This morning, I learned of the passing of Capt. Robin Woodall, former Captain with Cunard Line and Master of the Queen Elizabeth 2. He died after long illness.
Capt. Woodall started his career with Cunard in 1960 and is best known as a Master of the Queen Elizabeth 2 in the 80s and 90s. Many passengers and crew members remember him as a much-liked and highly respected Master of his ships. He was an imposing figure with an inspirational personality – pure Cunard! I am sure you will join me in sending sincerest condolences and warmest wishes to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Richard, his son, and Kate, his daughter-in-law.
On a personal note, I am very grateful for his support of the Cunard Queens blog; when asked he didn’t hesitate to take the time to search his archive and write a post about the QE2 Bomb Scare in 1972. You can read his recollection of the event here.
In the previous months Capt. Woodall was campaigning for the Liverpool Daily Post ‘Get on Board’ cruise petition to make Liverpool a turnaround port. If you wish to support the petition, see Daily Post’s special campaign mini-site here.
Godspeed you, Sir. May you rest in peace.
LIVERPOOL DAILY POST, January 6, 2012
MERSEYSIDE’S most famous mariner, Capt Robin Woodall, is sounding the final siren call for readers to sign the Daily Post’s Get On Board cruise petition.
We want the Government to overturn EU restrictions on Liverpool Pier Head terminal which ban turnaround cruises (ie, starting and finishing) at the world famous landmark. The Daily Post’s Get On Board petition, already signed by more than 2,000 people and also backed by the Chancellor, George Osborne, MP, will be presented to the Government on Monday. It will be given in person at the Palace of Westminster to transport minister Mike Penning, MP, who is due to visit Merseyside soon. On his trip, Mr Penning will meet Liverpool City Council leader Joe Anderson, who is a keen advocate for removing the turnaround ban.
Capt Woodall brought the Cunard flagship QE2 into Liverpool in 1990, to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary.
I am backing the Daily Post’s Get On Board wholeheartedly, said Capt Woodall, of Hoylake.
It will bring shipping back to the Mersey in a way we have not seen for 40 years. Liverpool Cruise Terminal has proved that we can handle the biggest liners, like Queen Mary 2, on day visits.
The next logical step is to develop the port again as a major point of departure and return for cruises.
There is no point offering Langton Dock Terminal, as some cruise lines don’t want to go into the docks. Also, many cruise liners are too big to fit through Langton lock to reach that terminal.
This is why the new Cruise Terminal landing stage at Pier Head, the most famous place to get on a ship, must be permitted to handle turnarounds.
It is essential that we are allowed to develop again as the leading passenger port for northern England and Scotland.
Having cruise liners based in Liverpool will be good for Merseyside and the jobs it can bring.
These ships will need everything from replenishing stores to maintenance by Cammell Laird and a host of other engineering companies.
Capt Woodall started his seagoing career in Cunard cargo ships and switched to its passenger ships in 1960. He first served on RMS Sylvania, as junior third officer, on Liverpool –North America services.
It would be fantastic to see a Cunard liner leave Liverpool Pier Head once more on a transatlantic crossing. But that won’t happen unless this Daily Post campaign succeeds, which is why I’m giving it my fullest support, he said.