Return the QE2 to the Clyde

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Should the QE2 return to the Clyde permanently in her retirement?

yes
49
91%
no
5
9%
 
Total votes : 54

Re: Return the QE2 to the Clyde

Postby Reenie Bujman » Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:48 am

I've had my eye on this thread for a little while and I think it's time I spent my tuppence...

You'll forgive me for rattling about West Country matters; I spent 39 years there and I've been in Glasgow for a year. There'll be a Bristolian bias to my recollections for a time until things even up at about the time I'm 78.

I haven't explored enough of Glasgow yet to know what's down the Clyde, but I see a tall ship beyond the armadillo which I believe has been restored having been rescued from afar.

The idea of retiring the QE2 to the Clyde is a mouth-watering prospect. Looking down on the city, the most conspicuous man-made object is Hampden Park. (see the "floor-mat" in the Kelvingrove if you don't believe me.) The QE2 is roughly the length of three football pitches and she probably takes up as much space.

Let's look down the coast to Bristol...

Isambard Kingdom Brunel stamped his authority on the hub of the West Country in no uncertain terms and the city celebrates him. He brought the railway down from London and built Temple Meads station; he designed the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge (completed after his death) and was the artist responsible for the SS Great Britain (for artistry she is.)

The SS Great Britain was launched in 1843 in Bristol Harbour. She was the first iron-hulled ocean going liner in the world and could reach New York in two weeks, a revelation to the well-heeled of the time as well as the third-class passengers desperate for a fresh start in the New World.

By one turn or another, she ended up in the Falklands from where she was rescued in the seventies and brought back to the very dock in which she was built. She has been the subject of a loving restoration ever since. She'll not put to sea again, the wheel having turned full circle.

She vies with Concorde as the pride of the city (the tour guide will compare their record-breaking times to New York...) and I recommend you pay her a visit if you're in town.

The SS Great Britain is licensed for weddings and two of my friends tied the knot there. Who'd want to go to church after that? She's the dominant feature of Bristol Harbour. She's got a little mate called The Matthew, a replica of John Cabot's ship in which he went exploring way back when:

Image

Glasgow's shipbuilding output is legendary and it would only be fitting to have the QE2 as the jewel in the crown.

There's a Bristolian view and I hope it chimes.
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Re: Return the QE2 to the Clyde

Postby Dugald » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:24 pm

Reenie, I enjoyed reading your post about Bristol; lots of interesting stuff there!

"The idea of retiring the QE2 to the Clyde is a mouth-watering prospect.".

Yes, wouldn't that be a great thing for the Clyde! I too would love it. I hate to deprive you of this mouth-watering prospect though, but I'd bet my bottom £ it never comes to pass. It would cost a fortune to install this great big ship anywhere near the Clyde, indeeed anywhere, period! The cost of installing the old "Queen Mary" at Long Beach Harbour in California, was a helluva lot of money: she was purchased from Cunard for £3.45 million in 1967... and one can imagine what it would cost now to buy the QE. Even the upkeep of the ship would stretch any budget : replacing the Mary's teak deck for example, cost nearly half a million pounds! If the Yanks couldn't generate enough tourist revenue from the Mary in populous California, what chance has the Clyde of generating enough money to look after the Queen Elizabeth in sparsely populated Scotland... all that on top of coping with the Commonwealth Games! Nah, no chance Reenie.

Great success story about the SS Great Britain... a great feather in Bristol's cap. Hope it continues. By the way, I'm a bit puzzled by "She vies with Concorde as the pride of the city "? Does this mean Bristol is home to one of the Concordes?

Enjoyable reading Reenie.
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Re: Return the QE2 to the Clyde

Postby Reenie Bujman » Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:50 pm

Dugald wrote:By the way, I'm a bit puzzled by "She vies with Concorde as the pride of the city "? Does this mean Bristol is home to one of the Concordes?

The last Concorde to fly came home to Bristol on 26th November 2003 having flown from Heathrow via the Bay of Biscay. I watched her cross Weston-super-Mare on her way into Filton Airfield in the north of Bristol.

Bristol is indeed home to Concorde. Only Toulouse in southern France can lay a similar claim. It was in these two cities that Concorde was assembled. Concorde prototype 001 flew from Toulouse and 002 from Filton. The latter has been ensconced in the Fleet Air Arm museum at Yeovilton, Somerset for many years now and one can walk the length of the fuselage and admire the test equipment that was installed in her. I've not visited the Filton Concorde, but I believe she is also open to public viewing.

You can see her from above if you fly from Bristol to Glasgow, just before you pass over the Severn Estuary.
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Re: Return the QE2 to the Clyde

Postby mmd » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:52 am

Not sure if this is the right thread or not to post this but there is a topical link. Some students I worked with made this video in 1997 about the Upper Clyde Shipworkers work-in that took place in the 1970s led by Jimmy Reid. We've just put it up on YouTube. Hope you enjoy it :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpwfDi6ANV8
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Re: Return the QE2 to the Clyde

Postby Doorstop » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:02 am

Aye .. enjoyed that. Well done indeed.
I like him ... He says "Okie Dokie!"
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