The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Construction of a Graving Dock
A construction project looks to the future at a Swan Hunter’s Tyneside shipyard in the 1930s.
Amateur film 1935 19 mins Silent
From the collection of:
Standing silhouetted on the skyline, the formidable Titan II floating crane looms over the construction site of a new dry dock at Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson shipyards. Workers wade in wet concrete, some 50,000 tons of which were used to build the dock. As an historical record this footage is strangely compelling, speaking to the forgotten future of a great age of shipbuilding on the Tyne.
Since Swan Hunters’ demise in 2007, the giant cranes that once dominated the Tyneside skyline have been slowly dismantled, the last towed to Indian shipyards in 2014. The iconic link to shipbuilding on the River Tyne has finally disappeared from the landscape. This film was shot by members of the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association, probably one of the oldest cine clubs in the world, founded by James Cameron and friends in 1927. It is one of several productions that documented construction and launches at Swan Hunters, which may have been facilitated by Swan Hunters board member and former Newcastle ACA president, Peter G. Campbell.
Shipbuilding on Film
Industry sponsored film 1957 7 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
The famous Swan Hunter shipyards on the Tyne grease the slipway for another stirring launch in the prosperous 1950s.
Non-Fiction 1910 8 mins Silent
The construction and launch of the S.S. Olympic, the sister ship of the Titanic.
Royal Visit to Barrow and Launch of HMS Dominion (1903) Royal Visit to Barrow and Launch of HMS Dominion (1903)
Non-Fiction 1903 5 mins Silent Location: Barrow-In-Furness
Princess Louise comes to Edwardian Barrow in Furness to christen the battleship HMS Dominion.
Documentary 1952 25 mins
A heart-warming tale about a Tyneside shipyard worker who dreams of a cruise on the luxury ocean liner he helps to build.
Workforce of Scott & Co. Shipyard, Greenock (1901) Workforce of Scott & Co. Shipyard, Greenock (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Greenock
Unruly shipworkers defy direction from Mitchell and Kenyon's showmen partners.
Launch of the "Athelsultan" Built to the Order of Athel Lines Ltd, London by Smith Docks Ltd, Southbank-on-Tees Launch of the "Athelsultan" Built to the Order of Athel Lines Ltd, London by Smith Docks Ltd, Southbank-on-Tees
Industry sponsored film 1950 9 mins Silent Location: Middlesbrough
Grandeur, excitement and pride for a Middlesbrough crowd at the Smiths Dock launch of a ship for the Sugar Line.
News 1974 2 mins Location: Wallsend
A simple home for the homeless under threat. The Simpson’s Hotel in Wallsend is down but not yet out.
Promotional 1984 27 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
The fast track to an ambitious new Metro system that ends commuter misery on Tyneside in the 80s.
Amateur film 1951 4 mins Silent Location: Wallsend
Baby boomers celebrate Christmas with a party at a prefab in post-war Wallsend.
The Living Wall: A Personal View of Hadrian's Wall The Living Wall: A Personal View of Hadrian's Wall
Factual TV 1974 52 mins Location: Wallsend
Acclaimed author Hunter Davies travels the length of a magnificent Roman wall that stretches from industrial Tyneside to the Solway Firth.
Sponsored film 1950 8 mins Silent Location: Wallsend
Tyneside shipyard Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson turns out a beast of a tanker for the Argentine Navy
Oil Tanker Wellfield; HMS Bulldog Torpedo Boat Destroyer Oil Tanker Wellfield; HMS Bulldog Torpedo Boat Destroyer
Amateur film 1931 16 mins Silent Location: North Shields
The casual heroes of the shipyards – workers and the ships they build on Tyneside are captured in beautiful monochrome by an early cine club.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
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