June 2020
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Ahoy from the QE2 Story
In this month's packed newsletter :

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QE2's Trafalgar Years

It was on 30 June 1971 that Trafalgar House made a bid for Cunard.  But, it was not until the following month that a price was agreed at a meeting in Nice, between Nigel Broackes from Trafalgar House and Sir Basil Smallpeice from Cunard.  

Trafalgar House bought Cunard for £27.3 million and acquired assets of £39 million.  The last board meeting of Cunard as an independent company took place on 25 August 1971. Source: The Story of Cunard's 175 Years

In 1970 Cunard had commissioned consultants McKinsey and Company to review the company's prospectives.  The McKinsey report was very critical of the prospects for QE2 and the recommendation was to lay up the ship, thankfully advice Cunard choose to ignore.   
Photo: Michael Gallagher collection
However, as the new owners knew that changes would need to be made, they commissioned a survey to look at service improvements and how the ship could be reconfigured to generate more profit. The result was substantial changes to QE2 during the 1972 refit. Penthouse accommodation with first class dining was added to attract passengers who were willing to pay a premium price.  A casino was added and the shopping arcade was moved to the Double-up room, so as to be more visible and to encourage spending. Galleys for each restaurant resulted in further changes, including the loss of  the Look-out Bar, which became the Britannia Restaurant Galley. 

Photo: Michael Gallagher collection
You can read the more details of the 1972 refit in the QE2 refit 13 October to 7 November 1972 topic.  

Many key events happened during Trafalgar House's ownership of QE2, which are captured in the QE2 Service Life topics for 1970's, 1980's and 1990's

Did you know that Trafalgar House planned for a replacement for QE2 in the late 1980's?  The "Concepts to Replace QE2 - Q5 and SWIFT" topic has interesting information on the subject, which I am sure you will enjoy reading.

1996:  Following the sale of Trafalgar House to Kvaerner, Cunard and the QE2 were transferred to the Norwegian company and on 3 April 1998 Carnival Corporation purchased Cunard for $500 million.

 Silver Anniversary Portraits


QE2's 8 - 13 May 1994 Southampton to New York crossing was designated as her official Silver Anniversary Crossing to mark the 25th Anniversary of her first crossing to New York (2 - 7 May 1969).

The Central Office of Information sent a photographer (Alan Chandler) on that voyage and below are some portraits he captured - of Commodore Bil Warwick who was sailing with his son Ron. And of Commodore Burton-Hall who was in command that trip.

See more fantastic photos posted in the Silver Anniversary Portraits topic

Photographer: Alan Chandler

Crew News

The forum has dedicated topic board areas for QE2 crew and workers, where there is a fantastic collection of stories, photos and memories. But we would love to read more of your memories! Please have a look at the crew topics on the forum and add your memories.

Specific crew topic boards include:
Photo: Willum
Each month I will post Crew News with links to topics where you have posted your memories. Here are some of the posts for June:

The Radio Room - take time to read and re-read this fantastic topic

Death of Captain Arnott - CasinoChris remembers the Captain's surprise visit to the Casino Cash Room.  Read why Captain was not amused!

If you are a QE2 Crew member and would like to write a short article for the newsletter Crew News section, please send me a Message or contact me at 


A Royal connection:

Trivia: When HM Queen Elizabeth II launched QE2 she used the same gold scissors to cut the ribbon to release the wine, as was used by her mother Queen Elizabeth to launch RMS Queen Elizabeth in 1938 and her grandmother to launch RMS Queen Mary in 1934

Q: Which royal sailed on QE2 when she left Clydebank in 1968?
A: QE2 Clydebank to Inchgreen Drydock 1968 Pathe Film

Q:  Where could you find the Queen Mary collection on QE2
A: Have a look at this Heritage Trail topic for the answer

Q: In which QE2 restaurant did the Queen dine when she visited the ship in Southampton in May 1969?
A: Read the story of her visit and find the answer

Q: Can you name the artists that made the Queens Room bust of HM Queen Elizabeth II
A: You can find the answer on this topic

Q: Where can you find more information on British Royal Family visits to QE2?
A: You can find lots of information on the British Royal family visits and reviews topic

Trivia:  27 July 1990: Royal review of Cunard and Royal Navy ships at Spithead by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on board Royal Yacht Britannia. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh transferred to QE2 by Royal Barge. The Queen then became the first reigning monarch to sail on a commercial liner with passengers. 


Twinkle asked the questions: “Who designed the Captain’s Cabin and whether it was always the same?”  On the Captain's Cabin (and invites) topic we find out that Dennis Lennon designed the cabin free of charge as a gift to Cunard and that the initial planned layout was very different. 

Photo: Michael Gallagher

....while self isolating

Consider writing a review on "Maiden Voyage" Notes from a Ship's Harpist by Sarah Deere-Jones 

The QE2 ship's harpist, Sarah Deere-Jones, is giving Forum members the opportunity to listen free of charge to the first three chapters of her book, "Maiden Voyage", in which she writes about her very first encounter with the QE2 and her time on board for a world cruise, playing her classical harp for the passengers. Isabelle has uploaded these chapters here as a taster.

The remaining audio chapters, or the .pdf copy of the book, complete with illustrations, can be purchased for £8 by following the link on the topic to Sarah's website

Find out more about the life of a musician on board, with its own joys and complications, its occasionally hilarious meetings, and travel vicariously on a QE2 World Cruise!

RMS Britannia and Persia Models


Bob C asked forum members to help identify a model ship that had been located in the Britannia Restaurant in the early years of QE2’s service life.   Through the knowledge of forum members the answer was found.  See the discussion in the RMS Britannia and Persia Models topic

Photo: Bob C

QE2 Photo Topics


Photo: Theatre Bar

Rob continues to upload the QE2 images from the slides he rescued last year.  The latest batch of photos appear to be from the technical trials of 23 December 1968 to 2 January 1969.  


Photo: Technical Trials Safety Drill

The QE2 Story Gallery has a fantastic range of photos that have been posted by our members, including the rescued QE2 slide collection and the Brian Price collection of slides.

Photo: Brian Price collection 

Photo Competition

The competition album is open and ready for your three entries to the June photo competition Surprise (see how to enter). The prize, for this month's winner is the book The Story of Saga Rose and Saga Ruby donated by Isabelle Prondzynski or a jigsaw of the winning photo, donated by June Ingram.  

There are some interesting entries so far and as the theme is open to interpretations we are expecting some surprisingly good photos. Have a look at your QE2 photos and choose the three best pictures that fit the theme.  We really would appreciate your support. Deadline for entries is 30 June 2020. 
Photo: Frazscot

Voting for your three favourite photos is easy and fun!  The May competition "QE2's Final Calls"  has so many excellent photos that we hope you will take time to enjoy viewing the pictures and vote before the poll closes on 1 July 2020.

The April competition winning photo was Bob C's photo "Double Room Tea Time on the Upper Deck 1969." The runners up were Isabelle Prondzynski's photo "Sunshine and Shadows" and another of Bob C's pictures "Theatre Bar, Theatre and the Port Side Entrance to the Britannia Restaurant - Upper Deck - 1969"

Have a look at the winning photos in Photo Competition results: 2021 Calendar topic.   

A big thank-you to everyone who supports the photo competition, and for keeping the memory of QE2 alive. 

QE2's June Timeline

QE2 Events, listed in the timeline that happened in the month of June  

10 to 27 June 1983: Hull repainted back to black during the unscheduled refit
1 June 1970: QE2 crossed the Atlantic westbound in a record time of 3 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes, an average speed of 30.4 knots'* Transatlantic crossings times, records and speeds
11 June 1982: QE2 ended her longest non-stop voyage, having sailed for 6,976 miles from South Georgia.
11 June 1992: QE2's Echo Engine ripped itself to pieces.
12 June 1993: Prince Edward lunches on board to celebrate 40 years since his mother ascended the throne.
14 June 1995: QE2 set sail from New York on her 1000th voyage 
14 June 2002: Baroness Thatcher on board - 20th anniversary of Falklands conflict 
14 June 2009: QE2 Stationary in Dubai for 200 days
15 June 1991: Prince Edward and the Duke of Edinburgh attend a Royal Ball aboard QE2 in Southampton
15 June 1994: takes part in Spithead review in honour of the 50th anniversary of D Day with Vera Lynn and Bob Hope
18 June 2007: Cunard stuns with the surprise announcement that QE2 has been sold for $100 million to Dubai interests. Dubai soon announces vague plans for QE2 as a luxury hotel and shopping attraction, plus heritage museum, at the same time stating their intention to restore QE2 to her original 1969 appearance. 
20 June 1975: QE2 offers medical assistance to a sick seaman from the Russian fishing trawler “Luga”. We are Cunard mention.
23 June 2002 : Escape of steam and hot water on board QE2 in mid Atlantic resulting in one fatality
26 June 2002: QE2 departs Southampton carrying a Maybach car to its world premiere in New York
26 June 1970: QE2's First Rescue at sea when Spanish Fisherman Jesus Ferreira, onboard the German Motor Vessel Zosmarr, required medical assistance
26 June 2007: A series of Farewell voyages is announced by Cunard
26 June 1983: QE2 abandoned her post Falklands pebble grey colours and returns to the more traditional Cunard colours
30 June 1971: Trafalgar House purchases Cunard for 27.3 million pounds.

See the timeline for full month by month list.  


Forum News

We send out this monthly newsletter to forum members, plus people who have subscribed directly through Mailchimp.  We hope you enjoy reading it and we would love to hear from you at if you have any suggestions for future articles or improvements you would like to suggest.
Thank-you for your continued support for the QE2 Story Forum.  We know how special the ship is to everyone onboard the forum and we appreciate the contributions that are made to keep her memory alive.

Best Wishes

Lynda Bradford and the QE2 Story Team
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