26 January 2009


After a 70 mile per hour gale left nearly a hundred passengers and crew members injured, some with broken bones and certainly all with shattered nerves, Cunard decided the time had finally arrived to modify the Queen Mary in order to reduce her characteristic shuddering in rough seas -- something that had long been a complaint of the crew who in their below-deck quarters keenly felt the ship's vibration. On January 26, 1958, she arrived at the King George V graving dock in Southampton [pictured] so that workers could install Denny-Brown stabilizers. The process took nearly 18 months, the job being finished on March 25, 1959.   

Despite the steadier Mary, some missed her more rambunctious days -- in particular a female crew member, who on one journey found herself, due to the ship's rolling, in the arms of Kirk Douglas: "Now the Queen Mary could roll," she reminisces on an audio tape at the Port Cities Southampton Website, "and then they stabilised her, and I think a lot of the fun went out of seagoing life then." 

Queen Mary by James Steele  

Topical Press Agency

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