July 2020
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QE2's 1994 Refit


QE2’s 1994 refit - "Project Lifestyle at a cost of £45 million ($72 million) aimed to address years of refitting and refurbishments that had resulted in the ship having a range of styles ranging from the 1930’s to the 1980’s.  Project Lifestyle was a major redesign of the ship that gave an opportunity for a rethink of the ship’s accommodation, amenities and her commercial identity. " 

Cunard identified that the aims of ‘Project Lifestyle' were:

  • Emphasise QE2's uniqueness
  • Give the ship a coherent and traditional style
  • Meet the needs of the changes in lifestyles that had evolved since QE2 entered service in 1969
  • Allow passengers to move around the ship more freely – improving passenger circulation was the key to the new concept
  • Clearly define decks in keeping with the concept of an ocean liner
  • Bring 'the outside in', so that passengers were more aware of the sea
  • Display the fascinating heritage of QE2 and Cunard
  • Restore the ship’s original identity
  • Bring her more up-to-date in areas such as catering, service and on-board revenue earning opportunities
Not all proposals went ahead.  What do you think of this plan to have an atrium level midship lobby?

Artist impression

The QE2 Story is very fortunate to have had access to refit information, thanks to research work done by Michael Gallagher, Author and Cunard historian. Our thanks go to Michael for allowing us to share this information with forum members on the Project Lifestyle refit topic.

Photo: Crane lifting stairwell - Jane Sharpe

Forum member, Jane Sharpe was a member of the MET Design team at the time of the refit.  She has shared a selection of her photos, which can be found in this QE2 Story Gallery album. We are looking forward to Jane sharing memories of working on Project Lifestyle.  

Photo: Workers on QE2 1994 refit - Jane Sharpe
Louis de Sousa has posted these unique photos (see below ) from the 1994 refit.  They show the staff area of the restaurant, that would become the crystal bar and the Grand Lounge before the stairs were removed.  

Photo: Crystal Bar - Louis de Sousa

Photo: Grand Lounge - Louis de Sousa

 New members' posts

QE2 Race Chair by Robert Heritage: it was fantastic to hear from new forum member, Andrew Winter, whose father worked for Race in the 1960’s and delighted to know that he had inherited an original Race chair that has been kept in the original condition.  

Photo: Andrew Winter
QE2 in Durban and Cape Town: Shiploversa has posted some fabulous pictures of QE2 calling at these ports over the years. I love this photo that captured QE2 with her original funnel, at Cape Town, but there are many more pictures that Shiploversa has posted in the topic for you to enjoy.

Photo: Shiploversa

Jeff Mahler's introduction post tells how he was lucky to be hired to set up theme party decorations on QE2, thirty years ago for Cunard's 150 year Anniversary cruise.  He said "I have now, over 2.5 years at sea, including 353 days on the QE2." Read more about this fascinating insight into QE2's history, on his introductory topic and if you remember his party decorations please post your memories and photos.  

Harev's picture of the Queens Room ready for a party may or may not have been decorated by Jeff's company but looks like a room ready to party!  

If you are new to the forum, or joined a while back and have not posted, please take time to introduce yourself and share your QE2 memories and photos in the introductions, memories or one of the many forum topics.  

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:
This month's crew photo is one that Peter Ward had posted in the Gallery.   The winning team of the 1979 World Cruise Darts Competition: 

Back row left to right: Peter Ward, Dave Beale, Chris Buikus, Danny Thorne
Front row: Keith Owen, Mickey Ritchie and Paul Xerri 

Each month I will post Crew News with links to topics where you have posted your memories. Here are some of the posts for July:
  • Asbestos witness from 1960 to 1971 - Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth 2:  We have been asked the following by a marine lawyer in relation to a case he is representing.  "Asbestos exposure is alleged from pipes in  cabins, toilets and alleyways of the “Queen Mary” and “Queen Elizabeth II”. I am looking for a witness who can help me with my investigations in order to ascertain whether or not these allegations are likely to be correct and hope that someone will be able to assist?"
  • Keep watching the forum for a new topic listing the Radio Room Equipment.  Willum, Technical Radio Officer on QE2 1978 to 1988, has worked with me to provide information and advice.  Without his input this topic could not have been produced and it will be ready to view soon.   

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

Lynda Bradford
and the QE2 Story team


736 keel laying ceremony

Trivia:  The prefabricated section of the new ship's keel consisted of three 60-tonne sections 35.7 m (117 ft) long, 7 m (23 feet) wide and 1.9 m (6 ft 3 in) high.

Q:  What was the date of the Keel laying ceremony?
Q:  Why was the Keel laying postponed?
Q:  Who was chosen to perform the Keel laying ceremony?

A: the answer is in the topic:  the date of the laying of the keel (QE2)

Trivia: Cunard was celebrating their 125 year anniversary  on the same year and month as the keel laying ceremony for the 736. 

Discussion on the topic "Maiden Voyage Notes from a Ship's Harpist" written by QE2's Harpist, Sarah Deere-Jones, led to forum members remembering QE2 Harpists, but do you know their names?

Photo: Cunarder Man

Isabelle Prondzynski said:

I wonder will we be able to draw up a list of all QE2 harpists over the years... I have a few more photos, but not the names of the musicians. Maybe the daily programmes will help..

Do you have photos of the Harpists?  Or if you have QE2 Daily Programmes, you could help us name these musicians who gave passengers so much enjoyment 

QE2 Photo Topics


This month, I have selected two photos from the slides Rob rescued on behalf of the forum. Photos that capture a moment in time.  The first one taken at night of crew and the second one of a young boy looking out to sea.  But who are they?  It would be fantastic if we could identify these people!  

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 Competition

The competition album is open and ready for your three entries to the July photo competition Swimming Pools (go to topic for instructions). The prize, for this month's winner is the QE2 Cookbook, by Gretel Beer donated by Isabelle Prondzynski or a jigsaw of the winning photo, donated by June Ingram.  

It has been good to see the entries that have been added to the album so far, but we would like to see more.  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 31 July 2020. 
Photo: Rob Lightbody

Voting for your three favourite photos is easy and fun!  The June competition "Surprise" 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 August 2020.

The May competition winning photo was Anubhav Mitra with "QE2 docks in Melbourne on 29 February 2008" 
And the runner-up is Hamburger with "Leaving NY 2008"

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 July Timeline

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

2 July 2002: QE2 arrives in New York with the Maybach car carried there for its world premiere 
2 July 1977: QE2 "dressed overall" and participating in the line-up on Liner Row, New York
4 July 1986: QE2 participates in celebrations at the Statue of Liberty to mark the historic landmark's one hundredth anniversary.
 4 July 2000: QE2 collides with Japanese warship in New York harbour "Kissed by a Queen"
 5 July 1965: Keel Laid
 7 July 2005: London bombs. 7 July 2005 on board QE2
13 July 1984: A sudden strike by Southampton dock works again results in the termination of a cruise at Cherbourg. Cunard must transfer disembarking passengers and their baggage to England by chartered airline, as well as embarking passengers set for the following Transatlantic crossing to New York.
QE2 sails on time.
14 July 1967:  Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh tours the uncompleted liner and lunches with Cunard and John Brown executives
14 July 2005: QE2 in Geiranger Fjord the very day this was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
17-27 July 1990: Songs of Praise recorded on board QE2 as part of Cunard's 150th anniversary celebrations
22 July 1990: Arrived in Southampton after fastest ever Eastbound Crossing - 4 days, 6 hours, 57 minutes (av speed 30.16 knots)
22 July 1990: Cunard begin their 150th anniversary celebrations
23 July 1976: Engine room fire which damaged the original white funnel of QE2. The damaged funnel panels were incorporated into the new red funnel in 1987 and the dents from the fire are still visible.
23 July 1990: Opening of Ringaskiddy Terminal in Cork (Ireland). President of Ireland, Patrick Hillery, lunched on board QE2.
24 July 1990: Maiden call to liverpool, Cunard's spiritual home
25 July 1990: Maiden call to Greenock, 1st return to Clyde since 1968.
26 July 1990: Captain Ronald Warwick commands QE2 for the first time - following in his father's footsteps.
26 July 1998: QE2 meets Arctic ice floe
27 July 1990: Royal Review of Cunard at Spithead by HM the Queen on the Royal Yacht.  Flypasts by Concorde, a 747 and a Harrier amongst others. Queen attends reception on board and is the first reigning monarch to sail on a commercial vessel with passengers.
28 July 2005: HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh review QE2 from the deck of HMS Endurance as part of the Trafalgar 200 celebrations off Spithead
29 July 1981: Special screening of the Royal Wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles takes place while crossing the Atlantic. Cunard designates the crossing the "QE2 Royal Wedding Commemorative Voyage"

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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