In its heyday London was Britain's premier port. The Port of London Authority controlled 94 miles of the tidal Thames from Teddington to the Estuary, presiding over the great dock systems. The four films featured on this DVD capture the port of London in all its glory from the 1920s to the 1960s.
WATERS OF TIME
Made for the Festival of Britain in 1951 by one of Britain's greatest documentary makers, Basil Wright, this film is a poetic celebration of the commercial heritage of the Thames. It features some fine aerial footage of the port of London and looks behind-the-scenes at the activities on the docks.
THE VITAL LINK
Beautifully filmed in colour in the early 1960s, The Vital Link provides a detailed account of the work of the Port of London Authority. Touring the five great dock systems, it looks at activities as diverse as the Port of London Authority's own railway system and police force and the handling of cargoes ranging from tea to ivory.
LONDON CAPITAL CITY
This black and white film, made in the early 1960s, follows the 14,000 ton merchant vessel Hinakura out of New Zealand bringing its cargo of wool and meat to London - just one of the 50,000 ships entering and leaving London every year at this time.
PORT OF LONDON 1921
This fascinating early silent film captures the rapidly expanding port of London at the start of the 1960s, with horse-drawn wagons and steam engines serving the busy docks and wharves. It includes footage of the new King George V Dock being opened by His Majesty the King and the new cargo jetty at Tilbury.