National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning. Its film collection reflects every aspect of the nation’s social, cultural and working life across the 20th century, giving a fascinating insight into Welsh filmmaking, both amateur and professional.
This film is part of Free
Grounded on the Platters: HMS Conway
A sorry end to any ship: timings, tide and wind played their part in pushing HMS Conway onto the Platters rocks in the Menai Strait on 14/4/1953.
From the collection of:
Nelson, carved in teak and weighing 3.5 tons, served as HMS Conway’s figurehead and thus presided over the ship’s wrecking in the Menai Strait 14/4/1953, a stretch of water he was known to regard as one of the most treacherous a sailor could encounter. Artist Charles F Tunnicliffe records the ship grounded on the Platters, never to reach Birkenhead for its refit, and returns with his camera in 1956 when the vessel was being broken up and a heat torch spark had set it alight.
It was evident from a young age that Tunnicliffe (1901-79) had a gift for drawing, his particular interest being birds and other wildlife. From a farm in Cheshire he won scholarships to Macclesfield School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. He worked as an etcher and engraver, a teacher and an illustrator for Ladybird books, Brooke Bond tea cards and for books by e.g. Alison Uttley and Henry Williamson. He married Winifred Wonnacott (1902-69), a fellow RCA scholarship student from Holywood, Belfast, and they moved to ‘Shorelands’, a bungalow/bird hide by the Cefni estuary, Malltraeth, in 1947. Their friends included T G ‘Wack’ Walker, Norman ‘Nomad’ Ellison, Ted Breeze Jones and Kyffin Williams.