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Return the QE2 to the Clyde

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:24 pm
by Closet Classicist
Dunno if any one ever reads Melanie Reid's occasional column in Saturday's Herald. I'm not sure why I bother but there was an interesting bon mot this weekend regarding the QE2's imminent retiring. Seems likely Cunard will either pension her of by the time she's 40 or when new European legislation comes into effect which for fire protection purposes bans the use of wood in the interiors of cruise liners. So any time between 2007 and 2010. She will either be scraped in Pakistan or Cunard are open to offers. A consortium of business men are keen to buy her and use her as a floating hotel and conference centre in Southhampton. Nothing wrong with that but cruiseliners come and go from Southampton all the time so though she's an elegant lady why go to a floating hotel permanently tied up in the harbour when you can have the real deal at the next berth?

Anyway all this chimed with something discussed on the skyscrapercity site a month or so ago about the feasiblity of bringing the QE2 back up the Clyde to Yorkhill Quay (with all due acknowledgement to JSweenypm) where she would form part of the Riverside Museum's exhibits: ... ge=5&pp=20

So I'd be interested to hear what people on Hiddenglasgow think. Would having one of Glasgow's / Clydebank's / the Clyde yards' greatest shipbuilding and engineering acheivements back in the heart of the city, moored in the river that gave birth to her, as a tribute to all the men that worked on her and all the men who worked in the Clyde yards, be a worthwhile thing?

To my mind this would capture the imagination of the Scottish public; in a single move would reunite the city with its river; and would be a potent and instantly recognisable symbol for Glasgow. Who needs the Eiffel tower or the London eye, or the Sydney opera house when you have the QE2?! And, dare I say it better, even than Edinburgh castle is for Edinburgh?!!! :wink:

What do you all think?



PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:30 pm
by Vladimir
I think thats an excellent idea Classicist, Glasgow should'nt forget its shipbuilding history as these new 'developments' aim to do and the QE2 would be a powerful symbol of that industry. Especiallly giving its size. Along with the Titan cranes it would be an impressive sight docked on the Clyde.

Good idea :D

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:44 pm
by Sir Roger DeLodgerley
Can't think of a better place for the old girl to end up and the symbolism would be immense.

It's a great idea, only great ideas tend to cost money and I can foresee there being other locations with deeper pockets than Glasgow who would like to have the QE2 on their list of visitor attractions. :cry:

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:52 pm
by Alchemist
It would be a fitting tribute, but alas like the Queen Mary and
others, they just sold them off down the river :(


That's still a sore point locally. They wouldn't even give us a Sunderland
flying boat or a bloody hovercraft as a symbol of achievement :evil:

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:57 pm
by Vladimir
Half our ships are sitting in a museum in San Diego in California :evil:

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 2:01 pm
by Closet Classicist
Well my thinking so far is that it is something that we would have to approach at a national level. We would need to get the Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Executive on side but I can't imagine that being difficult if a campaign sparked the public's interest. Mounting a PR campaign through the Herald and the Scotsman should be straightforward (he said confidently and naively!).

Southampton may have been her port of residence all these years but the Queen Mary 2 and the still to be constructed Queen Victoria will be operating out of Southampton for years to come so its not as if they will be loosing a major attraction. Also they are in a much more wealthy part of the country. Our need is much much greater and come on the Clyde was the river of her birth. You can't get more emotive than that (though that didn't wash with Britannia as by my understanding the Conservatives were not interested in injecting public money into Glasgow's bid when Edinburgh's was private sector only. Times have moved on though)!

Ideas wise she could easily be used for floating accomodation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games should they come to Glasgow….

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 2:12 pm
by mustardman
Yes, i think it is an excellent idea, however Glasgow would need to embrace it, with lots of money spent on a visitor centre etc. Dundee to an extent have done it with 'Discovery'. It is a shame that nothing really gives any contribution to the history of the clyde, very empty looking. How could we gather support for the idea, maybe MP's, Scottish Parliament???? Fuck all left of John Brown's nowadays. BRILLIANT PROJECT IDEA. SHARON COULD THIS NOT BE DISPLAYED ON THE OPENING PAGE OF http://WWW.HIDDENGLASGOW.COM??????????

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 2:24 pm
by Sharon

Has anyone ever done any before? There must be good ways and bad ways to do this and get results???

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 2:45 pm
by Closet Classicist
I found this on the website ... ations.htm

and came across this on a site for an unsuccessful campaign to save the RMS Windsor Castle: ... mpaign.htm

News 1: The Campaign (2002 - 2004)

20th October 2004:

We have received information that there rumours going around that things are not looking good for the future of the Margarita L. (formerly known as the RMS Windsor Castle) and that she has recently been inspected by Indian scrap merchants. So sadly the future of this once fine ship is now looking more doubtful than ever. It seems that only a miracle can now save this ship but sadly miracles rarely happen. It is a pity that this once fine British ocean liner hasn't engendered greater feeling in the British public and the British Government to save her for our fine nation as a symbol of our great and pioneering ocean liner heritage. But sadly it seems that this was not to be for the former RMS Windsor Castle as she has been out of service and public view since 1977. As a result today she is perhaps not well known or famous enough to generate the finance and interest to be successfully saved for future generations. Perhaps she is now forgotten except to the knowledgeable few. Unfortunately unless things take a dramatic and sudden change for the better in the near future, it seems that this ship is destined for the scrapyard and will take with it one of the last vestiges of Britain's ocean liner history and heritage. It seems that maybe now only the QE2 is famous enough to be saved for preservation in Britain.

As a result we strongly urge Cunard Line, Carnival Corporation & PLC, the City of Southampton, the general public and the British Government to get their act together now and really do everything possible to make this happen. If any ship is famous enough then surely it is the QE2, after all she is often acclaimed to be "The Most Famous Ocean Liner in the World" and regularly draws huge crowds wherever she sails. Britain lost the RMS Queen Mary to the USA when she was retired from service in the late 1960s, surely we don't want to lose the QE2 forever as well. We believe that she would make an ideal static hotel ship and historical attraction if adapted sympathetically. However complacency must be avoided and regular reinvention will be required to keep her attraction and alure fresh and relevant and sustain her success for the long term. Also the mistakes made by the RMS Queen Mary conversion must be learnt from and never repeated. The QE2 must be treated as a ship not a building and she must be given the respect in preservation that she deserves. Yes she is still in service which clearly is a plus as there is still time, but she won't be in service forever and the day when she is retired from active service will come. Britain must start planning for her preservation in a static role now as it is possible that the QE2 maybe retired from service after 2007 when the new Queen Victoria enters service. Britain must do everything possible to ensure that this great British ocean liner legend is saved for future generations here in the UK where she belongs and not abroad.

Sadly it seems that the former RMS Windsor Castle is in her final years and is likely to be scrapped unless a dramatic change of fortune happens in the near future. However in the meantime if we hear any further news we will keep you informed.

Food for thought?

QE2 v. Erskine Bridge

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 4:20 pm
by adouglasmathie
Good idea.
However, I remember an old shipyard worker telling me that even after weeks of dredging the QE2 only just scrapped under the then new Erskine Bridge.

I am not sure if this would be an issue now.

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 4:31 pm
by Closet Classicist
Well this is a good question adouglasmahie! I would have thought that the Erskine Bridge would be designed to accomodate the QE2 and with other large liners in mind (I seem to recall the basis for the QE2's height being clearance under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge spanning the entrance to New York Harbor). Presumably you could dismantle the mast if need be. I also don't know if by that point her engines would be stripped out as that would inevitably make her float higher out the water. Though you could deal with this by means of ballast. Navigating around Newshot Isle would also be awkward, but basically my concern would be what impact has not dredging the Clyde for the last couple of decades had? Queen Mary drafted (is that the word?) 35 ft in 1936. Could we still acheive that today?

Everything I've read so far assumes she will go to Southampton.

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 11:11 pm
by Craigyboy7
Well i think this is a great idea, im well up for supporting any campaign to bring the QE2 back up its home river!!! It's About Time the powers that be done something to remeber our rivers history! It's been Neglected long enough!!


PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 11:37 pm
by Dexter St. Clair
Half our ships are sitting in a museum in San Diego in California

I thought there were more than two ships built on the Clyde.


PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 3:30 pm
by Vladimir
A slight exaggeration :oops:

What about Queen Mary 1, it's at Long Beach California not on the Clyde, I know California is a really great place :wink: but what claim does it have to the Queen Mary :?

The Queen Mary is also a more 'important' ship for the Clyde due to the fact that it was built during the depression and created jobs for thousands of workers.

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 3:36 pm
by Alchemist
Vladimir wrote:A slight exaggeration :oops:

What about Queen Mary 1, it's at Long Beach California not on the Clyde, I know California is a really great place :wink: but what claim does it have to the Queen Mary :?

My thoughts exactly Vladimir.