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Queen Elizabeth 2's anchor to be placed outside Holy Rood Church in Southampton
CIVIC chiefs have finally decided on a new home for the QE2’s anchor almost two years since it was given to the city by former owners Cunard.
Subject to councillors’ approval the 13-tonne anchor will be appropriately placed on the pavement outside Holy Rood Church, in the High Street, traditionally Southampton’s place of worship for Merchant Navy sailors.
Cunard gave the anchor to the city in November 2008, on the same day as the ship was handed over to new owners in Dubai. It will be a lasting reminder of the long connection between Southampton and QE2, which can be traced back over 40 years.
The anchor, fully repainted and prepared for display by Cunard, will be one of the main features of Holy Rood Place, a major project being planned by the council to develop the area in and around the church.
Councillor Royston Smith, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “It is very important Cunard’s generous gift gets a home in Southampton.
“Not only will it add an important heritage site to the city, it will also raise the profile of the QE2 Mile and attract more people to Southampton’s Old Town.
“After last week’s launch of the new Queen Elizabeth, it is evident Southampton residents care deeply about the city’s cruise ships. It is also a chance to recognise the cruise industry, which brings millions into the local economy every year.
“Giving this anchor a home in the city will bring great pride to Southampton’s residents.”
QE2 left Southampton for the last time to begin a new career as a floating hotel and tourist attraction in Dubai, a scheme which has since been postponed due the economic recession.
The QE2 Mile is the pedestrian route running through the heart of the city from the Cenotaph down to the waterfront at Town Quay. It links the city’s parks, emerging cultural quarter, shopping centre, old town and the waterfront with many historical features including the Titanic memorial, Bargate, Holy Rood Church, the Watergate, and the medieval vaults.