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.
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Catapult-wielding democrats take on wader-wearing fascists in this ‘Plas Newydd’ drama filmed by the Marquis of Anglesey.
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A ‘Plas Newydd’ drama with a (tenous) 007 connection - it was scripted by travel writer Peter Fleming, brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming! A detective posing as a footman infiltrates the ‘Pink Shirts’ (satirising Britain’s Blackshirts) and plots their downfall. They must have had a ball, the family, friends and staff of the 6th Marquis of Anglesey, pretending to be fascists (waders came in useful here) or defenders of democracy armed with a catapult and drawing pins.
‘Plas Newydd’s gardens and outhouses offered excellent locations for the various cinematic dramas which the Marquis, and his eldest daughter Caroline, produced over a period of years. ‘Pink Shirts’ – which Peter Fleming scripted and also took part in – satirises Britain’s fascist Blackshirts, a colloquial name for the stewards Oswald Mosely (founder of the New Party and the British Union of Fascists) employed to police marches and rallies. Others taking part included Angus Menzies (family friend, playing ‘The Times’ reading footman), the Earl and Countess of Pembroke (i.e. Sir Reginald Herbert and his wife Beatrice Eleanor Herbert, sister of the Marquis) and sons, and the Marquis and his children.