Memories of the QE2

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The title makes it sound as though I have sailed on her many times so let me straightaway say I have never even been on her and now, I never will. A regret. Like not having flown on Concorde. Both I wish I had done but as with many others, I feel that this ship was quite an iconic feature of the last forty years.
As she sailed of to begin her new life in Dubai ( seemingly reluctantly as she hit a sandbank but I think that was due to the tugs rather than her), a large crowd saw her off. To anyone who has been on a pier when she was tied up you will know just how big she was.
I remember the pre launch newspaper gossip. What was she to be called? Queen Victoria, which was what the old Queen Mary was though to be going to be called until King George V thought otherwise so maybe that would be the name. But no, it was to be QE2..
A number of abiding memories remain. The bomb threat and parachutists landing on the vessel; the carrying of troops to the Falklands in 1982 when, again huge crowds lined the docks (making it more poignant that she sailed for the last time on Remembrance Day) and finally a personal memory.
For the Australian bicentennial in 1988, the QE2 was moored in Sydney. I was there for a few days and we hired a 28 footer sailing boat and went onto the harbour. He waves were large and it became so windy, ferries were stopped. But we didn’t know, we just took in more sail. Sydney was awash with ships of all sizes and types for the celebration. As we steered through them we came up alarmingly close to the QE2 Then we knew she was big,- very big. And surrounded by tall ships it was quite a sight.
So what remains of her in your memory? Share them with us here.

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