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.
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Conway Castle - panoramic view of Conway on the L.& N.W. Railway
Conwy's bridge, castle and station glide past, as if in a dream, in this beautiful phantom train ride film (no ghosts but apparently no train either) from 1898.
Non-Fiction 1898 2 mins Silent
From the collection of:
Phantom train ride film: no ghosts but no apparent sign of the train either, the camera being attached to the very front of the locomotive. This beautiful film, shot in February 1898, has a dream-like quality and is hand tinted (possibly stencilled). It is believed to have been coloured some time after it was first shown as no contemporary reviews or advertisements refer to what would surely have been a major selling/talking point, 1898 being very early for coloured films.
This film was made in response to the first American phantom train ride film (by the British Mutoscope and Biograph's parent company, the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company), 'The Haverstraw Tunnel', which showed the scenery around the Hudson river and a tunnel and so delighted the audience that the British operation decided to make their own version, which also proved very popular - it showed not only in London but also in Rochester, New York, and then travelled all over Europe, still being shown in cinemas as late as 1910. This film is preserved by the EYE Filmmuseum, Netherlands.
Panorama of Calcutta, India, From the River Ganges. Panorama of Calcutta, India, From the River Ganges.
Non-Fiction 1899 2 mins Silent
One of the earliest films to be shot in India apparently shows the Calcutta ghats - or does it?
Non-Fiction 1902 14 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
A steamship tour along the picturesque coast from Liverpool to the Menai Straits.
Non-Fiction 1898 2 mins Silent Location: Barnstaple
A 'phantom ride' along a fondly remembered Devon railway, crossing the distinctive Taw Bridge into Barnstaple on the way to Ilfracombe
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent
A large liner draws away from the quay, but where is she headed?
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
All ashore! Passengers disembark and crew offload after a long Atlantic crossing.
Non-Fiction 1905 5 mins Silent Location: Rochdale
Splendid views of Edwardian Rochdale from the front of a tram after a recent dusting of snow.
Documentary 1975 17 mins Location: Trawsfynydd
Across the communist/capitalist divide of the Cold War, a choir from Hungary visits a choir in Blaenau Ffestiniog and both discover, despite differences, a shared humanity.
Amateur film 1937 15 mins Silent Location: Conwy Castle
Cauliflowers, chickens, cattle, and the Dairy Queen of Cheshire - if you enjoy country life, then this show is for you.
Public Information Filler 1970 1 mins Location: Conwy Castle
Keep Wales Tidy! That’s the message for everyone, not just the children who are seen here attacking the litter in a Conwy Castle picnic area.
Travelogue 1937 11 mins Location: Caernarfon
A timeless landscape steeped in history that is little changed today, but was surely made to be filmed!
Travelogue 1942 4 mins Silent Location: Conwy
Conwy, the ‘a’ no longer officially included in the name, has many a draw for the visitor including an Elizabeth mansion (‘Plas Mawr’) and the smallest house in Britain.
Non-Fiction 1927 12 mins Silent Location: Conwy
Centenary for suspension bridge built by world famous engineer Thomas Telford, a man born the son of a Scottish shepherd. The bridge was first opened to the public on 1st June 1826.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
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