The Great Liners (Episode 14)



Not the most romantic of titles but this video is truly superb. Using extremely rare archive film it takes you right back to 1861 when the story of sea-going tankers first began. Using only moving images the video tells the story of the Tanker and how it evolved from frail sailing ships to the giants of today. It shows some of the very earliest motorised tankers berthing and sailing from the Persian Gulf during the early part of the last century and in wartime service. We then join the crews aboard four tankers operated by Shell, BP and Esso during the 1940’s/70’s and sail with them, often through mountainous storms on their voyages around the world.

The crews of these ships had little idea when they would return home again, often receiving fresh sailing instructions while at sea. One ship we join has already been away when it receives the great news that she’s to sail for the UK and home. The video takes you above and below decks, allowing you to experience just what it was like to have gone to sea on those ships from the small vessels that first pioneered the tanker revolution at the turn of the last century, through to the ocean-going leviathans of today.

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