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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Ship is Launched
The famous Swan Hunter shipyards on the Tyne grease the slipway for another stirring launch in the prosperous 1950s.
Industry sponsored film 1957 7 mins
From the collection of:
The clang, bustle and sparks of the welders pave the way for the stirring drama of a launch for the largest cargo liner working West African trade routes, built for the Palm Line. More than 1,600 ships were constructed at the Tyneside shipyards of Swan Hunters, including the famous Mauretania liner launched for Cunard, queen of the ocean and a transport marvel at the time.
In the 1960s Swan Hunters embraced the era of the mammoth tanker in Wallsend with the launch of the 253,000-ton Esso Northumbria. This was the largest ship ever built in Britain at the time, so large that it took up 2 berths and had to be launched side-on into the Tyne. The Glasgow Herald reported that, as the ship gathered speed, 1750 tons of drag chains and seven anchors were needed to keep her from forming an instant bridge to the other bank of the river. Since Swan Hunters demise in 2007, the giant cranes, which once dominated the Tyneside skyline, have been slowly dismantled, and towed to Indian shipyards in 2014. The iconic link to shipbuilding on the River Tyne has finally disappeared from the landscape.
Shipbuilding on Film
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.
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.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Advert 1957 1 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Little Andy takes the speedy way to sparkling good health in a zippy 50s cartoon advertisement for Andrews Liver Salts.
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.
Non-Fiction 1898 1 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
All the fun of the fair in this Victorian film, made in the early years of Newcastle's famous Hoppings
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
A marching band leads the parades with the Boer War still raging
News 1970 17 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Being wheelchair users is not a barrier to these children doing slaloms or throwing javelins, gaining confidence and changing perceptions.
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.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
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.
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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