Film ID:
NEFA 13049



Visitor Tabs


Sponsored film following the construction, launch, and sea trial of the Essi Gina bulk cargo ship. The Furness Shipbuilding Company, with shipyards at Haverton Hill on the River Tees, built the tanker for maritime company B.J. Rudd-Pedersen. The launch took place on 25th February 1963.

[Note: The archive holds only the rough cut of the final film production.]

Title: M.V. Essi Gina. 55,400 Tons Deadweight. Bulk Cargo Carrier

Title: Built By Furness Shipbuilding Company Limited

Title: For BJ Rudd-Pedersen (I/S Eskimo). Sponsor Mrs Anne Katherine Tukiainen

The film opens with a ship sailing eastward down the River Tees. The industrial landscape of docked ships and cranes can be seen on the north bank of the river from Port Clarence, and on to Haverton Hill. The Tees Transporter Bridge stands downstream in the background. The camera pans across to the south bank of the Tees and the Middlesbrough skyline, fading on a shot of a small, disused dockside space with discarded chocks, or blocks, used in the shipbuilding industry.

The next film sequences record the construction process for the cargo carrier Essi Gina at Berth No. 1 of the Furness Shipbuilding Company.

A jetty slopes into the Tees. A path leads to the building berth, surrounded by cranes and scaffolding. Piles of keel blocks run the length of the building berth, which slopes down toward the water. These carry the weight of the ship during construction. Wooden beam structures, called bilge blocks, are integrated with the keel blocks.

Steel plates are transported from the lofts to the building berth along tracks. Steel plate units await transportation by the sheds.

Ship frames are fitted together on site at the building berth. Looking from shore to river, steel girders and plates for the cargo ship bottom are in place. Shipbuilders are working on girders in the background, whilst the laying of the plated first floor is in progress. Upright foundation frames can be seen towards the rear of the ship, fastened by brackets. There are various shots of welders tack welding keel plates and frames on site. Units of welded keel plate frames are lifted by crane. Workers guide the steel plates from crane to ship floor, where it is slotted into brackets. Workers position and weld the frames. Further sections are crane lifted into place at the berth. A man bolts a section into place. The camera pans across the building berth where further sections of the ship frame and floors have been constructed. There are high angle shots of the frame and bulkhead construction, with shots from shore to river of the whole construction site.

There is a view of a ship [the Essi Gina?] in berth at an advanced stage of construction with shell-plated sides in position. At Berth 1 the shell plates are seen in place, with crane 26 in foreground. A crane swings a long welded section [the centreline bulkhead?] into place.

A long metal section rests on the water and the camera pans to a shot of the stern frame and propeller shaft tunnel of the vessel. A high angle shot records view across river front shipyard shed roofs, cranes, and the Essi Gina under construction at Berth 1.

Next, we see a general view of the shipyard building berths. A high angle shot of the bulkhead construction and compartments follows. A welder is at work plating the vessel. There is a shot inside the ship of stern compartment frames. A welder is working on a frame. A supervisor measures the position of frames. There is an oblique view across the construction site for Essi Gina, from shore to river, as the build has progressed with decks in place. We then look across the hatches of the upper deck towards the bridge house framework.

There are various shots of machines in the engineering workshops, used in manufacturing machinery components for areas such as the engine room.

From the north bank of the river we look towards the building berth, where the ship nears completion with decks and part of superstructure in place. There is a high angle shot towards shore of work in progress on the upper deck, followed by a shot towards river of the rear of the ship.

Two men guide steel beams into position from exterior scaffolding erected around the ship. Men are working portside on the bow (front) of the ship. The bridge has now been fitted with windows.

Men walk on the deck towards the bridge. A man is welding plate. From the starboard side (right hand side) of the vessel there is a view of the deck. A man is working on the upper deck.

The propeller is suspended in position at the rear of the ship against numbered markers. A works platform hangs from the ship, in position for sign writers. Huge blocks of wood are hoisted by crane at the front end of the ship. Looking across the water, the propeller hangs at the base of the ship. A close-up shows the Essi Gina name painted on the side. There is a wide shot of the starboard side of the ship at the building berth with working cranes.

We look towards the front of the cargo vessel. A sequence of numbered depth markers is painted on the prow of the ship. An abstract low angle shot frames the prow with crane working behind.

The next scenes record preparations for the ship’s launch.

A man sets up a microphone beside the prow of the ship. Water laps against a measuring rod. Beneath the vessel in the berth basin, the launching ways are being constructed between keel blocks. Men are working, and the gaffer (?) in bowler hat, visits the site. There is a shot of the erected launch platform beside the prow of the ship. Various shots show flags, including that of Rudd-Petersen, who commissioned the ship.

Beneath the ship, two men are setting up the ground ways and sliding ways (cradle) on which the ship will glide into the river. A large group of shipyard workers are gathered at the underside of the ship. Some are using a suspended battering ram to insert “triggers”, which will be knocked out at the launch of the ship.

The following footage records the launch of the Essi Gina: A low angle shot shows the prow of the ship and the Rudd-Petersen logo. Flags are blowing in the wind. We see the Essi Gina name painted on ship. There is a view from the launch platform of invited officials arriving by car, the walkway to the launch platform, and a crowd of workers and their families assembling behind barriers. More official guests arrive by bus. Various shots record the arrival of the launch party in smart dress. These include a young woman in furs and fur hat, who will launch the ship. She poses with a man in bowler hat.

A group of official guests, including the Mayor and Mayor’s wife, await the launch on the platform. The young woman in furs is instructed on launch procedure. She stands by the launch lever. Various shots of the launch party follow.

There is a general view of the Furness Shipbuilding Company riverside building berths. Tugboats manoeuvre into position on the river.

The launch bottle is shown in close-up. The woman in furs pulls the launch lever, and performs the ceremony of naming the ship. She pretends to push the prow of the ship for the publicity photograph.

There are general views of tugs near shipyards on the Tees River. Various shots record the bulk cargo ship moving from launch way into water. The launch party watch from the platform. The ship is towed by tugs.

The woman in furs poses between two shipbuilders in front of the board advertising the Essi Gina launch details. She chats with a man in bowler hat.

There is a high angle shot from the launch platform of crowds dispersing after the launch. Various shots depict guests leaving the shipyard by car and bus, and a publicity photograph taken.

The next scenes record the “outfitting” process in workshops and on ship.

The Essi Gina is afloat in a wet basin at the fitting-out berth.

Inside the outfitting workshops, a wood machinist operates Wadkin machines to produce parts required by the joiners for construction of onboard ship furnishings; a spray painter uses a spray gun on a flat panel; men finish off (polish?) wooden furnishings. There is a shot of completed furniture on display prior to fitting.

Back at the Essi Gina, various shots record work on ship, which include paint finishing, welding and completion of the superstructure, including the bridge.

Ballast water is discharged into dock from an open porthole at the front of the ship. A chain and rolling mechanism with covers is fitted and operates over the cargo holds. There is a view down into the holds.

Next, footage records many completed interiors of the ship, which include crew’s accommodation and operations rooms.

As fitting-out of the vessel is almost complete, a group of invited men and women tour the ship in the rain. A painter and three surly, young apprentices carry paint tins and brushes off the ship. Two men, including a ship’s officer, walk past Blacksmiths Yard in the shipyards. There is a low angle shot of men with chains onboard ship. The captain carries a suitcase onboard. There is a shot of the mast aerial revolving.

Workers guide thick steel cabling hoisted to ship. A crane hoists a steel walkway unit onto ship, with two men balanced on walkway as it is lifted.

The following scenes record the Essi Gina leaving the River Tees and sailing to Falmouth on its first trial voyage.

The Banbury Cross tug, or pilot boat, sails beside, and then tows the Essi Gina from its fitting-out berth. Workers heave steel cables on the upper deck of the vessel. On a rainy day, tugs tow the ship down the River Tees. There is a shot from the deck of the ship looking towards the Transporter Bridge. Various high angle shots from the Essi Gina record the Tees riverfront as the ship travels downriver towards sea. Various shots from the vessel and from the Tees banks show people watching the departure and waving.

There is a high angle shot of the river pilot boat. A shot of the Essi Gina heading for sea follows. The pilot boat leaves the vessel after helping with navigation. Next, we see the South Gare lighthouse on a breakwater at the mouth of the Tees.

A sequence of shots onboard the Essi Gina record areas of the ship’s decks and revolving aerial mast. Intermittent shots looking down at the slipstream appear in following scenes. On the voyage a bi-plane flies low across the path of the cargo carrier. A group of men watch the plane on deck, one with binoculars. Next, there is a high angle shot down into the engine room. Seamen and officers work in the engine room. Engine room machinery is shown in action. A seaman mans the ships wheel on the bridge. There is a shot across the rear of the ship.

The distant English coastline can be seen from the ship. A group of men (possibly the ship’s owners) stand on the bridge with an officer. Officers stand in the narrow bridge command deck. Footage depicts exterior sections of the ship. Towards the stern of the ship, ballast water is pumped into sea. Further exterior shots of bridge and hatches follow.

There is a high angle shot of the anchor chain hitting the water, followed by the huge chain feeding out from ship. A pilot boat approaches the ship. The pilot climbs on board. The pilot boat guides the Essi Gina towards a lighthouse.

Title: Falmouth
The pilot boat guides the huge cargo vessel into Falmouth Harbour. There is a general view of flags blowing in the wind, with Falmouth estuary and headland viewed in background. A view over the harbour landscape is followed by a high angle shot down onto the ship’s bridge. Officers and guests on the bridge begin to climb to the deck. The Rudd-Petersen flag is still flying. In a high angle shot of the prow deck, officers and guests gather for the ceremonial taking down of the flags. The Norwegian flag is raised to represent the new owner.

Title: The End