This film is part of Free

A is for Aberdyfi, B for Barmouth and Bala and C for a Camel

A remarkable sight: a camel on the beach at Barmouth! And work horses pulling felled trees through Dolgellau, and shots of Bala and Aberdyfi.

Home movie 1934 7 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Is this the first and/or last time there was a camel on the beach in Barmouth? Other striking shots seen in this film are those showing work horses pulling fallen trees through Dolgellau, the Fairbourne Steam Railway, the roofless Plas Dinas Mawddwy (built in 1872, destroyed by fire in 1917, demolished in 1960) and the streets and buildings of Bala and Aberdyfi.

The origins of this film are a mystery. It was left to a nephew by Frank Harding, a film buff and writer of articles on film for publications in Britain and America. Frank grew up watching films - his father would be given free tickets for any screenings he displayed advertising posters for in his hairdressing salon in south London. He met a fellow film-lover, Welshman Reg Griffin, in the RAF during WWII and visited Reg’s widow and child in Wales after the war, Reg having died in a flying accident. It may be that Frank was given this film by Reg’s family.