This film is part of Free

Mumbles Railway - 1804 - 1960 - last journey

“A rather sad event in Swansea” says Mr Rees, Swansea's Borough Librarian, referring to the demise of the Mumbles Railway over footage of its last glorious day.

Home movie 1960 10 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


"Windows out, panels out, choppers at work" – thus were the Mumbles Railway carriages dismembered when the service ceased operation in 1960. Mr Leslie M Rees, Swansea's Borough Librarian and amateur film-maker, believed the railway deserved a better end but at least it had a good send off. Thousands turned out to wave as it travelled the line for the last time and hundreds followed its journey by car, the cacophony of hooting and tooting reaching a deafening level.

Mr Rees filmed this footage in collaboration with Mr Harold Prescott, Llanelli's Librarian, who, having seen the footage Mr Rees was shooting of post-war Swansea was interested in recording Llanelli similarly, which he went on to do. Here, with the help of several other film enthusiasts, they have recorded the last ride on the world's first passenger railway service, built originally to carry limestone from Mumbles quarries to Swansea. It was horse-powered in 1804 but in time steam engines were used and then electric trams which were replaced in 1960 by buses. There have been frequent calls to re-open the line but none successful as yet.