The Great Liners (Episode 46)


Cargo Liners of the World (part 2)

People often ask me which of the ships I sailed on was my favourite. Well, I loved them all, but if I had to choose then I think it would have to be one of the beautiful little cargo liners I was so fortunate enough to have enjoyed.

Film of great liners of the 20th Century such as the Queen Mary is incredibly rare and film of cargo ships of that period is rarer still, so that’s why this episode of The Great Liners is so special, for it not only shows you so many cargo ships, it also takes you with them on their voyages around the world, voyages that take you to both great ports and to ones that hardly existed at all… New York, Sydney, Rio, San Francisco, Montreal, or perhaps a tiny little island in the middle of the Pacific or Indian oceans… yes, when you sailed on a cargo ship you seldom knew how long you would be at sea for or, where you might be sailing to… absolute magic, and this DVD shows it all, on rare archive film.

It also shows you how ports such as Liverpool were operated back in those pre computer days, when all the cargo, customs, dockside workers, tugs, ships, crews and so much more were all operated using just pen and paper. Unbelievable…   The programme also shows you how large shipping companies such as the famous Ben Line operated globally in much the same way… Yes, this is a remarkable programme and one you will watch over and over again.

Even for me, (Des), to watch such film of cargo ships brings back so many wonderful memories of days when dreamily sailing through the magic of a South Seas starry sky at night, or through warm blue seas watching flying fish and dolphins at play or through mountainous seas in horrendous storms. As a 16 year-old-boy, how I enjoyed the wonder of sleeping out on deck on top of the hatch covers at night, with just the rhythmic throbbing of the ship’s great Doxford engines, and the gentle swaying of her mast as its navigation light seemed to dance with the stars above. Yes, those were fantastic days, and a life so far removed from the mad hustle and bustle of today’s crowded, samely cruise ships.

For seafarers, those years were the best years of their lives, years that even if you never went to sea or sailed on a cargo ship ever, you will so enjoy, so pour a little drink, put this DVD on, and enjoy a unique, and whole magical, maritime experience.

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