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.
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Launching of M.V. British Cavalier
Cloth caps at the keel blocks, bowlers on the platform, tug boats at the ready for the launch of the British Cavalier tanker on the River Wear at Sunderland.
Industry sponsored film 1962 5 mins Silent
From the collection of:
When the British Cavalier was launched at Joseph Thompson & Sons North Sands shipyard in Sunderland on 19 June 1962, it was the biggest vessel built on the River Wear at the time. Its an impressive sight when the great drag chains on the ways kick up clouds of dust as they break the ships path on the river. A large crowd watch from the South Bank, a reflection of the great local pride in the craft of world class cargo ship builders on the Wear.
Robert Thompson and his sons set up a shipbuilding firm at North Sands on 13 February 1846. By 1884 they were the leading shipbuilder on the Wear and dominated the waterfront. The companys S.S. Empire Liberty, launched in 1941, was the inspiration for a whole fleet of 2,710 Liberty vessels built by the United States government between 1942 and 1945, which contributed to the Allies victory in World War Two. Three launches a day were not uncommon on a river studded with small shipbuilding yards. But the 6 March 1947 was a magnificent day for Sunderland when 3 ships were launched in an hour. Joseph L. Thompson & Sons finally shut down in 1976, and sadly the last shipyard on the River Wear closed in 1988.
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.
Building and Launch of the "Crepath" at Barnstaple Building and Launch of the "Crepath" at Barnstaple
Non-Fiction 1918 5 mins Silent Location: Barnstaple
Barnstaple's experimental concrete-hulled ship gets a visit from a jolly Italian admiral.
Industry sponsored film 1940 34 mins Location: Royal Albert Dock
There’s breathtaking footage of the London’s docks at their bustling peak in this informative film celebrating the work of the Port Of London Authority.
1935 25 mins Location: Barrow-In-Furness
Paul Rotha’s brilliant film of the building and launch of SS Orion from the shipyards of Barrow-in-Furness.
Non-Fiction 1912 2 mins Silent Location: Southampton
Two of the earliest surviving editions of the Topical Budget newsreel, released in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster.
1936 2 mins Silent
The iconic Cunard White Star liner leaves the shipyard of her birth and ventures seawards for the first time.
Promotional 1970 16 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Tuning into the biggest consumer market for television advertising in Britain with Trident TV.
Son of Plain - Advertising Man's Guide to Tyne Tees Television Son of Plain - Advertising Man's Guide to Tyne Tees Television
Promotional 1964 11 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Is comedian Clive Dunn the Don Draper of the British advertising world? Watch this imaginative Tyne Tees TV marketing film and decide.
Amateur film 1962 4 mins Silent Location: Sunderland
Football teams from two working class towns face off at Sunderland’s Roker Park in the 60s.
Home movie 1958 9 mins Silent Location: Roker
An intimate portrait of domestic life in 50s Roker featuring family, football and cricket.
Magazine and Review show 1976 7 mins Location: Sunderland
Tommy Steele returns to Sunderland Empire in the 1970s and recalls his early years as Decca's dynamic new star of the rock 'n' roll era.
Amateur film 1957 8 mins Silent Location: Sunderland
Watching the days go by on the rivers Wear and Tyne in the 1950s.
Documentary 2019 16 mins
Three years after their father passed, a family of four women come together through a series of phone calls spanning over three months.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
A comedy-drama animation about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently.
Drama 2018 8 mins
Samona Olanipekun explores the concepts of home, identity and belonging, from the starting point of the theme of globalisation.
Drama 2017 16 mins
Compelling story of a complex relationship between an imperious father and his son.
Documentary 2020 28 mins
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.
Music video 2019 8 mins
A conceptual film following musical artist Jords’ quest to serendipity. The Tree of Life’ is the cornerstone of the film as he battles to triumph through grief.
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