This film is part of Free

Landmarks and Seagulls

Charles F Tunnicliffe’s artist’s eye informs this footage he caught on camera of birds and bridges, clouds and snow.

Home movie 1955 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Malltraeth, Anglesey, where the river Cefni flows into the Irish Sea, its estuary a bird haven. Tunnicliffe moved here in 1947 and in addition to footage of gulls following the plough and snow and cloud scenes, he captured shots of the built environment on camera: Aberffraw Bridge (bearing his wife Winifred, with green scarf); Llanfechell’s Pont-y-Plas, a bridge with squared arches; St Beuno’s Church, Trefdraeth, and Holyhead docks.

It was evident from a young age that Tunnicliffe (1901-79) had a gift for drawing. From a farm in Cheshire he won scholarships to the Macclesfield School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. He worked as an etcher and engraver, teacher and illustrator for e.g. Ladybird books and Brooke Bond tea cards. He also illustrated 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 made their home at ‘Shorelands’, Malltraeth. Friends included naturalists T G ‘Wack’ Walker, Norman ‘Nomad’ Ellison (whose books Tunnicliffe illustrated), Ted Breeze Jones (also a photographer), and artist Kyffin Williams.