Long Beach, California 2021-05-24 12:00:13 –
for Martin Doherty Hughes, The Queen Mary, a member of the British Parliament representing the West Dunbartonshire region of Scotland, is more than a tourist attraction on Long Beach and is part of the legacy of his family and hometown of Clydebank.
Located on the banks of the River Clyde, west of Glasgow, Clydebank was once the home of a booming shipbuilding industry, backed by John Brown & Company, the marine engineering company that was the largest employer in town at the time. 20th century shipyards mass-produced some of the world’s finest ocean liners, including the Queen Mary, The Royal Yacht Britannia, RMS Lusitania, Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Elizabeth II.
Docherty-Hughes’ father, an 87-year-old coppersmith, still has an old welding kit. Both grandfathers worked at the shipyard. His great-grandfather worked on the Queen Mary.
“For people of my generation, our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents all worked in great shipyards,” said 50-year-old Docherty-Hughes.
Doherty Hughes, a member of the Scottish National Party who has been in parliament since 2015, considers the Queen Mary to be an important part of the Scottish heritage of the working class. He said he was deeply concerned about recent reports on the condition of the ship...
Long Beach purchased the Queen Mary for $ 3.45 million in 1967, and for decades the city has leased ships to a series of unprofitable operators. The ship’s latest operator, the Eagle Hospitality Trust, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January. The city is currently fighting the landlord At the bankruptcy court over the future of the Queen Mary.
A City official inspection report announcement According to court documents last week, historic ships are in worse condition than previously thought and will require an additional $ 23 million in urgent safety repairs to survive in the next two years. According to court documents, if repairs are not addressed, the ship may be at risk of flooding and capsizing.
Meanwhile, the Queen Mary remains closed until further notice.
In an interview with the post on Friday, Docherty-Hughes said the city of Long Beach failed to properly manage and preserve some of its important history.
“For me, for us from a very working-class community, this completely ignores the cultural importance and the historical and artistic value of this extraordinary icon of the Art Deco era,” he said. Said. “As a member of parliament, being allowed to take the stage is confusing to me.”
The future of the vessel remains uncertain as the city considers transferring control of the Queen Mary to the Port of Long Beach Commission of New York. As the ship continues to deteriorate, the city may be forced to make tough decisions about the future of the ship.But Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia This week he said he wanted to save the ship..
Docherty-Hughes said that if Long Beach wants to save the Queen, she needs help. He plans to talk about the fate of the ship on the floor of the House of Commons and will reach out to the US ambassador.
“We all recognize that during these very difficult times it will be difficult for the city of Long Beach to make financial decisions,” he said. “And if anything, let people around the world work together to support the city of Long Beach, support Long Beach, and let citizens know that they are not the only ones trying to maintain. I hope it will be. This is of great value. “
The Queen Mary also has strong supporters in the town of Southampton, England, where the ship was based before moving to Long Beach.
Dave Smith, a member of the Southampton-based RMS Queen Mary Association, has about 200 members, primarily including former crew workers, and hopes to keep it.
“The ship is the last of her kind and we have to do everything to save her,” he wrote in an email. “I don’t want to see her used as a razor blade, etc …. She was a nice ship in her heyday, but it’s all about money.”
For the town of Clydebank, the shipping boom has cost people a lot. To date, the town has the highest incidence of mesothelioma and other related cancers throughout Europe, as shipyard workers handle large amounts of asbestos, Docherty-Hughes said. I will.
“THere you will find the heritage of great pride in construction, the industrial architecture of the 20th century, the artistry of its design for the people who built it, but also the living heritage of conditions related to asbestos. And the economic impact on this community, “he said. “The very idea that this wonderful icon faces a very serious problem reminds us that the sacrifices of so many people working on this ship remain corrupt.”
Docherty-Hughes said he hopes Long Beach will take ideas from a similar restored ship. Ships in London.
One option might be to dry dock the ship and store it as a museum, he said.
“I think seeing this slowly sinking under the waves is a serious neglect of our commitment to culture and art,” he said.
Doherty Hughes’ office in Clydebank is actually in the landing berth of the former Queen Mary. Opposite the street is the former crane used to build the Queen Mary and other ocean liners. Cranes are now a tourist attraction and a platform for bungee jumping.
Doherty Hughes has never been to Long Beach, but his office has a stamp on the Queen Mary’s deck that was given to him. I am grateful that the congratulatory plaque from former Mayor Beverly O’Neal has contributed to the town of Clydebank. history.
He said he would like to see the Queen someday on the banks of the River Clyde, but knows that it is probably impossible.
“If it was up to me, I would take her home,” he said.