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
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
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)
Non-Fiction 1903 5 mins Silent Location: Barrow-In-Furness
Princess Louise comes to Edwardian Barrow in Furness to christen the battleship HMS Dominion.
Ship There Was
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)
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
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
Percy Hedley School
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.
Never Put Off Till Tomorrow What Can be Done To-Day
Comedy 1938 6 mins Silent Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
It’s no use crying over spilt ink ... a cautionary comic office tale of calamity and dilly-dallying on Tyneside.
Amateur film 1965 5 mins Silent Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
A young boy’s generosity costs him dear when he is conned out of his mother’s cash for ice cream.
Magazine and Review show 1976 3 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
A ringside seat in Newcastle upon Tyne to see some women warriors of wrestling in a 1970s All Stars promotion.
Today at Six Cup Special
Magazine and Review show 1974 6 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
The city shuts down as devoted Newcastle United fans huddle around TVs for a grim afternoon watching their team’s FA Cup final defeat.
Ivy Was Doing the Washing When They Came
Comedy 1962 12 mins Silent Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
A surreal 60s soapbox mockery of advertising and the traditional British washday? It’s anyone’s guess!
Torture and Pleasure
Current affairs 1980 5 mins Location: Thurlestone
Gerald Haycock embarks on a torture and pleasure weekend and goes from reward-based hard exercise to eating and drinking.
Current affairs 1968 4 mins Location: Nettlecombe
Estate once owned by the father of King Harold, Godwin has never been bought or sold.
Charm Hostess and Mannequin School
Current affairs 1965 6 mins Location: Exeter
Women are put through their deportment paces and all in the name of etiquette.
Current affairs 1969 3 mins Location: Perranporth
Andy Price checks out how to make your own surfboard.
Hafod-y-Ddôl Grammar School, Nantyglo: sports, science and snow
Home movie 1960 8 mins Silent Location: Nantyglo
The sun shines on the school sports, ensuring good trade for the ice-cream vendor; in winter it makes the snow that halts train and car sparkle.
Whirlwinds at RAF St Mawgan
Current affairs 1962 3 mins Location: St Mawgan
RAF 22 Squadron provides air-sea rescue for the South West with new HAR 10 Whirlwind helicopters.
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