May 2019
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Ahoy from the QE2 Story Team - welcome to the May newsletter

Queen Elizabeth 2's Maiden Voyage

50 years ago on 2 May, the new Cunard liner, the Queen Elizabeth 2 slipped her moorings at Southampton and set sail for New York.  The rain did not stop enthusiasts from lining the dock and securing places at vantage points to give the ship a rousing send off, sending colourful streamers across the ship's decks.
Photo: Michael Gallagher collection

You can  imagine the excitement as the spectators watched the spectacular flypast, in anchor formation, of the 736 Squadron. The sound of the salutes from Royal Navy ships, the Hampshire Police Band playing a specially composed fanfare "Cunard Queen" and the flotilla of small boats accompanying the ship as she left port - all added to the atmosphere. 
On the 50 Years ago - The Maiden Voyage topic you can relive the experience of the Maiden Voyage by reading the activities published on the daily programmes.  You can also learn a little about the highs and lows of the voyage and the welcome that awaited the ship as she sailed into New York
Photo: Michael Gallagher collection

The QE2 Story Celebrates the Maiden Voyage

The QE2 Story Get together - 4 May

Photo: Grill Britania
Paddle Steamer (PS) Waverley: The group had a fantastic start to the day, when we were welcomed onboard the PS Waverley by General Manager of Waverley Excursions, Paul Semple. We were then given an excellent behind the scenes tour by Alastair McMillan,  Operations Director for Waverley Excursions, whose knowledge ensured we had a very informative one and a half hours onboard the paddle steamer.  

Photo: Lynda Bradford
Photo: Rob Lightbody

Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be on the Bridge of this famous little ship, seeing the powerhouse - the boiler room and seeing the paddles revealed! 

Photo: Lynda Bradford

The Waverley Boiler Appeal

PS Waverley sailing cancelled for 2019

Waverley's operators Waverley Excursions have confirmed that new boilers are required if the ship is to sail again.  

With over £2 million to be raised The QE2 Story is appealing to members and subscribers to this newsletter to consider donating to help The Waverley Steam Navigation Company Limited (the owners of the ship) to reach the target.  

You can donate on: 
The Waverley Excursions donate web page

UK mobile phone users can donate by SMS - Text STEAM 20 to 70085 to donate £20 or the amount you want to contribute to the fund. I am sure they would be grateful to receive smaller donations as every little helps. 

The QE2 Story Celebrates the Maiden Voyage

The QE2 Story Get together - 4 May (contd)

Following the group tour of the PS Waverley we had a short bus journey to The historic Fairfield Offices for an excellent buffet lunch, ordered from a small local business, Dry Dock Cafe.
Photo: Lynda Bradford
QE2's whistle signalled the start of the afternoon session with Gavin showing his photo collection of shipping on the River Clyde, 1940's to 1970's.  

This was followed by the showing of the Magic Ride film -  with ice cream, as is the tradition in Scotland. 

It was a joy and a privilege to watch Rob's presentation of the QE2 slides, that he had purchased from eBay. These slides were mainly from the build stage of the ship when she was in Clydebank, onboard ship at the time of the second sea trials and some of the early 1970's. Look out for Rob's postings of these on the forum over the coming months - a treat to look forward to.  

We were delighted to see that the event was featured in the Clydebank Post, the Greenock Telegraph, the (Glasgow) Herald and the Scotsman.  You can read these reports on the Unseen slides of QE2 topic.

The event finished with a raffle and vote of thanks.  The main raffle prize was a print of the QE2 painting by John Nicholson, donated by his son Duncan Nicholson.

£252 was raised by the raffle donations, but this has since been rounded up to £300 to be donated to the Waverley Boiler Appeal.

Buses took us back to the Pacific Quay area for drinks at the Crowne Plaza and time to chat!

On the day we supported two Charitable organisations, The Waverley Steam Navigation Company and Fairfield Office Museum, plus a small local business providing the buffet.

Thank-you to everyone who attended, supporting not only the QE2 Story but also these organisations. 

But most important - The QE2 Story members had the opportunity to meet to celebrate Queen Elizabeth 2's Maiden Voyage and to appreciate the ship we all love - The QE2.

Treasure Trove of QE2 Videos

Queen Elizabeth 2 Transatlantique film by LP Capelle

Isabelle Prondzynski has taken delivery of a box of QE2 VHS Videos donated to the forum by Louis-Philippe Capelle, the official QE2 photographer commissioned by Cunard to produce this feature-length film of an Atlantic crossing. You can read his introduction in this forum topic

We are offering forum members the opportunity to have one of these sent to you, for the cost of post and packaging, if you would like to give this as a small donation to the forum, which would be very much appreciated. All you need to do is either respond on the topic as soon as possible, or send an email to The videos are available in both PAL (European) and NTSC (American) formats.

Isabelle had already watched the earlier French-speaking version of the film in 2015, and wrote in the topic that she was totally delighted with it. It was made by a crew of RTBF, i.e. the French-speaking Belgian television, with some Swiss support.

The film accompanies QE2 on an Atlantic crossing, from Southampton to New York, with footage from both inside the ship and also (totally impressive) outside. The film crew had every help from Cunard and were filming from the most astonishing angles - Isabelle was particularly impressed with close-up shots of QE2's bow slicing through the ocean. One of the stills was a clear winner in the September 2016 photo competition, where Louis-Philippe Capelle commented that he was hanging in front of the ship to get a film shot of the bow at full speed :

The film takes us behind the scenes, from the engine rooms to the Captain's quarters (Ron Warwick), from the dressing room for the dancers to the cabin of the musicians. Both the passengers and the crew are given the chance to speak, and there are  many wordless scenes of life on deck, in the Queen's Room and the restaurants.

This was 1993, and it is amazing to see the Queen's Room and the Grand Lounge, and also a restaurant which Isabelle could not even identify.

Photo Competition

Thanks to everyone who supports the Photo Competitions and especially those who let us see fabulous QE2 photos that we would not otherwise have seen.  Every month you have the opportunity to upload three photos of your choice that fit the monthly theme and you can vote for your favourite photos for the previous months competition.

It's so easy!  

For more information visit the Photo Competition and QE2 Calendar topics  where you will find easy to follow instructions.  

Photo: Thomas Hypher

ENTER your three best photos for the monthly Photo Competition: It has been interesting to see everyone's interpretation of this month's theme "QE2 a day at sea" that has already generated wonderful pictures uploaded to the gallery album, but we would love to see your three pictures entered before the closing date for entries - 31 May.  

The prize this month is a copy of The Cunard Logbook by Marc-Antoine Bombail, donated by the author.
Alternatively, June Ingram is offering a jigsaw of the prizewinning picture. Enter to have a chance of winning and the choice will be  yours - which will it be?
VOTE:  in the poll for the April competition - "QE2 it's all in the detail" before the poll closes on 1June.  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 the winner and runner up of the March competition, Caledonia with two fantastic photos in beautiful scenery

 Photo Competition results topic.  
The QE2 Story team 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. 

Should you not wish to continue to receive the newsletter, you can easily unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
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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