Film ID:
NEFA 19501



Visitor Tabs


A promotional film produced by Turners Film Productions for Austin & Pickersgill Ltd Southwick Shipyard in Sunderland looking at the SD14 shelter deck cargo ship built by the company highlighting its reliability as a vessel as well as the speed at which the company can turn around construction. The film showcases the work of Austin & Pickersgill in the design, construction, fitting out and sea trials of a number of SD14 vessels built at the yards.

The film opens with aerial views of Sunderland showing the river Wear and the Wearmouth Bridge in the distance and the Southwick Shipyards of Austin & Pickersgill with one SD14 cargo ship under construction on a slipway as a second undergoes fitting out along the opposite quayside.

A view of cranes at the Austin & Pickersgill shipyard changes to show the cargo ship Venture being launched into the Wear.

Title: SD.14

Title: A Standard Design Cargo Vessel

Another SD14 cargo ship is pulled along the Wear by tug boat, its propellers churning the waters as it goes through sea trials in the North Sea.

The film changes to show a cutaway drawing on an SD.14 cargo ship and a pointer identifying the aft engine room as well as the four holds forward.

Two men in lab coats sit at the controls of a large tank of water in which a model of an SD14 hull is being tested. In a design office, two men work on the designs for the tanker using a pencil and ruler.

A woman sits in an office at a machine typing in the shape of a steel plate, coding it into numerical terms. These conversions come out of the machine as paper tape which is then used for processing into a computer via magnetic tape.

In another part of the shipyard, a machine removes the rust and mill-scale from a section of plate steel. The polished metal is then spray painted with primer by an automated machine.

A man stands at the controls of a large numerically programmed burning machine that cuts four sections of shaped plates at the same time for the double-bottom assembly of an SD14 ship.

Out on the slipway a crane lifts one of the double-bottomed units into position on the bottom shell watched by shipyard workers. The first two of the side-panels are then put into position followed by a third which is being lifted into position by crane with the assistance and guidance of workers.

Underneath the ship and along the hull men work with burners and acetylene torches to weld and trim the metal sections together into a continuous structure.

Cranes lower one of the ships transverse bulkheads into position followed by a view of the ship now split into the four cargo holds seen previously in the cutaway drawing. Inside each of them men work to weld or trim sections together with burners.

The lower stern unit is fitted into position, followed by the rudder, the upper stern unit or fan-tail.

With the erection and welding completed a boring machine is used to ‘true up’ the stern to receive the stern tube. The propeller is then fitted and three men tighten up the propeller nut.

The first of three engine sections, the bedplate and crankshaft, is lowered by crane into the ship where it is secured by a number of workmen.

Fore-end units are lowered into position and welded and trimmed by burners completing the hull. A snow storm doesn’t distract the workers from adding the third and final section of the fore-end into position.

The ship’s mast is lowered into position and the film changes to show a ship being launched into the Wear along its slipway.

Moored along a quayside not far from the Wearmouth Bridge, the SD14 is being fitted out. Inside workmen install the accommodation and a joiner and his apprentice fit a pre-fabricated door frame. In another part of the ship workers fit cabin bulkhead panels, sliding them into position.  Electricians install cabling and in a smaller store room a man lays cork slabs on the floor using bitumen glue. In the Engine Room insulation is installed in the room’s casing.

Inside the now finished engine room, men in white boiler suits looks over the five-cylinder 7000 horsepower Sulzer engine in readiness for testing. A man checks over the main switchboard of the ship's distribution system and another man the auxiliary machinery flat.

General views follow of a stairwell and rooms inside the ships accommodation area including the dayroom of the Captains suite, the 3rd Engineers cabin, a typical crewman’s cabin and the officers smoke room, their dining saloon, the crews mess room and galley. This is followed by views of the radio room and, next door, the combined chartroom and wheel house. From the wheelhouse a view of the ships forecastle and masts.

An SD14 is towed under the Wearmouth Bridge toward the North Sea for sea trials. It passes a large crane in the Southwick Engine Works with lettering along the gantry ‘Geo. Clark’. On the deck at sea, anchor trials are carried out with the chains being lowered and then raised. The cargo ship travels through the water, cutting through rough seas and swells. With the trials over, the film ends as the ship is towed back to port, the setting sun silhouetting the many large shipyard cranes along the riverside in the background.

End credit: Produced for Austin & Pickersgill Ltd. Southwick Shipyard, Sunderland, England

End credit: by Turners Film Productions, Newcastle upon Tyne, England