Primary Image

Tales from the Shipyard (BFI) in February

The second DVD in the BFI's 'This Working Life' series - celebrating Britain's industrial heritage on screen, and begun with the acclaimed Portrait of a Miner box set in 2009 - is Tales from the Shipyard. Released on 14 February alongside a season of films at BFI Southbank and in cinemas in Belfast, Glasgow and Newcastle, this 2-disc box set features 23 films made between 1898 and 1974.

For millions of people, this isn't just Britain's industrial heritage - it's their family history. Tales from the Shipyard contains over five hours of material that portrays our nation's shipbuilding past through acclaimed documentaries, little-known cinematic gems and emotive actuality films, made at the great shipyards of Belfast, Clydeside, Tyne and Wear and elsewhere. It draws together films from the BFI National Archive and two brand new restorations from the Scottish Screen Archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Beginning with three Mitchell & Kenyon films and scenes of jubilant workers celebrating spectacular launches in the early 1900s, further highlights include King George V and Queen Mary's morale-boosting trip to Northern England's shipyards at the tail end of the Great War; rare footage of the stunning SS Olympic (1910) showing the building and launch of the Titanic's sister ship; beautiful colour film of the iconic Queen Mary in RMS Queen Mary Leaves the Clyde (1936); Sean Connery's perspective on Glasgow's industrial relations in The Bowler and the Bunnet (1967) - the only film Connery ever directed - and lyrical documentaries in celebration of industrial might such as Shipyard (Paul Rotha, 1935) and the Oscar-winning Seawards the Great Ships (Hilary Harris, 1960).

Special features include a previously unseen archival interview with Sir Sean Connery from 1967 in which the actor discusses his views on labour relations, after making The Bowler and the Bunnet. He also contributes to the DVD booklet which includes the usual array of new essays and detailed notes on all of the films.

Watch a preview of the set below and following that is the complete film listing…

Disc One

The Launch of HMS Albion at Blackwall (1898)
Employees Leaving Messrs Vickers and Maxim’s in Barrow (1901)
Workforce of Scott & Co. Shipyard, Greenock (1901)
The Launch of HMS Dominion (1903)
King Edward VII Launches HMS Dreadnought from Portsmouth Dockyard (1906)
SS Olympic (1910)
The Launch of HMS Lowestoft (1913)
Visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen to the North-East Coast Shipbuilding and
Engineering Works on the Wear (1917)
RMS Queen Mary Leaves the Clyde (1936)
Shipyard (1935)
Chains (1939)
Tyneside (1941)
Steel Goes to Sea (1941)
The Little Ships of England (1943)
‘Shipyard for Colliers’ from Mining Review 2nd Year No.3 (1948)
Berth 24 (1950)

Disc Two

We’ve Come a Long Way (1951)
The Sea Shall Test Her (1954)
Seawards the Great Ships (1960)
A Great Ship (1962)
The Bowler and the Bunnet (1967)
UCS 1 (1971)
Launch (1974)


Latest Articles