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Hello to all newsletter recipients,

I hope you continue to enjoy reading the QE2 Story's monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date on forum news. 

November - a month of leaving and grieving for QE2, for it was in November 1968 that she left Clydebank, her place of birth, then in November 2008 she left Southampton, her home port, for the last time. Sailing to Dubai, to her future as a hotel ship, the realisation set in for passengers that QE2's sailing career was coming to an end and when they left the ship in Dubai, it really was time to say goodbye!

This month forum members have continued to contribute to discussions old and new and we have been pleased to welcome back members who have not logged in for a little while.  If you are visiting the forum as a guest, please consider logging into the forum and posting in topics so as to keep the memory of QE2 alive
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The QE2 Story 2021 Calendar is ready for sale -  see below for full details on how to order.  
 
Stay safe and stay well!

Lynda Bradford
November 
Leaving and Grieving
Leaving Clydebank on 19 November 1968
 
Photo: Fairfield
 
On a cold November morning, QE2 slipped out of the John Brown's fitting out basin for her journey to the Inchgreen Dry Dock, in Greenock. The people of Clydebank and neighbouring towns lined the banks of the Clyde to watch QE2 sail away from her place of birth.  Grown men had tears in their eyes as they watched their ship depart. The Pride of the Clyde had become part  of Clydebank's skyline as bit by bit she grew above the tenements of the town.  A poem in the local paper, "Funnel among the Chimneys" gives an indication of the pride and emotional connection Clydebank people (Bankies) had for the ships they built.

"GRANDMOTHER is the word for a woman who's life is complete

The traces of age on her face can hide emotion, but when she holds her favourite granddaughter
in her arms something shows

It is hard to define. A tenacious togetherness, a complete acceptance, a quiet pride

Clydebank has many, many grandchildren, but when she gave life to John Brown's shipyard she scarcely 
dreamed of anything so beautiful, so worthy of love...
                                           ..........as the funnel among the chimneys - Queen Elizabeth 2"


George C Griffiths tells his story of driving to a vantage point on Dumbarton Rock, where he captured this view of QE2 being tugged down the River Clyde.  This would be the last time that the ship would be as far up river and a unique picture opportunity.
 
Photo: George C Griffiths 
 
"I know I'm stating the obvious - but the QE2 was "tugged" down the River Clyde from John Browns to a dry dock at Inchgreen, Greenock on 19 November 1968.

I decided that I wanted to see this as I believed that QE2 would never be as far up the River again, so I drove down to a road on the north of the River Clyde to the rock on which Dumbarton castle is perched - right beside the river ...."


George C Griffiths story: From birth on the Clyde to handover in Dubai
Press photo of QE2 heading downriver from Clydebank to Inchgreen
QE2 arriving at Inchgreen Dry Dock
November 
Leaving and Grieving
Leaving Southampton

 
....and forty years later, on 11 November 2008 it was time to say goodbye again, when QE2 left Southampton for the last time, to sail to Dubai.  

Crowds of people flocked to Southampton to see QE2 for the last time.  Cunard's press releases ensured that news of QE2's (slightly delayed) arrival in Southampton and final departure was transmitted to TV sets throughout the UK and across the World. The QE2 Story forum members have shared their memories of this epic day on QE2's final day in Southampton  


Twinkle's post: "One of the coldest, bone-chilling evenings, dark and curiously, the water was still. it was quiet too until the fireworks and then QE2's response with her mighty blasts. These seemed to growl over the water, as she became more and more enveloped in firework smoke."

Photo: Twynkle
 
Cunarder Man's post: "She slipped her berth and reversed towards Mayflower Park where throngs had gathered to bless her and say their goodbyes. Well wishers and passengers waved their flags, cheered and thousands of cameras flashed to capture this special moment in the life of their great liner. It was testimony to her popularity and the love they had for the ship that so many lined the banks of Southampton Water that evening.  She was their ship, their icon, their piece of history which, for most, they would never see again. It was humbling to be on board and have the honour of witnessing this moment in history, not only Queen Elizabeth 2, but the city of Southampton her home port." 
 

Caledonia's post: To finish off the day I went on the red eagle charter which allowed a superb view of the last trip up the Solent, the fireworks were wonderful, you could nearly cross the solent on all the vessels large and small that accompanied her.  We were the last vessel to stay with her and I watched along with many others as the QE2 sailed off into the darkness - not moving from the stern until the last spec of light disappeared into the night. It then became a shock to the system to realise that this was it - the end of an era, one that I am sure we will never see again.........
 
November 
Leaving and Grieving
Ports of Call en-route to Dubai

 
Photo: John Little
 
En-route to Dubai two memorable ports were Gibraltar and Valetta, in Malta where the QE2 was given a warm welcome and a rousing send off. There was a party atmosphere onboard ship, but by the time she called at her last port of call, Alexandria on 20 November 2008,  the realisation set in that this was the end of QE2's sailing career - she was sailing to her new life as a hotel ship and for some people they would never see her again.  
 

Photo: John Little
26 and 27 November 2008
Dubai welcomes QE2 and Handover Ceremony 


 



Photos: Michael Gallagher Collection
The QE2 Story 2021 Calendar

Ready to Order

The winning photos of the monthly Photo Competition are included in the forum's annual calendars. This year there are two options, "The Ready for Sale QE2 Story Calendars for 2021" topic gives full details of how you can order your choice of these fabulous Calendars. 
 
Standard Size Calendar that you can order direct from the Lulu website 


 

Vistaprint Calendars offer a choice of three sizes that the Admin Team can order for you (see topic for more details)



You can see the more pictures of the Calendars in the QE2 Story Gallery

Photo Competition Fast Links

Vote in the poll: QE2 and Bridges
Submit photos to this month's photo competition: Technical and Mechanical any instrument or machine part
Deadline has been extended until 30 December, but it is never to early to upload your 3 photos

The December Competition is a very special one. Here, we have assembled all 29 prizewinning photographs that went into the 2021 calendars of The QE2 Story. Your vote will now decide which of these 29 marvellous photos is the top prizewinner.
 
Voting opens 1 December 2020

You can vote for up to five of your favourites and although voting does not opens until 1 December you can enjoy viewing the photos on this topic and take time to consider who will get your votes.
 
Trains and Boats and Planes

The QE2 Story is not only the place to find all things QE2, but also has a lot of information on our forum members' transport interests. 

The trains to dream about topic (log in to read) gives members the opportunity to talk about memorable train journey, such as Isabelle Prondzynski's trip on the standard gauge railway linking Mombasa to Nairobi.  Or Peter Mugridge photos of the Welsh Highland Railway from Porthmadog to Caernarfon

The QE2 and Concorde topic has attracted a lot of interest 

The forum's Ships section allows for forum members to post one topic on any ship 

Then there are topics on QE2's predecessors and QE2's Successors

Crew News

Alan Snelson
QE2's photographer's story

 
Alan Snelson, Ship's Photographer from 1978 to 1982 has shared his story and photos of working on QE2.  

Photo: Alan Snelson, QE2 Panama Canal
 
Commodore Ron Warwick celebrates his 80th birthday

 
Join us in wishing Commodore Ron Warwick a very Happy Birthday, as he celebrates his 80th birthday this weekend.  

Add your birthday wishes on the Happy 80th Birthday: Commodore Ron Warwick topic


Commodore Warwick started his navy career onboard the RMS Andes in the 1950's and joined the Cunard Line in 1970, sailing with them until his retirement in 2006. He was appointed Master of QE2 in 1990, when he made history being in command of the same ship as his father, who had been the first Master of QE2.  In 2003 he was appointed Commodore of the fleet.

You can read more about Commodore Warwick's career  in the Captain's profile topic
Other topics with updates this month:
 
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