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Title:LIFE ON AT SEA ON HMS BIRMINGHAM [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ADM 1825
Other titles:AMATEUR FILM SHOT BY UNIDENTIFIED CAMERAMAN ON HMS BIRMINGHAM [Alternative Title]
Summary: Amateur film shot by an unknown Navy cameraman based on the Town class cruiser HMS Birmingham, during the time in the late 1950s when she was flagship of flagship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean Fleet. The film is spliced together from a number of short rolls in a seemingly random order.
Description: Leader”Roll 1”. Very brief shot on board HMS Birmingham, showing the exterior of the bridge, followed by views of rural landscapes on the island of Malta: fields terraces and hill fort. Coast and cliffs at Dingli. Leader “Roll 8 Canada etc”. Valley, lake and forest views in Canada: a group of friends relax outside a barn. Leader: “Roll 6 at sea Brest etc”. Harbour at Brest: HMS Birmingham and other ships at dock. Town views, including street scenes, shops, and the Pont de Recouvrance (ratings from HMS Birmingham can be seen in uniform). Local family poses for the camera (underexposed). Anchor drills on the deck of HMS Birmingham (also underexposed). Group of crewmen relax on a hilltop during a hike. Leader: “Roll 4 Portugal”. HMS Birmingham in dock at Lisbon. Sightseeing in the town: street scenes, parks, and landmarks, including the Elevador de Santa Justa and the Basílica da Estrela. Royal Navy band marches on the dockside: White Ensign is lowered from flagpole at the end of the visit. Leader: “Roll 3 Casablanca”. Views of the town, cathedral and beach scenes. Twenty seconds of black film, followed by very underexposed shots of Royal Navy band on parade (apparently shot at night). On board HMS Birmingham: Senior officers talk to ratings on deck. Gunnery practice. Views of coastline from sea. Leader: “Roll 2 Gibraltar”. Approach to Gibraltar and docks. On shore: street and market scenes, historic buildings. Leader: “Roll 7 Inverness etc”. Scottish highlands, with crew members hiking. HMS Birmingham at dock. Views of the River Clyde and the Forth Bridge. Abrupt cut to street scenes in Amsterdam, including the war memorial, the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, and the Old Dutch Inn.