Valley history to feature on national TV
A COLLECTION of films featuring scenes from around the Cynon Valley during the 1930s and ’40s and shot by a local pharmacist will feature in a documentary on national television.
Collections showcasing the work of early film-maker and pharmacist Arthur Bucknall Andrews, better known to his friends as Archie, have been brought together and will be shown on BBC One Wales on Sunday.
His films document the “rich cultural life” of the Cynon Valley in the 1930s and ’40s, at a time when cine-cameras were still rare.
They feature footage showing Aberaman residents celebrating VE Day and burning an effigy of Hitler.
Viewers will also see members of Aberaman Silver Band rowing out to an island on a lake in Aberdare Park to perform.
It’s as part of Wales’s Home Movies, a programme showing rarelyseen films found in attics and garages across Wales revealing the stories of people’s lives.
Many of the films were discovered following a national appeal by programme-makers, with others found in the vaults of the National Library and Aberdare Library.
Archie, from Aberaman, was a pharmacist who took full advantage of the access his job allowed him to cheap film stock.
In the words of Archie’s cousin, John Price, who collected many of the films: “We’ve got a remarkable legacy from Archie. Aberdare and Aberaman in particular was a cultural centre: a lot of people from here went forward to the Eisteddfods. It shows the culture that was here.”
Wales’s Home Movies is on BBC One Wales on October 15 at 4.50pm.
Archie’s next-door neighbour Christine Morris and his cousin John Price share their memories of the man and his film-making. A treasure-trove of rare early films shot by the pioneering pharmacist from Aberaman features in a documentary being shown on national television this weekend