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BBC – Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth (2014) 4of4 HMS Hood

BBC Clydebuilt The Ships that Made the Commonwealth 4of4

David Hayman explores the stories of four ships built on the River Clyde that helped forge links with countries throughout the world.

Part 1: The Cutty Sark
David Hayman travels to Australia to uncover the links Cutty Sark forged with this Commonwealth country, and to reflect on her legacy. It’s a story of adventure, money, mutiny and murder. Ravaged by fire in 2007, Cutty Sark has been restored and today stands as a testament to the craftsmanship and ingenuity of Scottish ship designers.


Part 2: CS Mackay-Bennett
David tells the story of CS Mackay-Bennett, a cable repair ship launched on the Clyde in 1884. She kept information flowing along a network of underwater cables that connected Britain with her empire and the world – the Victorian internet of its day. It’s also a story of a date with disaster, as the ship and her crew recovered the bodies of those who died when the Titanic sank. David travels to Halifax in Canada to find some facts about the ship and to unravel a DNA mystery that’s taken over a century to solve.


Part 3: The Robert E Lee
The story of the Robert E Lee, one of the most famous Clydebuilt blockade-running paddle steamers. During the American Civil War, Glasgow shipbuilders and captains made a fortune running the supplies of war to the Confederate South and bringing out valuable cotton. To run the blockade of Union warships these paddle steamers had to be fast and their crews fearless. Glasgow provided both but Britain was neutral and these ships shouldn’t have been anywhere near someone else’s war.


Part 4: HMS Hood
David Hayman meets some of the men who served on Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Hood, and travels to Scapa Flow in the Orkneys to experience what life was like for the people working to protect the vital north Atlantic convoys during the Second World War. The actor also tries his hand at riveting to understand what it took to make the vessel strong and watertight and investigates why it was flawed from the very day it was launched.

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