Film ID: NEFA 14477 Video of NEFA 14477 Manchester Commerce MANCHESTER COMMERCE 1963 Visitor TabsDescription An industrial film made at Smiths Docks Company Ltd in Southbank, Middlesbrough highlighting a new CCTV camera system which had been installed aboard the cargo ship Manchester Commerce. The Manchester Commerce was built at Smiths Dock for Manchester Liners. The launch took place on 12 March 1963, and the ship was completed in June 1963. The film opens with a view showing a number of ships on the Tees, some of which appear to be in dry dock. One of the ships nearest to the camera is the Manchester Faith. The Manchester Commerce is docked alongside the quayside. The camera pans left to right along its length, a floating crane moored alongside the ship. The captain (or chief engineer) on the bridge of the ship looks at a CCTV monitor. This is followed by a shot of a CCTV camera unit placed on the mast of the ship. A windscreen wiper on the unit that holds the camera keeps the view clear. A shot follows looking along the length of the deck, then cuts back to the CCTV monitor. On deck, sailors guide a long rope coming off a winch. A high angle shot shows the "Erimus Cross" tug boat (of the Tees Towing Company) manoeuvring close to the ship. A rope with a loop at one end is lowered from the ship to the tug, where a worker with a hooked pole catches the rope. A high angle shot shows the rope attached to the tug which pulls the ship along. A panoramic shot of shipyard and cranes cuts to a shot of the deck of the ship. A high angle shot follows from the ship's bow[?] of the Erimus Cross towing the ship. The ship sails from the mouth of the River Tees going past the lighthouse at South Gare [?]. Engineers check various guages in the ship's engine room. The ship's propeller drive is seen in operation. The ships speed is set using the engine order telegraph. The film cuts to show the captain [?] looking out to sea through his binoculars. The ship's anchor is lowered into the water. Shots show the anchor chains coming off winches on deck. An officer in uniform speaks to an engineer who is wearing a white boiler suit as they inspect the anchor winches. Back on the bridge of the ship, a group of men look out to sea. The CCTV shows the bow of the ship. On deck a man takes a reading from a sextant[?]. General views follow of the wash from the stern of the ship. A crew member reclines beside ropes on deck. Four other crewmen (cooks) peel potatoes. A general view follows of the ship's deck, with a man looking out to sea from the ship's rail. The film ends with a view of the ship turning and heading back to port on the Tees. Context A Tees-built ship embraces new surveillance technology on its sea trial. The Manchester Commerce heads downriver to commence sea trials, passing the solitary South Gare lighthouse at the mouth of the Tees. The captain is particularly pleased with his CCTV equipment for remote surveillance of the deck. The cargo ship was built by Smith’s Dock Co. Ltd at South Bank, Middlesbrough, which was the last large scale shipbuilders on the Tees. The 60s were a lean period for the shipyard until Manchester Liners placed their first order in 1963. Smith’s Dock Co. Ltd. opened their “family oriented” shipyard at South Bank in 1909 and formed a strong association with the whaling trade, amongst other clients, building whale-catchers for Christian Salvesen from 1912 until the 1950s. In the 50s and 60s sons still followed fathers onto the docks, and workers lived in communities close to the shipyard. No surprise that there was an emotional launch for the last ship, North Islands, in 1986.