This film is part of Free

Cwrt-yr-Ala - Twins

A newly-built, dream home in Michaelston-le-Pit, Cardiff, where industrialist H H Merrett’s grandchildren have ample space to play.

Home movie 1948 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Grandchildren of H H Merrett, Chair of Powell Dyffryn coal company, enjoy the grounds of a house he had built c. 1940 at Michaelston-le-Pit, Cardiff. Richard and Christopher Gridley, with matching blue coats, meet hens and piglets. Twins Sheila and Marion Chalmers, baptised on 30/4/1946, celebrate their 2nd and 3rd birthdays, their brother Alan present, with wheel-along polar bears, dolls' prams, cherries and cakes. They are wary of the camera, their manner quizzical.

Herbert H Merrett (1886-1959), a self-made man, started work at the age of 13 in the Cardiff docks offices of the Cory Bros. and rose to become Chair of Powell Dyffryn coal company. He was knighted in 1950 and in 1957 was made a ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’ in appreciation of the economic and cultural links he forged with France/Europe. In 1937 he purchased a house (built c.1805) that he had at once demolished and in its place a neo-Georgian mansion built – ‘Cwrt-yr-Ala - designed by architect Percy Edward Thomas. His daughters, whose children play in the gardens, were Joan (Gridley) and Margaret (Chalmers). His son Norman, who died in the RAF during WWII, had a spitfire named in his memory.