This film is part of Free

The Boat Builders

A boat is a work of art, as this film illustrates so beautifully.

Documentary 1963 16 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Bach played on the cello – a beautifully shaped wooden vessel for producing sound – accompanies footage of the building of a boat, a beautifully shaped wooden vessel for floating on water. After the planing, pattern cutting, steaming, caulking, riveting, painting and varnishing – and additional, atmospheric music from Lasry-Bachet Sound Structures, and Michael Jones’ bassoon – ‘Mizpah’ takes to the water like a swan, a proud day for Cardiff Boat Building and Slipway Co.

This is a film that was commissioned in 1963 by John Grierson, for whom Harley Jones, the director, worked as film editor from 1963-66 on the weekly Scottish Television programme ‘This Wonderful World’ (broadcast also on the ITV regions e.g. Television Wales and West). Grierson had purchased a boat - 'The Able Seaman' – from the company for fishing trips in Kinsale, Ireland. It was screened on ‘John Grierson Presents’ in 1966. Harley became first head of Newport Film Unit, later Newport Film School, in 1966 and remained in post until 1982.