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Pictures of Yesteryear


PPL’s Pictures of YesterYear archive – a historic resource of fine art illustrations, paintings and photographs dating back to the early 1800s.Subjects covered include the archives of sailing pioneers like Joshua Slocum, Vito Dumas, Sir Francis Chichester, Sir Alec Rose, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Chay Blyth, together with the earliest images from the America’s Cup, and the age of the clipper ships and great Atlantic liners. In addition, we host the official archives covering the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the Whitbread round the world Race, the BOC Challenge Around Alone and Newport/Bermuda classic within our extensive library of early offshore and ocean racing events like the TransPac, Fastnet and Sydney/Hobart races.

PPL also holds the entire collection of Eileen Ramsey sailing images from 1949 to 1970 which trace the post War explosion in all forms of sailing from the formation of new dinghy classes, racing at Cowes Week and the first Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic races. Eileen was Sir Francis Chichester’s personal photographer, so this unique historic archive charts his sailing activities as well as the work of pioneering designers like Jack Holt, Ian Proctor and Peter Milne and the many other larger than life sailing personalities from this era.The collection of CK Bower motoring images is another important historic archive online covering the commercial and specialist automobile manufacturers in London and the Midlands from 1924 through to the 1960s. The complete collection of 20,000 glass plates fetched £63,000 at Auction in 2003. The images held by PPL were selected by Grandson Bob Bowers prior to the sale as the pick of the archive and include W.O.Bentley, Boon & Porter, Dagenham Motors, Freestone & Webb, Lancia, Lagonda, H.J.Mulliner, Rolls-Royce, Stewart & Arden, Sunbeam and Talbot.

We also hold a unique collection of pictures covering the life the German WW1 flying ace Baron Von Richthofen and social studies of Southern England from the first days of fight at Shoreham airfield, faming and development of Victorian seaside towns contained within the Walter Gardner archive, and post-WW2 life and times and famous Romany archive within the Tony Boxall collection of news pictures. Images can be purchased for immediate download, or we can send them via email or FTP. Registered users pay for pictures via Paypal at the time of download. Those clients with an account pay for usage only, as per terms agreed. To view and download images, you must first register for a free  SIGN-UP. You will then receive a verification email. If it does not arrive immediately, check your spam folder.
To view images, click on ‘Galleries’ at the top of the page, and then click the collection ‘Watersports & Sub Aqua’ or ‘Pictures of Yesteryear’ located on the left-hand side. You can then drop down the menu to reveal all the galleries in event and type order.

You can also locate individual yachts, races, scenes or people via the keyword search box (top left). Boats are listed under boat name, owner/skipper and when known, sail No. Pictures are paid for via Paypal at the time of download. Regular clients can apply for an account and pay for usage only, as per terms agreed.Click here to apply for an account.

If you are unable to find quite the right picture on-line, call +44 (0)7768 395719 or email PPL and we will gladly send you a wider selection.