Catherine Jones and Neil Hodgson report today in the Liverpool Echo about how Liverpool said goodbye to the QE2.

A few emotional paragraphs:

FLAG-WAVING passengers gave the QE2 a rousing send-off in a special farewell concert at Liverpool cathedral.

More than 200 lucky Liverpool ticket holders joined about 1,600 passengers and crew members for the Time To Say Goodbye event yesterday afternoon.

One audience member described the concert as feeling like “a funeral and a wedding all at the same time”.

Faure’s Requiem was played as members of the ship’s company carried the liner’s record-breaking 39ft “paying off” pennant down the cathedral’s central aisle.

The folded pennant was presented to former Cunarder and deputy prime minister John Prescott, who formally handed it to Lord Mayor Steve Rotheram, accepting it on behalf of the people of Liverpool...

“The service was just so emotional, they could not have done it better. The QE2 came out when I was first an MP and people were in love with her, that is why she is special. Her design was so wonderful.”

Speakers included former QE2 captain Robin Woodall, who lives in Wirral, Liverpool-born author Dame Beryl Bainbridge, and Falklands conflict veteran Simon Weston...

Cllr Rotheram said: “Even though Cunard left Liverpool 40 years ago, it has never really gone away. It is represented still by that solemn central edifice of our world-famous Three Graces.

“The QE2 was conceived and designed here in Liverpool. Her time as an ocean-going liner is almost gone, but in our hearts she will always live on.”

Dame Beryl said: “We are here today to celebrate a ship so wonderful, so powerful, she will sail through our minds forever.”

Opera singer Natasha Marsh, the RLPO and Philharmonic and cathedral choirs, and the Welsh Guards also took part in the concert.

The Welsh Guards were transported to the South Atlantic when the QE2 was turned into a troop ship during the Falklands conflict, recalled by Mr Weston, who spoke of carrying out shooting practice on deck, then returning to luxurious cabins.

The Band of the Welsh Guards, in full dress uniform, were applauded as they marched through the cathedral’s great west doors playing Sailing.

Everyone in the cathedral was handed a Union Jack to wave during the grand finale of Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Pomp and Circumstance.

A lone horn played the Last Post as the orchestra struck up Auld Lang Syne.

You can buy photos from Liverpool's farewell to the QE2 here.

On YouTube there is also this video of her arrival into Crosby.

No comments: