Incredible footage shows yacht being built and launched in Sunderland in the 1960s

This wonderful footage shows an impressive yacht being built on the Wear in the early 1960s.

Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 5:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 5:41 pm
The building of the Radiant II in Sunderland

The footage, released by the North East Film Archive, shows the construction and launch of the yacht Radiant II built at the Austin and Pickersgill yard between 1960 and 1961.

The yacht was built for Basil M. Mavroleon of Fairwinds Navigation Ltd, and completed on the July 16 1961.

The building of the Radiant II in Sunderland

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The footage is from amateur film made by Kenneth Douglas, managing director of Austin and Pickersgill of Sunderland between 1956 and 1967.

The film was released as part of the North East on Film Search and Rescue campaign, which aims to hunt out and preserve footage from life in the region.

In the coming months the team will be criss-crossing the North East, partnering with cinemas, community centres, local interest groups, and festival organisers to screen these astonishing images in the communities in which they were first made.

At the same time they will be asking for your help in finding any local film collections, and advising on how to care for them.

Archive manager Graham Relton says: “These films are an absolutely fantastic record of our region over the decades – people love to see the places they know, where they grew up, and first went to work – or first met the love of their lives.

"The North East has such a strong sense of place and identity, and a lot of that is because the people, who are so rooted in the very things that have been captured on millions of feet of film over the years – family, friends, communities, work, sport – having fun, and living life here in the North East. Let’s preserve all of that for future generations.”

Julie Ballands, North East On Film Delivery manager, added: “We’re looking for amateur collections which may be hidden away in lofts and garages.

"Films and videos that document the social history of the region including the fashions, cars and buildings are all important, and we’re not just after famous faces and professional productions.

"We’ve recently received some beautifully-shot home movies from Darlington that record a family’s bonfire night celebrations in the 1940s, as well as some amazing 1960s advertising films from the former Vaux breweries in Sunderland. We know there is much more out there so we urge the public to get in touch!”

Members of the public who would like to talk to someone from the North East Film Archive about a film or video they have should email [email protected] or call the archive on 01642 384 022. Further information is available online at

The North East Film Archive, a charity based in Middlesbrough, will also join forces with cinemas, arts venues, museums and local authorities across the region to host screenings of some of the films in its extensive collection. It will also add any newly digitised films to its online viewing platform

Events are already planned for Sunderland, Durham and Newcastle. For details of screenings, the project or to view the archive’s online film collection, visit