Film ID:
NEFA 14482



Visitor Tabs


This film records the launch of the “Athelfoam” tanker from Smiths Docks Company Ltd, Southbank in Middlesbrough on the 22 May, 1951. The ship was built on the Tyne for the Athel Line and was involved in the transport of molasses. The film shows the arrival of guests, a reception and the launch ceremony attended by a huge crowd of locals including many school children. [Please note some opening sequences run too fast.] 

The film opens to show various dignitaries getting out of their cars at Smiths Dock.

The guests chat and enjoy refreshments at a reception in a large function room at the shipyard.[Some sequences run too fast - production fault.]

General view of the bow of the "Athelfoam" showing it's name. Shots of the launch platform and a bottle of champagne, and of the gathered crowds including many children. Some Asian workers are seated right at the back of the crowd. 

The officials walk up to the launch platform.

Shipyard workers knock out the wooden blocks holding the ship in place.

A woman in a hat and pearl necklace launches the ship with a champagne bottle, and the ship moves down the slipway into the River Tees.

The ship is towed away by tug boats. People watch from the slipway.

The film ends with the various officials and launch party guests descending the launch platform.