This film is part of Free

Encil Yr Haul/ The Sun's Retreat: an example of art in the environment

A mechanical grave digger is co-opted to help with the creation of a garden at Glan Ely High School, Cardiff.

Documentary 1978 19 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Third year [Year 9] pupils at this school experience an inspiring, collaborative project that involves them in the planning, design, implementation and completion of a tranquil garden. Working evenings and weekends in addition to periods during the school day they transform a dull quadrangle. They are assisted by parents and a team of teachers, youth workers and artists/designers, led by John Gingell, principal lecturer at Cardiff College of Art.

This project was sponsored by the Prince of Wales’ Committee, Llanover Hall Arts Centre (Cardiff) and the South Wales Association for Design Education. Local businesses played their part by providing materials free of charge e.g. cement, plants. The council loaned a mini-digger which was more usually employed digging graves! The school’s own art teacher sensed that it allowed staff and pupils to regard each other – and themselves - in a different light. The Headteacher appreciated the fact that it brought the pupils, staff and parents together with outside agencies to create something of benefit to the school. The Prince of Wales’ Committee was eager to duplicate the form of this project in other schools.