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Reference number: 6005

Date: 1963

Director: [filmed by Mr Quentin Wilson]

Sound: silent

Original format: std. 8mm

Colour: col

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 26.15 mins

Description: An amateur record of hovercraft production at Denny Hovercraft Ltd. at William Denny & Bros. Leven shipyard, Dumbarton. Focussing mainly on the Denny D2 hoverbus, it details the maiden voyage sailing from Dumbarton to Oban, along the Crinan Canal to Inverness, and down the east coast to the River Thames, London where it is seen operating sightseeing tours. The last section of the film concerns the liquidation of William Denny & Bros. Ltd.

On its maiden voyage, the hovercraft was skippered by 57 year old captain, Richard Mason. Peter Denny [featured in a memorial statue in the film] was born 1821 and died 1895. The statue was erected by friends and fellow townsmen in 1902.

For further information, see book entitled 'William Denny and the Hovercraft', written by Quentin Wilson, and published by Scottish Maritime Museum, 2013. Extensive donor's notes are held at the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive.

Shotlist: [Shotlisted with the aid of donor's notes. Timings from manual control track, speed corrected Digital Betacam tape]

(0.00) title (00:13) [B&W] [still photographs] Denny D1 Hovercraft at William Denny & Sons Leven shipyard, Dumbarton (0.27) [COL] illustration of water contact areas for displacement vessel and sidewall hovercraft cross-sections, gvs test models of hovercraft (1.07) D2-002 returning to the yard (1.39) various shots showing the craft at the dockside [panning shot right to left hovercraft in final trial tests on Loch Long, then stopping at pier] (2.16) c/u newspaper cutting reading 'Hoverbus Ready for Trip to Thames. Successful Final Trial on Loch Long' (2.20) gvs hovercraft D2-002 in dock, including shot of steering cabin (2.41) c/u newspaper clipping reading 'The D2 goes off to show her paces' (2.45) leaving the Leven on the start of the trip South, gvs hovercraft in water including elevated shots from shore (3.32) c/u model map showing Dumbarton, and a line depicting route North to Oban (3.43) spectators at Ardrishaig, gvs street scene, including a few policemen chatting (4.10) D2-002 hovercraft progressing up Loch Fyne (4.28) crowds look on, gvs as craft enters lock at Crinan Canal (5.58) hovercraft exits lock, includes brief shot of men manually opening lock gates (6.11) c/u model map showing Dumbarton, and a line depicting journey North to Oban (6.18 c/u press cutting reading 'Scotland's Hovercraft the Denny D2 skimmed into the Caledonian Canal yesterday' (6.25) in Caledonian Canal above Corpach (6.38) gvs from canalside and elevated gvs of hovercraft passing along the canal from Corpach to Gairlochy, Loch Lochy (8.16) Laggan Locks (8.33) shots taken from on board D2 (includes brief shot of steering cabin, and brief shot of four little girls in summer dresses watching at canalside) (8.51) passing through Laggan Avenue, Loch Oich and the highest lock on the canal, Fort Augustus (10.37) couple on pebbly beach watching as hovercraft passes by (10.55) castle urquhart view of hovercraft sailing beyond, elevated view from castle (11.03) crowds clamour on wooden pier to get a view of the hovercraft, gvs of hovercraft sailing along canal near Inverness (11.25) crowds look on from canal bank, hovercraft passes through Muirtown locks, Inverness (11.44) map showing route taken leaving Inverness, around Fraserburgh and south (11.47) view over rooftops, Inverness (11.53) gvs hovercraft in harbour, visitors explore [walking on deck, meeting the captain] (12.34) ints cabin, men eat and relax at table possibly crew members (12.44) brief shot of engine (12.48) gvs hovercraft in Muirtown lock area (13.11) model map showing the hovercraft's maiden voyage: Inverness - Fraserburgh, Aberdeen, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Whitby, Hull, Great Yarmouth, Harwich, London (13.46) c/u newspaper cutting from the Glasgow Herald dated July 2nd 1963 showing the hovercraft in London, and an advert for a sightseeing trip on it (14.01) views as seen from aboard the Hoverbus as it progresses along Thames River [includes tracking shots construction of buildings, bridges, wharves, Millbank Tower, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge] (15.36) gvs pier near Waterloo Bridge with hovercraft moored (16.00) William Denny & Sons Leven shipyard at Dumbarton, the D2-003 hovercraft nearly finished on quayside (16.15) D2-004 hovercraft under construction in the Building Shed, detailed c/u of engine etc (17.10) ints design office, young men, drawing, creating models, an older man drawing (17.31) staff - a young woman and three men - enjoying sandwiches, drinks and chat sitting outside at lunchtime (17.38) two men set up a model rocket (17.55) following sequences depict the liquidation of William Denny and Sons - men set off rocket in from of derelict shipyard scene (17.59) men fish in water in empty shipyard (18.14) c/u newspaper cuttings 'Denny Shock 'Hover' Cost to Blame?;
'Denny's to go into liquidation... uneconomic business.... Hovercraft costs... one hundred and fifty to be sacked' (18.33) gvs of Leven yard and the last ship No. 1504 [completed after liquidation as the 'Melbrook'] a bit of graffitti reads 'Dole? We never had it good' (19.08) elevated view overlooking yard photographed from Dumbarton Rock and showing the Denny Hovercraft offices with D2-001 beside the dock (19.41) brief shot skeleton hand pinned next to a note reading 'base for a skeleton staff' (19.48) elevated shot of hovercraft in dock (19.54) shot of cranes and wooden pier, now looking rather delapidated, in heavy rain (20.17) [tracking shot, rather blurred of moving water] (20.29) shot of Dumbarton Rock with yard at bottom (20.38) statue of Peter Denny LLD 'Shipbuilder and Engineer', in grounds of Municipal Buildings, Dumbarton (21.01) [BW] still image P.S. Marjorie [built by Denny and sent to operate on the Thames] (21.06) [COL] gvs Cutty Sark [completed by Denny and now at Greenwich] (21.41) Froude Memorial - c/u plaque 'This facade Leven Ship Yard Experimental Tank in memory of the late William Froude' (21.47) entrance gate on the front of the Denny office buildings, with sign reading 'DENNY' (21.52) [Donor notes the film ends here at 21.52, with anything following to be considered 'scrap footage'] [blank leader] (22.16) [more heavily marked, out-takes?] model map 'Inverness Oban' followed by shots of Hovercraft progressing along water, past shipyards (22.31) c/u models of Denny Hovercraft and another vessel, gvs shipyards, gvs model hovercrafts (23.35) THE END, [overlaid on image of model hovercraft] (23.46) [following shots all feature in preceding film - out-takes?] shot of Crinan Canal, various press cuttings about the Denny Hovercraft etc at the Thames, gvs it being taken apart, on Thames at speed, relaxing at yard, statue, gvs hovercraft sailing (26.15)