Film ID:
NEFA 19713



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A Dorian News Film record of the launching of the Ilesha Palm on 28 June 1961 from Swan Hunter's Neptune Works. The Ilesha Palm was a cargo ship built for the Palm Line shipping company in 1961 by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson on the River Tyne in Newcastle, destined for trading with West Africa. The ship was launched by Flora Azikiwe, wife of Nigerian president Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe.

Title: A Dorian News Film
Title: The Launching of the m.s. "Ilesha Palm" 28th June 1961
Title: Building for The Palm Line, London
Title: By Swan, Hunter, & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Neptune Works, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Title: Christened by Her Excellency Mrs. Flora Azikiwe

The film begins with a view of a propeller-driven passenger plane taxiing on a runway. Flora Azikiwe and her entourage disembark from the plane onto the runway via a mobile stairway marked "Newcastle". She then boards an official Rolls Royce car.

Bow shot of the Ilesha Palm. The crest of the Palm Line shipping company is painted at the front. View of the ship in dry dock, a launching platform erected in front of the ship’s bow where the launching ceremony will take place.

View of the stern of the ship and its propeller. Underneath the ship’s hull shipyard workers check the slipway.

Numerous shipyard workers disembark the ship.

Flora Azikiwe, clutching a bouquet of flowers, and a group of dignitaries stand to have their photograph taken.

Flora Azikiwe swings a bottle of champagne at the ship’s hull. The bottle smashes, and the ship slips backwards into the River Tyne. View of the bow of the ship as it slides into the river.

The ship slows in the water.

Flora Azikiwe shakes hands with other dignitaries on the viewing platform.

View of the empty dry dock slipway, and the Ilesha Palm floating in the river opposite.

Flora Azikiwe departs.

The Ilesha Palm is orientated in the river by tug boats. In the foreground of the shot, the bow of another Palm Line ship is visible, possibly the Ikeja Palm, which was built at the same time.

Scenes at an official celebratory dinner. Diners smoke and drink champagne. A speech is made, then a toast is given. Flora Azikiwe is presented with a gift, another toast held, after which she makes a speech.

Other dignitaries make speeches.

View of the ship moored alongside a dock, panning downwards to focus on the ripples forming in the shallows.

Title: The End