“Adventures On The Queen Mary” Book Review

A personal account of life behind the scenes aboard the RMS QUEEN MARY and the smaller RMS IVERNIA in the late 1950s and early 1960s.


For a nostalgic sampling of what life was like behind the scenes on the great Cunarders of yore, ADVENTURES ON THE QUEEN MARY by Dave Wooders and James Radford provides a pleasant romp down memory lane. This sweetly-written and nicely illustrated tome recaps young Southamptonian Dave Wooder’s early career in a myriad of roles (from bellboy to commis waiter, officers’ steward, and wine steward) aboard the RMS QUEEN MARY and the lesser-known Cunarder RMS IVERNIA in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Mr. Wooders’ casual narrative is rich in anecdotal, enthusiastically detailed recollections of how a working class man from the ‘burbs of Southampton experienced the exotic world of a grand ocean liner just a few years before that cherished era came to a close. In the second part of the book, Wooders writes fondly of his return visits to the Queen Mary to retrace his youthful steps decades later.

Co-author Radford recalled, “I was at a benefit dinner (for restoration and historic preservation) on the QUEEN MARY, when Martha Chacon, owner of Queen Mary Couture (now at Shoreline Village) introduced me to Dave Wooders and his wife, Beryl. Martha said, ‘James, this guy Dave, was a bellboy on the QUEEN MARY back in 1957! You two should do a book together.’ Dave & I looked at each other and said, ‘What?’ I eagerly listened to some of Dave’s stories, and I knew straight away that his experiences would make a fascinating and entertaining book. When he showed me some of his personal photos from back in the late 1950’s while he was on board the QM, I knew in my heart that this book was my next project.”

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Co-author James Radford aboard the QUEEN MARY. Photo courtesy of James Radford.

Radford added, “My sister, Barrie, who works in medical book publications, was our editor and layout designer. Talented photographer, Brian Boskind, shared his own evocative photos of the QUEEN MARY, and he retouched all the archival images that both Dave took from his time on board and many heretofore unpublished images of the QUEEN MARY from my personal collection. The first run of the book almost sold out completely in 2014 on the QUEEN MARY. The new 2015 edition is slightly larger, and contains some new photographs. And every single photo in the book was revised and reviewed to bring out their full potential in highlighting Dave’s stories.”

There are a handful of copies of the first edition left and a brand new, enlarged and updated 2015 edition will soon be available. The price is $25 plus applicable taxes and shipping charges. PayPal payments are accepted. To order, please contact: James Radford, 939 Palm Ave., #306, West Hollywood, CA 90069, jamesradford@hotmail.com (paypal email, too). The book is also available in the Ocean Books shop aboard the QUEEN MARY 2.


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