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Cunard’s 1948 Model of Iconic Queen Elizabeth Liner Announced as Centrepiece of New, Permanent Exhibition

The Scottish Maritime Museum is now home to Cunard’s stunning and painstakingly crafted 5.4 metres long scale model of one of the most iconic ships in the world, RMS Queen Elizabeth.

Cunard has generously loaned the 1948 model, which took 6,900 hours to build, to the Museum, where it will become the centrepiece of a new, permanent exhibition celebrating the golden age of cruising.

The ‘Ocean Liners’ exhibition will open at the Museum on Irvine Harbourside later this year.

Launched in 1938 by John Brown & Co., Clydebank, RMS Queen Elizabeth was destined for Cunard’s transatlantic service until the Second World War broke out just months later.

The maiden voyage cancelled, the striking 314 metres long vessel was stripped of the recognisable black, red and white of the Cunard Line, painted battleship grey and refitted as a troop transport vessel with anti-aircraft guns.

Postwar, RMS Queen Elizabeth was returned to Cunard. Along with its sister ship, Queen Mary, it dominated the transatlantic passenger trade up to the late 1950s, when travel by the more economical and faster jet airliner took over in popularity.

RMS Queen Elizabeth was retired in 1968.

The model of RMS Queen Elizabeth, which weighs almost 1.5 tonnes, was built for the Cunard New York City office by the English toy manufacturing company Basset-Lowke.

It is currently on view in a temporary space whilst a conservation survey is undertaken. Any work required to care for, and sustain the model for the future, will then be carried out.

James McLean, Curator at the Scottish Maritime Museum, says:

We’re incredibly grateful to Cunard for generously loaning us this precious 1:48 scale model of RMS Queen Elizabeth.

“The first of three Cunard vessels named after Queen Elizabeth, RMS Queen Elizabeth had an extraordinary life, from wartime service to glamorous voyages.

“As a troop carrier during the Second World War, it moved over 750,000 troops a staggering 500,000 miles.

“Postwar, the familiar dark hull, red funnel and luxurious Art Deco interior soon became synonymous with style, elegance and refinement attracting some of Hollywood’s biggest stars amongst them Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland.

“We couldn’t have a better centrepiece for our new permanent exhibition ‘Ocean Liners’. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to come along and see this fabulous model of RMS Queen Elizabeth close up.”

RMS Queen Elizabeth was the first of three Queen Elizabeth vessels built for the 180 year old Cunard company. Queen Elizabeth 2 launched in 1969 and retired in 2008. The current Queen Elizabeth launched in 2010.

The Scottish Maritime Museum on Irvine Harbourside is open daily, 10am – 5pm.
Up to three children gain free entry with each Adult/Concession ticket.

For more information
Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @scotmaritime


Issued on behalf of the Scottish Maritime Museum by
Joanna Harrison, Mobile: 07884 187404

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