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Hello to all our newsletter recipients

As we approach the end of March, wherever you live in the World, there is no doubt that in the last year your life will have been affected, in some way by the Covid-19 crisis.  

The QE2 Story has been a bit of a haven for QE2 enthusiasts not only keeping the interest in QE2 alive through sharing our memories, but also having fun participating in the many topics from QE2's Design, Concept and Build through to her new life as the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel in Dubai.  

Forum members have uploaded pictures to the photo gallery, helping to generate more memories, not only of QE2 but also of The QE2 Story Get Togethers that we hope can resume once Coronavirus restrictions allow.

We have enjoyed the discussions on The impact Coronavirus has had on the Cruise Industry  and our thoughts have very much been with the ship's crew, whose livelihood depends on the cruising industry.   
Many forum members are looking forward to cruising restarting and questions like Cruising and Coronavirus how to get going again? or Would you go on a post pandemic mega cruise? have been discussed.

The development and roll out of a vaccine is giving us hope of a "light at the end of the tunnel" However vaccinating the World's population will take time, as will returning to some sort of normal.  While we wait, we hope you continue to enjoy participating in the discussion forum and reading our newsletters.

Lynda Bradford

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The Original Grill Room Restaurant

Original Grill Restaurant

Dennis Lennon designed the original 100 seat, Grill Room, situated Portside, forward of the Columbia Restaurant, on Quarter Deck.  The fact that the restaurant was accessed via a spiral staircase from the Grill Bar on Deck One, gave the impression of an exclusive dining experience.  

Photo: Grill Bar 

The plush plum panelling on the walls, plum leather covering on the original Mies van der Rohe chairs, a distinctive aluminium ceiling, and pink table linen added to the rich atmosphere of the restaurant. Diners could not help but be mesmerised by the detail of the Janine Janette "Four Elements" statues, placed at the four corners of the middle area.  

Image showing the detail of the statues and the Mies van Der Rohe chairs

The addition of penthouse suites and the creation of the Queen’s Grill restaurant during the 1972 refit resulted in changes to dining arrangements.  It was at this time that the Grills Restaurant was incorporated into the Columbia Restaurant.  Changes were made to the decor to provide a continuous design theme throughout the restaurant, including the Mies van der Rohe chairs, which were upholstered in cream fabric.  Two of the four Janine Janet statues from the old Grill Room (‘Air’ and ‘Water’) were re-located to the central area of the Columbia Restaurant.

It was at this time that the Robert Heritage "Race" Chairs were introduced into the space and like the Mies van Der Rohe chairs they were upholstered in cream.  You can read more about the introduction of the "Race" chairs to the Grill Room/Princess Grill and the changes to upholstery.  

If you have photos that show the restaurant or either of these chairs, please take time to post on the forum or the Restaurants Album in the Gallery.  

During the 1976 refit the area was transformed into the new Princess Grill restaurant with Dennis Lennon once more responsible for the design.  

Photography Department Photo1982

 A third Grill Room, the Princess Grill II, was constructed during the 1990 refit in the space formerly occupied by a Columbia Restaurant annexe, directly opposite the existing Princess Grill.  "A new staircase entrance to the Grill was built leading down from a new lounge built on Upper deck above.”

However, the naming  of the two restaurants, Princess Grill I and Princess Grill II caused confusion, which led to the renaming of the Starboard restaurant - The Britannia Grill

If you have dined in the Princess Grill you will enjoy this You Tube video of a walk through the Princess Grill and down the spiral stairs to the Grill Lounge - enjoy!

Although the original Grills Restaurant was short lived, the concept of this exclusive restaurant remained as the Princess Grill and was a favourite of many passengers, throughout the ship's service life.  

Photos (1 to 3): Michael Gallagher collection

QE2's Stairways to Paradise

The shipyard workers constructing QE2 in the 1960's could have adopted George Gershwin's song "I'll build a stairway to paradise" for QE2 was a paradise at sea and the stairways gave access throughout this heavenly ship.  
Photo: Michael Gallagher collection

Do you know that there is a dedicated forum topic for each stairway with photos, information and even a count of the number of stairs? What's not to like about taking a tour of every QE2 Stairway from A to H and reliving the memory.  

A Stairway        
                 B Stairway        
                                  C Stairway           
                                                   D Stairway   D Stairway1992
                                                                                                E Stairway          
                                                                                                                 F Stairway  
                                                                                                                                 G Stairway        
                                                                                                                                                  H Stairway        

 QE2 Stairways and Lifts

QE2 Ship's Guide 1977: Note the colour coding of stairways

The topics also have details of how the class system on the ship influenced the design of the stairways: 

"When being designed as a three-class vessel G stairway was for Cabin Class passengers and was designed to take passengers from the main Cabin Class deck Verandah (Upper) down to Cabin Class accommodation. The stairway did not include the Tourist Deck (Boat). This was corrected in the 1994 refit when G Stairway was extended to included Boat Deck."  Source: Michael Gallagher

In the Other Public Areas Gallery Album there are lots of fabulous photos of QE2's stairways if you care to scroll through the pictures.

Crew News

This photo take by John Grace, looks like the crew were having a lot of fun, taking a boat ride in Bangkok.  John says that Bob Cobain took the helm from the boat owner, in front is Phil Avery and behind him is Martin Harrison.  
John told me that "the trip after we left Singapore was something .... we ended up in Kanchanaburi .... of the famed Bridge Over the River Khwai fame ...... it was also very sobering as it is a place where there are numerable war graves .... so many young men ..."

The forum Gallery has albums for Crew Memories waiting for you to share your QE2 crew photo memories.  We also enjoy reading your stories on the Officers, Crew and Workers topics.
Virtual QE2 Model

Bob C continues to amaze us with the work he is doing to recreate QE2's original interior.  

He invites us to have a virtual walk up the Double Room Staircase for our (nostalgic) enjoyment. 

The number of Calendars ordered from Lulu and Vistaprint add up to a successful venture, which is thanks to Isabelle for her work to produce the Calendars and managing the Vistaprint orders.

Bringing the Calendar exercise to a close Isabelle says:  "It was fun preparing four different calendars, and I shall be happy to do the same thing again at the end of this year." She also reminds us that the Calendars are still available, and that both printers offer discounts regularly, a fitting present  for someone's birthday or other celebration.
We cannot underestimate the huge commitment that Isabelle has made producing the calendars, so I hope you will join me in thanking her for her work, which keeps the memory of QE2 alive and gives us joy, as we turn each Calendar page.  

You can see Calendar pictures in the QE2 Story Gallery

Photo Competition Fast Links

Enjoy taking a little time to choose your three favourite pictures from the 23 fabulous photos entered for the February competition.
Photos should be taken during QE2's service life, within the ship or from shoreside, in public rooms or in the cabins. You should be in the picture, together with some part, large or small, of QE2.

The prize for the winner of the March competition is a set of Cunard 175 year celebration posters.

Have a look at the instructions, and enter your three best photos that meet the theme. 

Photos entered must be your own, or if not, please mention the name of the photographer for copyright reasons, and so that the owner can win the prize!

The Photo Competition will have been running for ten years in May, thanks to everyone who has participated.

Look out for more details next month, of a special competition theme and prize, to celebrate this anniversary.


Accidents and mishaps at sea

On 23 March, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) reported that a mega container ship MV Ever Given, ran aground at the southern end of the Suez Canal, blocking traffic transversing the Canal.  As longer vessels need permission from the SCA to enter the canal, the 400 metre, 224,000 ton Ever Given would come into this category.

Source: BBC - Marine 24 March 2021 9.55 

You can follow the discussion and post information on the impact of this current situation on the Accidents and mishaps at sea topic.

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