May 2020
View this email in your browser

Ahoy from the QE2 Story
n this month's packed newsletter :


QE2's Maiden Voyage 
2 May 1969

Photo: Michael Gallagher collection

Why not take time to enjoy these forum topics on QE2's Maiden Voyage:

QE2 Sea Trials and Maiden voyage 1969 videos

QE2’s Maiden Voyage: 2 May 1969

7 May 1969: QE2's Maiden arrival at New York 

QE2 newspaper headlines from the ship’s Maiden voyage

The Times April 29 1969: A QE2 special to mark her maiden voyage

Dignitaries on QE2’s Maiden Voyage?

Photo: Michael Gallagher collection

We can only imagine what a memorable occasion it would have been for passengers to step onboard QE2 for her maiden voyage and to explore the new Cunarder for the first time.  Through the contributions from forum members we can enjoy the memory of QE2.

 QE2 VE Day celebrations Plymouth 1995

Copyright Gordon Frickers

Under the command of Captain Keith Stanley QE2 made her maiden call at Plymouth on Monday 8 May 1995. The call was made as part of a seven-night VE Day Commemoration cruise which left Southampton on 3 May and returned there on 10 May after calling at Gibraltar, Lisbon, Plymouth and Guernsey

Visit the QE2 VE Day 1995 topic to see more stunning photos and add to the discussions. 

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: Head Badger: Toast to the Queen 
A visit by the incumbent Mayor of Philadelphia during the first visit by the QE2 1982

Each month I will post Crew News with links to topics where you have posted your memories. Here are some of the posts for May:

GBTT: Blue Sparky post picture that could bring back memories for Willum
The Seaman Magazine: who remembers the Journal of the National Union of Seamen
QE2 Falklands War: Rod reminds us of the 38th anniversary
Stuart Bradley 5th Engineer (1984 to 1988) : Boiler Room memories 

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 


The original QE2

Trivia: Swimming Pools - there were four swimming pools on QE2 when she went into service in 1969. The indoor Six Deck and Seven Deck Pools and the outdoor pools on Quarter Deck and One Deck. 

Q: Can you name the designers of the two indoor pools?
A: Six Deck Pool Designer, Seven Deck Pool Designer

Q: The Queen Grill Restaurant on QE2 was a later addition, what was the original use of the space?
see topic

Q: Many passengers knew about the library on Quarter Deck but in 1969 the ship had two libraries.  Where on the ship was this library?
A: see topic

Trivia: Radio Communications - "On QE2, the streamline funnel will carry four inconspicuous notch aerials, which will transmit a clear signal regardless of the direction of the ship.  There are other notches for receiving VHF communications. " Source: The New Cunard Queen. Elizabeth 2 Press Guide 1969

The Radio Room topic has lots of questions and answers

....while self isolating

Why not follow the topic on Fiction about Ships and the Sea and suggest books you would recommend.  

Look back on the memory of the DVD Sleeping Beauty:  In 2011 we eagerly awaited our copy of the DVD of Rob's visit to QE2, in Dubai and enjoyed hearing Rob's update, on the progress of producing this treasured piece of memorabilia.  QE2's international appeal resulted in people from many countries across the World purchasing the DVD.

The DVD is no longer available but you can enjoy viewing the short video clips that Rob has put on YouTube and experience with Rob behind the scenes onboard QE2.  

Maybach Launch (26 June to 2 July 2002)

Michael Gallagher has uploaded some amazing press photos of the operation to lift the Maybach car onto QE2.  

Have a look at the "QE2 and the Maybach Launch" topic

QE2 Photo Topics


Brian Price has shared with the forum all his photos that he rescued and researched.  Not only did we get the opportunity to view the photos but we learned a little about each photo, from the information that Brian provided.  On behalf of everyone at the QE2 Story, I would like to offer a very heart felt thank-you to Brian for keeping the memory of QE2 alive.  "QE2 slides preserved and research by Brian Price"  Should any of our members wish to use photos from Brian's collection when presenting QE2 related talks, please contact

Photo: Brian Price collection

Rob continues to post on the forum, a weekly selection of the photos he had saved  "Unseen" slides of QE2 being built and fitted out, on trials and early years"   The more recent photos he has shared, show people who were on the December 1968 trials.  Lots of faces, but who were they?  

I have to confess that I have a favourite (see below) from this month's selection of photos.  
Do you have a favourite picture? 


Photo Competition

The competition album is open and ready for your three entries to the May photo competition QE2's Final Calls. The prize, for this month's winner is the DVD "Great Liners - Famous ships from the golden age of travel" donated by Isabelle Prondzynskior a jigsaw of the winning photo., donated by June Ingram.  

There are some interesting entries so far, but we would like to see your photos that commemorate QE2's final year in service, uploaded to the competition. So, why not look at your QE2 photos and choose your three best pictures that fit the theme.  We really would appreciate your support. Deadline for entries is 31 May 2020. 

Photo: Cunarder Man

Voting for your three favourite photos is easy and fun!  The April competition "QE2 Upper Deck"  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 June 2020.

March competition winning photo for the theme "Famous faces on the most famous ship afloat" you selected a photo with a fun element, "Jasper the Bear looking out of the porthole" Congratulations to Ben Zabulis, the winner and Hamburger the runner up with his photo "A lot of famous faces aboard observing QM2"

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 May Timeline

QE2 Events, listed in the timeline that happened in the month of May.  

See the timeline for full month by month list.  

1 May 1969: Queen visits QE2 in Southampton 
1 May 2004: QE2 leads QM2 into Southampton and passes flagship status over to her in a handover ceremony.
2 May 1969: QE2 departs for New York on her maiden voyage
2 May 1979: 10th anniversary /half a million passengers / 63 countries / 1.5 million miles
2 May 2004: QE2 enters dry dock for her final proper refit. Funnel bar added.
3 May 1982 : As QE2 steamed along the South coast of England bound for Southampton, those on board listening to the 12:30 BBC news heard that their ship had been requisitioned by the government. Following confirmation, Captain Hutcheson makes a formal announcement to passengers and crew that QE2 will be withdrawn from commercial service upon arrival in Southampton. 
3 May 1986: HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother lunches on board QE2 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of RMS Queen Mary's maiden voyage
3 May 1995: First call at Plymouth as part of VE Day anniversary
4 May 1987: QE2 Arrives in New York after her first crossing as a motorship.  Fierce Atlantic storms and incomplete refit work means the ship once again hits the headlines
5 May 1969: QE2 stops on her maiden Atlantic crossing for the burial at sea of Mr Ernest Sharp
5 May 1982: Work begins on QE2 to convert her from luxury liner to troop carrier.
7 May 1969: QE2's maiden Arrival in New York. British Pathe News
8 May 1994: Silver Anniversary Crossing to New York
10 May 1992: 10 years since the Falklands conflict, Margaret Thatcher (former Prime Minister) lunches on board, stressing the importance of the role the ship played.
12 May 1982: QE2 set sail to join the Falkland conflict.
13 May 2002: Cunard confirms that QE2 will be removed from transatlantic service in April 2004,
16 May 1969: QE2 Cruises through NATO fleet at Spithead & exchanges greetings with HM the Queen on board the Royal Yacht Britannia 
17 May 1972:  While in mid-Atlantic, Captain Law receives a coded message stating that there may be bombs placed in strategic locations throughout the ship. An RAF Hercules transporter is flown out to parachute bomb-disposal experts. No bombs were found, the extortion plot was a hoax, one month later a New York shoe salesman was arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to 20 years.
18 May 1985: QE2, RAF's Red Arrows, and a Concorde rendevous in and over the English Channel. The event is photographed from a Hawk jet, after months of planning for good weather in daylight hours.
18 May 1972:  Bomb disposal team parachuted on board QE2 in mid-Altlantic following a bomb threat by an extortionist.
22 May 1981: Striking Crane drivers refuse to lift off the gangway. Captain Ridley orders his sailors to cut it off with gas torches to permit QE2 to depart for a Norwegian cruise.
26 May 1982: QE2 arrives in the active war zone in the South Atlantic
29 May 1969: Prince Phillip visits QE2 in Southampton while presenting the Council of Industrial Design awards.
29 May 1982: Approximately 640 survivors of the lost HMS Ardent, HMS Coventry, and HMS Antelope join QE2

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
Like us on Facebook
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter
Watch us on YouTube
Watch us on YouTube
Copyright © 2020 The QE2 Story, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp