Film: 3140

Canals + Waterways | 1960 | Sound | Colour


River pilot on the River Thames in London.

A film about the work of London's river pilots who patrol the Thames.

Map showing the Thames from the King George V Dock to Gravesend. Also marked are, from West to East, Woolwich, Bexley, Dagenham, Erith, Dartford and Tilbury. Surrey, Kent and Essex are also on the map.
Naval officer, Pub The 3 Daws ? Mr Bray or Brain on his way to work. He is a river pilot. The Pier Hotel. The Thames in the background. He looks about to gauge the weather. Port of London Authority Thames Navigation service at Gravesend. He enters a room with lockers by the door. Shelves of charts. He meets the hydrographic officer. They look at a chart. Four men, one wearing headphones and a throat microphone. He speaks into the microphone. The man next to him picks up a telephone. Two men walk up some stairs to a map of the Thames. This is the operations room. It shows the position of all shipping on the river. Shipping on the Thames at Gravesend. A radar mast on the Port of London Authority ( PLA ) building. Shipping on the Thames. Mr Brain boards the pilot cutter. The pilot cutter heads out into the Thames. Trinity House trains pilots to ensure mariners' safety. The PLA and river pilots ensure a great deal of trade flows along the Thames. The ship Mr Brain will pilot - the Durango. Her captain ? a naval officer looking through binoculars. The Durango is a 10000 tonne ship carrying meet from the Argentine / Argentina. A member of the Durango's crew. A sailor smoking a pipe. Mr Brain boards by climbing up a rope ladder. He is welcomed aboard. Mr Brain is followed by his helm or helmsman Mr Brain with two members of the Durango's crew. The pilot's cutter leaves. Three members of the Durango's crew. Mr Brain goes to the bridge to meet the captain of the Durango. He salutes the captain. The captain will report any unusual features of the ship. The Durango begins the final portion of her voyage from Buenos Aires. The pilot's flag at the mast signals that he is in charge of the ship now. The bridge. Mr Brain looks forward to judge his course. The pilot is not in supreme charge of the vessel. The helmsman, a member of the Durango's crew in the background. The captain approaches Mr Brain. They chat. Barges on the Thames. A pilot's boat passes them. This takes pilots back to Gravesend when they have finished their assignments. Mr Brain looks through his binoculars. Barges on the Thames. The Durango moves on. The ship's wheel. The helmsman. Mr Brain. he looks through his binoculars. The view from the ship. The ship's bell. A member of the Durango's crew watches a dredger at work. Members of the Durango's crew chat. One of them is smoking. Another one is smoking too. Pilots who caused the ship to founder used to be beheaded by the crew. The pilot's flag. Mr Brain by the bridge. A ship. It has changed course and is getting too close for safety. The ship's horn sounds. Mr Brain. The helmsman. Mr Brain gives the orders. The ship's telegraph sends a message. The helmsman turns - to starboard. Members of the Durango's crew - one smoking. Mr Brain. Barges on the Thames. A member of Durango's crew measuring out rope. Members of the Durango's crew preparing to dock. The crew are getting everything shipshape. They get the derricks ready to lift the hatch covers to begin unloading. The captain ? looks through his binoculars at another ship. More than 75 million tons of shipping use London every year. That's more than a third of all shipping using British ports. Mr Brain. he orders the engines stopped. Members of the Durango's crew. Behind them are cranes. They are waiting for a tug to take them the final stage. A member of the Durango's crew gets the order on the telephone to drop anchor. The anchor drops into the Thames. Anchor chain running out. A member of the Durango's crew rings the ship's bell. A crew member. Beyond him on the Thames is a tug. Paying out rope. Mr Brain blows a whistle. Two tugs. Mr Brain. A tug. Two tugs drag the Durango to the lock. The lock gates open and the Durango is guided forward. There are five docks in the Port of London, covering over 2000 acres. The Sun XI - one of the tugs. There are 36 miles of quays and over 5000 acres of warehouses and sheds. The lock. A naval officer. A member of the Sun XI's crew. Ropes are made ready for tying up. Mr Brain says goodbye to the captain and leaves the bridge. Mr Brain leaves the ship by rope ladder. The captain bids Mr Brain farewell and Mr Brain goes towards a gate. The Durango. Shipping on the Thames. Docked shipping. Durango at dock.

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