Workers in John Brown’s yard go about their daily routine, unaware that Cunard management are changing conditions in the QE2’s contract. (clip - full length available onsite)

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  • Glasgow


  • Politics
  • Ships and shipping


  • Television documentary


  • 1960s

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Overall rating:


Reference number: T0413

Date: 1969*

Director: Ted Williamson

Producer: George Reid

Production company: p.c Scottish Television

Sound: sound

Original format: 16mm

Colour: bw

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 53.49 mins

Description: The story of the building and fitting-out of the Cunard liner "Queen Elizabeth II", with delays being blamed on all sides by all sides.

Credits: rep. Bernard Falk
rep. Alex Melville
camera Bill Scott,
camera Harry Bridges
camera Les Roberts
dubbing mixer, Jeff Robertson
film ed. Christopher Wentzell

Shotlist: PART I

Scottish Television logo (0.07) Aerial shots of "Queen Elizabeth II" (QEII) at sea in the Firth of Clyde and shots on board (0.32); Interior shots of engine rooms (1.07); Tugs arrive to tow QEII back to port after oil is discovered in the water system (1.24); The Ship From The Clyde (1.31); The QEII arrives in Southampton (2.49); Talking head; John Rannie, shipbuilder, apologises for the delays, but remarks that not many undertaking are delivered on time (3.13); Graham Strachan of John Brown Engineering Limited claims no mismanagement or negligence has taken place on behalf of his firm (3.27); Unidentified worker states that he is only there for his day's wages (3.31); Lord Mancroft of Cunard wishes to get the ship finished as quickly as possible without wasting time in worrying about who is to blame for the delay to date (3.47); Unidentified workman claims that he has the 'pride of Britain' on his shoulders but still only receives his day's pay (3.51); Sir Basil Smallpiece, the chairman of Cunard, describes Cunard's disappointment in the delay (4.01); Gavin Reid, union official, claims that lack of communication resulted in the delays (4.23); Tom Kameen, Cunard engineer, describes the disappointment of the team who worked on the ship (4.32); Group of workmen blame management for poor supervision (4.44); Aerial shots of Clydebank and docks area (5.12); Shot of dockside cranes over rooftops (5.16); Street scenes outside John Brown's shipyard (5.40); Shots of men at work inside the yard; v/o mentions use of computerised planning as a result of the Geddes Report (6.25); Union representative describes the practice of men finishing one job and then doing nothing until the foreman gives them another job to do (6.53); Shots of the exterior of Cunard's offices in Regent Street, London (7.01); Inside the London offices, Cunard men describe the QEII's importance in terms of it being the last ship of its kind (7.24); Shots of men arriving at John Brown's in rain (7.35); Men working with molten metal (8.05); General shots of hull under construction (8.55); Shots of management/foremen wearing bowler hats (9.06); John Rannie tells the story of his "launch day" bowler hat (9.58); Shots of welders on QEII and shots of ship's construction (10.56); Same union representative as before remarks on the optimism of delivering the ship on time displayed by everyone except those actually working on the ship (11.12); Horn sounds for lunch break and men fill billy cans with boiling water (11.48); Aeroplane flies over the yard (12.04); Men have lunch while commentator lists the alterations Cunard made in the design of the ship under construction (12.13); Men at work (12.26); Shot of the QEII under construction using the 'fisheye' lens (12.50); More general shots of the QEII under construction (13.00); Yard empties as the men go home at the end of the day (13.14); Cunard representative claims it was John Brown's responsibility to let them know when the ship would be ready (13.45); Shots of men arriving at yard which fades into shots of men drinking and singing in a pub on the eve of the launch (14.36); Shots of QEII awaiting launch (14.39); John Rannie relates the story of a previous launch (15.40); More shots in the pub (15.44); Queen Elizabeth launches the QEII (16.11); Shot in the pub of a bottle of beer being knocked from the table (16.13); The QEII slips into the Clyde (17.53); Shots of publicity material for the new ship . End of Part One (18.21) 665ft


No credits. Man leafs through Cunard publication "Ships Have Been Boring Long Enough" (0.11); Pan around the liner in the West Fitting-Out Basin, John Brown's Shipyard (0.39); A Cunard spokesman talks about the importance of carrying out the work on schedule (1.12); General shots of the work in progress on board the QEII (1.57); Unidentified man claims there is a serious lack of supervision among the joiners (2.17); A joiner agrees that the number of charge-hands is out of proportion to the number of workers (2.40); Another worker blames the delays on management (2.49); Deck boards are sanded (3.08); The dance floor is sanded (3.11); Supplies are unloaded at John Brown's and then taken on board (3.49); Long shot of Hebridean Islands in the evening (3.55); Shots of tweed-maker, Kenneth Campbell, and the exterior of his cottage (4.05); Interior of cottage. Campbell weaves tweed for Cunard on a mechanical loom (4.54); Zoom-out from tweed used as a seat covering on board the liner and shot of a finished bedroom (5.00); Decorative wall panelling is assembled (5.06); Man working on ship's electrical system (5.13); Exterior views of the ship (5.28); Worker blames sub-contractors and outside suppliers for the delays (5.49); John Rannie defends the sub-contractors (6.22); General shots of work in progress on board ship (6.32); Rannie explains that the delays are caused by asbestos regulations (6.59); Worker blames the use of 'Marinite', another fire-proofing agent (7.18); Shots of Marinite in production in a factory in Springburn, Glasgow (7.26); Managing Director of factory, John Milne, explains the problems with production and delivery his firm has been experiencing (8.38); Shots of the liner still in the fitting-out stage (8.57); Cunard representative, Dan Wallace, describes some further delays (9.19); Aerial shots of the ship (9.45); Shots of the ship in the yard (9.57); Wallace and others talk about Trade Union interference (11.32); General shots of the yard (11.46); Shots on board ship (11.57); Tony Hetter, new manager of UCS, talks optimistically about completion of the liner (12.160; Shots of joiners at work on the ship, the bridge and the two giant turbines (13.00); Graham Strachan, Managing Director of John Brown Engineering, explains why one of the turbines was installed without having been tested (13.42); Shots of the ship and the work being carried out on board (14.10); Wallace explains why the ship was moved down river (14.50); Shots in the yard (15.02); Cleaners go aboard to clean up for the official party (15.07); Wallace describes the preparations for the party (15.20); Shots of the QEII taken at night (15.37); Liner begins her journey down river to Greenock. Shot of Prince Charles on the bridge (18.10); John Rannie in jubilant mood as the ship arrives in dry dock eleven days ahead of schedule (81.50); Shots of ship in dry dock (19.50); Wallace talks about the dismissal of 500 joiners, then a Union official gives his side of the story (21.42); The QEII in dry dock (22.10); Rannie defends his workers (22.34); Aerial shots of the liner on sea trials (22.55); Shots from the deck (23.38); Ship's master, Captain Bill Warwick, considers the trials have been a success (23.52); Aerial shots of the ship on her first cruise, to the Canaries, still with 450 workers on board (24.06); Shots of the workmen (24,25); Cunard staff discuss their new uniforms (25.53); Passengers (25.57); Shots in turbine rooms (26.14); Lord Bancroft explains why Cunard have refused to accept the ship (27.59); Shots of workmen on board (28.03); Passengers relax on deck (28.150; New Year party on board . John Rannie makes speech and congratulates workers for building such a fine ship (28.54); Ship returns to Southampton (29.36); At the press conference, the ship is praised and it is then announced that 175 workers will be brought from Glasgow to complete the outstanding work (30.22); Glaswegians arrive by train (30.44); Shot of the sea ferry which was to be used as accommodation for the workers, but which resulted in still more delays (31.02); Heffer goes on board (31.10); A worker describes the poor conditions on board (31.40); Heffer agrees that accommodation is unsuitable (32.24); Shots around the QEII (32.51); Turbine rotors are returned to John Brown's yard for repair (33.27); Graham Strachan is non-commital concerning the cause of the damage (34.06); Aerial shots of the liner in Southhampton, followed by shots from the dockside and views of the interior (35.00); End credits (35.28) 1278ft