The Building and Launch of the Port St Lawrence at H&W

The Building and Launch of the Port St Lawrence at H&W

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Belfast, Belfast docks, Belfast Harbour, Belfast Lough, Port of Belfast




Production 07/06/1963


44min 55sec






Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland under the Archiving Scheme 2


Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Department for Communities, ITV, UTV Archive

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This colour footage shows the building of the Port St Lawrence (London) refrigerated cargo ship – ship 1631 – from the drawing room to launch. Everything for the ship was built at Harland & Wolff, including the final furnishings. The ship was launched on 31st May 1961 by Mrs Rooper, the wife of DR Rooper, Director of Port Line, who owned a fleet of cargo ships. The ship was completed in 1963.


The Port St Lawrence, Ship 1631, Slip number: Abercorn Yard 1

Launch: 31st May 1963

Present at the launch: Mrs Rooper – wife of DR Rooper, Port Line Limited.

Representing Port Line: Mr RH Senior DSO TD (Chairman& MD), RW Cromarty (Director, Superintendent Engineer and Naval Architect), Captain AG Russell (Marine Superintendent) and others.

Representing the Builders: JS Bailie (Deputy Chairman), Dr Denis Rebbeck CBE, DL (Deputy Managing Director) and others.

The work on the ship continued after the launch. The footage shows testing of the engine, and the transporting of the engine and the funnel

onto the ship. It also shows lifeboat testing and the final fitting out by H&W joiners.

Sistership of the Port Alfred, the Port St Lawrence was the last conventional looking cargo ship built for the Port Line company and, when completed, replaced the Port Halifax. Following other ships in the fleet through Blueport management and Trafalgar House Investments ownership, in 1976 she was transferred to Cunard Steam Ship Co. and then to T & J Brocklebank and renamed Matangi.

In September 1982 she was sold to Armier Shipping Co. of Valetta, Malta with the name Nordave remaining for a few months before sailing to Gadani Beach, Karachi where she arrived on 30th April 1983 for breaking up.


A Ulster Television Production



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