When Newport received city status in 2002, it became the third largest city in Wales. Luckily filmmakers took an interest in the area even as far back as a century ago, so we have great visual records of the town’s people and places in the past.
Old Photos of Newport
YouTube channel CollidingPlanets Exploring uploaded a montage of black and white photos, showing a wide range of local people and places over the past century.
Newport Gwent Past. – CollidingPlanets Exploring on YouTube
Newport Carnival 1923
Held to raise funds for the Royal Gwent Hospital, marvellous floats, costumes, musicians and large crowds turned out for the 1923 Fete and Carnival. It’s a great look at the streetscape too.
Newport’s Fete And Carnival (1923) – British Pathé on YouTube
Newport Carnival 1924
The first float in the 1924 carnival was worthy of a Hollywood film set. Later floats are smaller but still impressive . Moreover, it’s surprising how smoothly the event ran, given the crowds present and restricted roadway.
Newport Carnival 1924 – British Pathé on YouTube
This collection of short clips is part of the British Pathé collection. Most of the footage is of land and seascapes, but at the end we briefly see men working in the dockyard.
Newport (1920-1929) – British Pathé on YouTube
Newport Carnival 1939
This British Pathé clip takes a cheerful look at the local carnival. Run in aid of the Gwent Hospital, the carnival consisted of a procession of floats watched by crowds of spectators. The afternoon rounded off with a competition for the ‘babies’, although the children shown appear to be primary school age.
It’s also interesting to see the ‘PEACE’ sign on one of the floats. World War II broke out on 1st September 1939, just weeks after the filming of this carnival.
Newport, Monmouthshire (1939) – British Pathé on YouTube
1950s Newport Docks
A short clip from HuntleyFilmArchives, showing the docks and an aluminium factory which dominates the landscape.
Newport Docks, 1950’s – Film 94261 – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube
Last train from Newport to Brecon 1962
Part of the ITV Cymru/Wales Archive @ NLW, this mute black and white film from 1962 records the last passenger train from Newport to Brecon.
The long lost village of Pantywaun also appears.
Lost Railways – Last train from Newport to Brecon 1962 – on YouTube
Newport Film School 1966
Also known as The International Film School Wales, Newport Film School was part of Newport School of Art, Media and Design at University of Wales. Set up in 1966 by Principal John Wright, approximately 500 undergraduate and postgraduate students studied a range of film-related courses.
Sadly, the Newport Film School closed following the 2013 merger between the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport, which formed the University of South Wales.
Newport Film School 1966 – on YouTube
Kingsway Shopping Centre 1988
In 1988, Anthony Gilbert, Alan Gilbert, and Paul Moorefield filmed a trip to the town centre shops, and the Kingsway Shopping Centre.
Everything from the fashions to the store fronts – and even the can of Pepsi – look very different to today.
Also, a large number of people appear in this short film, from young children with their parents, through to elderly pensioners with their friends.
Newport Wales John Frost Square 1988 – on YouTube
Newport Carnival 1987
It’s well worth watching Anthony Gilbert’s video of the 1987 carnival, just to see the astonishing contrast with the floats used in the 1920s and 30s.
In addition, local people may spot themselves amongst the crowds of onlookers.
Newport Carnival and Shaftesbury Park Newport Gwent 1987 – on YouTube
The Street 1992
In September 1992, a film student captured moments of everyday life on a local street.
Some passers by also said where they were headed.
LA Super8 uploaded the short clips to their YouTube channel, so three decades later we can enjoy these everyday moments of people’s quiet lives.
It’s astonishing how many people appear in a film lasting less than five minutes.
Also, the contrast between people’s behaviour during daylight hours and night time is striking.
The street (Newport, gwent) – on YouTube
Clock & Town Centre 1994
John Hewinson’s footage from 10 April 1994 shows a number of locations around an almost deserted town centre.
Newport Clock and Town Centre in 1994 – on YouTube
More pages about Wales
Back to Newport Local History Resources page
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