Film ID:
NEFA 21219



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This amateur film documents the launch of the cargo ship MV Innesmoor from Hawthorne Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd yard at Hebburn-on-Tyne. Footage includes views of the ship on the slipway, men at work, and the launch by Viscountess Ridley on 30th August 1954. There are extended views both around the deck and below in a number of cabins and the dining room. The ship is towed down the Tyne by tug boat. The film ends with views of the ship at sea, possibly during its sea trials. The ship was completed in December 1954. This film is a Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) production.

Title: The Launch of the M.V. Innesmoor

Title: Built by Hawthorne Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn on Tyne, For Moor Line Ltd, Newcastle-on-Tyne

Title: The naming ceremony was performed by the Right Hon.The Viscountess Ridley

The film begins with a view of the bow of the ship with the name 'Innesmoor' clearly seen just below the deck rail. Some remaining supporting gantries and scaffolding stand along one side of the ship.

On deck the film shows part of the superstructure including the bridge. Flat boards surround the bridge section, possibly to provide access for painting. More general views follow of the bridge, with a dockside crane in the background, and the superstructure. A closer shot records the bridge.

A close-up shows the anchor chain and winches with more general views of the superstructure.

A man performs some welding on the deck of the ship, next to part of the superstructure.

Cars are parked in a street outside the Hawthorn Leslie Offices. A Union Jack flies from the side of the building

A close-up follows of a nameplate on an external wall which reads: 'Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Limited, Registered Office, Hebburn Shipbuilding Yard'.

A launch platform stands below the bow of the ship. It is decorated in red, white and blue with flags flying at each corner of the platform.

Next a view below the hull showing one of the large blocks which supports the ship while it rests on the slipway.

The propeller at the rear of the ship stands high out of the water. A closer shot shows the propeller with the waterline. Further close-ups show the ships rudder, and just beyond tugs out on the River Tyne.

Two flags fly on the launch platform, one of which is a Union Jack.

Officials and guests start to arrive for the launch. Two ships officers make their way up the steps to the launch platform. The first man in uniform carries a bouquet of flowers. He ties the ceremonial bottle of champagne, decorated with red, white and blue ribbon, to a rope, which hangs down in front of the ship. He presents the bouquet of flowers to camera.

A group of smartly dressed men and women stand on the dockside looking up at the ship. Other guests continue to arrive. In front of the yard's fabrication shed, clearly marked in large letters 'Fab Shed', guests gather.

Viscountess Ridley is escorted by a man, smartly dressed in a suit with a red carnation, a bowler hat and carrying an umbrella. They make their way up the steps to the launch platform. The man shows her the procedure for the launch of the ship. More guests start to arrive on the platform. Another shot follows of Viscountess Ridley being instructed by her escort, a representative of Hawthorn Leslie, on launch procedure. The same man presents her with the bouquet of flowers seen earlier. She poses for the camera, holding the bouquet, nearby the decorated bottle of champagne that will be used in the launch.

Viscountess Ridley, her escort and another gentleman stand either side of her. Her escort holds the champagne bottle. They pose for photographs. Two guests join the group.

The guests gather in preparation for the ceremony in increasingly blustery weather. The camera pans right to left across faces in the crowd.

Viscountess Ridley is poised for the launch with the champagne bottle in her hand. She pulls it back and swings it at the bow of the ship robustly. It breaks immediately. Her escort uses his umbrella to prevent the remains of the bottle swinging back towards the Viscountess.

The ship slides down the slipway. Lights are revealed on the slipway as the ship makes its progress toward the Tyne. The Viscountess's escort shouts for three cheers from the assembled guests, as he holds his bowler hat aloft.

The ship slides into the river.

The Viscountess and the other guests look on. The guests watch the ship slide into the river. Viscountess Ridley shakes a man's hand. She then walks down the steps of the platform ahead of some of the other guests.

A number of guests remain on the platform looking out towards the river at the ship.

A general view follows of the ship, decorated with bunting, manoeuvring in the river. More guests leave the platform.

Tug boats manoeuvre the ship across the River Tyne.

Beneath a dock crane near to the river, spectators watch the ship at close quarters. Next, the ship starts to sail down river.

The film cuts to a shot of a lifeboat secured to the ships superstructure. The name 'Innesmoor Newcastle' is clearly seen on the boats bow.

General views on board ship show the deck area, deck furniture, parts of the superstructure, lifeboats and a close-up of a ship's wheel on deck.

The crew accommodation areas are documented. There are shots of the dining area with red upholstered chairs and neatly laid out tables, lined with polished wood panelling, and a table laid out for six people. A round table is set for five. More general views follow of the dining room.

An exploration of one of the ships' cabins is next. Fitted furniture units finished in exotic woods are complemented by comfortable wooden framed chairs upholstered in pale coloured leather[?]. The chairs are placed around a small table. There is a red upholstered easy chair and the curtains are decorated with broad bands of alternating red and green patterns. On one of the wood panelled walls is a framed picture, which may be an old print of the Tyne at Newcastle.

A nameplate on the lintel above a doorway reads 'Captain'. The door is open and again the high quality of the materials and finishing are in evidence. Easy chairs are placed next to a small wooden table. The fitted furniture is in brown polished wood finishes. The room contains a desk space, wooden filing cabinet, and a small sofa which matches the upholstered easy chairs. A picture on the wall depicts tall spindly trees next to a pond or lake. A clock, barometer and a phone occupy wall space between two windows.

Through another door are the sleeping quarters, decorated in similar fashion to the main room. A bed occupies the corner of the room, with a lamp mounted on the headboard. A blue leather upholstered chair is next to the bed. A set of drawers behind the chair is finished in exotic woods and veneers.

Another door lintel and a nameplate which reads 'Chief Officer'. In this room there is a bed, small table and chair, and a desk with a set of drawers, all with a style and finish similar to the captain's room. A small safe is against one wall near the desk.

General interior views follow of controls with switches, dials and valve controls in the control and engine room. The engine telegraph is in a prominent position, near to the telegraph a box with a number of dials on it.

A close-up follows of the ships engine, a large cogged wheel painted green, electrical switchgear, meters and dials, and a pale green painted generator.

Workmen unload boxes and stack them on deck.

The ship's funnel is billowing smoke. A large letter 'R' is painted on it, a lifeboat tethered nearby.

Early in the morning, workers loading supplies cross a wooden gangplank which links to another ship alongside. A lifeboat bears the name 'Innesmoor'. A general view of the deck and a shot of the funnel follow.

The ‘Cornhill’ tug boat comes alongside the ‘Innesmoor’.

The gangplank is lifted away from between the ships by crane.

General view of the ship’s deck and superstructure where men are working. A man stands next to the winches, which raise and lower the anchor chains. Nearby, two men manhandle a rope off a capstan.

An overhead shot of men working on deck in the distance follows, a ship to the right of the 'Innesmoor'. A tug is stationary in the river nearby. Workmen on the adjacent ship gather at the ship's rail to look at the 'Innesmoor'.

The tug reverses into position near to 'Innesmoor'. The ship moves away along the river, past the Hawthorn Leslie shipyard warehouses. The tugs continue to manoeuvre and guide the ship.

A tug at the stern keeps the ship in position. A high angle shot from the deck shows one of the tugs pulling the ship.

The captain[?] and the chief officer[?] pose for the camera next to an on-deck engine telegraph.

The ship heads towards the piers at the mouth of the Tyne. A closer shot shows the piers at the mouth of the Tyne, and north and south lighthouses.

Various shots record the ship and the ship’s wash near the bow as it ploughs through the sea, and sails away from the Tyne on the North Sea.

The final shots from ship record the setting sun, and the concrete pier at the mouth of the Tyne.