As a Channel 5 documentary on the magnificent, Clyde built QE2 and her future as a hotel airs, now seems a good time to look back at the majestic ship's association with Scotland, and Greenock in particular.

The iconic vessel's operations meant she would regularly sail from her Cunard base in England, only returning to the Clyde a handful of times towards the end of her career, something that attracted record crowds of people to line our shores in the hope of seeing her in all her glory.


After the cold waters of the Clyde kissed the steel belly of the newly launched QE2 for the first time in 1967, it took a full 21 years for the majestic vessel to return to the river of her birth.

We at the Tele decided, the 'money shot' of the momentous day's coverage would be the sleek Cunarder passing Gourock in the early hours of the morning.

Flanked by two Clyde tugs, the QE2 glided upriver in grey but calm conditions, making a dramatic front page picture that disembarking passengers bought as souvenirs from local newsstands that morning.


Crowds of a magnitude not seen before on the Greenock Esplanade waited patiently for the liner to return to the town in 2009.

By the afternoon, the pavement area of 'The Splash' was taken up by people eager to catch an unhindered glimpse of the QE2 on her departure from Greenock Ocean Terminal. Selfless grown-ups ushered youngsters to the front to enable them to get a front row view of the great ship..


Although many fine and famous ships have visited the Clyde, none before, or since, have matched the QE2 for sheer crowd-pulling power.

This shot shows people thronging Patrick Street - one of the few roads that offered a close-up view of the ship to people who came from far and wide hoping to get a close-up look or pictures that would serve as a valuable reminder of her visit.


Giving something of an idea of her majesty and size, this shot of QE2's departure after a visit in 1994 made the pages of the following day's Telegraph.

Weather conditions were perfect as she eased her way towards the Firth, flanked by a flotilla of craft carrying cheering well-wishers. At this moment, had it not been for a farewell blast of her horn that echoed across the town, people gathering on the shore of Battery Park would not yet have known of her creeping approach into view.


​On the day of the famous ship's visit to Greenock in 1994, we presented QE2 captain Robin Woodall with a copy of our 'special edition,' published in celebration of her arrival. Captain Waddell kindly agreed to pose up for this shot on the QE2's bridge as he looked through the many stories and pictures telling her of her arrival and deeply ingrained association with Inverclyde.