This film is part of Free

Gwylliaid Cochion Mawddwy / Bandits of Mawddwy

In the old days it was all murder and mayhem around Llanymawddwy as this renactment of an old legend shows but, never fear, peace now reigns.

Amateur film 1936 22 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


This film, a retelling of a legend about bandits in the hills around Llanymawddwy, is a wonderful combination of a talented amateur film enthusiast and the knowledge and spirit of the local community. Sacks and rags and sheepskins are drawn into play as costumes; the farmyards, fields and hills of the area provide excellent locations, and the assorted farm dogs delight in all the action!

John W Meredith was a cine enthusiast who worked for the mechanical engineering firm Thompson Brothers at Bradley Engineering Works, Bilston, Staffordshire. Together with TP colleagues, he came to Penygeulan farm, Llanymawddwy, on an annual camping trip from 1929 onwards. He documented the first trip on film and the group then produced a fully-fledged drama for a few subsequent years. Meredith's eye for a good location/shot is evident in this bandit film, directed by local Reverend H E Hughes, and so popular was the making of it, and the end result, that it was decided to make a colour version in 1938. Filming was undertaken but the colour version was never quite finished.