Port of London Authority Films - Thames Port (2004)
In its heyday London was Britain's premier port. The Port of London Authority (PLA) controlled 94 miles of the tidal Thames, presiding over the great dock systems and hundreds of wharves. The five films featured here capture London's Dockland's in all their glory from the 1940s to the 1970s. 'Thames Port' celebrates new developments including containerisation and the Freightliner terminal with its Goliath cranes. The PLA also reveals its plan for the forthcoming Maplin Seaport Development. 'Faces in a Crowd' (1969) looks at a day in the life of London and its docks, celebrating the ties between the City and the commerce generated by Docklands. 'Cape Cargoes' celebrates trade links between London and South Africa. It follows the Llandovery Castle outbound from Cape Town with its cargo of passengers, wools, gold, diamonds, skins and hides, bound for first Tilbury and then the Royal Docks. 'Port of London Today' looks at the technology and techniques employed by Docklands in the 1970s, focusing on the handling of grain, wine, oil, timber, meat and cars. Finally 'Port of London 1959' provides an account of the PLA's work at the end of the 1950s, capturing day-to-day operations along the Thames and in the great dock systems.
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