I spent today wandering around the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth and came away with three things busying my mind: The first thing hit me when I was less than ten steps inside the front door where I was confronted with the fully restored "Mirror Dinghy #1" and I recalled that repairing the upturned hull in my back yard needs to be higher up my to-do list this summer. I was also reminded of just how much I love the idea of being a lighthouse keeper and the accompanying necessity for circular furniture when I stepped inside the recreation of the communal quarters of the Godrevy lighthouse. And finally, tucked away on the first floor, I was struck by the incredible photography of Alan Villiers.
Villiers was a distinguished sailer, author and photographer who documented the last days of the merchant tall ships through the early twentieth century. His incredible black and white photography depicts life at sea aboard these beautiful vessels honestly and intimately, showing the hard work and the romantic lifestyle led by the sailors who lived and worked under great canvas. The Last of the Tall Ships photographic exhibition runs until July 18th, and you might even manage to time a visit with the Falmouth Classics weekend (the middle weekend in June) which is a classic boat regatta and sea-shanty festival.
- J-Class racing yacht (one of only ten) shot during Falmouth Classics whilst on a completely different, watery assignment. Mat Arney.
- Aboard the Pilot Cutter Hesper, by Mat Arney.
- 'Out on the yard, furling the sail' by Alan Villiers, 1929. Courtesy of Royal Museums Greenwich.
- Aboard Parma. Image by Alan Villiers, courtesy of Royal Museums Greenwich.