This film is part of Free

PS St Elvies, Flying Boats and PS Snowdon

On the Menai Strait: boats that paddle or fly with a certain charisma, and a yacht that glides which became the Kalizma!

Home movie 1930 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


The Johnston's home – 'Bryn Mêl' – at Glyngarth, Anglesey, overlooked the Menai Strait and Isla Johnston, using a telephoto lens, recorded a variety of passing vessels: two paddle steamers (St Elvies and Snowdon), flying boats and an elegant yacht, the Minona, possibly owned by the Johnstons or friends. Having served the Royal Navy during wartime (WWI and II), this yacht later featured in the Burton-Taylor romance, Burton buying it in 1967 and re-naming it Kalizma.

Isla Johnston, daughter of Helen Kendall and Edmund Johnston, owner of the Liverpool-based Johnston Line shipping company [from 1934 the Johnston-Warren Lines company], filmed and photographed local events. The St Elvies seen here was owned by the Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Co. and mainly used on Isle of Man trips. Her service ended in 1930, and this footage was shot in September of that year so may record one of her last trips, if not her last. The Snowdon was withdrawn from service in 1931, the last paddle steamer in the fleet. The LNWS Co. operated various services which included calls at Liverpool, Holyhead, Llandudno, Bangor, the Menai Strait piers, the Isle of Man and Fleetwood in Lancashire.