Maurice belongs to: The Doxford Engine Friends Association
Maurice left school in 1955 and started his apprenticeship at Doxford's in February 1956. After a motorbike accident in 1958 Maurice worked in the Drawing Office until the closure of the engine and shipyards in 1989.
Maurice was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 7 December 2005. The interview took place at Beamish Regional Resource Centre and lasted 27 minutes and 41 seconds.
The Doxford film
"I got on to the film in 1964"
I got on to the film in 1964, the Doxford’s and the whole of the Wear and Sunderland, well I’m saying it was Sunderland Shipbuilders, it wasn’t Sunderland Shipbuilders then, it was just coming into being. Shipbuilding was at a low ebb and engine building, and management got together with the shipbuilders Sir James Laing’s and Thompson’s and Doxford’s ship yard to say what can we do to alleviate any unemployment on the Wear, because as I say family firms, Laing’s, Thompson’s, liked to keep their staff happy in those days, keep them in employment whereas today if companies run out of orders and things like that, they close the place down, in those days they tended to keep them open.
So they got together and Percy Jackson who was the chief engineer at Doxford’s at that time had visions of this new engine following on from the successful P engine and they decided if they could get a bank loan to build, I suppose, it’d be called a super tanker in those days, which was 64500 tonnes and they designed this new engine to drive it, it would keep everybody in these companies employed. And so it was- they were granted a loan from the bankers in London and they designed this new tanker while Percy Jackson and Doxford engineers got together and designed this new engine.
Working in the drawing office doing various drawings appertaining to this engine, I decided nobody is keeping a record of these things so I had just obtained a unique 8mm cinecamera in Germany in 1963 while on holiday and I thought this would make a great film, and I’ll just ask permission and went out into the works and the various departments and just put it together. I had visions of a chap I worked with who had a nice narrator’s voice shall we say and I even wrote a script, and unfortunately by the time I got round to it he had died.
This was many years later of course because this film just lay in the drawer up until recently in the 19-, well, sorry 2000, in the last four or five years- 2000- 2005 we eventually got it all put together. As I say, I went down to the engine works, all the departments and then I went down to the shipyard and various stages of the building of the ship, right from the drawing board to the engine works, to the testing, the thousand hour test, the building of the ship from the keel right up to installing the engine to the finished paintwork to it actually going out to sea.
And as I say, this has now become part of the Doxford Engine Friends Association which we have on DVD and is being cleaned up and narration and music put on and everything.
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