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
Valleys boy escapes as architect to London, where he dresses in black, but returns to Clydach Vale - “a heaven and a hell all rolled into one word, spelled C O A L" – dressed in white.
Drama-documentary 1970 21 mins
From the collection of:
A cinematic tirade against the exploitation of people and their environment by profiteers, in this case the south Wales coal owners who lived it up in Penarth whilst the miners and their families suffered the destruction of their green and wooded environment, their health and their lives. It is evident that the Forestry Commission is now using the area (Clydach Vale, home of the film-maker) to grow pine trees on an industrial scale, wreaking further environmental havoc.
Coal on Film
Documentary 1950 36 mins Silent Location: Featherstone
Absorbing overview of coalmining in the early years of nationalisation.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1964 2 mins
Miners' safety training - marked by stylish animation and gallows humour.
Advert 1935 42 mins Silent Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
Coal, between the world wars, makes the industrialised world go round and Cory Bros & Co Ltd, with collieries in south Wales and oil refineries across the globe, is a major player.
Industry sponsored film 1978 7 mins Location: Blaenavon
Memories of Blaenavon Colliery, Monmouthshire, as it nears its end.
Documentary 1954 18 mins
Elegiac sponsored film imploring viewers to "allow the sun to penetrate the haze of ignorance" and relieve British cities of pollution.
Advert 1975 1 mins
Deliriously kitsch recruitment ad for the implausibly glamorous world of coalmining.
Non-Fiction 1921 1 mins Silent Location: Rhondda
Startling news coverage of striking miners - who allegedly abandon pit ponies to a terrible fate
Travelogue 1945 10 mins Location: Rhondda
Coal mining, valleys, sheep farming and castles all feature in this highly stereotyped portrait of Wales during the Second World War.
Government sponsored film 1943 11 mins Location: Rhondda
A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.
Government sponsored film 1944 15 mins Location: Rhondda
An insight into the life of coal miner Charles Jones from the Rhondda valley, an area famous for it’s coal production.
Charity appeal 2020 2 mins
Beautiful NHS fundraiser, setting Michael Rosen’s poem to powerful archive images.
Non-Fiction 1924 1 mins Silent Location: Woking
The UK's first purpose-built mosque welcomes a huge crowd of worshippers - and newsreel cameras!
Comedy 1914 9 mins Silent
A vicar is caught flirting with an improperly-dressed chorus girl in this saucy silent comedy.
Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901) Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 4 mins Silent Location: Manchester
A volunteer cavalry regiment is enthusiastically welcomed home after active service in South Africa.
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
All ashore! Passengers disembark and crew offload after a long Atlantic crossing.
Spectators Promenading in Weston Park, Sheffield (1902) Spectators Promenading in Weston Park, Sheffield (1902)
Non-Fiction 1902 3 mins Silent Location: Weston Park
A stroll in the park for civilised city-dwellers in Edwardian South Yorkshire.
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location