Neath, Wales: Old Photos & Films

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old photos and films with Local History Videos .com

Step back with fascinating images of Neath, Wales.

With a population of roughly 47,000 people, Neath is the largest town in the county of Neath Port Talbot. The town is famous for the ruins of Neath Abbey, once the largest abbey in Wales.

Old Photos of Neath

Uploaded to YouTube by Elks, this is a lovely collection of old photographs and pictures of Neath in the olden days.

Neath. Memories of Neath Old and New – on YouTube

Neath Then & Now

This short film from garnwenfilms displays old photographs of Neath streets in the past, then shows us footage of the same location today.

Useful dates are added to many of the photographs too.

NEATH PAST TO PRESENT PRODUCED BY SIMON WARREN – garnwenfilms on YouTube

History of Neath

Keith Edwards converted his VHS video, made by the Neath Antiquarian Society. Reference is made to the bridge built in 1988. There’s a lot of valuable information, old photos and film. Plus, the ‘modern’ footage taken for the video is now itself showing lost streetscapes.

History of Neath ( Neath Antiquarian Society ) – on YouTube

Lloyd George Visits Neath 1916-1918

During the Great War, later known as the First World War, Lloyd George officially visited Neath.

In this British Pathé film, huge crowds of spectators pack the streets to see him. It’s astonishing that the procession got through them all. Later footage of the motor procession shows how many people lined the streets. There are surprisingly few soldiers or policemen holding back the crowds, but everyone behaves well.

Lloyd George met female munitions workers and dignitaries. The women appear again in the procession at the end of the film – there is a very large number of them.

We see a close up row of soldiers with bayonets guns, and later a marching band and a contingent of soldiers on horseback, but men in uniform are visible from afar in many scenes. 

Through The Tunnel Into Perfect Daylight – Mr Lloyd George In Wales (1916-1918) – British Pathé on YouTube

Mile Championships 1925

Both men and women competed for this trophy in 1925. Crowds of spectators watched from the riverbank, and the bridge was decked in banners. 

Mile Championships In Wales (1925) – British Pathé on YouTube

Lord Mayor’s Ceremony 1937

The opening shots show dignitories in all their splendour. 

When we move to the procession, there’s an amusing moment as one policeman on a horse rides the wrong way and is called over by his colleague. 

The various groups marching includes lots of young lads in their scout uniforms, followed by slightly older girls in their guides uniform. There’s a marching band, and rows upon rows of policemen.

It’s unclear who the group in top hats are, closely followed by the group in bowler hats and then another collection of top hatted men. The Lord Mayor appears at the end of the procession, surrounded by people in their official clothing.

The flags and medals suggest that many of the participants saw action in the Great War 1914-1918. Just two years after this film was made, the Second World War began.

The streets are very busy with spectators.

Lord Mayor’s Ceremony At Neath (1937) – British Pathé on YouTube

Gwyn Thomas in the 1960s

The Welsh writer and broadcaster Gwyn Thomas was the twelfth and last child of a coal-mining family in the Rhondda Valley.

In the 1960’s, he made a series of short films about life in South Wales.

Here we see him visiting a number of rural locations around Neath, and discovering some of the people and places in the town itself.

Gwyn Thomas Visits the Vale of Neath – on YouTube

Buses 1996

DaveSpencer32’s clip from one of the DVDs he sells shows many passengers and pedestrians going about their daily lives in April 1996.

NEATH BUSES APRIL 1996 – on YouTube

Neath Little Theatre 2011

A lighthearted short sketch from the Neath Little Theatre in September 2011, promoting their upcoming show. Time travels quickly, so no doubt all the participants look back to the location and cast with a sense of nostalgia. Especially in the lockdown of 2020, when the future of theatre seems uncertain.

Neath Little Theatre – weird goings on!! – on YouTube

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