The Great Liners (Episode 21)


Ships to New Zealand (Part 4)

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No-one ever thought they would ever be able to see these wonderful maritime images ever again, but in this fourth part of our story. ‘Ships to New Zealand’ we continue to do exactly that, looking at the ships both in port and at sea.

In the first three parts we watched the ships as they readied themselves for sea, and then sailed with them on what was the longest line voyage on earth, from the UK to the shores of Australia and New Zealand. Then we followed the ships as they sailed in and out of the various ports around the coast of New Zealand and looked at the exciting adventures and romance enjoyed by their crews.

In this fourth part of the story we continue to follow the ships and their crews as they sail in and out of such scenic ports as Dunedin, Port Chalmers, Lyttleton Nelson, New Plymouth, Napier, Timaru, Wellington and Auckland. Many of the ships featured in the magnificent video were operated by shipping by Companies that were once household names, such as Blue Star, Ellman’s, New Zealand shipping company, Federal Steam, Port Line, Shaw Savill. Using film recently shot especially for exclusive use in this production, we also see those same ports as they are today and draw a comparison with the way they were once.

We visit the places and bars once frequented by the men (and women) who once served aboard these beautiful old ships, places where so many romances, stories and adventures began. We watch the ships at work around New Zealand coast; discharging their cargoes of mostly UK manufactured goods and then loading refrigerated meat, cheese, butter, bales of wood and drums of tallow, ready to start their long voyages home.

After many weeks spent on the New Zealand coast, working, sightseeing, partying and often falling in love, we watch the ships as they sail from the ports of New Zealand and Australia. For many of these great ships the time they sadly come for them sail from these shores for the very last time and we watch the emotional scenes as they gracefully leave the quayside, their paying-off pennants flying with nostalgic pride after giving so many years of loyal services. Everyone who had anything to do with ships has their very own very special story to tell, for those days were for most of us “the best days of our lives”.

I give you now another chapter in this story about the ships that once sailed to New Zealand. I hope you will enjoy the rare archive film we have somehow managed to find and restore and I hope that this story will help you to open the covers to your own very special book of memories. For ship lovers and enthusiasts everywhere, this really is a fascinating video.

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