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.
Durham Miners Gala
Non-Fiction 1930 2 mins Silent Location: Durham
Billowing banners and copious crowds throng Durham for the annual Miners' Gala.
Current affairs 1984 6 mins Location: Stafford
With a crowd of over 2,000 and a pop star like reception for Arthur Scargill, the NUM conference in Sheffield is a rallying cry from the striking miners.
Romance of a Lump of Coal
Documentary 1935 5 mins
A filmic speed date with the multifaceted rock celebrates its talents and virtues in the days before its shortcomings soured the relationship.
Lle Triga’r Caneri
Documentary 1989 46 mins Location: Loughor
From Tenerife to Treorchy: Jack Bellamy’s tribute to the canary, the little yellow songster that saved so many miners’ lives.
Tidy Is Safe
Documentary 1975 14 mins
A neat coalition between the Keep Britain Tidy Group and the National Coal Board aims to inspire colliery cleanliness.
The Greatest Menace We Have Ever Known
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.
Worker and War Front No. 6
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.
Comedy 1919 35 mins Silent
A protective father masquerades as an automatic doll in this bonkers interwar comedy.
Spirit of Mayday
1937 11 mins Silent
May Day – a significant day for the labour movement – is covered by the cameras of the Film and Photograph League.
Cornelius Cardew 1936-1981
Performance 1986 55 mins
An exploration of the life and work of the controversial British composer.
1935 9 mins
Let it bleed? This exemplary education film gets to the heart of the matter.
U.A.B. (Workers Newsreel No.3)
Non-Fiction 1935 12 mins Silent
Punchy political film capturing mass protests against unemployment.
The Merry Month of May
1937 15 mins Silent
A spirited satire on the coronation of George VI made by members of the Film and Photograph League.
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