Author Topic: Queen Elizabeth Memories  (Read 13644 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jeff Taylor

Queen Elizabeth Memories
« on: Aug 30, 2009, 08:25 PM »
Part 1: Back in 1967 when I was in college my father decided that we should do the "grand European tour" before I was out of the house and on to the business of making a living.  He had done the same thing with his father when he graduated from college and, in fact, traveled one way on the Normandie and returned on the maiden voyage of the Nieu Amsterdam ('38).  As an aside, he loved the Nieu Amsterdam and didn't care for the Normandie.  I shared my plans with my neighbor who was a regular Queen Ship passenger, along with her son who lived in London.  She told me I must share my plans so that she could give me a letter of introduction to Geoffrey Marr (Commodore, QE), or "that rascal" Treasure-Jones (John, Captain QM).  Well, by the time the trip happened it was 1968--the Mary was gone and the Elizabeth was nearing its end.  At the end of our trip we boarded the QE, and after walking around the ship, I was amazed to find the lugggage in my cabin and my suit, shirt, and a tie already laid out for dinner!  This was still the era of an all-Britiish crew and in first class the service was impeccable.  All went well for the first day at sea, and that evening my tux was laid out for the Commodore's reception, so I took my letter and stood in line to shake hands with Commodore Marr.  When I handed him the letter he looked at the return address on the envalope, tucked it in his pocket, and said "Oh darling Elizabeth--how kind of her to think of me".  I assumed that was that, but the following day there was an invitation to cocktails at his cabin followed by dinner.   MORE TO FOLLOW
« Last Edit: Aug 31, 2009, 04:14 PM by Jeff Taylor »

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #1 on: Aug 30, 2009, 08:34 PM »
PART 2:  The next night was extremely pleasurable--wonderful food and wine, good conversation, and even an invitation to the Veranda Grill for a nightcap.  Commodore Marr soon excused himself, but before doing so pulled me aside and asked if I could be in my cabin at 10:00 asm the following day--no further explanation.  At 10 am sharp there was a knock on my door, and a junior officer asked me to follow him to the bridge where I was to join the Coommodore.  He showed me all around the bridge, the chart room, the radar and Decca, and all of the fire and watertight door controls, and then asked a favor--would I be kind enough to relieve the Quartermaster for a few moments so he could get some tea.  Speechless I was shown where to stand, how to hold the wheel, and told to steer a straight course.  Mind you, this was at 170 some revs, around 28 kts, and on the North Atlantic.  Naturally there was a competent helmsman by my side at all times, but what an experience.  My strongest recollection was that the ship tended to hunt from Port to Starboard, and any correction I made only made matters worse, but we survived my 2-3 minutes ast the wheel.  After that, I got a tour of the working alleyway, the galleys and stores, and one engine room.  After that it was a normal crossing except that the head dining room steward always came to the table one meal in advance and made suggestions for the following meal which were decidedly not on the menu (oysters, chateaubriand, baked Alaska,etc).    MORE TO FOLLOW.
« Last Edit: Aug 31, 2009, 04:17 PM by Jeff Taylor »

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #2 on: Aug 30, 2009, 08:39 PM »
PART 3:  This was one of those money losing crossing at the end, when there were only a few hundred passengers, and first class was mostly comprised of Cunard management on vacation junkets, but I will never forget it even though we came into New York with a decided list because they didn't want to ballast down, and for the only warm day of the crossing we couldn't use the pool because someone had left the steam valve on and it was over 100 decrees fahrenheit!

I shared this store with Commodore Ron Warwick and his lovely wife Kim at dinner one night and it apparently had special significance to him as he had buiried Geoffrey Marr's ashes at sea and knew him well (even though Marr thought he should have been entitled to QE2 which Bil Warwick got instead!).  The only real connection to QE2 was that the Staff Captain for this crossing was Larry Portet, who went on to command QE2 briefly.  It was a special time which will never come again.  My apologies for going on at such length.
« Last Edit: Aug 31, 2009, 04:17 PM by Jeff Taylor »

Offline Chris

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #3 on: Aug 31, 2009, 06:28 AM »
He showed me all around the bridge, the chart room, the radar and Decca, and all of the fire and watertight door controls, and then asked a favor--would I be kind enough to relieve the Quartermaster for a few moments so he could get some tea.  Speechless I was shown where to stand, how to hold the wheel, and told to steer a straight course. 

That must have been a tremendous feeling!
🎥 Check out my QE2 & Cruise Ship Videos: https://www.youtube.com/chrisframeofficial/

Scott

  • Guest
Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #4 on: Sep 10, 2009, 06:46 PM »
Thanks so much for sharing these memories!

Offline Jem

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #5 on: Sep 24, 2009, 05:52 PM »
Jeff, that was great to read. Imagine having steered one of the Cunard greats!

Cheers.

Online cunardqueen

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #6 on: Sep 24, 2009, 07:55 PM »
Jeff
 A great story from yesteryear, keep them coming !!!
 Myles
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline jdl

  • Britannia Grill Diner
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
  • Total likes: 14
  • Sorry its not a picture of me and QE2!
Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #7 on: Oct 15, 2009, 11:11 AM »
Jeff,

Great story and insight into the dark days when the Queens were running at an eye watering loss each day of operation - it certainly supports the vision of cunards management in laying down the QE2's keel.

jdl

Offline hollihedge

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #8 on: Oct 15, 2009, 02:08 PM »
Very interesting story Jeff
Gill

Offline Andrew Collier

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #9 on: Oct 17, 2009, 02:19 PM »
Wow, thats a fantastic story Jeff, an experience of a lifetime, I can only imagine how it must have felt, thank you very much for sharing.

Cheers, Andrew
The Virtual Staff Captain

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #10 on: Oct 18, 2009, 10:02 PM »
Wish I could do it again now--still it's fun to watch the bridge on QM2 from the mini-gallery open except for docking and undocking.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #11 on: Oct 17, 2010, 02:04 PM »
I am having a day reading some of the RMS Queen Elizabeth stories today and I  enjoyed reading your story Jeff.  You were so lucky, not only to have travelled on this magnificent ship but to have done so in style in first class accommodation.  There cannot be many people who had the opportunity to "steer a straight course" on any ship let alone one of the famous Queens. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #12 on: Oct 17, 2010, 03:57 PM »
...if only I could steer a straight course!  My only consolation is that I recently saw a documentary on one of the Nimitz carriers, and the poor helmsman was CONSTANTLY turning the wheel back and forth to maintain a straight heading, so I guess it's endemic to the process.  All I know was that I couldn't master it in the few minutes I had on the wheel.  On the minus side, I have to admit that the wooden horse races, mid-day BBC radio broadcasts, and the morning Hammond organ concerts in the grand salon with the constant LOUD creaking of the ship and the swaying of the long drapes as she pitched fall a bit short of the entertainment possibilities on QM2.  Time marches on.

Offline Janice Naylor

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #13 on: Oct 17, 2010, 04:08 PM »
Hi - I'm a new member of this site and just read your first comments:  Steering the QE, what a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Having the opportunity to read stories like yours make this site unique.  So glad I found it.

Janice
Whenever I hear a sea story I think of the first time I saw the QE2 and the great adventures that followed.

Offline No 736

Re: Queen Elizabeth Memories
« Reply #14 on: Nov 04, 2010, 07:41 PM »
Hi - I'm a new member of this site and just read your first comments:  Steering the QE, what a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Having the opportunity to read stories like yours make this site unique.  So glad I found it.

Janice

Hello, Like you Janice,  I have just joined the site and its great to start exploring so many peoples stories and memories of the great Cunarders.
Steve S.

 

Queen Victoria - Iberian Serenade 11/11/12

Started by CAPBoard Past Events

Replies: 2
Views: 1774
Last post Oct 22, 2012, 08:00 PM
by LegendOfTheSeas
Queen Victoria Suite

Started by Michael GallagherBoard QE2 Hotel Dubai (2018 onwards)

Replies: 6
Views: 416
Last post Oct 25, 2020, 04:47 PM
by Andy Holloway
Queen Mary reopens

Started by Rob LightbodyBoard RMS Queen Mary (1936)

Replies: 17
Views: 2881
Last post Aug 30, 2023, 02:56 AM
by Chris
Live from Queen Victoria, World Cruise 2014

Started by TwynkleBoard The Cruise Queens (QV, QE & QA)

Replies: 8
Views: 4925
Last post Sep 01, 2014, 04:13 PM
by Twynkle
Makeover for Queen Mary

Started by cunardqueenBoard RMS Queen Mary (1936)

Replies: 2
Views: 1170
Last post Aug 13, 2016, 09:35 AM
by Bruce Nicholls