Cargo Holds 1 and 2

There are two major cargo holds in the bow area of the Queen Mary, holds number 1 and number 2.

Cargo was loaded into these holds on suspended platforms which were lowered through shafts that penetrated A, B, C decks D, then down to original F, G and H decks where the actual holds are still to be found intact today. Only the deep tank, chain locker (where the anchor-chains were kept) and forepeak are forward of these holds.

Cargo Holds Map

Cargo Hold 2 (aft) and 1 (forward), in the bow of the ship, modern H Deck.

Open Cargo Holdhold1sm.jpg (18934 bytes)

In this picture, the huge door to Cargo Hold 2 is open and clearly visible just behind the forward mast. The various decks of cargo space below are visible in the side cut-away diagram.

Cargo Hold 1

Hold # 1 is the foremost hold and the smaller of the two. It was designated as a mail storage space: hence the designation "RMS" or Royal Mail Ship. The mail contract was one of the bases for subsidizing the construction and operation of the "RMS Queen Mary."

Cargo hold 1
Cargo Hold 1 looking down (& forward) from above (two photos joined together).
You can see how the ship is narrowing towards the bow here.

Graffiti in Hold
Graffiti in Hold #1 written in the dust by one of the Cunard crews .
You can see how the ship is narrowing towards the bow here.

Cargo Hold 2

Hold # 2 is aft of Hold # 1 and is the larger of the two holds. Automobiles could be loaded into Hold # 2 and were stored on F deck. (Those who saw the recent movie "Titanic" have seen what this area looked like when in service.)

Cargo hold 2  Cargo hold 2  Cargo hold 2
Cargo Hold 2 looking forward, up and down from the top. .

In the center picture above, the numbered slots in each deck were used to place structural beams across the various levels of the shaft so that decking could be placed over each level as the one below it was filled, thereby creating further space for storage. The actual beams and decking appear not to be on the ship today.

The cargo was loaded into the holds by means of seven tubular steel derricks (like cranes), each of which could handle 5 tons. They vary in length from 52-72 feet and are still visible on the ship, but not used today.

A steel container still lies on an upper level of hold #2 today - labeled "Cunard Steamship Company - Liverpool"

History of the Cargo Holds

1936-1939 - These areas were used as designed, built and described above.

1940-1946 -
The ship was used as a troop transport.

1947-1967 -
These areas reverted to their original use.

1967 to present The Long Beach "conversion" of the Queen Mary to a floating hotel and attraction began at the stern of the ship and moved forward. Since money ran out half way through this destructive process Holds # 1 and # 2 survived intact.

They appear to have been simply abandoned and are sitting dark, empty and little changed physically (except for natural deterioration from lack of maintenance).

Possible Restoration and future use

We believe that a revenue generating and educational usage that is close to their original function and purpose is both possible and desirable. 

For example:

Note: There is a service entrance near the bow on current D deck, (original E deck). It might be used for wharfside access both to access this area for supply purposes -- and for visitors to pick up merchandise bought on the upper decks.

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