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Author Topic: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)  (Read 825 times)

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Offline Allan Holmes

Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« on: Apr 11, 2019, 11:29 PM »
Hi. Just joined today after accidentally finding the site. My name is Allan Holmes. I joined QE2 as first Radio Officer in September 1968 at John Brown's Yard and went through all the trials and tribulations. I left QE2 as Chief Radio Officer into retirement in August 1992. During my time on board I was elected Wardroom President and met some wonderful people amongst both crew and passengers. Look forward to having a few chats with old friends.
« Last Edit: Apr 12, 2019, 01:24 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #1 on: Apr 12, 2019, 12:14 AM »
Hello Allan,

Great to see you here! I am sure you will find some old friends and shipmates here and some great memories too. You saw QE2 through interesting times, and I look forward to reading some of your stories!

What was it like to join QE2 while she was still being finished? Did you have a say in choosing the radio equipment for the ship?

We are planning an event to celebrate QE2's maiden Atlantic crossing, and if you are anywhere within reach of Glasgow, you might like to participate, as you will remember this from personal experience!

I hope you will enjoy the Forum -- you will definitely meet lots of friendly members here!
« Last Edit: Apr 12, 2019, 07:03 AM by Rob Lightbody »

Offline Allan Holmes

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #2 on: Apr 12, 2019, 12:30 AM »
Hi Isabelle. Arrived on board in September 68 expecting the ship to be nearly finished. What a shock to find such a total mess. The Radio Room was nowhere near completion as the builders (I.M.R.) seemed to be on a go-slow!. We had a specialist adviser named Colonel Hornby, an ex soldier who thought he knew something about maritime radio. Alas, he fell short in many ways. The ship moved down the Clyde to Greenock for dry-docking on November 19th and we had to receive messages of congratulation from various dignitaries, however the Radio Room was still in construction and we had to use our emergency installation to receive them. What a struggle. Anyway, more later with some R/O names. Cheers
« Last Edit: Apr 12, 2019, 01:25 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #3 on: Apr 12, 2019, 01:32 AM »
Anyway, more later with some R/O names. Cheers

You may be interested in this list, in which your own name appears :) :

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?topic=7173.0

Offline Rod

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #4 on: Apr 12, 2019, 01:58 AM »
Hi Allan,
Welcome!

Offline Jim Bennett

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #5 on: Apr 12, 2019, 08:47 AM »
Hi Allan - welcome to the forum! I remember you well. Happy days in the wardy enjoying a pint and a chinwag after work. I trust you are keeping well and enjoying retirement. All the best!

Jim

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #6 on: Apr 12, 2019, 10:07 AM »
Hello Allan, welcome and thanks for posting your introduction.  Looking forward hearing more about your time on QE2.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #7 on: Apr 12, 2019, 03:38 PM »
Hi Allan -

Welcome to The QE2 Story Forum.  We are delighted you have found The Forum and very much look forward to hearing more about your time on QE2.  Having worked on QE2 for a considerable length of time, you have seen her through a good part of her time at sea.

Please tell us more as you can and I hope you have some photos.  I am sure you will meet up with many you know here on The Forum and make new friends too !

June   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #8 on: Apr 12, 2019, 03:43 PM »
Hi Allan, I was looking at the Radio Room topic so that I could add a link for you to read and noticed that your name is mentioned by Blue Sparky, who describes you as a "big gruff man from Blackburn" We need to contact him to let him know you have joined the forum. 

Quote
I joined the old girl on 6th October 1988.  On being shown my cabin on the boat deck which I shared with my oppo, stowing my bags, I was taken down to the radio room to meet the boss Allan Holmes, a big gruff man from Blackburn.

He welcomed me and showed me the main stuff in the radio room.  As a bright eyed, fresh out of radio college lad, I was struck by the relative age of the equipment and the Heath Robinson approach to installation!  I later come to learn that was the way it was done by Radio and Electronic services!


See more on the Radio Room topic: https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?topic=4087.msg60691#msg60691
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Allan Holmes

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #9 on: Apr 12, 2019, 04:16 PM »
Hi. Tell Blue Sparky I remember him arriving on board and showing him around. There was quite a lot to take in but he did OK. Didn't realise that I was "Big and gruff!". My wife agrees with him!. Now, fast approaching 85, I'm not quite so big but possibly still as gruff.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #10 on: Apr 12, 2019, 04:25 PM »
Hi. Tell Blue Sparky I remember him arriving on board and showing him around. There was quite a lot to take in but he did OK. Didn't realise that I was "Big and gruff!". My wife agrees with him!. Now, fast approaching 85, I'm not quite so big but possibly still as gruff.

Brilliant!

I have sent a message to Blue Sparky to let him know you have joined the forum, so here's hoping he joins in the discussion on this topic. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Allan Holmes

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #11 on: Apr 12, 2019, 04:32 PM »
With regard to the Radio staff. There were the initial "gang of four", Don Butterworth, myself, David Wayne and Roger Latham. We were all from the "Brocklebank" subsidiary of Cunard and fresh from cargo ships. Cunard had asked Brocks to supply R/O's for the Carmania and Franconia and the new Queen, which had,as yet, not been launched or named. I eventually left "Samaria" in April 1968 and the four of us went on a grand tour of inspection round the suppliers of radio and radar kit to the new queen. QE2 had been launched at 3pm on the 20th of September 67, and our daughter arrived into the world 15 hours later on the 21st. We didn't call her Elizabeth by the way. Two further Radio Officers arrived to make up the complement of six. They were Gordon Fry and Clive Russell. More names to add to Willum's list. The only one of us with passenger ship experience was Clive, so we relied on him heavily in the early days. More to come after a brew.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #12 on: Apr 14, 2019, 10:31 AM »
With regard to the Radio staff. There were the initial "gang of four", Don Butterworth, myself, David Wayne and Roger Latham. ..............Two further Radio Officers arrived to make up the complement of six. They were Gordon Fry and Clive Russell. More names to add to Willum's list. The only one of us with passenger ship experience was Clive, so we relied on him heavily in the early days. More to come after a brew.

Thanks for the information Allan, I have added Gordon and Clive to Willum's list
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Willum

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Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #13 on: Apr 14, 2019, 12:53 PM »
Big Gruff Man from Blackburn, certainly not, how dare you, he's the Big Gruff Man from Accrington. - Hi Allan!

Offline BlueSparky

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #14 on: Apr 15, 2019, 10:04 AM »
Hello Allan, good to hear you!  Apologies about the gruff comment, wasnt meant as a slight on your impeccable character!

Good but albeit too short a time on the QE2. The RFA just wasnt the same.  Ended up swallowing the anchor and working in teaching then radio engineering in UK and latterly in New Zealand where we moved 12 years ago.
Now running a small business of our own.
Our kids are now grown and “soaring with the eagles” as you once quoted on the card on my desk one morning! (Our daughter works for Air NZ!). Clever chap that Confucius 🤒

And I still have that ITT Marine key that you gave me to clean up.

Anyhow, sounds like the board meeting is over and wife is shortly to arrive.

All the best from north island of NZ.

Steve

Offline BlueSparky

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2019, 02:59 AM »
I think you may remember this passage Allan, it was the one from Boston to Southampton (as on YouTube) when we had that massive amount of radio traffic to clear and eventually a day late in Southampton.




Offline Alan Dutton

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #16 on: Aug 03, 2020, 09:08 PM »
Hello Allan, was looking at The QE2 story and came a cross your posts.
Was always a pleasure sailing with you, Don Butterworth, Capn Marriott, Chris Connerty, AlanBurbage, Gordon Fry, DeclanI think, Willum and many others.
Have been in the States these last 40 years but still stay in touch with a lot of shipmates.
All the best
Alan Dutton

Offline Roger Latham

Re: Allan Holmes (Radio Officer 1968 - 1992)
« Reply #17 on: Aug 09, 2020, 06:55 AM »
Hi Allan.  I was only thinking the other day as to whether you were still around!  I had not viewed this area with your comments here before. Like you age is creeping up on me!  There seems to be always other things to do and think about as you get older and realise not too many years left to do them!

I have cruised a lot as paying passenger and still enjoy voyages but my wings are now clipped in that area with Covid19!

You mentioned radio room staff on the early voyages.  Persons not mentioned in the radio room during the maiden voyages were our delightful typists who came into help out with the teleprinter traffic.  I think there were two ladies but I only have the name of one of them - Josephine Smith from Gosport.  Why I know her name is that she wrote it in my QE2 teledex when I left!!

Regards from Tasmania
Roger Latham