A Book by Des CoxView Book
The Snowbow Archive is a complete breakdown of every frame of film used in the making of this series.
To licence archive film contact Snowbow at: 00 44 (0) 1273 585391 or 584470. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Watch Des's interview on ITV Meridian about the most important discovery of his career. John Ryall went to meet him at his home in Saltdean near Brighton.
"When he was handed reels of film from the 1920s - film that was about to be thrown away - he expected it to come to nothing. Not least because the film was in an extremely fragile state. Then - as he inspected the frames - he saw an image that looked familiar. It looked like The Titanic. A lot like The Titanic" - itv.com
Watch ITV's News report on Des Cox and Snowbow's latest video release, Episode 35. "Three Great Ships.
Snowbow Productions was created in order to help ensure the survival of our maritime history on film.
Not so very many years ago, this country could boast of having the biggest and best merchant navy and shipbuilding industry in the world. Sadly today these once huge industries have all but disappeared and, with them, a complete way of life.
Hundreds of thousands of people worked in the shipping industry, both aboard the thousands of British registered ships that sailed to every far corner of the world, and in the many busy ports that were once dotted all around our coasts.
Today, if you visit ports like London, Southampton or Liverpool you will see ships including those huge floating blocks of flats called cruise ships, but there is precious little to remind us of the heyday of those ports, a time when every single berth would be occupied and when ships lined up ready to take a berth just as soon as they became vacant.
Practically the whole population surrounding those ports were involved in shipping one way or another, with hundreds of twisting, turning cranes working tirelessly as they unloaded and loaded ships of every shape and size, all with imports from the British Empire and other far-flung countries or with products manufactured in this country, products that would be exported all over the globe.
Large passengers liners that were often more famous than today’s Hollywood movie stars, sailed in and out of the ports on every tide and their every arrival and sailing was almost a national event. Yes, this was the golden age of ocean travel.
Twenty-years ago when I first decided that something must be done to try to preserve the history and memory of those halcyon maritime days, there were only just a few books available on the subject and not one single piece of film.
Now, after years of searching the world for rare film that had been considered to have been lost forever, we at Snowbow have somehow managed to create the largest maritime archive in the world, an archive that not only tells the story of our great maritime past, but takes you into our once busy ports and actually aboard hundreds of ships of every type raging from the great trans-Atlantic Liners right down to small cargo ships, sailing with them on voyages all over the world.
This rare film really does enable us all to turn back the hands of time and visit those faraway places just as they used to be in the days when they were a second home to so many British registered ships.
Some of the episodes show rare film of our old Sea Training Schools such as the Vindicatrix and the Worcester.
Sail through the Panama and Suez Canals or down through the Great lakes, steam into New York harbour or cross the wide Pacific Ocean, calling at those beautiful South Pacific Islands on the way or, if you want, then you can sail all around the world on a journey back in time… fantastic!
All the rare film has been carefully restored and enhanced to TV Broadcast standard and sound as been added to include actual ships’ whistles. In fact, some people even just relax, close their eyes and listen to the wonderful sounds of yesteryear, sounds we never thought we would ever be able to hear again.So, welcome to this amazing website, and do enjoy a unique and remarkable maritime experience, for whatever your interest, wherever you are in the world, if you can’t find it here, then film of what you are looking for probably just simply doesn’t exist.
22nd November 2013 by Des Cox
What wonderful memories pictures like the one above bring back. Can you feel the cold, smell the smells and hear the cacophony of sounds that somehow managed to bring everything together into an almost perfect maritime harmony. Strange how few, if any of my experiences in life have such a fond and lasting friendly memory as those very special days when London really was the biggest and busiest sea-port in the world.
How I would love to be able to really turn back the hands of time and, if only for a short while, be able to travel back to that age when we were all so much younger than we are today (Sound’s a bit Beatle-ish doesn’t it!) and when every day was full of adventure and excitement.
Once a Sailor, Pop Singer, co-star of Candid Camera, Theatrical Agent, TV Writer / Producer, Children's Author / Producer, Cartoonist and much more.