Author Topic: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship  (Read 7457 times)

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Offline June Ingram

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Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #80 on: Feb 14, 2018, 03:38 AM »
It is very disappointing because there was a great deal of communication going on between the producers of the program and many Forum members, especially those of us connected with the PR work regarding the conference. They were supplied with abundant factual material about QE2 and were for awhile in contact several times a day to arrange interviews with a number of persons with various QE2 connections. It is disheartening but not surprising the media in general can't seem to get it right.  Channel 5 were certainly supplied with more than sufficient material to get it right.
« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2018, 03:51 AM by June Ingram »
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Online Clydebuilt1971

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #81 on: Feb 14, 2018, 08:54 AM »
I watched both parts back to back last night - whilst I am also disappointed with the inaccuracies and also the fact that there was no mention of the 50th Anniversary etc I still enjoyed the overall programme.

I wish they had included more content on the propulsion system replacement but I was happy to see some footage of her original turbines and ECR.

Its been nearly 10yrs since she arrived in Dubai so I think it was a very appropriate time to bring her back into the public focus with this programme.

Ch5 were always going to focus on what they wanted - effectively only hearing what they wanted to hear. I guess that's the media for you!

The footage of the ship was excellent - she is just such a beautiful looking ship and I also very much enjoyed seeing some weel kent faces (You know who you are) :)

I also thought Capt Bates and Dr Payne were excellent.

I didn't know they had interviewed Ronnie Kier down at Ferguson Marine - I thought that was a nice touch and a bit of focus (albeit brief) on the fact that commercial shipbuilding still exists on the Clyde.

All in all? I'm glad they did it and I went to sleep last night a wee bit sad because "shes not doin it anymore" but also with the thought (and as I said in my closing remarks at the conference) that WE DID THAT - Great Britain ruled the waves through QE2 - nobody can take that away from us - of that I will always be very very proud.

So theres only one way to end this post.......

Clydebuilt and proud  ;)

Cheers

Gav
« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2018, 09:20 AM by Clydebuilt1971 »

Online dellboy

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #82 on: Feb 14, 2018, 10:05 AM »
 Wishful thinking,  they did say season 1 episode 2 so perhaps they're planning to show a second season if and when the flotel opens.

It's normal for TV crews to spend days at a location and only show minutes of filming. When a crew came to my place of work they interrupted everything and interviewed dozens of employees. We were all excited about getting our 15 sec of fame we were lucky if they showed 15sec in total. Makes me wonder how much filming they do for a one-hour episode.       

Offline Andy Holloway

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #83 on: Feb 14, 2018, 10:55 AM »
Cramming 50 years of history into 2 x 45/50 minute programmes - 1 hour programme including adverts - is a very difficult task, it's not what to include but what to leave out.
This means that you have only 2 minutes to cover each year in QE2's life, impossible, especially when you need to spend at least 2 or 3 minutes just on her participation in the Falklands campaign, and almost 5 minutes on the bomb threat.

Personally i'm not surprised that they left out the footage they shot at Clydebank, yes it was important to us who know and love QE2, but to your average punter watching the programme, it would just be a load of weirdos living in the past!

Having spent nearly 20 year at sea, 16 with Cunard and 5 on QE2, i enjoyed the programme, and thought that the contributions from people truly involved with QE2, Capt McN, Maureen Ryan, Ronnie, Terry Kearney, Eric Flounders, even Johnny 'Two Jags' Prescott spoke well, was good.
Every TV programme makes mistakes, i'm sure the producer is screaming at whoever made the ones in this programme even as we type our comments, that's the nature of human fallibility.

Out of 10 i would give it 8, and has been said, 'must do better'. As we used to have inspections onboard called 'ATD', 'Attention To Detail', i would advise the production company to follow suite and employ Michael Gallagher as a consultant, you couldn't do better.
« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2018, 12:23 PM by Andy Holloway »

Offline Willum

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Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #84 on: Feb 14, 2018, 11:23 AM »
Well said Andy, by the way a lot of the clips in the two films came from the Pond5 clip archive. If you go there and enter QE2 as a search there's lots of nostalgia.

https://www.pond5.com/stock-video-footage/1/qe2.html

Willum R/O


Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #85 on: Feb 14, 2018, 11:25 AM »
Having dealt with dozens of film crews over the years I am a bit battle weary with them... it used to be a source of irritation to spend hours setting up a particular shot or arranging an interview - and disrupting the shipboard routine (as Andy will confirm) - only for it to not appear in the final programme. And then having to try and explain and placate those who went out of the way to make something happen only for it not to appear. But in the end it was not worth getting irritated as every Producer / Director had the final say in what was essentially their programme.

Film crews are a pain in the backside but I would volunteer to escort them as it would mean a chance to sail on the ships and those opportunities should never be turned down - even though many nights I'd go to bed mid-cruise wishing I was back home.

Overall the programme said some great things and made some great claims for QE2 and to those not as familiar with the ship as us it established and underlined her legacy. If I was running Cunard or Carnival I would be worried that nothing afloat today is going to achieve the sort of mythical status - whether deserved or not. QM2 is a great ship but she is not in people's hearts like QE2 is and there are all sorts of reasons for that - different times, French construction etc. Quite frankly she needs a Falklands...

As Andy says there is simply to much to put into the time they had.

The series continues with two episodes on Concorde and two on the Orient Express.

Online Clydebuilt1971

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #86 on: Feb 14, 2018, 11:39 AM »


The series continues with two episodes on Concorde and two on the Orient Express.

Looking fwd to the Concorde one - another amazing feat!

Gav

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #87 on: Feb 14, 2018, 11:57 AM »

Personally i'm not surprised that they left out the footage they shot at Clydebank, yes it was important to us who know and love QE2, but to your average punter watching the programme, it would just be a load of weirdos living in the past!


I'm not surprised either, but given the amount of disruption they caused at our events, and the amount of effort put in to helping them across many weeks, to have nothing to show at all is a bit rubbIsh. I know that they spent up to 6 hours filming participants who then had 30 seconds of screen time...

We aren't a business, but they treated us like one I think.

I expected a 20 second mention of how she still has many fans across the world, with a tiny shot of crowds at the conference, that's all. 20 seconds in 90 minutes of tv.
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Offline CasinoChris

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #89 on: Feb 14, 2018, 01:07 PM »
Several of the QE2 books that I've read referred to the pilfering.
Apparently when Captain Bill Warwick arrived to take command he was quoted as saying
"They're stealing an ocean liner one piece at a time!"
Have seen several mentions of vandalism etc, they were slowing the job down as it was their
last one.........

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #90 on: Feb 14, 2018, 02:12 PM »
I'd be very interested to read source material, from no later than 1970, that describes it.
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Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #91 on: Feb 14, 2018, 03:13 PM »

I'd be very interested to read source material, from no later than 1970, that describes it.
I was thinking the same. I had a look at the Potter and Frost book, QE2 the authorised story this morning and could not see any reference to pilfering.

It is likely that pilfering went on at the yard, but it is the scale that I have doubt about and the story that someone unrolled a heavy roll of carper and had a template of a room to cut to size an exact fit of carpet, which is what I do not accept. 

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Offline Andy Holloway

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #92 on: Feb 14, 2018, 03:41 PM »
I was thinking the same. I had a look at the Potter and Frost book, QE2 the authorised story this morning and could not see any reference to pilfering.

It is likely that pilfering went on at the yard, but it is the scale that I have doubt about and the story that someone unrolled a heavy roll of carper and had a template of a room to cut to size an exact fit of carpet, which is what I do not accept.

Lynda believe me ANY THING is possible, the more bizarre the more believable it becomes.

Near where i used to work was an old garage with petrol pumps etc plus a quite large drive through car wash. One day two men turned up at 0700 with a flat bed lorry complete with HIAB crane and started dismantling it. They stopped for breakfast and went to a cafe opposite, got chatting to the owner, went back to work, back across for mid morning break and then again for lunch. Finally around 1500 they stuck their heads in the cafe to say good bye and thanks for everything.
The next morning the police were all over the forecourt as these two men had stolen the car wash, blatant and without any fear of being stopped!

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #93 on: Feb 14, 2018, 04:00 PM »
Lynda believe me ANY THING is possible, the more bizarre the more believable it becomes.

Near where i used to work was an old garage with petrol pumps etc plus a quite large drive through car wash. One day two men turned up at 0700 with a flat bed lorry complete with HIAB crane and started dismantling it. They stopped for breakfast and went to a cafe opposite, got chatting to the owner, went back to work, back across for mid morning break and then again for lunch. Finally around 1500 they stuck their heads in the cafe to say good bye and thanks for everything.
The next morning the police were all over the forecourt as these two men had stolen the car wash, blatant and without any fear of being stopped!


Andy, that made me laugh - I can just imagine the theft happening under the eyes of those around.  Yeah I suppose anything is possible. 
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Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #94 on: Feb 14, 2018, 04:28 PM »
In August 1967 Bob Arnott, later to become QE2’s longest-serving Captain, was appointed Chief Officer, and his initial duties before the ship came into service were to oversee aspects of construction on Cunard’s behalf. He soon became aware of the practice of ‘squirrelling’, which was explained to him as just being a lucrative perk but, rather like some of the strikes, a means of keeping a good job going longer. That was not how he saw it, though, preferring as he did the epithet “larceny on a grand scale”.

I used to love to speak to him about his time at the yard and he was very entertaining when recalling stories of what he experienced personally when it came to ‘Squirrelling’.

No doubt QE2 was not the first ship to suffer from the practice, but it was so prevalent that Arnott later recalled that: “Some of the yard workers were stealing the ship faster than the others could build it!”

There was a thriving trade around Glasgow of materials removed from the ship, a trade that was so organised that items even had a fixed retail price including delivery. Paint was £1 a gallon, light fittings (including shades) from the cabins just 5 shillings (25 pence) and Formica sold at 10 shillings (50 pence) for 2.4 metres by 1.2 metres (8 foot by 4 foot) sections.

When rolls or carpet for the public rooms were laid out, they were found to have front room-shaped sections, complete with window bay, but out of them as if by a giant pastry-cutter. The main reception area, the Midships Lobby, had been fitted with a carpet that was in place at the end of the shift but a large square of it disappeared by the next morning. There were certainly some cosy and expensively carpeted living rooms in Clydebank that winter. One dismayed Cunard manager advised a steward “We won’t come here again.”

By way of example, Arnott cited one electrician whose home was raided  by the police, who was found to have removed from the ship 27 metres (30 yards) of carpet, two chests-of-drawers, a wall cabinet, three bookcases, three lounge stools, 55 metres (180 feet) of fiberglass, five lamps, 36 litres (8 gallons) of paint, plus crockery and soft furnishings. In mitigation the man’s solicitor implied such activity was the norm: “My client just walked off the ship with the stuff”.

It was regular practice for workers to walk out of the yard concealing items beneath their clothes – items ranging from copper piping to towels. Ironically, Bob Arnott noted, most of the stolen material had to be carried past the police station adjacent to the dock gates, but the prevailing attitude of the police was that although an ocean liner was being stolen piece by piece in from of them, there was little they could do about it.

And then there was wilful damage where petrol or paint would be found thrown over newly-laid carpets or cabins would flood thanks to piping that had been cut. The first Queen Elizabeth suffered hugely from this after she left Greenock after her major 1965 refit. QE2 suffered from this.

The point is such pilfering and damage would occur in any yard. If QE2 had been built on the Tyne or in Belfast the same would have happened. It happened countless times during Southampton refits.

A minority of people caused a major problem and the only reason Clyde shipyard workers are being highlighted is because the ship was built on the Clyde.

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #95 on: Feb 14, 2018, 05:15 PM »
 Forum member, Hugh Morrison, posted when the Channel 5 Producer first brought up the topic of pilfering and made a good response on the forum, which brings it into context.   

I was extremely sad to see that the only specific topic which you saw fit to suggest in the media coverage, with reference to the building of the vessel, was squirreling.
Of course there was pilfering of materials, but this was hardly specific to only the QE2. Pilfering took/takes place at all shipyards, building sites and works, not to mention distilleries. I do feel that the real amount of materials stolen is greatly exaggerated. 
Why do you feel it is necessary to make it a specific point for discussion for only the QE2?
I am sure that there is also pilfering takes place on cruise ships, both by the crew  and by souvenir searching passengers. If you really feel that it is a point for discussion it should be extended to crew and passengers.
The real problem is that in throwing such unsubstantiated mud around leads to a reputation which affects all concerned, most of whom, including myself, had no involvement in pilfering.
Media coverage of the conference would be a very good thing.
With respect to the building of the QE2, I feel that the vast majority of the correspondence on the media website reflects that most people involved have little or no knowledge or understanding of the huge amount of detail design and skilled construction which was performed by the shipyard in transforming the largely artistic external and interior design into a reality which has lasted so many years. The many aspects of construction seem to be largely forgotten such as the structural design of the hull - with much of the hull shaping work being performed using machinery which was over 60 years old. The design and installation of the systems which make the vessel comfortable and safe, such as the piping and sewage systems, electrical and lighting, ventilation and fire prevention and fire-fighting systems: these are only a few of the elements, mostly unseen, which made the ship what it was. Some may say that such systems are not really so special and are contained in most land based buildings. However the design of such systems becomes very much more complex if they have to work on board a vessel that is constantly moving, sometimes to fairly extreme degrees.
I feel that much more of the design and build aspects should be part of the conference to reflect what the title implies. Unfortunately there are relatively few of us left, both from the original Cunard and the shipyard teams, who were actually around at the time to relate now the stories of how things really were. Even if such aspects are minimal in the conference proceedings we should try and cover it them to some extent, in as positive manner as possible, in any media coverage.
I would therefore discourage any if not all references to squirreling in any media coverage and stick to celebrating the vessel itself.   


https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,7776.msg87749.html#msg87749
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Online dellboy

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #96 on: Feb 14, 2018, 06:41 PM »
I wonder how much if at all, in percentage terms the cost of squirreling was/is factored into the cost of a ship or as part of general wastage. 
« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2018, 06:48 PM by dellboy »

Offline Trevor Casey

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Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #97 on: Feb 14, 2018, 10:38 PM »
What I find highly unbelievable is the fact that it was stated that someone cut out a hole in the Double Room Carpet for a small cottage. If this is true..
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #98 on: Feb 14, 2018, 11:29 PM »
Thank you to Michael, Lynda and Hugh for the in-depth information posted above.

With regards to the pilfering, I need to choose my words carefully here ... I was trying to understand my indignant feelings a bit more.  It comes from being a local native, I feel a bit of the "them and us" thing, that must have been felt by the workers at the time.  The "them" is all the Cunard people from England.  The "Us" is the hard working ordinary people of the West of Scotland, especially Clydebank.  It made me feel really uncomfortable watching English (and yes Australian) people telling me how awful "we" had all been.

Also, since starting this site, I've regularly been told "facts" that have come from Officers and Crew on board Cunard ships, that are just completely incorrect.  I've spent quite a lot of time trying to correct them, and it was a large part of the reason I went to Dubai in 2011.  This includes the Captain of the Queen Elizabeth who tells anyone who will listen that QE2 has been open to the public for ages... they take it as fact, because of who he is.  It then gets repeated by fact over and over.
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Online Clydebuilt1971

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #99 on: Feb 15, 2018, 08:45 AM »
Thanks for all the input on this subject however - if I may be so blunt - I think we need to get past it and get on with celebrating the ship, the engineering design, skill and workmanship that went into building the most famous ship on the planet.

Its part of her history whether we like it or not and I think we'd look a tad small minded to the outside world if we got too hung up on this.

This kind of media coverage did my head in when I was involved with Waverley until I realised that I couldn't change it - I could point things out but people chose what they wanted to hear and ignored the rest anyway.

The striking was also part and parcel of the Great Britain that was happening around the ship as she rose from her building ways in Clydebank. Unions had gotten too powerful, management too arrogant - no one was actually talking to each other anymore so industrial relations were probably at their lowest ebb (to be fair this didn't really change until the Work In at Fairfields led by Jimmy Reid in 1972 and when Jamie Webster revolutionised Worker - Management relations up at Govan in the 80s)
Add to that the lack of vision and investment in industry as a whole in Great Britain and the future was looking bleak.

Again part of the old girl's history.

Gav

« Last Edit: Feb 15, 2018, 09:25 AM by Clydebuilt1971 »

Online Davina

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Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #100 on: Feb 15, 2018, 09:13 AM »
I have not seen it

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #101 on: Feb 15, 2018, 10:24 AM »
I agree with both Rob and Gavin's comments.  Although it is advisable to put this aside and get on with celebrating QE2, which is what we are about, it is also good to have our opinion.  Following the first programme, I received a comment by email from someone living in Clydebank. 

Quote
"What I noted was the stories/judgement of the delays came entirely from Cunard voices or a marine historian who appears to be Australian if I'm reading his website correctly. Regardless, no local voices. I'll see if any residents back up those stories, but I've never heard one myself"

I would have liked to have heard the views of people who worked in the shipyard and there was people who worked in the shipyard at the conference.

Summing up the Channel 5 programme.  There was positives, the film archive footage was fantastic, I enjoyed most of the interviews, but I did feel that too much time was given to Cunard people.  I would have liked to have heard more of what QE2 passengers, John and Rosemary and George had to say on Tuesday's programme.  These passengers have a story to tell that is not documented in books.  I would also have liked a reference to the conference, even if it had just been a mentioned that 220 people gathered in Clydebank to celebrate 50 years since the launch of the ship, with a fleeting glance at the delegates in the hall. 

There should have been credit given to The QE2 Story, but that is a lesson to be learned for the organisers of the conference, which included myself.  Given the input we had in providing contact details for people to be interviewed, the fact that the film crew were at the conference and the boat trip, we should have stipulated that the The QE2 Story should have been on the credits and we should also have asked for a donation to the forum, which is helping to keep the memory of QE2 alive. 

The positive is that the documentary highlighted QE2. 
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Offline Pete Hamill

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #102 on: Feb 16, 2018, 07:00 PM »
Having just watched the recording of episode 2, forgetting what I know from the conference, the trip doon the watter and speaking to various forum members about filming, the documentary was pretty good and it was great to see QE2 alive again doing what she did best.

If I now think about the two solid days that film crew spent at the conference and boat trip, I can't help but think these guys just had two free days out on the QE2 Story Forum. I think there was probably an accumulation of 45 seconds worth from the second day - and that was mainly the interview with the couple done with the crane in the background. The other shot was about 3 or 4 seconds over the stern to the crane with the Cunard flag in shot. Nothing whatsoever from the conference and no mention of the QE2 Story either.

Speaking to George the other night at the exhibition, he said the crew were at his house for 6 hours. I made a point of timing his clip - 10 seconds.
The other interviews, I assume, were a significant intrusion of time in folk's homes for relatively little footage.

I was really looking forward to the documentary as I was sure there was going to be lots of coverage of the Conference and hearing people's individual stories.

What a travesty!!!!

Anyone could  have put 75% of that program together simply by trawling through archives.

I wanted the personal touch. I wanted to see parts of the conference. I wanted to hear real people's stories so that people watching the program could see there were real, ordinary people involved with the great ship.

From that point of view, the documentary fell far short of expectations.

Rant over!

Offline pete cain

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #103 on: Feb 16, 2018, 08:01 PM »
I've got to say, I repeat my original comment of 'I like it', but that does come with some  caveats.
  I Love the Launch images from on board (never seen before- -by me at least),  anything concerning QE2 has me a  weak at the knees, so, all those ariel shots (many out  of time  synch, but what ever) go down well  in the cain household,  because they show her at her best.

    So we have to ask ourselves here, was this a cheap production, as in pay the royalties for some nice pics, show the workers at their worst (they are always cannon fodder anyway), & be lazy in the follow up.
  What  this was  : an utterly  wasted opportunity to celebrate QE2 & ask a gathering of people who BY THE WAY will never be in the same place again to offer their views of QE2    'the enigma'.   As to what she (still) holds over the people on this side of the world who have encountered her & why.
  Maybe not cheap but in my opinion incredibly lazy.

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #104 on: Feb 17, 2018, 02:11 AM »
I think they panicked early on, because they couldn't film on board the actual subject in question hence the ridiculous number of unused hours of film shot, and people's time wasted.

Early on when they asked if they'd be able to film on board and I said no, I followed it up with "but that hasn't stopped lots of films being made about titanic.

It all just smacks of complete incompetence.

Are you sure the footage of the couple at the titan crane was shot at our event? To me it looked like it had been shot at some other time.
« Last Edit: Feb 17, 2018, 09:09 AM by Rob Lightbody »
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Offline Pete Hamill

Re: Channel 5 Documentary: QE2 -The World's greatest cruise ship
« Reply #105 on: Feb 17, 2018, 09:12 AM »
Rob, I must admit that I assumed it was shot at our event, although thinking back, the weather maybe didn't quite match!

That makes it even worse in that case - about 3 seconds from the two days!