Crowds hail Mary

THOUSANDS of people turned out to witness the biggest public spectacle in Scarborough for years when the Queen Mary 2 sailed in to South Bay yesterday.

Sir Jimmy Savile fixed it for people to see the world's biggest liner after ship owner Cunard kept a promise to the veteran fundraiser and entertainer.

Businessman Don Robinson, who witnessed the world's biggest passenger liner pass by along with thousands of spectators, said: "It was the biggest public visit Scarborough has had for years and it's all down to one unsung hero of our town called Jimmy Savile."

The Cunard vessel could be seen as a dot from seven miles away but came in to just two miles away from the shore.

Crowds lined Esplanade and were at every vantage point along South Cliff right up to Holbeck Hill. There were others watching from South Bay beach, the castle headland and the North Bay.

Tony Wilson, of Ramshill, said: "It's a huge thing and I'm amazed at how many people have turned out to see it – it's a sight in itself. There's nothing to compare the size of it to, we need to have the Regal Lady alongside it to appreciate how massive it is."

Robert Hill, of Scalby Mills Road, went on the QE2 18 months ago, but said it was "super" to see the new ship at such a close distance.

The ship was starting its two-week cruise from Southampton to the Norwegian Fjords and was due to sail up the East Coast before visiting Edinburgh, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands.

The arrival of the Queen Mary 2 and other factors sparked traffic chaos all over the town.

Police were called out to Esplanade to help control traffic and traffic was also moving at a snail's pace in manyh other streets, including St Nicholas Street, St Thomas Street, Castle Road and North Street.

The event was missed by the mayor and the entire council as they held a meeting at the same time.