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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 16:37 GMT
Memories of the ocean liners
Thousands of people gathered at Sydney harbour to see a rare reunion between two renowned passenger liners, the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth 2.

Readers who were once on board share their memories of the ocean liners.

JAMES PHILIP, GLASGOW

Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2 arrived in Sydney Harbour shortly after dawn
I was employed as a senior electrical engineer on board QE2 and QM2 for 13 years. It was the most amazing experience of my life.

My mother was pregnant with me when she went to the port in Glasgow to see the QE2 arriving. She never thought that I would one day work on it.

I was 16 year old when I became an apprentice in Rosyth shipyard dreaming about being able to sail on a ship one day. It's been a privilege to work on those amazing liners.

I have loved every minute of it. The service was exceptional - the best it can possibly be. And because they are so special, we were met by huge crowds in every single port.

Hundreds of people who have been our guests would come back, because it was such a unique experience.

I made so many friends among the guests: you dine with them, you socialise with them at parties. We spent months together at sea and we were like a family.

I've met lots of famous faces and I've had drinks with Rod Stewart and Gene Hackman. I left because I have a young girl and I didn't want to be away from my family for so long.

LAURA MCLEOD, OXFORD

Laura Mcleod
Laura Mcleod: "We were so excited, we didn't eat much food."
The year was 1961 and we took the Queen Elizabeth I liner from New York to England. I was five years old.

I have very strong memories from that journey. We were on our way to a new life in England. My mother, who is American, cried as we left New York and passed the Statue of Liberty.

She said: 'I am leaving my motherland and I may not return for a long time.' She didn't go back until 1999.

We travelled in the lowest class, as we didn't have much money. Me and my brother felt pressurised by our mother to eat all the nice food they were serving. We were too excited about everything to eat food.

I remember a young boy ate a whole bar of ex-lax (laxative) and got very sick. He had to be treated in an emergency and everyone worried about him.

Evenings were very glamorous and I vividly remember the dancing. Everyone would dress up for the occasion, there was a live orchestra and lots of excitement.

The actress Hattie Jacques was on board and my dad danced with her. I felt jealous. But them a gentleman asked me to dance which made me very happy.

JOANNA WILLS, SOUTH HAMPTON

Firework display over Sydney harbour
The reunion of the two ships was marked by a firework display
I was lucky enough to be one of the children that was on board the QE2 when the Princess of Wales held a party for special needs children in April 1987.

There were a few spaces left after tickets were given to local organisations. My dad worked as a port operator, and they gave 25 tickets to staff as a special treat.

It was a lovely surprise, as my dad hadn't told me about it until the day.

Being a 13 year-old child, the ship seemed absolutely huge to me. I expected it to be very glamorous and decadent. But it wasn't intimidating at all.

Everything was so nice. There were 500 children and we had a great day.

It was very exciting to see the Princess exploring the ship. She was very nice and pleasant and seemed to enjoy very much being with us.

It was a fabulous day and a Concorde flying past made a wonderful end to it.


SEE ALSO
Royal rendezvous: QM2 and QE2
20 Feb 07 |  In Pictures



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