October 11, 2015 by dontbringlulubook
Ron Onions covered the last ‘luncheon’ of the Queen Mary from Cherbourg to Southampton. The Times also reported on the final sailing on September 28 in 1967 and their photographer snapped Ron on the docks when the ‘Mary’ let rip with a foghorn salute to passing ships.
Ron referred to the coverage of the docks in Southampton by BBC South Today from 1961 in ‘Don’t Bring Lulu; Her Family’s Tale of Trial and Triumph’.
‘During our years living and working in Southampton we had quite a lot to do with the docks. For one thing,the BBC studios were…just across the road from the docks gates…the famous translatlantic liners were still working a regular schedule back and forth to New York – the old Queen Mary before the QEII succeeded her’.
To cover this last luxurious lunch, he came down from the London-based BBC ‘Newsroom’ – in September 1967- where he was now working.
And the Onions’ family were to take their own transatlantic crossing just two months later, this time all the way to New York on the SS Bremen.
When they arrived 9 year old Sarah had her picture taken by the press at the docks in the Big Apple.
And just to note, historians are now organising the 80th anniversary of the Queen Mary which is moored in Long Beach, California as a floating museum.
They want to trace any sailors or passengers who had a connection with the Cunard flagship.
Sarah carried on the journalistic tradition and interviewed Mike Tong,the grandson of the chief steward of the liner – Mike Tong lives in Wallington in Surrey, for Radio Jackie. Mike’s mother Janet travelled on the Mary as a little girl with her grandfather Queen Mary employee Herbert Frederick Smith, who died on the boat in February 1942 – and is now buried in the Cunard garden cemetery in Boston, Mass.
All photos and cuttings taken from the Onions’ family archive.