Film ID:
NEFA 14089



Visitor Tabs


This film documents the building and launching of the Esso Northumbria in 1969 as well as it's departure from the River Tyne in March 1970. At the time this tanker, built by Swan Hunter at Wallsend on Tyneside, was the largest vessel to have been built in Britain.

The name Esso Northumbria is chalked onto the wood panels of an aged green door.

There is a low angle view of shipyard cranes, panning down to street level, with the shipyards in the background, fresh snow on the path and road.

A ferry is under construction or refurbishment in a dry dock. Part of the hull of a ship is under construction on a slipway.

Esso Northumbria is at an early level of construction in the dry dock, near to streets and housing. Workers are climbing up ladders placed around the keel of the vessel. There is a port hole style view of the ship with building instruction on the hull of the ship. Scaffolding is erected around the ships keel and hull with some sections of the ship already painted. View across the shipyards and surrounding landscape. Propeller shaft men are at work. Half of the rudder attachment is fixed into place. There is a shot of the stern of the ship from the floor of the dry dock. Painters are spraying and painting the keel of the ship with spray guns.

There are shots of the shipyards at night. Metal is grinded and welded with only the sparks and hot metal visible in the dark.

There is a shot of the Esso Northumbria in dry dock seen through a telescopic view.

Children are lined up on the pavement of a street for the launch. Pan up to the bow of the Esso Northumbria, which appears near completion. A crowd are gathered for the launch. The Esso Northumbria is in dry dock with launch platform beside it. A Union Jack flag and Esso flag fly from the launch platform.

The Esso Northumbria launches from the slipway sliding down into the water. Crowds cheer and wave miniature Union Jack flags. A few tug boats approach the vessel. Various shots of the tugs with the Esso Northumbria alternate with crowd shots. A helicopter flies overhead.

Esso Northumbria is docked with the stern in view. There is a view over ship yards, construction in process. Stern view of Esso Northumbria, slow pan over shipyard and waters.

There is a view of a tug boat next to a large vessel, with a selection of other ships docked in the background. General views of the shipyard follow. There are views of the stern of the Esso Northumbria with crane beside, a tug nearby. A boy looks out from the quayside.

A small wooden boat sails around the shipyards. A point of view shot towards the car park.

There are views of the tugs and various boat traffic on the Tyne by the shipyards. A ship is docked with a hold opening in bow for loading.

A car park is situated near the shipyards with lines of parked cars. A red Volkswagen Beetle is parked here. Housing can be seen in the background.

There is a general view of the shipyard and some of the surrounding area. In the shipyard two men are by a steel fence looking out over the water. The stern of the Esso Northumbria is in the background. Across the water, a group of people are gathered near the water’s edge. A boy is leaning on the railings. The film cuts back to the stern of the Esso Northumbria.

Tug boats manoeuvre the Esso Northumbria along the river. There are views of the hull of the vessel panning around to the side and bow of the ship. A tug with tow cables is at the front of the ship. There is a close up of the nameplate of the ship. A few people watch from the deck of the ship.

Two tugs tow the vessel. Various views of the ship as it is towed. People watch from the dockside.

The Ironsider tug is at the stern of the Esso Northumbria. Further shots of the tugs towing the ship follow. Ther is a low angle view of the shipyards in the background.

Distant view of a ship travelling through the dockyard. A medium sized red ship is by the river in a dry dock. Side view of a tug boat and other tug boats around the yard. The red ship in dry dock is now launched and a few tug boats quickly position the vessel. The Esso Hibernia is seen in dry dock. View looking down the side of the hull of the ship with varying shots of the ships. There is a final view of the stern with a flag fluttering in the wind and the Esso Hibernia of London name on the stern.