August 31, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 41 days
While Queen Mary 2 is making her way across the Atlantic before her Canada and New England voyage, Queen Victoria is enjoying a mini voyage to France and Holland, before heading back to the Mediterranean.
As the world awaits, the excitement is growing with only six weeks to go before Queen Elizabeth’s maiden voyage, and as promised we’ll have some more pictures from her in Italy on Thursday. I know the big question is, who will be naming our new Queen and all I can say is that you’ll be finding out very soon.
Regular readers will have followed Queen Victoria’s maiden Round Britain voyage this summer, which was a huge success. Following the voyage, Brian Lynch, Queen Victoria’s Personnel and Training Manager sent me this great story, so I’ll hand over to him.
Brian Lynch, Personnel and Training Manager
Recently one of our Cunard guests, Mr. Peter Hempsey, very generously offered the use of the beautiful cricket grounds in Greenock, during our stay. During his travels on Queen Elizabeth 2, Mr. Hempsey had noticed our crew practising cricket on the quay alongside the ship, and put forward this special offer on his holiday on Queen Victoria.
Greenock Cricket Club was developed in 1862, and to this day maintains the traditions of the Club, which seeks to encourage, promote and develop the sports of cricket, hockey and squash throughout the Inverclyde area.
The club promotes and organises the participation in these sports by the youth of the area. It has a long and eminent history as one of the leading clubs in Scotland, and has won many honours both in the West of Scotland and most recently, since the introduction of national cricket, within the whole of Scotland. Here are Greenock Cricket Club Scottish Cup winners 2007:
The Officers and Crew of Queen Victoria accepted this thoughtful invitation in true Cunard fashion and a fantastic turnout of thirty eager players participated.
Everyone who took part embraced this exciting opportunity, and it was wonderful to watch crew members rise to the occasion and play a game that many of them had probably played since before they could walk!
Interestingly enough, third umpire decisions were made based on both sides agreeing and our crew played for the entire day, thoroughly enjoying themselves. We have a few “secret weapons” in our teams and it was marvellous to witness the teamwork and camaraderie amongst our players from the sidelines.
From the moment we arrived, our gracious hosts made us feel so welcome with their wonderful, warm Scottish hospitality. A delicious tea and hot lunch were laid out for us to tuck into, and I think we were all sorry that the day had to end.
After the event Mr. Hempsey wrote to me saying: “Mary and I were delighted to be able to welcome you all to Greenock and Glenpark. Next year in September both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 are calling at Greenock which, although is just at the end of our cricket season, I am sure the Club would be happy to offer the use of Glenpark for crew cricket matches, if the ships have players who would be interested in having a game.”
Mr. Hempsey kindly sent us this wonderful photo he took, which also appeared in the The Greenock Telegraph, which carried the story of the Queen Victoria cricket team at Glenpark. This picture shows the wonderful sight of Queen Victoria and the Paddle Steamer Waverley looking towards Loch Long, taken from Peter and Mary Hempsey’s home:
And this view of Queen Victoria leaving the Clyde looking towards Kilcreggan.
We also sincerely hope that this is the beginning of a special partnership between Cunard and Greenock Cricket Club, and that whenever our Cunard Queens are on Around Britain voyages, we are able to take up the challenge of making the most of recreation that only sport can bring about.
Thank you Brian for this great story, and thanks to Mr. Hempsey for his pictures. This sounds like the beginning of a wonderful tradition and we look forward to seeing the story develop further next year.
Brian is now on leave and will soon be joining Queen Elizabeth where he will be very busy training and helping Queen Elizabeth’s crew settle in, whilst they prepare for her maiden voyage.
Cheers for now, Alastair