The Great Liners (Episode 43)


A Maritime Medley (Part 3)

With the use of more rare archive film never made public before, this 75 minutes long DVD will give you the chance to experience a truly wonderful maritime feast.  Film that takes us back to the early 1960s to board General Steamship Companies beautiful Royal Sovereign on a voyage from London’s Tower Bridge Pier down through London’s docklands in their heyday, when they were the biggest and busiest docks in the world.

The voyage takes us down past Saint Katherine’s Dock, Millwall, Surrey, East India, Canary Wharf, West India and then into the mighty Royal Docks, before continuing down river past Dagenham and on to Tilbury Docks. Every dock is crammed full of ships of every shape and size, and the river is also full of ships coming and going… A ship enthusiasts dream!

Our destination is Margate, where we disembark our more than happy passengers, and then go back further in time to the 1950s where we join British India’s handsome liner “Uganda” as she leave Malta on a Mediterranean cruise.

How different the world was then and how so enjoyable ocean cruises were, especially on a ship such as the “Uganda”.  We see her ports of call in the days when her passengers could wander unhindered through uncrowded streets to enjoy the scenic beauty of other worlds, so far removed from the hustle and bustle of today’s overcrowded cruise giants.  We also see the ship from top to bottom, enabling us to fully appreciate just what life at sea was like in those days of freedom and fun.

Then we go back even further in time to 1946, where more rare film allows us to actually witness the maiden voyage to New York of the magnificent RMS “Queen Elizabeth”.  Crowds fill the quayside and vantage points for miles around as the mighty liner sets sail on what was to be the start of her commercial career as one of the world’s greatest transatlantic liners.

We also look back at the vital roles both she her her sister the “Queen Mary” played in the victory of WW2, with such special footage of the “Elizabeth’s” top secret voyage from the Glasgow yards where she was built, to New York, dodging the might of the German forces en route..  We also follow the war time service of her sister the “Queen Mary” as well, and how somehow, despite Hitler’s personal orders to sink them at all cost, their speed and cunning enabled them to survive.

We then move forward in time to more rare film showing the “Queen Mary’s” final sailing from New York and her final arrival in Southampton, where she is greeted with almost unrivalled crowds and celebrations from all who had come to pay their respects to this, the most famous ocean liner of all time.

More rare film then allows us to see the “Queen Elizabeth” set sail on her penultimate voyage and even though it wasn’t quite her last, the crowds still turned out to watch her magnificence as she leaves Southampton’s Ocean Terminal to a send-off fitting for such a great internationally famous maritime star.

Then we move forward in time to the launch and maiden sailing to New York of the new Queen, the “QE2”, with rare film actually allowing us to follow her as she makes her way down the Solent and out to the open sea.  Never before have these films been shown and never before has there ever been such wonderful displays of maritime pride and importance.

To end. we go back in time to 1950s New York, where more very rare film allows us to join the Grace line cargo passenger liner the “Santa Cecilia” on a voyage all the way to Chile via the Panama Canal and South America’s west coast.  If this isn’t rare enough, we also go to California (1970s/80s) to join the Grace/Delta Line cargo passenger ship the “Santa Maria”.  She’s also bound for South America via the Panama Canal, but this time in the other direction, down South America’s East Coast.  The life aboard these ships is just so interesting the the South American ports back in those days so fascinating, but for me at least, the highlight of these voyages was the transit of the Strait of Magellan, something I have always longed to do and now I can see why, with the magical splendour of what can often be one of the world’s most volatile seas.

These two voyages help us to experience two fascinating voyages on real working ships, allow us to see just what it was like to have travelled by sea in those most exciting maritime days… Just wait to see how in the 1950s they disembarked their passengers by bosuns chair type slings… ‘Elf and Safety’ will have mass heart attacks if they see these films”

The end result is 75 minutes of sheer maritime excellence, the like of which only we at Snowbow our capable of creating, so treat yourself to something very special and get your copy now

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