Wednesday, January 02, 2008

 

Battleship sails on to big screen

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North-West Evening Mail
January 02, 2008



LONG-LOST film of a Barrow-built warship, which saw service in the First World War, is set to be shown publicly after more than a century.

HMS Dominion was built at the shipyard by what was then Vickers, Sons and Maxims and launched in August 1903.

Now footage of the launch – as well as other film of life in Barrow at that time – is to take centre stage at a special Blackpool and the North West on Film event in the Grand Theatre on January 13.

Blackpool council has organised screenings of the Mitchell and Kenyon films, which were commissioned by travelling exhibitors at the turn of the 20th century to be shown in town halls and at village fetes and fairs.

Advertised as “local films for local people” the audience paid to see themselves, and their neighbours, children and family being filmed at football matches, work, civic events or on their holidays.

Lost for decades, some of the films were found in 1994 in a building in Blackburn and 800 reels were acquired by the British Film Institute in 2000.

The Barrow films highlight the shipping industry in “Royal Visit to Barrow and Launch of HMS Dominion”, and the town is also featured in “Employees Leaving Messrs Vickers and Maxim’s in Barrow” and “Workers Leaving the Jute Works – Barrow”.

HMS Dominion was a King Edward VII-class Royal Navy battleship and was laid down at Vickers on May 23, 1902.

She was launched on August 25, 1903s, and commissioned in July 1905, at a total cost of £1,453,718.

She was stationed at Rosyth in Fife as part of the Third Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet at the outbreak of the First World War, and the squadron of eight KingEdward VII ships was initially used in support of the cruisers on the Northern Patrol.

After the squadron was moved to Sheerness in Kent in 1916, Dominion was unsuccessfully attacked by a German submarine and by June 1917 was under refit at Portsmouth.

Throughout March to May 1918 she was the parent ship for the raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend, before entering the reserve and eventually being sold for scrap.


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