On 20 September 1967; at precisely 14:28 hours, the Queen stepped forward on the launch platform at John Brown's Shipyard and said “I name this ship Queen Elizabeth the Second. May God Bless her. May God Bless her and all who sail in her.”
A memorable moment in the life of a historic ship - the QE2, a ship we all love!
As we continue our virtual Heritage Trail what better place to start than to have a look at the Helena Barynina Hernmarck tapestries commissioned by Cunard to commemorate the ship's launch.
Photo: Rob Lightbody
The three 7 foot by 7 foot tapestries feature different aspects of the ship's launch. One showing the Queen Looking up at the ship with dignitaries behind her.
The second portrayed QE2 slipping into the water
and the third depicted the ship settled into the Clyde with the 736 Squadron flying in anchor formation
Photos: Isabelle Prondzynski
They were originally displayed on Quarter Deck D Stairway, then relocated to Boat Deck E Stairway in 1994. Today they can be seen in Dubai at the QE2 Reception exhibition area. You can read more about the tapestries, including an unfortunate incident when they were damaged in April 2005, when crew members went on the rampage.
On QE2 photos of the ship's launch were on display such as the aerial photo commemorating the launch that hung on the Boat Deck, G Stairway landing. Black and white framed pictures of the launch were also displayed to capture the ship sitting on the slipway, the day the hull of 736 took to the water for the first time.
Photo: Lynda Bradford
The QE2 Story, Design, Concept and Build topic boards contain information, photos and links to videos, on the building and launch of QE2. Topics ready for you to add your memories and photos of the the building and launch of QE2.
The Governor or Kagoshima Prefecture (in Kyushu the southern island of Japan) presented this impressive set of armour to QE2, to honour the ship's visit.
George C Griffiths had asked friends in Japan about the history of the armour and posted "This particular armour was worn by Yoshitsune Minamoto. He was the most popular warrior loved by the Japanese because of his braveness and his sad life." Healso discovered that there is a tradition for grandparents to buy a whole set of armour or perhaps just the helmet for their grandson.The helmet is called a Kabuto and the body part is Yuroi.
Isabelle Prondzynski has posted this picture that shows the detail of the intricate work involved in making this treasured item.
Thank-you to everyone who post their memories and photos on the forum that helps us to produce these newsletter articles.
Alan Snelson, a photographer on QE2, had a surprise find when clearing out folders.
He found amazing photos of QE2, with her original funnel, taken in 1981 at Geiranger Fjord. These photos have possibly not seen the light of day for a long time. The photo below is just a taster - you can see more photos on the QE2 Geiranger Fjordtopic
Another amazing find was the photo ofQE2 (with the blue boot top)sailing past New York Twin Towers. The blue boot topping applied during the 1978 refit was only used for a short time, which makes this photo even more special. Read more on this post, as to why Cunard broke from the tradition of having a red boot topping.
It is very poignant, given the 9/11 anniversary this month that Alan recently found this photo that he had forgotten he had taken.
Photo: Rob Lightbody - The QE2 Story slide collection
The QE2 Story Calendars
Looking forward to our ninth Calendar
Back in 2011 we made the decision that the Photo Competition photos were so good that a Calendar should be produced, so that the pictures could be appreciated all year round. I had presented the draft Calendar to Rob and a few members when we visited the Queen Elizabeth at Greenock and we were delighted that forum members shared our enthusiasm and quickly placed orders for the Calendars
Photo: Lynda Bradford
Alan Snelson took over producing the Calendar for a short time, when we introduced the direct purchasing of the Calendar online. However, it is Isabelle Prondzynski who has been at the helm for the past few years, using the online tool to design the Calendar for you to purchase. June Ingram supports the process, communicating with winners to ensure we have high resolution images and permission to use these in the Calendar.
As a team we are delighted that The QE2 Story continues to keep the memory of QE2 alive by producing these Calendars, but without you taking part in the Photo Competition, and purchasing the Calendars none of this would be possible!
Look out for details of the 2020 Calendar, which will soon be ready to purchase.
Fifty-two photos to celebrate 52 years since the launch Help us meet the challenge!
Here is a competition theme for everyone, whether you have sailed on QE2 or admired her when she was sitting in port. Simply go to the competition topicto read the instructions of how to enter. Find your three best photos of "QE2 in Port" and upload to the competition album before 30 September - Easy!
However, if you need any help just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be only too pleased to upload the photos on your behalf.
Special Prize for September competition!
Commodore Warwick is donating a signed copy of his new book co-authored with Sam Warwick.
The book comes with a bookplate signed by Commodore Warwick and Sam, with a copy of Bil Warwick's signature, making the prize even more special.
Finally, please vote for your favourite 3 photos
in the August competition
VOTE: in the poll for the August competition -"Colour Green"before the poll closes on 1 October. If you have not yet voted, please log in and take a few minutes to enjoy the photos and choose your 3 favourites
CONGRATULATIONS:to Thomas Hypher who won the July 2019 competition, with his photo "Source of her unique voice" Hamburger's picture "Stunning Bow" was the runner up.
A selection of events, listed in the timeline that happened to QE2 in the month of September. See the timeline for full list.
5 September 2005: QE2 becomes the Longest Serving Express Cunard Vessel - 36 years, 4 months, 2 days
11-12 September 1978: QE2 caught in an Atlantic hurricane
11 September 1995: Stuck in Hurricane Luis, QE2 was hove-to in wind speeds over 120 knots and 40-50 foot seas.
15 September 1996 : QE2 hits a whale, which is carried on her bow to Lisbon.
15 September 2007: QE2 departs on successfull 40th birthday "Lap of Honour" around UK
20 September 1967: Launched by the Queen in the presence of Prince Phillip and Princess Margaret.
20 September 2007:In Greenock on the 40th anniversary of her launch by the Queen, huge crowds gather along the Esplanade for day long festivities, capped off by an exciting display of aerial daredevilry by the famous Red Arrows. QE2 hosts a reception and lunch for former workers of the John Brown yard who helped to build QE2.
30 September 2008: QE2's Farewell to Britain cruise. Public reaction is intense and bitter-sweet, with huge crowds and celebrations along the way.
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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.