunard Services

Started by CAPBoard Cunard

Replies: 10
Views: 1999