Wessex Film and Sound Archive

Other maritime sources

As might be expected, there are some good examples of films and videos about shipping and maritime subjects in the WFSA collections. Southampton and the Solent are renowned for liners, yachts, ferries, merchant ships and smaller power craft, as well as being the centre for shipbuilding activities in the region. The port of Southampton is well represented in collections from Associated British Ports, British Transport Films, and Southampton City Council. Particular shipping lines are represented by the well-known firms of Cunard (mainly 1960s onwards) and Union-Castle, as well as the ferry companies Red Funnel and Hythe-Southampton. Merchant Navy crews are the subject of films by the British Sailors Society, whilst modern sailing ship activities are covered by the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

There are now many commercial videos containing maritime archive footage as well as modern subjects, and WFSA has acquired a number of these. Plenty of amateur and semi-professional maritime films also exist, notably Cunarders at Southampton (1950), and Southampton, Octobre 10, 1930, produced by an unknown Frenchman who visited the port that day. Noteworthy amateur footage can be viewed in the Bealing, Campbell, and Barrington-Smith collections. The Densham collection contains sound recordings about ships and shipping.

Two ships with strong local links are the Mary Rose and the Titanic. WFSA holds all of the unedited BBC film footage of the raising of the former, on behalf of the Mary Rose Trust. There is no known film of the latter ship at Southampton, but WFSA does hold a film copy of her at Belfast prior to the maiden voyage in 1912.

Ship building is a major local activity, which is represented in collections like Vosper Thornycroft, British Powerboat Company (Scott-Paine), and British Maritime Technology, although the latter is more concerned with prototype testing of merchant vessels and hovercraft at Hythe, prior to construction. Boat building and testing is also featured, notably with regard to Fairey Marine of Hamble.

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