This film is part of Free

Erecting a Flagpole at 'Bryn Mêl'

A remarkable demonstration of how best to negotiate a fence when carrying a flagpole across a field.

Home movie 1937 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


A group of men carrying a flagpole across fields negotiate a fence with streamlined ease. It is to be erected at ‘Bryn Mкl’, Glyngarth, Anglesey, one-time home of Edmund Johnston (d.1934), owner of the Liverpool-based Johnston Line shipping company, his wife Helen (nee Kendall) and their only child, Isla, who filmed and photographed local events, including the rather unique activity seen here.

Flags were raised when the courts were in session in Beaumaris, as the judges would stay at the house, and also when the Church in Wales held a meeting at the house. By the 1950s - and after Edmund Johnston's death when the shipping company became the Johnston-Warren Lines company - the house had become too much of an undertaking for Isla alone and, when members of her extended family could not be persuaded to take it on, she offered it to the Church in Wales, an organisation with which she was much involved throughout her life. The church accepted the responsibility and used the large house and grounds as a summer retreat. It was agreed that Isla should continue to live in it until her death (in 1984, aged 86).