I have a special interest about the II World War. I am a apasionate of the Spitfire and Queen Mary. I was thinking that Queen Mary was building here, in Pool. I have read now that this boat was building in Scotland. Maybe I was confused, coz Cunard Steam Ship Co. was a Pool's company but maybe, the boat was not building here. If anyone know about it to help me... Thanx!!
RMS Queen Mary is an ocean liner that sailed the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for Cunard Line (then Cunard White Star Line). Built by John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland, she was designed to be the first of Cunard's planned two-ship weekly express service from Southampton to Cherbourg to New York, in answer to the mainland European superliners of the late twenties and early thirties. Queen Mary and her slightly larger and younger running mate RMS Queen Elizabeth commenced this two-ship service after their release from World War II troop transport duties and continued it for two decades until Queen Mary's retirement in 1967. The ship is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is permanently berthed in Long Beach, California serving as a museum ship and hotel. The Queen Mary celebrated the 70th anniversary of her launch in both Clydebank with Clydebank Restoration Trust and in Long Beach during 2004, and the 70th anniversary of her maiden voyage in 2006.
Naming and construction
With Germany launching their Bremen and Europa into service, the British did not want to be left out in this ship building race. White Star Line started construction of their 60,000 ton Oceanic and Cunard decided to construct their 75,000 ton ship which was not yet named.
The ship was named after Queen Mary, the consort of King George V. Until her launch she was known simply as Cunard hull No. 534, since the name she was to be given was kept a closely guarded secret. Legend has it that Cunard intended to name the ship "Victoria", in keeping with company tradition of giving its ships names ending in "ia". However, when company representatives asked the King's permission to name the ocean liner after Britain's "greatest queen", he said his wife, Queen Mary, would be delighted. And so, the legend goes, the delegation had of course no other choice but to report that No. 534 would be called RMS Queen Mary. However, this story was denied by company officials, and is probably apocryphal, since traditionally the names of sovereigns have only been used for capital ships of the Royal Navy. It is more likely that the name Queen Mary was decided on as a compromise between Cunard and the White Star Line, with which Cunard had recently merged, who had a tradition of using names ending in "ic".
Construction began in December 1930 on the River Clyde by the John Brown & Company Shipbuilding and Engineering shipyard at Clydebank Scotland but was halted in December 1931 due to the Great Depression. Cunard applied to the British Government for a loan to complete 534. The loan was granted, with enough money to complete the Queen Mary as well as enough to build a running mate, hull No. 552 which became the Queen Elizabeth. One condition of the loan was that Cunard merge with the financially ailing White Star Line, which was Cunard's chief British rival at the time. Both lines agreed and the merger was completed in April 1934. Work on the Queen Mary resumed immediately and she was launched on 26 September 1934. Because the ship was now partially a White Star liner, it incorporated features found on White Star ships such the foward well deck, and a raised white forecastle deck.
There was already a Clyde turbine steamer named Queen Mary, so Cunard White Star reached agreement with the owners that the existing steamer would be renamed TS Queen Mary II, and in 1934 the new liner was launched by Queen Mary as RMS Queen Mary.
The first incident in what was to be an eventful career occurred just after the naming ceremony. On her way down the slipway, the Queen Mary began to run out of control. She hit the water far too fast and nearly flew straight across the Clyde into the opposite bank. It appears that only pure luck allowed her drag chains to bring her to a stop before she ran aground.
When she sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton England on 27 May 1936 the Queen Mary measured 80,774 gross tonnes. Her rival, Normandie, which originally grossed 79,280 tonnes had been modified the preceding winter to increase her size to 83,243 gross tonnes, and therefore kept the title of the largest ocean liner.
The Queen Mary's design was criticized for being too traditional, especially when the Normadie's hull was revolutionary with a clipper-shaped, streamlined bow. Except for her spoon-shaped cruiser stern, she seemed to be simply a bulkier version of her Cunard and White Star predecessors from the pre-World War I era, and a typical Clyde-built ship. Her interior design, while mostly Art Deco, still seemed restrained and conservative when compared to the ultramodern French liner. However, the Queen Mary proved to be a more popular vessel than its largest rival, in terms of passengers carried.
Queen Mary further proved to be the faster ship. In August 1936, she captured the Blue Riband in both directions from Normandie, with average speeds of 30.14 knots (55.82 km/h) westbound and 30.63 knots eastbound. Normandie reclaimed the honours in 1937, but in 1938 Queen Mary took back the Blue Riband in both directions with average speeds of 30.99 knots (57.39 km/h) westbound and 31.69 knots eastbound, records which stood until it was lost to the SS United States in 1952.
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