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
VIth British Empire & Commonwealth Games Wales 18-26 July
The sporting event for which the Wales Empire Pool was built in Cardiff, reflecting the city's promotion, in 1955, to capital of Wales.
Amateur film 1958 14 mins
From the collection of:
Cardiff City Corporation's Parks Dept film unit, which had made a number of films showing the city in bloom, set to work to record the various elements of the games which took place in 1958, setting the seal on Cardiff's 1955 promotion to capital city. They record the Duke of Edinburgh visiting, the Empire Games Village at RAF St Athan, hurdling at Cardiff Arms Park (main stadium) and cycling at Maindy Stadium. A marathon is referred to but there are no accompanying shots.
The film closes with shots of the opening of the Empire Games Running Track at Maindy Stadium in October 1958, an event which was used to close the Festival of Wales which also occurred in 1958. The track had been laid in the main stadium – Cardiff Arms Park – on the understanding that it would be swiftly removed once the games were over. The Wales Empire pool remained in place for 40 years, being demolished in 1998 to make way for the Millennium Stadium (once Cardiff Arms Park). It was replaced with the Cardiff International Pool, opened in 2008.
Olympics on Film
Sport 1948 9 mins Silent
Tricky weather conditions cause some spills in the downhill and ski jumping at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St Moritz.
Documentary 1983 25 mins Location: Cleckheaton
With the Paralympics even more marginalised than today, these athletes show great determination, dedication, camaraderie and humility.
1968 3 mins
We're off! Olympic training on the streets of Mansfield as local boy John Whetton prepares for the 1968 Mexico City games.
Non-Fiction 1924 3 mins Silent Location: Fulham
British "girl athletes" prove themselves in competition with women from around the world at Stamford Bridge.
1926 14 mins Silent
Special effects galore in this demonstration of fancy swimming and diving, featuring Olympic medallist Belle White.
Sport 1973 54 mins
A rare insight into gymnast Olga Korbut's life at the height of her fame, showing the discipline it takes to be an Olympic champion.
Advert 1959 12 mins Location: Merthyr Tydfil
What makes a South Wales Sunshine Girl? Well, the answer may vary depending on whether you ask a chauvinist or a feminist!
Biopic 1973 14 mins Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
A glimpse of the life of a chain-smoking, proud-to-be-gay raconteur-of-sorts and resident of Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff.
Documentary 1963 16 mins Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
A boat is a work of art, as this film illustrates so beautifully.
The Opening of the Prince of Wales Hospital at Cardiff The Opening of the Prince of Wales Hospital at Cardiff
Non-Fiction 1918 13 mins Silent Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
Miss Clara Deacon, matron (or 'commandant' as the press refer to her) of this pioneering hospital, accompanies the royal patron on his visit.
Encil Yr Haul/ The Sun's Retreat: an example of art in the environment Encil Yr Haul/ The Sun's Retreat: an example of art in the environment
Documentary 1978 19 mins Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
A mechanical grave digger is co-opted to help with the creation of a garden at Glan Ely High School, Cardiff.
Home movie 1958 4 mins Silent Location: Llandudno
Donald Duck comes home with the Sunday School trippers from Bethel Chapel, Dyserth!
1955 17 mins Location: Brighton
Kids face the closure of their Brighton playground but fight back to reclaim it, with a little help from the iconic Volks Railway
Children's 1954 59 mins Location: Goudhurst
Child actor Mandy Miller shines in this children's adventure set in the traditional hop picking season in Kent.
Short documentary 2020 19 mins
All Andy and Ben want to do is play basketball. When they join the under 16s league the boys and their new teammates take on opponents from around Yorkshire, and the challenges of growing up in inner city Leeds.
Musical 2019 13 mins
Exploring the conversation black people face when communicating their racial experience to white partners through a dynamic fusion of dance and dialogue.
Drama 2021 9 mins
Penny is experiencing post-millennium angst in Manchester. She is on the verge of a mental breakdown. Overweight and on the edge, an ordinary visit to the doctor becomes extraordinary.
Drama 2020 10 mins
A short but poignant piece on what it feels like to lose faith and trust in a friend.
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