Author Topic: Memories of QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing  (Read 4118 times)

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Offline southfielddane

Memories of QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« on: Aug 23, 2009, 08:21 PM »
In October 2008 My wife and I sailed on the final Round Britain cruise of the QE2. We stayed at Southampton to record the final departure westbound in glorious evening sunshine. I uploaded the video to Youtube :

.

This may be of interest to members as it shows the Ventura passing QE2 and finally the exchange of whistles by QE2 & QM2 as the QM2 passed by. All very nostalgic now!
« Last Edit: Feb 06, 2021, 10:00 AM by Lynda Bradford »

Offline southfielddane

Re: Final westbound crossing
« Reply #1 on: Sep 08, 2009, 06:54 PM »
There`s so much to see on this website I`ve only just got round to these pages!
I`ve posted on YouTube the final westbound crossing of QE2 from Southampton so follow this link!
Beautiful late afternoon sunshine shows QE2 at her best.

« Last Edit: Sep 08, 2009, 10:39 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline Twynkle




THank you for posting this video

It is wonderul!
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Kathy M.

Nice video - but what an ugly, hulking thing that Ventura is!!

Offline southfielddane

I agree with what you say about the Ventura! Unfortunately that is the way ship design has gone and the classic ships are fast disappearing.

Offline Kindlychap

I agree with what you say about the Ventura! Unfortunately that is the way ship design has gone and the classic ships are fast disappearing.

Ventura is one of the ugliest of modern ships. There are plenty of far nicer modern ships out there. Nothing truly beautiful in the way of QE2 or the Saga Sisters, but far nicer than Ventura.

Matthew
RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 - Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Offline Beardy Rich

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I enjoyed watching the video clip. The Ventura is UGLY though isn't it? Her whistle sounds as though it's in pain... if it were alive then surely it would be put down! The QE2, of course, is supremely elegant in her looks. The grace and styling flowing from her majestic swept bow all the way to her stern. No comparison. The QE2 whistle... lovely isn't it? The richness of tone and purposeful note announcing her presence with authority. Nulli secundus.
Rich Drayson. Ex Snr Mechanic QE2 1984-1988.

Offline Chris Frame


Vero 45

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 Iam new to this group so Iam posting for the first time. I sailed on that final Westbound crossing and these videos bring back such great memories of that wonderful crossing about the greatest ship in the world! Some of us nicknamed that awful looking Ventura :Her Royal Ugliness"! And listening to those glorous deep throated horns of QE2 compared to the Venturas chirping ones. But after seeing the new NCL Epic which sails today from Rotterdam the Ventura is now the 2nd Ugly cruise ship now.

Offline Scott Ebersold

Here are some pics from onboard that final Southampton departure to New York.

Offline Scott Ebersold

and a few more...

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« Reply #11 on: Jan 21, 2017, 08:10 PM »
We have received this great story from Christopher Wallace aka Clydebuilt2 :

Dear QE2 Forum,
I thought you and your readers would be interested in seeing my favourite photograph of the QE2, taken on 24th of September 1967 at John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland. It shows QE2 lying in the Fitting-Out Basin at John Browns. Her rudder is still visible above the waterline, implying, not much (if anything) had been installed in her. I am standing in the wheat field opposite the Basin, in what was/is? Old Mains Farm, beside my three brothers and my Uncle James N. Wallace. I am the wee dark haired boy in the green anorak (without a woollen hat) fourth on the right, with my right arm raised in salute to the QE2.
 
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,6323.msg78578.html#msg78578

I have had an interest in Cunard liners ever since I learned that my paternal grandfather had worked as a riveter at John Brown’s during the building of RMS Queen Mary in the early 1930’s. My Uncle James often told me how - as a fourteen year old boy, he and some school friends cycled from Glasgow to the top of Dumbarton Rock – further down the river - to watch the new Queen Mary sail past, bound for Greenock and her subsequent sea trials, prior to sailing to Southampton for her Maiden Voyage to New York in May 1936.
 
I remember looking at this “real new liner” and saying that when I grew up, I wanted to sail on the QE2 to New York. Forty-one years later my dream came true, on what turned out to be her final westbound crossing to New York in October 2008.
 
As I am on Cunard’s mailing list, I was shocked to receive an email from Cunard in 2007, stating that the QE2 had been sold to a consortium in Dubai! “But I haven’t sailed on her yet!” I panicked. I immediately sent an email to Cunard attempting to book passage on her. I got a reply a few days later from Cunard saying, “Unfortunately QE2 was fully booked, but if they got a cancellation, they would be in touch…”
 
I crossed my fingers (said a lot of prayers!) and waited…
 
My prayers were answered some time later, when I received an email from Cunard, offering me a stateroom on her final westbound crossing to New York. I was a happy and content man! I accepted their offer and began counting the days…
 
As I made plans for the sailing, I compiled a list of what I wanted to see on the QE2.
Top of this list was seeing the “Builders Plate”: which is a plaque stating that the QE2 was “built and engined by John Brown & Company of Clydebank Scotland”. I have seen pictures in books of similar “Builder’s Plates” on her sister ships RMS Queen Mary & RMS Queen Elizabeth, therefore I assumed the QE2 had one also – I just had to find it!
 
Sailing Day - 10th October 2008 finally arrived and my friend Ian and I arrived in Southampton and boarded the QE2. We set sail for New York accompanied by RMS Queen Mary 2 sailing “in tandem” with us.

Once we were unpacked in our cabin or” Stateroom”, we set off to explore the QE2!!
 
I asked almost every member of the crew I met over the next few days if they knew where “The Builders Plate was?” From the Swimming Pool, down on Deck 7, to the Bookshop up on Deck ?, In The Mauritania Restaurant and also in the Yacht Club & Golden Lion Bars. Most of the crew I spoke to didn’t know where it was or hadn’t heard of it. Some suggested I talk to “Jim?” – in the engine room as “he’d been on the ship for over 20 years”. But Jim? was proving a difficult man to find. I even asked “Darius” the Australian Purser late one evening, as I posted my 43 postcards. “That’s a record!” he said. I’ve never seen a passenger post so many postcards on board! The most postcards he’d seen a passenger post were 16.
 
I wasn’t having any luck finding The Builders Plate and by our 5th and final full day at sea, I was resigned to not finding it. However at lunchtime that day, as we walked into the Mauretania Restaurant from a different entrance to the one we normally used, not the Entrance amidships by the lifts, but at the bow end and met Darius? The Maitre D, of the Mauritania Restaurant’s. After a morning of “don’t knows” from crew members I’d met from the stern to the bow, I was feeling less and less hopeful that I would see QE2’s Builder Plate.
 
After saying “Hello to? And briefly chatting with him, I trudged rather despondently to our table. My friend Ian asked “Thingmy”? if he knew where the Builder’s Plate was on the ship? ? replied saying, “that it might be up on the walls around The Officers Ward Room, where there is a framed? from every port the QE2 had visited. Ian asked if we could get into the Ward Room for a look, but Marius answered, that the Ward Room was for officers only. “That’s a pity we can’t get in to have a look,” said Ian pointing to me “It would really make his voyage if he could see the Builder’s Plate”. Marius smiled and said passengers were allowed in “by invitation only” and he then invited us to go with him after lunch to the Officers Ward Room.
 
After lunch, we followed Marius up to the Ward Room and were surprised to see the Ward Room was located on the right hand side of the lift we had used every day to go up to the Mauritania Restaurant! We followed Marius into the room and he pointed out the plaques, which lined the top of every wall in the room. Out of the corner of my eye on my right hand side, I noticed a silver plaque with “Clydebank” on it. I hurried over for a closer look and there it was, the QE2’s Builder’s Plate! It was up on the wall in-between two pictures of The Queen and Prince Phillip and below it on a stand was the huge brass ship’s bell from the RMS Aquitania! Underneath the Aquitania’s bell was a scale brass model of the original (steam plant) QE2 propeller dated 1969.
 
Lots of photographs were taken of the Builders Plate, when Marius told me that there was another’s ship’s bell hanging from the ceiling on the other side of the room. I turned around to look at it and began making my way over for a closer look.
I stopped as I got closer to this other bell and my jaw dropped! Across the front of the bell was the name of the ship the bell came from – “Franconia”.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« Reply #12 on: Jan 21, 2017, 10:41 PM »
What a marvelous account !   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Brandon Sterkel

Re: QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« Reply #13 on: Jan 22, 2017, 06:07 AM »
What a great story to hear!  :)
Queen Elizabeth 2: A 50 Year Legend!

Offline Clydebuilt2

Re: QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« Reply #14 on: Jan 22, 2017, 04:31 PM »
We have received this great story from Christopher Wallace aka Clydebuilt2 :

Dear QE2 Forum,
I thought you and your readers would be interested in seeing my favourite photograph of the QE2, taken on 24th of September 1967 at John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland. It shows QE2 lying in the Fitting-Out Basin at John Browns. Her rudder is still visible above the waterline, implying, not much (if anything) had been installed in her. I am standing in the wheat field opposite the Basin, in what was/is? Old Mains Farm, beside my three brothers and my Uncle James N. Wallace. I am the wee dark haired boy in the green anorak (without a woollen hat) fourth on the right, with my right arm raised in salute to the QE2.
 
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,6323.msg78578.html#msg78578

I have had an interest in Cunard liners ever since I learned that my paternal grandfather had worked as a riveter at John Brown’s during the building of RMS Queen Mary in the early 1930’s. My Uncle James often told me how - as a fourteen year old boy, he and some school friends cycled from Glasgow to the top of Dumbarton Rock – further down the river - to watch the new Queen Mary sail past, bound for Greenock and her subsequent sea trials, prior to sailing to Southampton for her Maiden Voyage to New York in May 1936.
 
I remember looking at this “real new liner” and saying that when I grew up, I wanted to sail on the QE2 to New York. Forty-one years later my dream came true, on what turned out to be her final westbound crossing to New York in October 2008.
 
As I am on Cunard’s mailing list, I was shocked to receive an email from Cunard in 2007, stating that the QE2 had been sold to a consortium in Dubai! “But I haven’t sailed on her yet!” I panicked. I immediately sent an email to Cunard attempting to book passage on her. I got a reply a few days later from Cunard saying, “Unfortunately QE2 was fully booked, but if they got a cancellation, they would be in touch…”
 
I crossed my fingers (said a lot of prayers!) and waited…
 
My prayers were answered some time later, when I received an email from Cunard, offering me a stateroom on her final westbound crossing to New York. I was a happy and content man! I accepted their offer and began counting the days…
 
As I made plans for the sailing, I compiled a list of what I wanted to see on the QE2.
Top of this list was seeing the “Builders Plate”: which is a plaque stating that the QE2 was “built and engined by John Brown & Company of Clydebank Scotland”. I have seen pictures in books of similar “Builder’s Plates” on her sister ships RMS Queen Mary & RMS Queen Elizabeth, therefore I assumed the QE2 had one also – I just had to find it!
 
Sailing Day - 10th October 2008 finally arrived and my friend Ian and I arrived in Southampton and boarded the QE2. We set sail for New York accompanied by RMS Queen Mary 2 sailing “in tandem” with us.

Once we were unpacked in our cabin or” Stateroom”, we set off to explore the QE2!!
 
I asked almost every member of the crew I met over the next few days if they knew where “The Builders Plate was?” From the Swimming Pool, down on Deck 7, to the Bookshop up on Deck ?, In The Mauritania Restaurant and also in the Yacht Club & Golden Lion Bars. Most of the crew I spoke to didn’t know where it was or hadn’t heard of it. Some suggested I talk to “Jim?” – in the engine room as “he’d been on the ship for over 20 years”. But Jim? was proving a difficult man to find. I even asked “Darius” the Australian Purser late one evening, as I posted my 43 postcards. “That’s a record!” he said. I’ve never seen a passenger post so many postcards on board! The most postcards he’d seen a passenger post were 16.
 
I wasn’t having any luck finding The Builders Plate and by our 5th and final full day at sea, I was resigned to not finding it. However at lunchtime that day, as we walked into the Mauretania Restaurant from a different entrance to the one we normally used, not the Entrance amidships by the lifts, but at the bow end and met Darius? The Maitre D, of the Mauritania Restaurant’s. After a morning of “don’t knows” from crew members I’d met from the stern to the bow, I was feeling less and less hopeful that I would see QE2’s Builder Plate.
 
After saying “Hello to? And briefly chatting with him, I trudged rather despondently to our table. My friend Ian asked “Thingmy”? if he knew where the Builder’s Plate was on the ship? ? replied saying, “that it might be up on the walls around The Officers Ward Room, where there is a framed? from every port the QE2 had visited. Ian asked if we could get into the Ward Room for a look, but Marius answered, that the Ward Room was for officers only. “That’s a pity we can’t get in to have a look,” said Ian pointing to me “It would really make his voyage if he could see the Builder’s Plate”. Marius smiled and said passengers were allowed in “by invitation only” and he then invited us to go with him after lunch to the Officers Ward Room.
 
After lunch, we followed Marius up to the Ward Room and were surprised to see the Ward Room was located on the right hand side of the lift we had used every day to go up to the Mauritania Restaurant! We followed Marius into the room and he pointed out the plaques, which lined the top of every wall in the room. Out of the corner of my eye on my right hand side, I noticed a silver plaque with “Clydebank” on it. I hurried over for a closer look and there it was, the QE2’s Builder’s Plate! It was up on the wall in-between two pictures of The Queen and Prince Phillip and below it on a stand was the huge brass ship’s bell from the RMS Aquitania! Underneath the Aquitania’s bell was a scale brass model of the original (steam plant) QE2 propeller dated 1969.
 
Lots of photographs were taken of the Builders Plate, when Marius told me that there was another’s ship’s bell hanging from the ceiling on the other side of the room. I turned around to look at it and began making my way over for a closer look.
I stopped as I got closer to this other bell and my jaw dropped! Across the front of the bell was the name of the ship the bell came from – “Franconia”.

Thank you June & Brandon for your compliments - I really appreciate them...and intend to continue my story in the not to distant future - and that's a promise!
Chris
« Last Edit: Jan 23, 2017, 08:18 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« Reply #15 on: Jan 22, 2017, 10:37 PM »
Can't wait to hear more !   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline pete cain

Re: QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« Reply #16 on: Jan 23, 2017, 08:13 PM »
Real nice story, thanks for telling us, keeping the legend alive with accounts like this, wonder if the bell is still there?

Offline Clydebuilt2

Re: QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« Reply #17 on: Jan 25, 2017, 11:18 AM »
Real nice story, thanks for telling us, keeping the legend alive with accounts like this, wonder if the bell is still there?

Thanks Pete!

The reason "my jaw dropped" when I saw the Franconia's ship's bell, was because my Grandma sailed on the Franconia from Quebec to Liverpool in 1955 after visiting my aunt in Canada, who had sailed on the Aquitania as a "War Bride" in 1947 from Liverpool to Quebec!
So out of over 250 ships (to date, ie 2008) which had sailed under the Cunard flag, here in the Ward Room, two decks below the bridge on the QE2, were the ships bells from ships my Grandma & Aunt actually sailed on!
Blew my mind!!

(Thought I should explain that!) There are a few missing bits of info in this tale which I should have rectified before sending it to Isabelle. Guess I sent it to Isabelle too quickly! Oops!!
Clydebuilt2 aka Chris :)

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« Reply #18 on: Jan 25, 2017, 01:52 PM »
I can see, Chris, how you would have been so impressed.  Very good to hear the details.  June  :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Clydebuilt2

Re: QE2 final westbound Atlantic crossing
« Reply #19 on: Jan 25, 2017, 02:55 PM »
I can see, Chris, how you would have been so impressed.  Very good to hear the details.  June  :)

Thanks June. It certainly caught me off guard! :o

 

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