Film ID:
NEFA 21046



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A Turners Newsreel Service film of the launch of the TSS Principe Perfeito on the 22nd September 1960 from Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd Neptune Works at Walker-on-Tyne. The ship (used for passenger and troop services) was built for Companhia Nacional de Navegacao (CNN), Lisbon. The film shows views of the ship, arrival of guests, blessing and launching.

Title: Launch of TSS Principe Perfeito 22nd September 1960

Title: Built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Neptune Works

Title: For Companhia Nacional de Navegacau, Lisbon

The film begins with a high angle shot of the main gates to Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson's Neptune Yard. Painted on the gates are the words 'Neptune Shipyard Main Gate'.

Viewed through dull cloud and mist is the ship TSS Principe Perfeito awaiting it's launch. A platform decorated with a striped canopy stands in front of the ship's bow. Another shot towards the bow shows the full length of the ship, and prominently placed on the bow, the ship's name.

A close up follows of the ship's bow and it's anchor. There are shots of the ship's name, and the full ship looking towards the bow. A low-angle shot from the dockside follows of the ship from hull to bow.

The film cuts to a view of the stern showing the ships name and the ensign flag placed along the rear deck rail.

Just beyond one of the ship's huge propellers, workmen grease the slipway. The camera pans right revealing both propellers. General views follow of the propellers and men greasing the slipway.

Workers remove some of the ship's supports beneath the full. Another group of men use a 'battering ram' to knock away the chocks (props). Workers leave the vessel down a gang plank.

A worker oils the slipway.

Overhead shot from the prow of the ship to the ceremonial platform. Guests and spectators start arriving for the launch. A brass band plays, the conductor in close. General shot of the brass band on its covered platform.

Official guests and dignitaries are greeted as they make their way across a wooden walkway. General views follow of the arrival of official guests. They line up together for a formal photograph.

A priest, accompanied by altar boys, arrives for the blessing of the ship, making their way up onto the launch platform. The woman who will launch the ship carries flowers. She climbs the steps to the launch platform with a shipyard official. The other official guests and dignitaries follow on.

On the launch platform the priest blesses the ship. The woman with the flowers steps forward. The gentleman she is with [an official from the shipbuilders] chalks a cross in a square on the ships hull, a target to aim for when the ship is launched with champagne bottel.

The woman holds the champagne bottle in her right hand. Flash photographs are taken. She smiles for the photographers, pulls the bottle back on its cord and smashes it against the hull.

The ship slowly glides down the slipway. A brief overhead shot of the crowd cuts to the ship gathering speed as it slides into the River Tyne. Along the slipway crowds of onlookers watch as, in the distance, the ship enters the water. A long shot down the slipway shows the ship turning in the river.

The camera pans from right to left across the faces of the launch party.

General views follow of the crowd near the slipway and of the ship on the Tyne at the end of the slipway.

The official party comes down the steps from the launch platform. Limousines drive off with the official guests.

A long shot shows the ship side on in the river. Onlookers near the slipway leave their vantage point. The ship is manoeuvred into position by two tugs. The camera zooms in for a closer shot. The film ends with a shot from the dockside showing two men watching the ship and tugs out on the river.

Title: The End

Credit: Filmed by Turners Newsreel Service, Newcastle - Upon-Tyne, England