Film ID: NEFA 19274 Video of NEFA 19274 Full Ahead FULL AHEAD 1965 Visitor TabsDescription Sponsored film by Turners Film Productions that promotes the modernised shipbuilding operations of Austin & Pickersgill at their Southwick and Wear Dock Yard in Sunderland, where large assembly shops and prefabrication processes were introduced in 1960. Footage includes the launch ceremony of the Scottish Trader. The film features music and a commentary that stresses good labour relations at the yard. The yard was demolished in 1990. The film opens with shots of a ship sailing on the sea, cutting to officers and captain on the bridge. There is a close-up of the engine order telegraph (EOT) control. The pilot moves the handle to 'Full Ahead.' Title: 'Full Ahead' (over shot of EOT.) Credits: Produced for Austin & Pickersgill Ltd. Southwick, Sunderland, England Filmed by Turners Film Productions. Newcastle upon Tyne England Production: Brian Nicol A.R.P.S. Photography: Bryan Copplestone A.I.B.P. The pilot plots a course on the ship navigation chart. A ship draftsman works on ship plans. A sequence of shots record both old and newly constructed buildings of the extensive building berths of the Southwick shipyards of Austin & Pickersgill, Sunderland, on the River Wear. New buildings, equipment and modern management methods were introduced to enable construction of larger ships and challenge shipbuilding industry abroad. There is a shot of the building berth constructed at an angle to assist launching. The camera pans across from a building berth ringed by cranes on the north bank of the Wear to a view of the river landscape. There are further shots of the shipyard’s berths, fitting out quay and workshops for the various trades, with close-ups of signs of the Blacksmiths Shop, Shipwrights Shop, General Shop, Plumbers Shop. Interior view of the Drawing Office, where draftsmen prepare detailed ship construction plans. Rolls of ship plans unfold to illustrate the quantity needed for the construction of a vessel. A man gathers drawings from a bench. Men sit at the table in a boardroom where the draft plans are examined and the work is approved prior to construction on a new ship begins. There is a general view of the vast mould loft warehouse, where loftsmen chalk the lines of the cross sections of a ship at full size on the floor, and lay templates of the scale drawings made of thin wooden board. Various shots record the work of the loftsmen, screeving framelines onto boards and listing dimensions on code sheets. Various shots depict the steel stock yard with trucks of steel plates transported by rail to the stock yard adjacent to the production yard. Cranes then unload steel plates guided by workers. The steel plate progresses through the platers’ workshop, through the processes of levelling, guillotining and the use of a 1200 ton bulk head flanging press with fingertip control. A man operates a circle roll that fashions masts and other cylindrical items. A plater controls a roller press for shaping heavy plates. There are shots of the profile burner with ‘electronic-eye’ tracing out intricate shapes from drawings. Men operate the cold frame bender for shaping all sizes of a ship’s frames. Others carry the steel frames onto the mould loft floor where the final adjustments are made by hand. Worker operates a mechanical riveting machine. Overhead shots of the large assembly bays in the pre-fabrication workshops document workers assembling components to form ship units. There are various shots of the welders in action. A man uses a submerged arc welder; close-ups show the completed long straight line weld. Fabrication continues near an Austin & Pickersgill building berth. There is a low angle tracking shot of the cranes beside the berth. Work such as welding continues at the berth. A drum roll solo accompanies a sequence of shots of the many different completed sections of the steel parts of the ship. Various high angle and ground level shots record the superstructure of the ship as it takes shape in the building berth. Bigger steel units are crane lifted into place at the berth. Units that form the superstructure stand at the berth. High angle shots show stern and bow units crane lifted into place. Cables and power lines cover the empty decks. There are close-ups of the tradesmen working on a ship deck. A welder works on the ship hull. A sign reads: ‘Ship 822 Launch Date Dec 6th.’ The ship’s upper fore end unit is crane lifted into place followed by a general view of the unit at the bow of the ship. A man spray paints part of the ship. There is a close-up of a gaffer in bowler hat shouting orders. Auxiliary machinery is lifted into the ship. There is a tracking shot of the superstructure of the ship in berth surrounded by scaffolding, and steel primed in paint. The slipways are fired (set alight) to burn away old lubricant. The slipways are re-coated with oil. The ways are slid into place beneath a ship. The Scottish Trader (3) stands ready for launch in the building berth, the launch platform in place at the bow. A shipyard worker knocks out blocks of wood beneath the ship, lowering it on to the slipways. VIPs are gathered on the launch platform. A woman performs the naming ceremony. The champagne bottle smashes against the hull. The ship moves off. There is a close-up of the woman VIP smiling as the boat moves away. Various shots record the ship launching into the River Wear. There is a shot positioned from the ship looking down at the slipway and crowds at the berth watch the launch. The drag chains stir up dust along the slipway. There are general views of the Scottish Trader turning on the River Wear, maneuvered by tug boats, and a brief view over the River Wear shipyards. Following the launch, a crane lifts heavy machinery into the ship. Two ships are moored at the Austin & Pickergill fitting-out berth. Workshops line the quay for the various trades associated with the fitting-out operations, including the Joiners Shop. There are interior views of joiners at work making the ship’s furniture using both high speed mechanical wood working machinery and hand tools. A man in a mask spray finishes the wood and two men polish it. There is an example of some completed cabinet work. A sequence of close-ups follow of ship equipment such as barometers, all constructed on site, and the various trades employed on ship to fit out utilities. These include fitters, joiners, plumbers, sheet metal workers. Another series of close-ups of the equipment brought onto the ship follows this, which include rope, lifeboat and raft ration biscuits, candles, soap, Vim, fridges, a safe and ship signs. The next sequence documents completed accommodation for crew on one ship. Two engineers inspect brand new ship engine rooms. Various shots show the oil carrier Chandre Meadow of London constructed and fitted out by Austin & Pickersgill. A group of the shipyard and ship company executives look over the ship and papers are signed ready for the ship's first voyage. The Chandre Meadow leaves the fitting out berth and there are various shots of the ship sailing down the Wear towards the North Sea. The final shot shows the ship sailing from the mouth of the Wear past Roker Lighthouse. End Credits: Austin & Pickersgill Ltd. Southwick, Sunderland, England Context The rusted steel shell of an immense ship takes shape on the River Wear in an industrial documentary promoting Austin & Pickersgill’s new Southwick shipyards. An upbeat 1960s colour promotional film trumpets new streamlined operations at the Southwick shipyard of Austin & Pickersgill on Wearside, as workers produce “a masterpiece in steel” with speed, economy and lots of modern technology. It’s hard not to be moved by the beauty and scale of the ships built, evoked in aerial shots from the prow of the launched bulk carrier, Scottish Trader. This slick industrial film was made during troubled times, with few orders on the books and increased competition from Japanese, Korean and other Far East shipyards. There is more than a hint of the industrial disputes that would bedevil the British shipbuilding industry in the 1960s and 1970s, as the narrator stresses the good labour relations at Austin & Pickersgill.