Steel Goes To Sea

14th December 2010, 22:49
Some digitised films from the 1940s have been put online including the one below.

Following the creational journey of vessel number 242 from steel skeleton to majestic giant gliding gracefully out onto the water, Steel Goes To Sea charters the ins and outs of the ship building industry and those who work within it. With a concentrated focus on the collaborative processes involved in construction, we view the spirit of the workers and witness the vocational knowledge passed from father to son, brother to brother as new generations are introduced to the highly skilled work involved in formulating these towering structures.

This film is designed to show the hard working attitude of Britain’s men, how skills are passed from generation to generation, a percolation strengthening a sense of community and making for prosperous British industries. There are a few digs at the Nazi’s within the film itself, particularly with the constant re-visiting of a piece of manipulated steel that bears the words ‘Hitler is a B’. The personification of the ships themselves, the ‘spirit of the ship’ and ‘family of British built ships’ is perhaps designed to soften the blow of the actual purpose of their construction as fighting vessels for the Royal Navy. The overall intention of the film is to show the construction of the ships as a loving process that encourages bonding between communities and promotes the status of British built ships overseas.

15th December 2010, 10:49
(Applause)Thanks for that, have added timeimage to my favourites.

15th December 2010, 12:08
There is nothing quite like the feeling of taking part in a process that changes a load of steel in the Stockyard to a superb piece of Engineering and watching it sail away. But boy Shipyard's do have some character's. It was not easy work especially when it snowed, a great piece of film Martin(Thumb) and memories for those who spent time in the Shipyard's.

Pat Kennedy
15th December 2010, 19:58
I really enjoyed watching that film. it brought back so many memories of my time in Cammell Lairds during the 1970s, where the slipways and construction methods were much the same, even down to the steam cranes hauling individual plates around, and hull plates fitted to the ribs one by one.
Something I had not realised was that they were still installing rivets with actual hammers in the 1940s, I only ever saw the pneumatic riveting guns.
I wonder which yard this was, anyone recognise it?
I have a feeling it might be Vickers at Barrow in Furness.

kewl dude
15th December 2010, 21:22
I have viewed Steel Goes To Sea a few times and I have caught a few screen captures attached. I have sent these attachments and the URL to a few folks I know will be interested. That second screen capture shows the ship just launched from these ways out in the stream while the keel of the next ship is being placed on the same ways.

Post Vietnam ships were hard to come by so for sixteen months I ran pipe at Todd's Shipyard in San Pedro building 35,000 ton MSC tankers. That yard had a whole different culture but I soon learned the ropes with the help of old timers.

One of the dumbest things I ever did was go back to sea when I was called. The yard tanker contract was done and the pipe department being reduced and I would have to leave, but now they were building US Navy Frigates and there was a call for Coppersmiths.

I was approached to switch to that trade but told the Quarterman who asked me I knew nothing about copper. He told me it is easy and walked me over to a bench where he gave me a couple quick lessons in a few minutes. "There" he said "you have the feel for it."

But I did quit and go back to sea. I just wish I had hung on awhile longer and become a full fledged Coppersmith. Just because it could have come in handy later in life. Instead of hiring a plumber for copper work in my homes being one instance.

When I was out of work in the 1990 recession I had to turn down a darn good job offer due to my lack of copper skills. It was Chief Engineer at a local hotel but it turned out that ALL the building engineers were Chief's due to the Union pay structure and the first task I was to be assigned was replace the four pipe steel Hvac system on the west side of the building with copper.

Greg Hayden