This film is part of Free

Dulais Valley - carnivals, wedding, playground, swimming, majorettes

Master baker John Dillwyn Williams, owner of Duffryn Bakery, Onllwyn, turns his hand to film-making and captures community events in glorious colour.

Home movie 1965 36 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Community events in Onllwyn and area filmed in colour from the 1950s-70s by Master Baker John Dillwyn Williams of Duffryn Bakery, Onllwyn. There are carnivals with floats, majorettes, women dressed up as Charlie Chaplins and Diddy Men, and an accordion player in action, and there are colliery playgrounds/pools at Seven Sisters and Onllywn. The Queen passes through Hirwaun in 1953 and the majorettes in the final carnival, at Onllwyn, have had spectacular costumes made.

The first carnival seen is at Dyffryn Cellwen c. 1976. The accordion player is Ted Boyle and local artist George Brinley Evans, who worked at Banwen Colliery and had his first book published in 2000 at the age of 75, is present. Hywel Francis, later Labour MP for Aberafan, can be seen as a boy by the paddling pool at Onllwyn. The ‘Diddy Men’ were used by Liverpudlian comedian Ken Dodd in his act – they were little men from the Treacle and Jam Butty mines of Knotty Ash, Liverpool.