Shaw Savill

Shaw SavillDuring the heyday of British shipping, it would have been impossible to have paid a visit to London’s mighty Royal Docks without see several vessels of the great Shaw Savill fleets, berthed in the Royal Albert Docks, handling cargoes in between voyages to and from Australia and New Zealand.

Shaw Savill had a large fleet of very handsome general cargo ships, mostly on voyages lasting four or five months, but they also had a very impressive fleet of passenger cargo liners, including the beautiful Gothic, used for the Queen Royal Tour in 1953.

Once again, the result of twenty-years searching for rare archive film have borne fruit, producing some truly wonderful film footage of so many of the great ships in the substantial Shaw Savill fleet.

The footage takes us all the way back to the start of the last century, showing the ports of the world as they were then, as we sail to them aboard such famous ships as the Mataroa, Tamaroa right the way through to those handsome cargo ships like the Arabic and Coptic.

We even have film of the Largs Bay, making her last voyage back from Australia, which is really quite special, and it’s in colour!

Shaw SavillMy favourite Shaw Savill cargo liner was the Dominion Monarch, which I always considered to be such a handsome ship. I remember how we would often be in port together with her in Wellington, and how, for whatever reason, I would often stand on the decks of my ship: Rangitata, Ruahine or the Hinakura, as just been so taken in by her looks.

It therefore came as a really big bonus to me when we discovered film of the Dominion Monarch, showing her building and launch in Newcastle and her maiden voyage, as well as lots and lots of other shots of her in and around the ports of New Zealand.

There were of course, what were Shaw Savill’s most famous ocean liners, the Southern Cross and the Northern Star. The rare film we found show not only the construction of these two revolutionary designed ships, but their launches and maiden voyages on the Shaw Savill ‘Around the World service, from Southampton back to Southampton, via the Caribbean, Panama, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and home.

We also show the Southern Cross and the Northern Star cruising as well as rare film of the Southern Cross in service as the Azure Seas after she was sold by Shaw Savill.

Finally, there is footage of the ex Royal Mail Liners that Shaw Savill took over: Akaroa, Aranda and the Awara.

So, if you ever sailed or worked with Shaw Savill, or if you just love old ships and nostalgia, then the DVDs in the series of “The Great Liners” that feature Shaw Savill ships are: Episodes: 5, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23.

The footage on these DVDs will bring you so much happiness, especially if you have fond memories of those Shaw Savill ships. We’ve even compiled complete sound tracks so that every sound you hear is authentic, including the many different ship’s actual whistles.

So, pour yourself a little drink if you can, then sit in your favourite chair, put on one of these amazing DVDs and let yourself slip back in time to an age that was for so many of us, the best years of out lives.

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