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Author Topic: 50 Years Ago - HANDOVER  (Read 493 times)

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Online Michael Gallagher

50 Years Ago - HANDOVER
« on: Apr 18, 2019, 07:16 AM »
50 years ago today, on Friday 18 April 1969, QE2 officially became a Cunard ship when she was finally handed over to her owners by a simple exchange of letters between Sir Basil Smallpeice (Cunard Chairman) and Anthony Hepper (Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Chairman) reserving all rights or claims on both sides. Unusually the handing over took place in London at a private ceremony because Sir Basil was “flying out of the country immediately afterwards”.

A list of outstanding items and tests in all areas of the ship was agreed by both Cunard and UCS – it came to 216 pages. These items were progressively rectified throughout 1969 and Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) would pay Cunard £20,000 in November 1969 to be relieved of further responsibility of the work.

The flag raising on board was at first scheduled for 12 noon, the time of the official handing over was to be held in London but because of the delay in the London ceremony the Upper Clyde Shipbuilder’s flag remained in place on QE2 for another hour.

Attending the three-minute ceremony on board QE2 was Captain Warwick who had broken his leave to be with Cunard’s Managing Director John Whitworth and UCS Technical Director John Starks. With three triumphant blasts on her whistle the Cunard flag was hauled up by coxswain Andrew McGregor at 1315 hours as the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders flag – which had flown over QE2 since her arrival in Southampton on 2 January – was lowered.

The Cunard flag would fly above QE2 for the next 14,468 days or 39 years seven months and nine days.

Cunard made a payment of £2,072,000 to UCS in accordance with the agreement signed by both Chairmen that day and UCS paid Cunard £792,000.

The Handover contract also included an agreement reached between Cunard and UCS for the guarantee for QE2’s rudder be extended from the contractual twelve months to five years. Prior to her first sea trials it was discovered that the rudder stock brush had seized during the fitting out and it took prolonged and abortive attempts to remove the brush before the rudder was eventually freed and appeared to be working to the satisfaction of all concerned during trials.

The terms also provided for an extension of the guarantee period in respect of any turbine defects, should the first annual overhaul not take place by 18 April 1970.

On the same day Cunard borrowed from the Board of Trade the remainder of the Government loan (£1.9 million) under the Loan Agreement made in September 1967. This would result in a net inflow of cash to the company of £620,000.

Cunard’s Managing Director in 1969, John Whitworth, proclaimed:

“This is Queen Elizabeth Two year – the most flexible and sophisticated ship ever to come into service. She represents a complete transformation in Cunard thought. We are not decanting old wines into new bottles, but ruthlessly transforming our image from the ‘aspidistra and public bar’ image which the dear old ships have carried since 1840. We are getting rid of the images of “dukes and duchesses” on the other hand, and the “knees Up, Mother Brown” type on the other. We want something more sophisticated but still retaining the Cunard tradition with the same high standards. The Queen Elizabeth Two is something new and exciting for the holiday market, not only of today but of tomorrow.”

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: 50 Years Ago - HANDOVER
« Reply #1 on: Apr 18, 2019, 09:43 AM »
The Glasgow Herald reported on the Handover the following day 19 April 1969 with the Heading "Cunard's Lion Flag on Q.E.2 and they reported "Upper Clyde Shipbuilders formally hand over the Queen Elizabeth 2 Liner to Cunard at a brief ceremony yesterday in London" etc.  ......
https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=h5xAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FqUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1442%2C3470914

Sourc: The Glasgow Herald News Archive
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: 50 Years Ago - HANDOVER
« Reply #2 on: Apr 18, 2019, 10:40 AM »
The Glasgow Herald reported on the Handover the following day 19 April 1969 with the Heading "Cunard's Lion Flag on Q.E.2 and they reported "Upper Clyde Shipbuilders formally hand over the Queen Elizabeth 2 Liner to Cunard at a brief ceremony yesterday in London" etc.  ......
https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=h5xAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FqUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1442%2C3470914

Sourc: The Glasgow Herald News Archive

A bittersweet moment for UCS - sadly they would never build a vessel this size again.....

Great information from Michael and Lynda as always!

Gav

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: 50 Years Ago - HANDOVER
« Reply #3 on: Apr 18, 2019, 02:50 PM »
Another excellent article by Michael -- thank you! And also the additional background from Lynda -- both great additions to this Forum  :) .

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: 50 Years Ago - HANDOVER
« Reply #4 on: Apr 18, 2019, 03:26 PM »
Brilliant stuff - thanks both.

Having been immersed in the epic slide collection - that shows in details the weeks leading up this announcement - really brings it all to life for me.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Online Thomas Hypher

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Re: 50 Years Ago - HANDOVER
« Reply #5 on: Apr 21, 2019, 05:32 PM »
Excellent information and insight, Michael and Lynda  :)
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!