This film is part of Free

Along the Glamorganshire Canal

The once thriving but now derelict canal is full of interest for members of Cardiff Amateur Cine Society.

Amateur film 1945 6 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Chris Jenkins, new to film-making, shoots footage of his two daughters – Vanda and Barbara - in Bute Park where they find a natural swing near Gabalfa Lodge and encounter a horse near Canton Bridge. They move on to explore the dereliction of the Glamorganshire Canal in the company of an adventurous boy, who dares to set foot on a rotting barge. Chris Jenkins also films fellow members of the Cardiff Amateur Cine Society at the canal, one of whom adjusts his – Chris's – tie.

The Glamorganshire Canal, opened in 1794, ran for 25 miles with 50 locks between Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff, servicing the coal and iron/steel industries. An extension of half a mile was carried out 1796-98 to provide a sea-lock at Cardiff. The canal was an improvement on horse-drawn transport but with the advent of speedier rail travel it's heyday was over and it was closed in stages between 1898 and 1951. Subsidence, caused by coal mining, was also a factor in the closure of the section from Merthyr to Abercynon in 1898, to protect the village of Aberfan. Not just the canal network but the railway network in its turn too - both constructed with enormous effort - were laid waste as road-building accelerated.