Film ID:
NEFA 12760



Visitor Tabs


Footage of the launching ceremony of the tanker M.V. Clerk-Maxwell, built by Hawthorn Leslie shipbuilding and engineering company at their yard [No. 759] at Hebburn for Nile Steamship Co. Ltd. (Houlder Bros & Co Ltd). The launch took place on 6 May 1966.

Title: The Launch of M.V. "Clerk-Maxwell" 6th May 1966

Title: Built by Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd

Title: For Nile Steamship Co. Ltd.

Title: Sponsor Miss Christina Bridgeman

The ship Clerk-Maxwell stands on the slipways at Hawthorn Leslie on launch day, the scaffolding decorated with bunting. Close-up of the ship's name on the bow. The ship towers over the shipyard, Union Jack flags fluttering in the yard.

Guests arrive, the women in their best hats. A man directs a photo op with a small crowd of guests. Various shots record the ship in berth and the guests chatting together.

Shipyard workers knock out the chocks before the launch.

One of the guests has his cine camera and chats to two other guests about it. A cheery Chinese woman (?) laughs together with two other guests. All the guests gather informally beside the ship. More guests arrive by chauffeur-driven car and coach.

The sponsor Christina Bridgeman is accompanied up the stairs to the launch platform and is presented with a bouquet of roses. Ms Bridgeman and Hawthorn Leslie representative sniff the roses. She is instructed in how to aim the traditional champagne bottle on cord at the hull of the ship. All the guests are now on the launch platform, posing for group portraits. Bridgeman throws the bottle to name and launch the ship. It doesn't break and she attempts it again.

The Clerk-Maxwell slides down the slipway into the River Tyne, tug boats at the ready to tow the tanker to the fitting-out yard. Christine Bridgeman smiles and waves. All the guests raise their hats and cheer. Shipyard workers watch from the slipways, and the tanker floats on the river ready to be towed.  Ms. Bridgeman is accompanied from the yard after the ceremony. The tugs begin to tow the ship down the Tyne.

Guests and other spectators begin to leave, including a father leading his little boy in a bright blue coat by baby reins.

Tugs manoeuvre the ship, a riverscape of shipyard cranes in the background.

Credit: Filmed by Turners Film Production, Newcastle upon Tyne. England