ian-johnstonIan Johnston -“QE2 Origins”

Ian is a retired Deputy Director and Head of the Academic Programme at the Digital Design Studio, which is part of the Glasgow School of Art.
His books include, “Ships for a Nation” (the history of John Brown’s Shipyard).  He is also co-author with Bruce Peter and Philip Dawson of the excellent book “QE2 Britain’s Greatest Liner“.

Dr Bruce PeterProfessor Bruce Peter – QE2 Interior and Exterior Design

Bruce is a Professor of  Design History at Glasgow School of Art.  His research relates mainly to architecture and design for transport, leisure and entertainment.
Following his PhD, he has combined his interests in leisure design with cruise ship design to write a number of books, including co-author of “QE2 Britain’s Greatest Liner“. He is also a design journalist and critic writing for publications in the UK, Denmark and Sweden.  Bruce is currently working with the Victoria & Albert Museum on an international touring exhibition about the design and material culture of ocean liners.
His latest book, ‘Cruise Ships: a Design Voyage’, is a detailed history of cruise ship design from the latter-nineteenth century to the present day and includes the QE2.

Brian Price – Cruise Director on QE2Brian Price

Brian had a forty-four year career at sea.  He was Assistant Purser on Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth at the time when QE2 was being built.  Brian switched to the Entertainment Department on Carmania before transferring to QE2 in 1970.
He was then appointed Cruise Director on Cunard Adventurer and Cunard Countess. In 1974 he was selected as Cruise Director for QE2 and he remained with the ship for 21 years.  He finished his career on QM2 and retired in 2006.  Brian frequently gives talks to organisations.

RonnieRonnie Keir – QE2 from Clydebank to Los Angeles

Ronnie Keir, a retired Cunard Chief Engineer, will speak about his experience as an apprentice at John Brown’s Shipyard and being a Senior Officer on QE2.   Ronnie was a John Brown’s apprentice at the time when QE2 was built.  He worked on the vessel during his third and fourth year, when he was involved in the manufacture of the turbines and gearboxes. He joined Cunard in 2003 as Staff Chief Engineer on QE2 and left the ship in Los Angeles to go to St Nazaire, for the  building of the QM2.  Ronnie worked as Chief Engineer on Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria.  He is a Trustee for the Charity “Friends of Queen Mary” that is working to restore TS Queen Mary and will want to update us on the progress of this work.

nick-bates-thumbCaptain Nick Bates – A laugh on the Ocean Wave

Captain Bates worked with Cunard for 45 years starting his career with Port Line a cargo subsidiary of Cunard.  He was appointed Master of QE2 in 2004 and Queen Mary 2 in 2008.  After his retirement in 2010 his various interests include working for the Seagull Trust, a charity offering free cruises on Scotland’s Canals for people with special needs.  He is also a popular after dinner speaker, so we can look forward to his lighthearted talk, which is sure to raise a laugh or two.

scott-139Scott Clegg – QE2 Dubai 2008 – 2012

Scott was Dubai World’s Project Manager, who accepted QE2 in 2008 on behalf of the company.  Scott will be giving an insight into QE2’s exciting first  4 years in Dubai.  A time full of promise and also frustration.
In his spare time Scott is a keen sailor, and after leaving the QE2 project, his career has kept him close to the sea.

David HumphreysProfessor David Humphreys – A Queen goes to War: The role of QE2 in the 1982 Falklands conflict

Today David is professor of environmental policy at The Open University. Back in 1982, however, he had a very different occupation; as Senior Accounts Petty Officer on board QE2. He was one of the volunteer crew who served on the ship when it was requisitioned for service in the South Atlantic. David’s talk will provide a first-hand account of what it was like to sail to war on QE2, as well as analysing the vital role that the ship played in the Falklands conflict.

Rob Lightbody – closing remarks and vote of thanksRob QE2 Dubai

Rob Lightbody is founder of The QE2 Story website, and ran one of the very first websites to feature QE2 from the early 1990s.  His father David worked at John Brown’s in Clydebank until 1995, and was involved with QE2’s steam turbines until they were replaced.  Rob’s first trip on QE2 was his Dad’s last, on the  sea trials following the 1987 refit.  Rob gained exclusive access to QE2 in Dubai in 2011 and has appeared on TV and radio to discuss QE2’s years in Dubai.


Dr Stephen Payne OBEDr Stephen Payne OBE

The QE2 Story is indebted to Dr Payne who is delighted to Chair sessions at the Conference. He has a deep interest in Queen Elizabeth 2 and his new book, ‘QE2 – Queen Elizabeth 2: 1967-2008 (Owners’ Workshop Manual)’, will be of great interest to enthusiasts.
Stephen graduated from Southampton University in 1984 with an Honours Degree in Ship Science (Naval Architecture). Over the following years he was involved in the design and construction supervision of a number of Carnival cruise ships. With the purchase of Cunard in 1998 Stephen was appointed chief designer of Project Queen Mary and he subsequently became Director of Project Management for the construction of the ship that became Queen Mary 2.
Stephen regularly lectures and his programme includes many ships, liners and, in particular QE2, all of which are extremely popular. He was awarded the OBE from Her Majesty The Queen in 2004 for Services to Shipping. Stephen holds numerous prestigious awards and two Honorary Doctorates of Science.

Richard Bridge

Richard BridgeRichard has a career at sea spanning 35 years covering many maritime fields. His experience ranges from Deck Officer Cadet to Captain. He had years of experience on bulk, chemical and container vessels before taking up a post as Chief Officer with the Jubilee Sailing Trust on Lord Nelson, all of which prepared him well for his following years with Cunard.
In 1991 he started as Second Officer and then to First Officer on Cunard Countess, Vistafjord and then Navigator on Queen Elizabeth 2 until 1997.  He has been Captain with a number of popular cruise lines including Holland America and Windstar Cruises.
In 2003 he moved to prestigious yachts and he has been involved in project management on new builds. He continues as a Captain working across the globe and his recent experience includes helicopters, jets and submersibles and overseeing operations at major events with his VIP owners and their guests.

Note:  We will have full resume information for speakers nearer the time of the conference. There may need to make minor changes to the content to avoid duplication and ensure the conference talks give a good overview of QE2’s 50 years.

6 thoughts on “Speakers

  1. Sean says:


    Why have I not been invited to speak 1981 youngest member of ships crew at 16 met HM the queen

    Worked in princess grill Queens Grill

    Met Many many celebs such as Princess Diana, Ted Heath , Margeret Thatcher to name a few


  2. Michael hickinbottom says:

    Probably an almighty task but worth a try??. I tried once to email Richard Branson once but I cannot get or how to get direct to him. He wanted get concord flying again but to much red tape and no government backing.why don’t he start new venture virgin cruises he’d have people flocking to him especially on this old great lady of the sea.if anyone can do it He Can!. Only classic ship left not like these stupid floating city’s they got now that look like blocks of flats mounted on a hull.i love this ship qe2 I think a little help from the arabs this could be overhauled like new. Mike hickinbottom.uk .


  3. Tom McKendrick says:

    From the sighting of her keel, lofting of her lines and onwards…reflecting over a century of magnificent shipbuilding history….why are there no real witnesses to the building of this icon included in this conference? Shameful that this story should be left in the care of an intellectual elite with unsoiled hands . A sham!


      • Tom McKendrick says:

        Rob you are of course correct and I applaud you for your energy and efforts. Without your commitment, indeed nothing would be done. But the building of this ship was a more dynamic story. Grime, dirt, cold steel and skill laced with pride, comedy and tragedy…hard to beat!
        Hope it all goes well.
        Kindest Regards


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