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
Memoirs of a Pit Orchestra
War and a grinding economy take their toll on the spirit and soul of the Welsh in this haunting, poetic study
Drama-documentary 1981 39 mins
From the collection of:
With dialogue and scenarios adapted from the work of poets such as Idris Davies and Harri Webb, archive material and roving musicians, Richard Watkins contemplates industrial south Wales, ravaged by capitalism's booms and busts. The Welsh – vital to the success of England's performance on a brightly-lit stage - accompany the main action unseen from the pit, loyal to a king and country that keep forsaking them.
Richard Watkins, the film-maker, was born (1948) and brought up in Swansea, his family having moved from farm to city after WWII. His other films include 'Milford Fishermen' and 'The Artist in Wales', both available on BFI Player. The words of several acclaimed Welsh poets is pivotal to this film, and the kind permission of the following estates, representatives and publishers was granted for the Unlocking Film Heritage project: Gomer Press and the estate of Idris Davies (Idris Davies); Seren Books (John Davies); Meic Stephens (Leslie Norris, Harri Webb).
The Arts on Film
Mining Review 25th Year No. 9
1972 10 mins Location: Mayfair
A painterly profile of County Durham's brilliant miner-artist Tom McGuinness.
Shadows from Light: The Photography of Bill Brandt
Documentary 1983 55 mins
Take a mesmerising journey through the world of Bill Brandt's shadowy black and white photography.
Documentary 1967 30 mins Location: Chelsea
Potter Ted sells his work in London, to keep the wolf from the door, but practises his art at Felin Wen, his home-cum-studio at Pontrug, Gwynedd.
News 1972 19 mins Location: Downpatrick
What passions burn behind doors in Downpatrick? Enjoy a tale of two unknown artists who have both found something they can truly call their own.
Tom Sharpe and the Places I Hate
News 1983 8 mins Location: Lympstone
The satirical novelist pokes fun at the places he loves to hate.
Hallmark of Harmony
Documentary 1986 26 mins Location: Sheffield
The many joys of barbershop singing on display as our Sheffield hopefuls are cajoled into a winning chorus by an inspirational teacher.
Advert 1959 12 mins Location: Merthyr Tydfil
What makes a South Wales Sunshine Girl? Well, the answer may vary depending on whether you ask a chauvinist or a feminist!
J.G. - John Ivor Golding
Biopic 1973 14 mins Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
A glimpse of the life of a chain-smoking, proud-to-be-gay raconteur-of-sorts and resident of Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff.
The Boat Builders
Documentary 1963 16 mins Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
A boat is a work of art, as this film illustrates so beautifully.
The Opening of the Prince of Wales Hospital at Cardiff
Non-Fiction 1918 13 mins Silent Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
Miss Clara Deacon, matron (or 'commandant' as the press refer to her) of this pioneering hospital, accompanies the royal patron on his visit.
Encil Yr Haul/ The Sun's Retreat: an example of art in the environment
Documentary 1978 19 mins Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
A mechanical grave digger is co-opted to help with the creation of a garden at Glan Ely High School, Cardiff.
From Dyserth to Llandudno and Cardiff
Home movie 1958 4 mins Silent Location: Llandudno
Donald Duck comes home with the Sunday School trippers from Bethel Chapel, Dyserth!
The Lost Highway
Promotional 2019 10 mins
A wandering warrior dreams of a new form of expression, in this promo for UNKLE’s album The Road: Part II / Lost Highway Pt. II directed by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones.
Colour on the Thames
1935 16 mins
A rare glimpse of 1930s London in colour: the Thames has never looked lovelier.
What's Missing from this Picture?
Advert 1946 1 mins Silent
Life is looking up! The war is over and the “Corona” Man can visit his “Corona” families once more, door-to-door.
Fun at Rhyl
Advert 1962 0 mins Location: Rhyl
Cinema advertisement for Marine Lake & Ocean Beach, Rhyl, a popular destination for crowds set on a day's fun on free rides.
Local Cinema Advertisements - Blaenau Ffestiniog and Merthyr
Advert 1942 7 mins Silent Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog
Who could deny these advertising claims: "Attractive hair is the ambition of every woman", and "Your family will enjoy Lincoln potatoes"?
Shippam's Three Beans
Advert 1955 1 mins
Operatic chickens, shrimps and salmon sing-a-long with a paste pot chorus in this vibrantly animated advert for Shippam's
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