Made in My Town - Urban Wales on Film

By FHW Marketing

Made in My Town is a collection of archive films organised by Film Hub Wales. It is part of the BFI’s hugely successful Britain on Film project, launched last summer to make 10,000 newly digitised film and TV titles from the UK’s national and regional film and TV archives available to view online at BFI Player.

Films available include:

Dulais Valley - carnivals, wedding, playground, swimming, majorettes - Community events in Onllwyn and area filmed in colour from the 1950s-70s. There are carnivals with floats, majorettes, women dressed up as Charlie Chaplins and Diddy Men, and an accordion player in action, and there are colliery playgrounds and pools at Seven Sisters and Onllywn.

Home from Home (1976) - Yousaf Ali, who came to Newport from Pakistan at the age of 16, works as a bus driver in Cardiff, attends mosque in a YMCA, braves a multicultural church social that offers Iraqi coffee, Welsh songs, the hokey-cokey and snooker and reflects on the big questions of life: security, freedom and belonging. He has come to the conclusion that people are very much the same despite their different origins.

'White Rose Laundry' (1936) -The days of detachable collars generated a lot of work for the women in the laundry, each collar going through a number of different processes. Then there was the ironing of bed linen and clothes, using a variety of different irons and equipment, including a twin-armed device for pressing shirts. Men kept to the wet area of the laundry – filling and emptying the washers with enormous loads of garments and bedding, including that collected from the notorious local Lord Tredegar.

'July 9th 1953 – Coronation Visit of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II & H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh' - Newport is the first stop for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on the post-Coronation tour of Wales which was also to include visits to Cardiff, Pontypridd, Caernarfon, Rhyl, Wrexham and Llangollen. Newport turns out in their thousands to welcome them. Police control the crowd, congested at some points. A car that breaks down is speedily moved on. Nothing spoils the smooth running of the day – even the rain just about keeps off.

Swansea Reconstruction (1950) - Photos of Swansea before and after the blitz are shown, which would make anyone wonder how life could ever be the same again for the inhabitants of the city. But wonderful things can happen when communities come together and everyone helps each other. The city was rebuilt from the rubble, and people are seen working hard to make Swansea what it used to be with a modern twist.

Wales v Ireland at Wrexham (1906) - In what may be the earliest International football match recorded on film, Wales play Ireland in a Home Championship fixture at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground. Wales (in the darker kit) are cheered on by a lively home crowd. Two cameras cover the action, with edited shots showing the build up to two of the Welsh goals and drama in the penalty area. This was a high-scoring game, ending in a 4-4 draw.

The Minera 'Mineral' (1965) - The daily journey of empty ‘mineral’ wagons (used to carry mine products e.g. coal, ores) from Brymbo Steelworks, Wrexham to Minera (limestone) Quarry via Coedpoeth. It was shot during November 1965 and edited to convey a single trip. The route had 8 gated crossings all of which, by 1965, had to be opened and closed by the train crew. It was recorded for posterity by Brian Cowlishaw, a life-long train enthusiast who was born within sight of the railway lines at Shrewsbury.

Wrexham Co-op Society Procession (1912) - Co-operators’ Day – a summertime celebration and promotion of the Co-operative Society - dawns cold and wet and the society’s members turn out for the annual parade with their umbrellas. But the event is being filmed for screening at the local cinema – The Glynn – and brollies will spoil the picture so the cameraman’s assistant urges people to brave the rain and show their faces.

Wrexham Local Events (1940) - Change was on the cards in Wrexham 1938-40. The Cobden Flour Mill chimney was demolished along with the historic Town Hall and adjoining Hand Inn which sold Wrexham Lager on draught; the Grove Park Amateur Dramatic Society built a shed (headquarters), learning the value of spades; gas masks were distributed, as war approached, and white lines were painted on roads, pavements and car bonnets in preparation for black-outs.

Men Against Death (1933) - the first sound film ever to have been made and set in Wales featuring Dorothea Quarry and its slateworkers who are “poised between heaven and earth”

Tryweryn – The Story of a Valley (1969) - a documentary filmed by schoolchildren of the events up to and the flooding of Capel Celyn, including the last ever day at the village school.

Letter from Wales (1953) – a charming Welsh language drama produced for the Children’s Film Foundation, set in and around Llandwrog featuring a happy blend of children, animals and indulgent adults.

Tiger Bay and the Rainbow Club (1960) – silent film showing life in Tiger Bay, a diverse community celebrating weddings and children enjoying trips and activities at the local Rainbow Club.

Time of Change (1967) – a tale of two employees at the Anglo Celtic Watch Company in Ystradgynlais, otherwise known as ‘The Tick Tock’.

Babs’ Recovery (1969) - a Ministry of Defence film showing the excavation of Babs the racing car from Pendine Sands after it crashed and killed Wrexham’s John Godfrey Parry Thomas in 1927 as he attempted to beat the land speed record. 


These films and many more are available to view online for free at To book a Britain on Film Screening, contact Iola Baines via