Film ID:
NEFA 22486



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A Gaumont newsreel that records the towing from Wallsend shipyards on the River Tyne of the steel Admiralty floating dock (AFD4), also named the Medway, built for the British Royal Navy by the Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson shipyard. It was bound for the River Medway in Kent.

Title: The HMS "Medway" (Floating Dock) Leaving the Wallsend Shipyard 5 a.m. June 22nd 1912. Gaumont

Title: Dimensions Length 680ft Breadth 140ft Lifting Capacity 32,000 Tons

Steam tug boats (provided by a foreign firm) get into position on the River Tyne at the Wallsend shipyards of  Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson. The HMS Medway, ready to leave, waits to be towed to its moorings by the tugs. Men prepare guide ropes on board. Two men manoeuvre a row boat beside the floating dock. 

[The floating dock was under construction for two years at Yard No. 0867, and launched on the 4th January 1912. It was built from a design by Messrs. Cammell, Laird and Co., of Birkenhead at an estimated cost of £267,000. It was moored in Saltpan Reach in the River Medway, which was about six miles from Chatham and two or three miles from Sheerness. The position of the dock caused widespread concern because of the difficulties in the workers getting to work at the dock from Chatham. In 1915, during World War I, it was based on the Tyne at the Jarrow Slake until moved to Portland in 1923. See The Times, Wednesday, 26/06/1912. Jarrow Slake was dredged to permit the dock to be moored in the river, ready to repair warships stationed in this sector of the North Sea. See Tyneside and the Battle of Jutland, Peter Coppack.]