September 17, 2007

QE2 archive photographs go online

"Historic photographs of one of the world's most famous ocean liners have been unveiled for the first time.
The University of Glasgow has launched an exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the launch of the QE2.
More than 70 previously unpublished photographs have been used in an online gallery showing every stage of the ship's construction.

Images include the cutting of the steel plates to form the hull, painting of the ship and the vessel's sea trials.
The university and the National Archives of Scotland compiled the online exhibition to commemorate the launch, and imminent retirement, of the last great Clyde-built liner.

Lesley Richmond, director of Glasgow University's archive services, said: "This month will be the last time that the QE2 will be seen on the banks of the river where it was built and we wanted to mark the occasion in a fitting way.

"The ship was constructed by the most skilled workforce in Britain and this exhibition is a tribute to all those who were involved with her.

"The QE2 is synonymous with luxury travel and looking at the bright interior photographs it is impossible to believe that you are not looking at the rooms in a first class hotel.

"The workmanship and design was world class and something in which the people of Scotland should be immensely proud."
John Brown & Co Ltd, the Clydebank based shipbuilders, won the contract in 1964 to build the latest flagship in the fleet of Cunard cruise liners, a replacement for the world famous Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.

Upper Clyde
The keel of John Brown ship number 736 was laid on 5 July 1965 and launched by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on September 20, 1967.

Since then, more than two million passengers have sailed on her.
Although launched at John Brown in September 1967, the fitting out of the QE2 was completed by Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd, the John Brown yard having merged into the group in February 1968.

Upper Clyde Shipbuilders itself collapsed in 1971.
George Mackenzie, Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said: "Only a small selection of the photographic images of the QE2 have been digitised.

"But the views of the building and launching of the most famous ship in the world and the vivid colours of the original 1960s decoration of the ship can now be seen by anyone, anywhere in the world."


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