Back in May of 2019, I featured a "Special Guest Post" about the Queen Mary, from Gorillas Don't Blog and Meet The World reader and commenter, "JG." Well, as previously mentioned, JG had more photos from his stay aboard the Queen Mary, and once again, he has generously offered to share them with us! The following narrative is from JG, himself:
My wife and I visited the Queen Mary in 1983 for a conference, but we couldn’t afford to stay on board then. When we had a chance to return to Long Beach for another conference, we decided to stay one night on the QM before moving to the Convention Center hotel, since 34 years later, we could afford a nice room.
As promised, here are some follow-up pictures of the exteriors and other parts of the ship, including the special exhibit on Winston Churchill with props from the 2017 movie, Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman.
First is the Retail Promenade, still in good shape, but the shops' merchandise is very different from what I remember years ago. Similar to Disneyland Main Street, there are more key rings and coffee cups and less authentic British or Scottish goods. There was a wine shop featuring products from a local winery that was unfamiliar to me, but quite good. We shared a bottle in our room that night. Notice the inlaid linoleum, this is the original floor. Linoleum is pretty bullet-proof. The stripes at the base of the wall are different color strips of lino laid into the field.
The exterior walkways still look good, and were recently featured in a Netflix series made in Spain, set on an ocean liner. The interiors of that show were all sets, but many exterior scenes were filmed on the QM.
The stair/elevator towers to enter the ship have been remodeled a bit since the 1970’s, and the signage is updated. The domed hangar built for the Spruce Goose is still there, but I understand that the plane was moved again, so I never got to see it.
Down deep in the ship, where the Jacques Cousteau “Living Sea” exhibit used to be, a special exhibit was mounted, featuring props and scenery from the recent film, Darkest Hour. The Imperial War Rooms were replicated for the film. I had visited the real War Rooms in London some years ago, so it was very interesting to see how well the film scenes replicated the originals. Almost down to the flyspecks.
Churchill’s bedroom, deep underground with over 20 feet of concrete in the ceiling was one of the sets. None of this furniture was original, of course. Any of the real things surviving are in museums in Britain. The bedroom had an animated projection effect showing Churchill (Gary Oldman) walking back and forth.
There was also a replica of Churchill's quarters on the QM, used on his many travels aboard, but for some reason, I did not take a picture of these rooms. These were very nice rooms, as might be imagined for VIP first class quarters on the ship.
The ship’s exteriors still look good from a distance, but if you get close up, you can see the toll of the years in a maritime environment with little effective maintenance. It made me sad to see it.
We did tour the bridge and some of the upper deck cabins in Officers’ Country, including the radio room.
The bridge with the brass telegraphs looked much like I remembered it, only more worn and in need of polishing.
TokyoMagic!, here again. I want to give a great big "thank you" to JG, for sharing his personal photos and memories with us!