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
Merthyr Vale and Aberfan: Coronation festivities
Coronation capers in mining villages: street parties, 3-legged racing and a Commonwealth-themed carnival with slaves and a caged canary.
From the collection of:
The wide streets of the mining villages are perfect for street parties and bunting, and the 1953 coronation brings everyone out to celebrate. After the parties comes the carnival, with many contributions relating to the peoples of the Commonwealth but including a caged (model) canary. Strikingly at odds with the general tenor of the procession, 3 men have completely blacked-up and, chained together, cower and tremble as a 4th man, the slave master, whips them along.
Real canaries were used down the mines to warn of gas – see ‘Lle Triga’r Caneri’ (Welsh with English subtitles) for a history of the well-loved songster that saved many lives.