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Queen Elizabeth’s maiden voyage

Queen Elizabeth leaving Southampton

Despite the November issue print deadline being 24 hours away we managed to dash over from Ringwood across the Forest to Calshot on a beautiful sunny autumnal 11th October evening to wave farewell and good luck to the newest Cunard cruise ship which was due to leave Southampton at 5pm. We arrived in the nick of time to see her in the distance moving serenely towards us along the Solent surrounded by an amazing flotilla of vessels who were also there to give her a good send off. The Queen was closely followed by the PS Waverley which is the world’s last ocean going paddle steamer built in 1947 so my husband reliably  informs me courtesy of google! Photo shows it dwarfed by by the stern of the Queen Elizabeth.Paddle Steamer Waverley

We were amazed at the turnout and the exciting atmosphere but since the first Queen Elizabeth sailed on her maiden voyage in 1938 and the QE2 back in 1969 it isn’t an everyday occurrence!

The ship’s horn brought back many childhood memories for my husband who thought it was very reminiscent of the first Queen Elizabeth’s which he remembers hearing as a child on New Year’s Eve at his parent’s home in Eastleigh – around eight miles from Southampton Docks!

Included in the crowds were quite a few hardy beach hut owners who seem to have made an evening of the whole event with BBQs and a glass or two of shampers to toast her – all very civilized! I think we all felt very proud!