Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth and Nelson Mandela will feature alongside memories from cruise ship passengers and crew in a photo exhibition celebrating the luxury line Cunard, reports Independent.
Hundreds of former passengers sent in their holiday snaps after an appeal for images for the digital Sea Views exhibition, curated by British photographer and filmmaker Mary McCartney.
Celebrating the travellers
The show, which can be viewed online from Thursday, includes images from Cunard’s photography archives, including of famous faces, as well as the memories of guests and crew. Mary McCartney said: “It was a joy to dig deep into the archives and discover never-before-seen photographs that capture the essence of Cunard’s signature moments, showcasing the glamour, elegance, and adventures families and friends shared together.”
“It was not just about showcasing the history, but also celebrating the millions of travellers who have embarked on unforgettable voyages across the globe. As I went through the archives and read the stories submitted by passengers from all corners of the world, I was struck by the strong sense of community and connection that Cunard has fostered over the years. It was an honour to bring those stories to life through the exhibition.”
Passengers from across the world, including America, Australia, Canada, Germany and the UK, submitted their pictures for the exhibition, which marks more than 100 years of onboard photography on the line and the centenary of the first ever round the world voyage on ship Laconia.
Peter Fittock, from Thurso, sent in photos taken by his grandfather Jasper Harold Fittock, who worked as a pantryman or steward on the Aquitania and the Carmania. His grandfather’s image of Western movies star Tom Mix leaving the Aquitania on his horse Tony during a trip to England is among those on display in the online exhibition.
An unforgettable honour
Mr Fittock said: “My grandfather was the longest serving crew member of the SS Carmania, he served on her throughout her time as an armed merchant cruiser during the First World War and on until she was decommissioned in 1935. I have an account of the battle she fought with the German armed merchant cruiser the Cap Trafalgar.”
“My grandfather was presented with a copy of the ship’s bell, one of eight cast from the original, when he left the ship. He retired from Cunard before the Second World War.”
South African president Nelson Mandela’s journey on the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) between Durban and Cape Town in 1998 is captured in the exhibition, with a picture showing him sharing a laugh with companion Graca Machel, who he married later that year. In a message in the ship’s visitor book, he wrote: “Travelling on QE2 was an unforgettable honour and a pleasure.”
Also featured in the exhibition is a photo taken from the Cunard archives of Sir Winston Churchill operating the controls on Queen Elizabeth, with cigar in hand, in the 1940s, and another shows American actress Rita Hayworth looking out from the railings of a ship.
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