Picture Library

World's largest maritime image collection

Digitised film archive

We have many films archived in our collection, if you are interested in viewing and licensing our films or you have any questions or queries about the digitised collection terms of use and rates, contact the Picture Library.

Email: pictures@rmg.co.uk

Telephone: 020 8312 6631 / 6704 / 6558

Introducing Alan Villiers

Alan Villiers was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1903. He was the second son of the Australian poet and trade union leader Leon Joseph Villiers. He grew up close to the docks watching merchant sailing vessels carrying their cargoes in and out of port and quickly developed an enthusiasm for the sea.

Villiers first went to sea at the age of 15 as an apprentice on board the Rothesay Bay. This barque was one of the few sailing vessels that still traded, operating in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand in a fast-declining age of sail. During his lifetime Villiers’ became a distinguished sailor, author, photographer and filmmaker with an enthusiasm for life at sea. His work vividly records the period of early 20th century maritime history when merchant sailing vessels or 'tall ships' were in rapid decline.

The Museum holds four digitised films by Alan Villiers' detailing voyages in sailing ships from the 1920s to the 1940s (see video excerpts below). Find out more about the films and how to license them by contacting our picture library team.

Sons of Sinbad: Part 1 and Part 2 (1940)
Duration: Part 1 approx 44 minutes, Part 2 approx 22 minutes

Arab Dhows 1938: Voyage on the Shaikh Mansur (1938-39)
Duration: approx 9 minutes

Cape Horn Road (1929-36)
Duration: Approx 44 minutes

Sailorman (year unknown)
Duration: approx 31 minutes