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A "deeply offensive" exhibition commissioned by cruise liner company Cunard has tarnished the legacy of the shipbuilding workers who built the QE2 in the 1960s, portraying them as unreliable and dishonest. The controversial display attacking the integrity of the workers at John Brown Shipbuilders, who together with others made the phrase 'Clyde-built' into an international byword for industrial excellence, can be found on Cunard's Italian-built liner, the Queen Victoria.

An un-named Scottish tourist who visited the exhibition during a cruise aboard the Victoria told the Sunday Post:
QUOTE
"We found the section about the QE2 very offensive and a terrible slur on [our] great shipbuilding heritage and workers on the Clyde and John Brown's in particular

Some of the statements were outrageous. They included 'Some yard workers were stealing the ship faster than she could be built' – Captain Robert Arnott, QE2's longest serving Master.

There was also a passage which read, 'There were two QE2s because so much of the original was squirreled ... the project was dogged not only by pilfering but by technical problems and industrial disputes within the dying Clyde shipbuilding industry ... it nearly bankrupted Cunard.

But what really angered us was the listing of dozens of items pilfered by one worker. To feature that so prominently was unnecessary. There was nothing there about the skill and dedication of a workforce which built the world's best ships."

Kevin Buchanan of the STUC has demanded an apology from British-American owned shipping which is based at in Southampton. Mr Buchanan said:
QUOTE
It would have been appropriate for Cunard to celebrate the unparalleled skills and craftsmanship of the Clyde shipbuilders who, in a hazardous and challenging environment, built wonderful ships like the QE2.

By choosing to dwell on isolated examples of dishonesty they undeservedly tarnish the reputations of the thousands of honest workers who built some of the best ships in the world.

Cunard should remove this deeply offensive exhibition immediately and apologise to those they have offended."

Clydebank and Milngavie MSP Des McNulty responded to the news of the exhibition by saying:
QUOTE
"The glamour of the QE2 and the other great liners built at John Brown’s reflected the outstanding craftsmanship of those who built them.

People chose to travel on the QE2 because it was the best – and it was the best because of those who built it.

It is very disappointing that this exhibition focuses on pilfering by the workforce when it should concentrate instead on the skills and artistry, the technical mastery which made the vessel what it was."

Representatives from Cunard have so far declined to respond.

Click to view attachment

GG.
GG
Some background video information:

Birthday Tribute to the QE2 and the River Clyde


Also:
QUOTE
When the Cunard Steamship Company asked John Brown to build them a ship like the 'Queen Mary' and 'Queen Elizabeth', but light enough to sail in shallow waters, the job became known as Contract 736. This is the story of that ship, and the impact it had on the community where it was built before it was launched as the 'Queen Elizabeth II'.

Contract 736
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLj0znJi1u4

GG.
Jim D
Although, my granny had a soap dish which came off the Queen Mary! LOL I think someone from Cunard gave it to my granda. LOL
norrie123
It would have been better to have said nothing, the men and yard are not here to defend them selves
Having said that, I was in a house in Scotstoun, a joiners house wall to wall teak everywhere, from John Browns, how many others
Another friend of mine a joiner worked fitting the ship out, next day a lot of the fittings had been stripped , all had to be replaced

Let the men who worked in the yard tell the truth
Bye for now, norrie
jamcat
Yes the best ships in the world were once built on the Clyde and John Browns contribution was very satisfactory but there were problems in the budgets and things were going missing although I don't know how often this happened. The reason for the decline of the shipbuilding industry was down to the lack of investment as with almost the entire Britsh industry. Countries like Korea could build a ship at a third of the cost on the Clyde. The craftmanship wasn't near as good, or the quality of the materials used but the customers didn't care about the quality of the ships or how safe they were.
Old Sailor
Today I will emphasize the first word of my nom de plum, "Old". There is more than one story in this article and the one I wish to concentrate on is the pride upon which the Scotish artisans and the yard workers of John Brown held in high esteem their craft and the ships they built. I was a boy who accompanied my father to watch the launching of Cunarder 534, shortly to be christened Queen Mary and, on that day in 1934 as I stood on the banks of the River Cart to witness this spectacle, I could feel the great emotion of the people around me as if they too were claiming ownership for the whole community. I was there two years later to watch the launch of the Queen Elizabeth still surrounded by an air of pride but not quite as emotional, for the Queen Mary rescued the dignity of workers who for the years before had knwn only depression. How many readers remember that every schoolchild in Glasgow received a medal with the symbol of the great ship, albeit the name said Cunarder 534. I believe that it was this great pride which encouraged me to sign up for the RNVR and steer me to active duty at the outbreak of WW2. I did encounter bot of these giants, albeit painted in Admirality grey, on a few occasions as they served as troop carriers.

At war's end I returned to University in Glasgow where I met and subsequently married a fabulously beautiful Canadian and when it was clear that I would be travelling to her land to pursue my career we sailed for New York on the Queen Mary, newly refurbished, and then on to Toronto by rail. While still in Glasgow I remember the launching of the Cunard's building of the Caronia, at John Brown's yard. Do I believe that there was pilfering? Of course I do, but this is a bi-product of all shipyard workers, for in every port my own ship came for boiler clean or repairs, the workers either attempted or succeeded in looting. I have seen the Queen Mary, from afar, on a number of occasions in my visits to California where she is grounded at Long Beach as a tourist trap but I refuse to investigate as I have been told she sheds tears every day for the indignities to her end.
Oldsmiddy
I'm not surprised by Cunard's attitude, I've had a long standing dislike of Cunard since they rejected me for employement because of my religion back in 1951 when I went to their office in St. Vincent Place in Glasgow & tried to get a position as Marine Engineer with them.

I understand now, that Cunard is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, which have most of their fleet of luxury cruise ships built in Finland, with the new pre-fabricated box sections method, which are assembled in drydock, these shipyards are all computerized now for welding & steel cutting which is achieved by the plasma or extreme high pressure metal cutting with water.

It is sad, that the clyde shipbuilding industry went into decline, mainly because the ownership never re-invested the profits back into the industry, as described in Sean Connery's documentary "The Bowler & The Bunnet".

I wonder how far the Clyde shipbuilding industry would have gone, if they had invested in modernization after WW11, I'm sure we would still be the great shipbuilders of the world. It is indeed sad, that Cunard would bad mouth the people who made them famous around the world for holding the Blue Riband Atlantic Crossing Record, year after year, with The Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, who gave the Americans a run for their money with their S.S. United States.

I think it's just "Sour Grapes" now, they don't need the "Clyde" anymore, & perhaps they didn't think anyone from Scotland would see this shameful article on the Italian built ship.
GG
As has been noted, many of the skilled craftsmen who worked on the liner will now have passed away and are, of course, unable to respond to Cunard's accusations. Below is a recollection from a joiner who worked on the QE2, as published in the Sunday Mail in 2007:

QUOTE
Joiner Bobby Dickie had been working at John Brown's shipyard for almost 20 years when they landed the contract to build the QE2.
Bobby said no expense was spared on the ship's fittings with bedrooms made from mahogany and maple as well as opulent theatres, cinemas and restaurants.

Now 75, Bobby, of Clydebank, said: "We all knew we were working on something very special.

"Management kept the name a secret until the day of the launch.
"Until then the ship was only given the codename Q4.

"Everything about her oozed sophistication. We had the best craftsmen and engineers in the world working on the project.

"Every detail was precise and no expense spared in the finishings. All the cabin furnishings were hand-made and we installed hundreds of bedroom suites in maple and mahogany.

"Every piece of wood on that ship was built in our workshop to the highest specification.

"But huge areas of the QE2 were kitted out in the very latest material - Formica. The QE2 was a veritable palace. But there was little chance of shipyard workers like us ever being able to take a cruise on her.

"My proudest day was the launch, when my daughter Roslyn joined thousands of people who had gathered for the celebrations.

"Our families were allowed to see around the ship and could only marvel at the opulence.

"Most lived in tenements, sharing a toilet with six families in the close. So the state rooms, cinemas, theatres, restaurants and swanky suites were beyond anything we could ever imagine."

Bobby's days in the shipyard were hard, and he remembers well the relief when John Brown secured the order for the QE2. He said: "Life was difficult, hand to mouth when orders dried up.

"Virtually the whole town depended on the yard. When we heard we'd got the order, it was as if Christmas had come early.

"It meant we wouldn't have to worry about feeding our families for the next three years.

Today Bobby is chairman of the Clydebank Asbestos Group, helping former workers get compensation for the illnesses they suffered after working in the yards.

He is sad the liner is not coming home to Scotland to retire.

Bobby said: "No other ship evokes the same swell of emotion. It breaks my heart she won't be ending her days here on the Clyde, back home with her ain folk."

Scots should still be building big liners.. now we have nothing.

GG.
Ayeyuya
Anyone who new a Worker at the Yards knew , you could get anything you wanted off them, as has been said their Houses were painted with shipyard paint, they had industrial grade Ships carpets on their floors and as much Wood panelling as you wanted.

Sorry but the stories are true , so why get offended and of course it wasn't just the yards it happened everywhere.

They still built the Best Ships of their time.
tombro
Cunard have had nearly fifty years to make these allegations, why now ?

It reminds me of the two wee boys discussing their fathers' occupations.

Toffy nosed kid : "My Dad works for Cunard !"

Wee Glesga Boy : "My Dad works hard, too !"

Tombro rolleyes.gif
greta
The reply to this is quite simple , just look at the glorious ship that was built, has there ever been better.
benny
Ah hid tae laugh at the comment that the QE 2 nearly bankrupted Cunard. Ah worked in Corunna House in Cadogan Street at wan time, which was owned by Cunard an let oot tae Big Business and the Civil Service. There were, if ah remember aright, five floors tae the building, and each floor cost something like 500,000 - aye, five hundred grand - a year tae rent. An that wis nearly 20 years ago. Bankrupted? Merr like laughin aw the way tae the bank.
nippynell
mad.gif Who the bloody hell do they think they are?????

....Scottish Engineering is renowned WORLWIDE...and ship building on the CLYDE stands out!...so pilfering went on, you cant change the way a FEW workers behave!!!! it goes on in every massive shipyard worlwide...that does not in any way whatsoever take away the "CRAFTMANSHIP " in the making of a " CLYDE " built ship...lets face it , built on " THE CLYDE " ment it was the best...HISTORY can verify the hundreds of ships built there...I wonder if ANY history will mention their achievements?????
Jupiter
Ive come to the conclusion reading this Cunard story and the responses that many Glaswegians(at least the ones on the Forums) seem to be a bit thin skinned when it comes to criticism.I dont think Cunard would have made the assertion without facts and Im pretty sure plenty was pilfered from the yard.
Despite the petty thefts the ships were built and they were without equal;a true testament to the master shipbuilders of the Clyde. As for the petty thieves,well you get them in every walk of life.Scum.
Bankie
I served most of my apprenticeship on the QE2 at Clydebank and was lucky enough to be invited to the 40th anniversary lunch at Greenock as 1 of 100 shipyard workers who had worked on the ship. I spent a lot of time trying to help a certain Cunard executive find other yard workers to invite for the occasion. At the lunch, I listened to Carol Marlow, the then president of Cunard, praising the shipyard workers on behalf of her company as did the captain later.

It was a very grand occasion and I will always be grateful to Cunard for inviting me to be part of it. I met Carol Marlow later and she was a real credit to the company. I do not have the same opinion concerning the captain.

My wife and I decided that we would never get another chance, so we booked a very expensive (because of the occasion) cruise on the ship's last cruise before heading off for Dubai, which later became less significant when Cunard cashed in on the occasion and squeezed in an extra couple of cruises. They also managed to miss out the first port due to high winds, and no, we did not get compensated for that.

The cruise in my opinion was very memorable, but a total rip-off.

The executive I had been trying to help before was on board and seriously disappointed me when he gave a speech, which was broadcast on TV throughout the ship, leaving the impression to passengers that the yard workers were nothing more than a bunch of thieves.

He never mentioned anything about the men who have lost their lives just because they were exposed to hazardous conditions while working on the QE2. I am sure the Cunard exhibition will have no mention of asbestos either.

I personally believe that Cunard sold the ship when they did because they knew that they would have a costly health and safety problem with the hundreds of tons of asbestos still on board when the ship needed to be upgraded.

I would seriously like to know if the Dubai workers have been informed of the hazards concerned with the asbestos content of the ship.
Nobody seems to mention that a vast amount of QE2 shipyard workers in Clydebank were in fact employed by contractors and had nothing to do with the actual shipyard.

Cunard obviously have many thieves among their workers and passengers. You just have to follow sales on Ebay (like I do) for Cunard ship souveneirs, where I have seen ship signs, uniforms, life jackets, crockery and cutlery linked with th QE2 etc..

They won't mention that in their exhibition!!!
Jupiter
Bankie, a very interesting post fom an"insider".Did you have any personal knowledge of the thefts from the yard or instances where culprits were caught?
Rab-oldname
My Uncle Tommy worked on the Queen Elizabeth and he also worked FORCUNARD!
benny
QUOTE (Jupiter @ 14th Feb 2011, 01:54pm) *
Bankie, a very interesting post fom an"insider".Did you have any personal knowledge of the thefts from the yard or instances where culprits were caught?

Say nothin, Bankie. Joop might still be lookin furra collar. biggrin.gif
*Bankie*
Unfortunately I cannot deny that there was some pilfering going on as with vast majority of any factory or working envirionment. I have worked with security and found the employers to be far more dishonest than the guys I worked with in the yard. Can we trust police not to take advantage of a situation.

In fact, what employees would you really trust these days as much as I could trust my fellow shipyard workers?

I remember reading an article in a newspaper about a guy from Dumbarton (called Porter, I think) who had been caught with over 600 worth of goods from the QE2, including 2 portholes some wooden furniture and a piece of carpet. I remember wondering why anybody would steal portholes, but there was a used one on Ebay within the last 2 years which was supposedly off the QE2. I am sure the Dumbarton guy went to prison for his efforts and none of us had any sympathy for him at the time.

I know the odd jar of emulsion paint that we used for marking where cable lines were to be fitted to bulkheads would disappear now and again as I would have the job of walking to the paint shop to get some more. I have also replaced a few small fluorescent light fittings that disappeared from cabin walls as the ship neared completion.

On the other hand, most guys left their tools and toolboxes lying around in the area where they were working and I can honestly say that I cannot recall anybody ever having tools stolen other than a pair of pliers that I had owned.

A Cunard QE2 officer from catering stated on television (shown 2007) that when the ship was in Greenock dry dock and about to be handed over to Cunard, some workers had deliberately smashed most of the bathrooms of one of the decks to delay the handover.

What he probably didn't know, was that as the ship neared completion we workers had to find a keyman to open the door for us if we had a job to do in a cabin as they were all kept locked for safety.

I never heard of any bathrooms being smashed when I worked on board.
The same officer stated that workers were taking mattresses off one gangway while they were still being loaded on another gangway.
So what did he do about it?

Again I had never ever heard of any mattresses being stolen from the ship. There were security gates with a full view of that gangway, so I think that it was very unlikely. We also had security gates at the yard in Clydebank, and the workers were regularly picked at random and searched as they left the yard.

It really is a shame that all the good honest hard working shipyard workers are being tarred with the same brush as as the minority reported by top Cunard officials.
Tommy Kennedy
I was a boy who accompanied my father to watch the launching of Cunarder 534, shortly to be christened Queen Mary and, on that day in 1934 as I stood on the banks of the River Cart to witness this spectacle - Said Old sailor -

Me too - and my Dad said: 'maybe one day you might sail on it' - and I did many years later.
Did five voyages on the Queen Mary (10 weeks - 5 Atlantic crossings) - that was the minium you could do before getting your pay off/signing off.
It was the worst passenger ship I sailed on with the worst conditions and cramped conditions for the crew - Cunard were bad employers, even on their cargo ships.
Tommy Kennedy
QUOTE (benny @ 14th Feb 2011, 06:14pm) *
Say nothin, Bankie. Joop might still be lookin furra collar. biggrin.gif

Good job Jupiter hasn't read my posts re-Merchant Navy, Benny rolleyes.gif

The biggest 'culprits ', Jupiter were/- still are -the cops on the dock gates in all the ports with their hands out for bribes - I said 'Still are' - cause I've checked out the docks at Felixstowe when I've visited my daughter in Suffolk
Heather
As I said on a previous thread, my husband also worked on the QE2 as a Plumber and was involved in the building of the ship from the start to the finish.

He said it was true a lot of items were stolen, especially carpets. But there were more honest men who worked on the ship than dis-honest one's.

I read Bankie's Post, and that's the first we have heard a 40th year Anniversary lunch.
Dylan
I knew a Carpet Fitter who carpeted his stairs with carpet from the QE2.

Every step was a different colour.!
GG
Another interested party, River City actress Barbara Rafferty, was interviewed for the Sunday Mail in 2007 on the occasion of the QE2's last voyage up the Clyde. Her father, David Brown, worked in John Brown's foundry, making portholes for the giant ship. Barbara was 14 when she watched the QE2 launch:

QUOTE
"I was a young schoolgirl when it started. On the day of the launch, I'll never forget standing next to my dad telling everyone, 'My Daddy built that ship!'

The cheers from the crowds were ear-splitting and the men threw their hats into the air.

But the cheers were bittersweet because the launch meant the lay-off of hundreds of workers.

The noise of the tons of chains unfurling as the ship went into the water is another vivid memory. It seemed to me there were miles of chains. The noise was deafening.

How something so big could float is testament to the genius of the men who built her.

Barbara's dad, then 82, added:
QUOTE
"We lived in a tenement close in Livingstone Street and when she was finished, the QE2 was higher than our tenement and longer than the street.

I did a dirty, dangerous job and many men lost their lives. Our wages were 2 a week and there was no chance of us being able to sail on her.

As payback, a bit of pilfering went on in some quarters and it was not unusual for Clydebank's tenement flats to be decked out in the QE2's luxurious carpets, chandeliers and furnishings.

Management never noticed the few bits that went missing."

GG.
*Tam*
I remember the story of a carpenter in John Brown’s shipyard who smuggled out of the gates each day a small length of the sumptuous wood panelling being used for the interior of one of the Cunard passenger liners. By the time the ship was launched, he had a single end in Clydebank that looked like the dining room of the Queen Mary.
Jupiter
Well Tommy, as its normally a surreptitious sort of thing to be doing,ie bribing a policeman(and Ive been tested),you must have been very close to the action,or is it hearsay? rolleyes.gif
Heather
In Post 24 is the old man actually saying his wages at the time of building the QE2 was 2.00 a week??
If so, his memory is letting him down.
GG
Thanks, Heather, I think you are correct as the historical conversion of 2 to present day money is 27.38:

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/historic-inflation-calculator

Obviously this seems wrong. I also checked average wage rates for 1967 on the Financial Times site and it says that average weekly wage for 1967 was 26.53 in 1967 money, 355.94 in today's money. I am going to check this further tomorrow, but I think it might be a technical problem with the conversion of different formats of text between computer systems ... I'm thinking that the real figure quoted by the shipbuilder is actually 20.

GG.
TeeHeeHee
QUOTE
I knew a Carpet Fitter who carpeted his stairs with carpet from the QE2

It wasn't only the shipbuilding industry. I knew a guy whose every stair, lobby or corridor was covered in aircraft carpets; all right if you liked dark blue rolleyes.gif
One time I contracted at BL when a bunch of their workers were caught building 12 complete Range Rovers at home!
In the aircraft industry you daren't leave your tool box unlocked. You notice a tool gone ... where is it? Nicked? On the aircraft somewhere?
It was dreadful.
One guy came to me; in Holland, from an other hangar to borrow a riveting tool. I had had it specially made for me; a one off, in Sweden. A great tool. Everyone borrowed it. So I gave it to him; about 11am.
After lunch I went to get it back because I needed it and asked a mate which aircraft was the guy (workin') on. He says. "He's on the 12 o' clock to London, mate."
My riveting tool as well.
I worked in Bremen on the Tornado centre-section build when a bunch of Geordie lads got laid off from a shipyard in Hamburg and the agency sent them to work on the aircraft-build with us. Weldin' things down was a waste of time with the Geordies'.
Maybe it is just a British thing: an island monkey thing. tongue.gif
GG
THH, I think that's the crux of the problem with Cunard. The fact is that petty pilfering happened in any heavy industry in the sixties; Glasgow was no different from Belfast, Newcastle or Liverpool in this respect. However, what Glaswegian workers achieved beyond work produced at any other yard in the UK, or the world for that matter, was to build arguably "the greatest ship the world has ever known". Maybe Cunard should have cause to thank the workers of the Clyde for that considerable feat, rather than tarnish the image of great men, many of whom died as a result of exposure to asbestos in the yards!

QUOTE
Introducing The QE2

Many people believe she was the greatest ship ever. Here's just some of the reasons why.

She was the flagship of the British Merchant fleet for 35 years from her entry into service in 1969 until her replacement arrived in 2004. She was the last of many British-built Transatlantic Liners, born on the Clyde using the skills and knowledge that had built her legendary predecessors. She was fast and extremely strong, the last express transatlantic liner, designed to operate across the formidable Atlantic for decades at high speed - 5 night crossings, but capable of doing it in 4. She was world-famous and a household name. "QE2" meant ultra-luxury, something big, something for the rich and famous. She travelled further (6 million miles) than any other ship ever has, or ever will, at average speeds that modern cruise ships aren't capable of at all. She was a heroine of the Falklands War, the only ship capable of transporting a huge number of soldiers at high speeds, thousands of miles.

She was stunningly beautiful. She was a maritime design classic, both inside and out. In 1969, after her 'staid' predecessors had retired, QE2 was a revelation. Ultra-luxurious, ultra-modern "space age" design (see photo below), she was the best that the British Swinging Sixties had to offer, from our very best designers.

Lots of 'experts' at the time said she'd be laid up or even scrapped but her advanced, forward-thinking design meant that she wasn't. Not even close. She saved Cunard. She made money. Lots of money and she continued to do so. She was dual-purpose, and just as well suited to a tropical cruise as to the Atlantic ocean. The 70s and 80s passed by with her receiving lots of updates and money spent on her, for she was worth it. ...

Read more about the history of the QE2 here, by a GG boards member:

http://www.theqe2story.com/aboutQE2/index.html

GG.
Dunvegan
QUOTE (Ayeyuya @ 14th Feb 2011, 06:53pm) *
Anyone who new a Worker at the Yards knew , you could get anything you wanted off them, as has been said their Houses were painted with shipyard paint, they had industrial grade Ships carpets on their floors and as much Wood panelling as you wanted.

Sorry but the stories are true , so why get offended and of course it wasn't just the yards it happened everywhere.

They still built the Best Ships of their time.

I like my father and his father before him, my mother and her sister worked the yards from the 20s to the 90s. never did anything reach our house from any work place. Petty pilfering there may have been but due to the mass of retired detectives and ex coppers employed by Fairfields who scrutinised every one leaving the yard and subjected them to random checks there was little could get by them. Every enterprise has pilfering but to single out a few boasting thieves as being representative of the Glasgow shipyard artisan is thoroughly reprehenisble. Generally these statements seem to come from someone who knew a man whose mate knew had a cousin who boasted to a forth party about how much he had stolen from a nameless source shipyard.
Dunvegan
QUOTE (Heather @ 15th Feb 2011, 08:35am) *
In Post 24 is the old man actually saying his wages at the time of building the QE2 was 2.00 a week??
If so, his memory is letting him down.

As a first year apprentice in Faifields in 1963 my wages were approx. 35 shillings per week.
Dunvegan
QUOTE (TeeHeeHee @ 15th Feb 2011, 10:42am) *
It wasn't only the shipbuilding industry. I knew a guy whose every stair, lobby or corridor was covered in aircraft carpets; all right if you liked dark blue rolleyes.gif
One time I contracted at BL when a bunch of their workers were caught building 12 complete Range Rovers at home!
In the aircraft industry you daren't leave your tool box unlocked. You notice a tool gone ... where is it? Nicked? On the aircraft somewhere?
It was dreadful.
One guy came to me; in Holland, from an other hangar to borrow a riveting tool. I had had it specially made for me; a one off, in Sweden. A great tool. Everyone borrowed it. So I gave it to him; about 11am.
After lunch I went to get it back because I needed it and asked a mate which aircraft was the guy (workin') on. He says. "He's on the 12 o' clock to London, mate."
My riveting tool as well.
I worked in Bremen on the Tornado centre-section build when a bunch of Geordie lads got laid off from a shipyard in Hamburg and the agency sent them to work on the aircraft-build with us. Weldin' things down was a waste of time with the Geordies'.
Maybe it is just a British thing: an island monkey thing. tongue.gif

In the joiner's shop in Fairfields we by necessity had to leave our tools lying on benches when we were absent from our station. We also left them in cabins during fitting out. I have never had a tool stolen from me and heard of no case where this occured during my time there.
Tommy Kennedy
QUOTE (Jupiter @ 14th Feb 2011, 11:17pm) *
Well Tommy, as its normally a surreptitious sort of thing to be doing,ie bribing a policeman(and Ive been tested),you must have been very close to the action,or is it hearsay? rolleyes.gif

Very common, Jupiter, every seaman knew - even if they didn't have 'knocked off ships gear' - they had to put a pound note inisde their I.D. card to hand to the cops on the gate - no quid, there would be a long,long search of your luggage, and you stuff thrown about everywhere - The crews would leave the docks by taxi -soon as the taxi driver saw the cops start a 'search' , they knew how long it was gonna take, would leave the guy, back to ship for another pick up..
(Think - of the crew of a pssenger ship - Queen mary had 2,000 crew!!)

Similar with customs - you left a quid on top of your bunk and if you didn't your smuggled gear cigs, whatever you had stashed - dissapeared. For you that was better than a fine - for the custom guy, he got the gear.

The cops would do even better with the dockers every day - taking pilfered cargo home at end of day.
Dunvegan
Having come from a ship building family I can only say that I am sick of these scurrilous remarks, made years after the demise of the shipping industry in Scotland and Glasgow workers in particular. I have outlined what I think of the origins of those slanders in another post. If you can show me how to get a carpet or a mattress of a ship under the scrutiny of the dock security then you are a bit of a magician. Most pilfering occurred after the ships had left the yards and preparing for hand over in another location ie. privately owned dry docks.
The demise of the Glasgow yards may have in part been due to cheap, and might I add shoddy overseas competition, but if jobs were to be sacrificed then Glasgow jobs came before all others.
And to those in this forum who are in hearsay support of these slanders, remember that you are slandering your mates, brothers, sisters aunts, uncles and cousins, because we all had somebody who worked the "yards".
wellfield
As a shipyard worker all my life and later to own my own ship repair company,I ken a wee bit about shipyard pilfering,its rampant,but Cunard would have to document the thefts and charges filed to prove their statement......also would like to add to Old Sailor's post regarding the "Queen Mary" saying he has "viewed it from afar"....."Grounded at Long Beach"...."Tourist trap"..."The indignities she suffers sitting there".....Well Sir,with all due respect to your life at sea,I myself have spent all my life in the Maritime trade,my shipfitter's hammer has clanged on the proud metal on the "Queen Mary" have attended many a business meeting in her later years,I was married aboard her in dignity whilst docked in Long Beach...she is docked in a concrete dry-dock..she has just underwent multi-million dollar renovations......Long Beach has no plans of scrapping her (Long Beach newspaper 2011)...she is a hotel,convention centre,museum,she's registered as a historic sight..she's a symbol of Long Beach tourism...and sits there as proud as any Scot,she even hosts her own Highland games every year and every other event you could think of...beautiful bars and multi resturants..New Years Eve celebrations..hardly feats of indignity!...the biggest indignity she could have suffered would have been to be scrapped in the U.K......so she now has 44 years added to her proud life thanks to the people and city of Long Beach! ....as for making profit!...who the hell makes profits these days.....Campbell Tuck
wellfield
Click to view attachment
Tommy Kennedy
If you can show me how to get a carpet or a mattress of a ship under the scrutiny of the dock security then you are a bit of a magician. - See My posts, Dunvegan.
The magic you needed was some paper with the Queen's head on it rolleyes.gif

London/Liverpool/Southmpton docks - I've seen dockies carrying out whole sides of beef/lamb, and frozen at that, actualy using wheel barrows piled with boxes of tinned food.....the ration days that was worth a lot o' money. Cops no problem as long as they got a cut!!!.

PS...I had 10 years before the mast, Dunvegan. Chief Steward on passenger liners - Purser/chief steward on cargo ships.
Of course I never involved myself with such goings on rolleyes.gif
wellfield
Click to view attachment
This is the forward observation bar aboard the "Queen Mary" as it looks today
Dunvegan
QUOTE (Tommy Kennedy @ 15th Feb 2011, 11:36am) *
If you can show me how to get a carpet or a mattress of a ship under the scrutiny of the dock security then you are a bit of a magician. - See My posts, Dunvegan.
The magic you needed was some paper with the Queen's head on it rolleyes.gif

London/Liverpool/Southmpton docks - I've seen dockies carrying out whole sides of beef/lamb, and frozen at that, actualy using wheel barrows piled with boxes of tinned food.....the ration days that was worth a lot o' money. Cops no problem as long as they got a cut!!!.

PS...I had 10 years before the mast, Dunvegan. Chief Steward on passenger liners - Purser/chief steward on cargo ships.
Of course I never involved myself with such goings on rolleyes.gif

Tommy, we were talking about the Clydeside workers who built the ships and I maintain they were not thieves as many are making out. As for crew and after launch activities..... my father was on armed merchant supply ships during WW11 and a bottle of whiskey got him through his home port of Glasgow every time without question.
Dunvegan
Click to view attachment

QUOTE (wellfield @ 15th Feb 2011, 11:41am) *
This is the forward observation bar aboard the "Queen Mary" as it looks today

Too right Wellfield, this was a masterpiece and deserves to be treated as such.
ionnsaigh
The Brickie employed,
Tae build a palace,
Disnae expect - tae live there,
Hame tae him, up a back close,
In a rat infested midden.

Maist wurkers wid take pride,
Stawn back an admire yur work,
Tae recognise the aesthetic,
Tae behold yirsel in high esteem,
Extension o you - yur wurk wid seem.

Oan the wan hawn, an oan the other,
Those brothers both, dark and grim,
A hungry Mother, wae two frail wean,
Flea riddin, scabies, nitts an lice,
Trapped an caged, a tenement tramp.

Then the riches, beyond my wildest dreams,
The things a wanted, fur me an ma family,
The reflection distorts - shades - between right and wrong,
Driving a wedge o utter contempt,
Fur the poor. whits new.
Billyk
I worked in John Browns Joiner shop prior to QE2 build as an apprentice,( temporary from another yard) as far as thieving was concerned, if you wanted something out of the yard, it went onto 1 of the trucks and was then left at Clydebank railway left luggage, on the other hand the Joiners were also sent to work in the homes of the management, not sure where this was booked to, there is also the point that at the end of an order when there were materials left over from the ship and on inquiring if they could be purchased were told NO they would be incinerated in the boilers, as far as I could could see from my experience in a number of shipyards on the Clyde pilfering/stealing was not rife.
Tommy Kennedy
QUOTE (ionnsaigh @ 15th Feb 2011, 11:55am) *
The Brickie employed,
Tae build a palace,
Disnae expect - tae live there,
Hame tae him, up a back close,
In a rat infested midden.

Maist wurkers wid take pride,
Stawn back an admire yur work,
Tae recognise the aesthetic,
Tae behold yirsel in high esteem,
Extension o you - yur wurk wid seem.

Oan the wan hawn, an oan the other,
Those brothers both, dark and grim,
A hungry Mother, wae two frail wean,
Flea riddin, scabies, nitts an lice,
Trapped an caged, a tenement tramp.

Then the riches, beyond my wildest dreams,
The things a wanted, fur me an ma family,
The reflection distorts - shades - between right and wrong,
Driving a wedge o utter contempt,
Fur the poor. whits new.

Aye....the real thieves were the employers at the shipyards - paying wages that barely fed the workers families.
Glaswegians were cheap labour for the Establishment

'In Post 24 is the old man actually saying his wages at the time of building the QE2 was 2.00 a week??
If so, his memory is letting him down.' asks Dunvegan

Poster probably meant building of the 1st Queen Mary.

By the way; oldsailor said it was 1934 when he saw launch of 'Queen Mary'... am sure it was later than that - I was about 5/7 when my Dad took me to watch it.
Mind I believe it was 'laid up' rusting for a long period before being completed
marcam7
as one of the joiners who worked on the Q2,sure stuff got nicked,nicking stuff went on in the building trade all the time,there were hundreds of men from "outside"on the ship so it would be par for the course,pretty sure it went on with the yard men to,i worked on the ship to go out before her, a beautiful ship the Kungsholm,it went on there to,but it was pretty small fry in my opinion,remember you had to walk out the gate and there was lots of security,the ingenuityof the guys that went out the gate carrying "homers"had to be seen to believed,i visited a man who had been employed on the ship he showed me his lovely formica topped coffee table that had been smuggled out,i had to inform him it was made from asbestos,and the edges weren't even sealed,i was diagnosed with asbestosis two years ago and now housebound,iv'e also lost two brothers in law with cancer caused by asbestos so there was a price to pay Mr Cunard,ther was nothing romantic about the yards,long long hours, in the winter if it was the early stages it could be hell,my first time in the yards was in 1962 and it was obvious that it was on its lastlegs,no organisation for such a large operation the men knew their jobs so well they got there in spite of the management,the only incentive given was hurry up so we can sack you,how the hell did i stick 45years in that industry
benny
QUOTE (Tommy Kennedy @ 15th Feb 2011, 06:23pm) *
. . . .'In Post 24 is the old man actually saying his wages at the time of building the QE2 was 2.00 a week??
If so, his memory is letting him down.' asks Dunvegan

Poster probably meant building of the 1st Queen Mary.

The article posted by GG said the auld guy wis 82 in 2007, Tommy .

82 frae 2007 is 1925, so that's when he must've been born. If the Queen Mary wis launched in 1934, he wid've been 9 year auld - the youngest tradesman oan the Clyde. biggrin.gif

The Queen Elizabeth wis launched in 1938, but even then he wid only hiv been 13, an a don't think a lad o 13 wid've been paid 2 a week in 1938, even if he'd been workin in the yard. Ma Da wis a ship's plumber in the mid 1930's an he only got a coupla quid a week as a tradesman.

Ah think, as somebody already remarked, the 2 a week figure is merr likely tae hiv been typo.
Rab-oldname
If I may take a gentle side-step away from this entertaining discussion on larceny from Clyde-built ships, and recommend this nice wee video of the launch of the Queen Elizabeth and its Launch Book. I never saw the Queen Mary in the flesh and I only saw the QE1 once, in 1960 sailing down Southampton Water and she looked wonderful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2BjumWXhXU...player_embedded

The text can be read, of course, by using the pause button.
wombat
wink.gif havin a laff at aw the posters on here who seem tae think theft did'nt happen in glesga shipyards,know personally a joiner who wis knockin gear fae browns yard when qe2 wis bein bilt,
dead easy tae walk oot wie 'formica "rolled around yir waist tied wie string, overcoat on an yir away,mind you yie wurr limited tae narrow strips 2 to3 foot wide.
TeeHeeHee
QUOTE (Rab @ 15th Feb 2011, 08:57pm) *
If I may take a gentle side-step away from this entertaining discussion on larceny from Clyde-built ships, and recommend this nice wee video of the launch of the Queen Elizabeth and its Launch Book. I never saw the Queen Mary in the flesh and I only saw the QE1 once, in 1960 sailing down Southampton Water and she looked wonderful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2BjumWXhXU...player_embedded

The text can be read, of course, by using the pause button.

Terrific read that, Rab. Really enjoyed that.
Thanks M8 wink.gif
Tommy Kennedy
When I visited my Mother in Saltcoats, with my kids, during the 60s I stayed at 'Whites hotel' on the sea front.
I immediatley recognised the panneling in the entrance hall / restaurant / lounge / ballroom as 'ships panneling'

I heard the hotel has been demolished and a block of flats built on the site.
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