This film is part of Free

Coracles, Jet Skis and the Girls' Friendly Society

From the River Teifi and coracles at Cenarth to Fishguard and the sea around Pembrokeshire for jet-skiing, sailing and sandcastles.

Home movie 1960 10 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


The waters of west Wales provide ideal conditions for coracles (on the River Teifi at Cenarth, Ceredigion) and for jet-skis, sailboats and sandcastle building (Pembrokeshire). For land lubbers, there are parades through the streets of Fishguard. In the summer, members of the Girls' Friendly Society process to St Mary's Church, some wearing blue veils; in the winter a Remembrance Day procession arrives at the war memorial.

The GFS was established in 1875 to protect/support country girls moving to work in urban areas and continues to provide support/training for young women. John James Thomas, who shot this footage, was born and brought up in Fishguard which is where he set up shop as a pharmacist in 1948. His wife, Florence Joan (nee Lewis), who reached the age of 100, worked in the shop with him and they had three children – Cherry, James and Judith with whom they would regularly visit the beaches at Cwm yr Eglwys and Whitesands Bay. All are featured on this reel, building castles in the sand. Mr Thomas was known for preparing popular and effective medicaments - e.g. cream for nappy rash, a cough mixture – using his own secret recipes.