June 3, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 130 days
Welcome to another Blog which returns to Queen Victoria and the recent TOGs voyage, in the final post from what was clearly a very successful Mediterranean Voyage. More of that in a moment, but firstly thanks again for all the comments, it’s always great to hear from you, especially at the moment with the excitement building towards Queen Elizabeth, with more news coming soon.
I am settling back on board Queen Victoria as she heads north to the Baltic, visiting ports such as Copenhagen, Tallin and St. Petersburg where we will be docking at the brand new terminal. I’ll post a Blog on our visit. Meanwhile Queen Mary 2 is heading across to New York and as I mentioned in Tuesday’s Blog we’ll both be in Southampton on 14 June for one of those fantastic moments when our home port is able to welcome both Queens on the same day.
Before we get to the final post from the TOGs voyage here’s this week in Cunard’s history from 4 to 10 June.
June 4 2008
Queen Victoria makes her maiden call at Helsinki.
June 5 1965
QE2’s keel is laid at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (John Brown), Clydebank. She is assigned job number 736 and is constructed on the same slip way as Queen Mary 30 years before.
June 6 1973
QE2 makes her maiden call at Messina, Italy.
June 7 1906
Lusitania is launched at 12.30pm and is named by Mary Burns, Lady Inverclyde who was the wife of Cunard’s late Chairman.
June 7 1998
Cunard announces ‘Project Queen Mary’ – a proposal to build the biggest ocean liner ever built.
June 9 2005
John Cleese joins Queen Mary 2 for a Transatlantic Crossing
After the success of the Weekend Wogan show and the live auction, Sir Terry Wogan and the TOGs continued to raise funds as well as creating more fun memories… Mr and Mrs Packham were the very first winners of the live auction. This piston ring donated by the Chief Engineer, raised £650! From left to right on the front row are Alan Dedicoat, Mr Packham, Janet and Mrs Packham and on the back row, Charles Nove, holding the piston ring, and John Marsh
Talking of Janet and John Marsh, they signed books on the Monday morning and told me later, that to their surprise, they got more than four people in the queue! The team held a ‘silent auction’ in the Grand Lobby with items such as an amazing collage of the three Queens that the kids on board had made for Children in Need and beautiful paperweights made by the Engineers on board from the piston ring. Alan Dedicoat donated his time to have afternoon tea with three people…. he couldn’t believe it when it exceeded £200!
In another fundraising idea to raise even more cash, Jean Savage decided to get her locks chopped off in front of everyone! Here she is with Simon Mathose, one of our Hair Stylists from the Cunard Royal Spa, and her new look.
I’ve been told by the ship’s company that the atmosphere on board was fantastic; buzzing with energy, laughter and friendship, and as Queen Victoria approached Southampton and the end of the incredible voyage, everyone was exchanging email addresses, telephone numbers along with promises to keep in touch and come back again. For Sir Terry and his TOGs the only way to say good bye and thank everyone, was with a drink, so all the TOGs were invited to join Sir Terry and his intrepid team for a Farewell Cocktail Party in the Queens Room.
As you can see it was a star studded event, including from left to right are John Marsh, Amanda Reid, Alan Dedicoat, Janet Marsh and Charles Nove.
Then with the help of Pudsey at his side, Sir Terry then made a short speech thanking everyone who had made this incredible voyage possible.
Everyone was delighted when it was announced that the voyage had raised an amazing £83,000 which would help children in the UK.
I was there to meet Queen Victoria when she returned to Southampton and Sir Terry was kind enough to invite me to his suite to have a chat about the voyage and our cameras were there to capture the moment. I’m delighted to post this Video Blog featuring that interview and some other footage from the voyage including clips from the live Weekend Wogan show in the Royal Court Theatre.
Thank you to Sir Terry, and of course congratulations again to him, his team and the TOGs as well as the Queen Victoria Officers and Crew for this fantastic achievement, and for making it another truly memorable voyage. I’ll be back next week with some great stories from Queen Mary 2. Cheers for now Alastair.