National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning. Its film collection reflects every aspect of the nation’s social, cultural and working life across the 20th century, giving a fascinating insight into Welsh filmmaking, both amateur and professional.
This film is part of Free
Children Leaving Christ Church Schools, Rhyl
School’s out, and gleeful pupils spill out onto the street, with much leapfrogging, piggybacking and larking about.
From the collection of:
Pupils pour from their narrow doorway onto the street, the rain dampening no-one’s spirits as they leapfrog and piggyback on the thoroughfare, amid carts and passers-by, a chimney sweep lounging decoratively centre-frame. A boys’ ‘strong horse’ formation soon falls apart but it hardly matters, as the point is to look lively for the camera – it will all draw people to the local cinema!
Arthur Cheetham (1865-1937) was an entrepreneur, cinema proprietor and pioneer filmmaker - the first in Wales to film scenes and events for his own shows. 12 of his 47 films, shot mostly from 1898 to 1904, survive partly or wholly. In turn-of-century Rhyl, elementary education was denominational, with schools being ‘British’ as seen here (Nonconformist) , ‘National’ (Anglican), and Catholic. In 1983 Mrs Adelaide Owen (the chimney sweep’s niece) recalled helping Cheetham, as a young teacher, film pupils emerging from the schools: ‘I kept every child on the go. So there was a constant stream’.