On May 27th, 1936, the British liner Queen Mary made her maiden voyage...the last word?
On May 27th, 1936, the British liner Queen Mary made her maiden voyage...the last word in luxury ocean travel. Today in Long Beach she made her last voyage--from Pie "E" to Pier "J". her permanent berth as a floating hotel-convention centre:
As dawn broke in Long Beach harbour today, people in cars and campers began to stir. Some had been there all night awaiting a view of the Queen Mary as she took her final 4-and-a-half mile voyage to her final berthing spot on Pier J. There was a chilling wind blowing and kids huddled in sleeping bags, while the adults sipped coffee to ward off the cold. The comments were varied.
At 6-30, in the early light, the Queen left the spot where refurbishing work has been going on for 3 years.
There has been a lot of controversy over the millions spent on the Queen, and whether Long Beach will ever receiver its investment, paid for from ti???elands oil revenue.
But today, it was all good wishes for the Queen, and for the Queen, and for Long Beach. The tugs pushed, pulled, and worked their powerful engines to move the huge liner into her last berthing spot, for the final tie-down.
Long Beach Mayor Wade, and British born actress Greer Garson tried to handle the ropes to symbolize a tie-down ceremony that didn't quite come off. Later they held a brief final-berthing ceremony on the ramp built to handle the ??? thousands expected to visit the Queen. Tours of the unfinished vessel will begin in April, and no one knows for sure when all the planned facilities will be finished.
The crowd was attentive, mildly enthusiastic, and seemed to be awaiting a final judgement on the worth of the Queen Mary to the city of Long Beach.
Nine tug boats were used to move the motherless queen, and the 4-and-a-half mile trip, which cost 1-hundred-thousand dollars, took a little more than 2 hours. Small boats escorted the powerless liner, and helicopters provided an aerial escort. As the ship rounded the end of Pier J the ship-watchers waved, blew their automobile horns, and otherwise cheered her on. Some watched, a listened to a description of the move on portable radios. The ship has cost some 50 million dollars so far...and is still far from finished to become the tourist attraction that is to eventually....hopefully...to be her destiny.
The Queen Mary is protected by a 14-hundred foot rock dike at her new berth. Harbour officials say it will be completely sealed within the next two weeks.