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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Britain from Above: Wales at Oriel Pendeitsh, Caernarfon, 7 November - 24 January

A view of Caernarfon showing the castle, port and town, c.1934. The street plan of the medieval borough is clearly defined. NPRN: 95318
Britain from Above: Wales is the Royal Commission’s travelling exhibition of the oldest and most intriguing of the Aerofilms historic photographs. The Aerofilms Collection is a unique archive of one million aerial photographs dating from 1919 to 2006. The collection was acquired for the nation in 2007 by English Heritage and the Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Wales, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. With photographs drawn from across Wales, this exhibition of unfamiliar images of familiar places will encourage audiences to explore the meaning and impact of change, place and memory. Unique occasions captured in North Wales highlights include the ceremony at the recently-erected Cenotaph war memorial during the visit of the Prince of Wales in November 1923, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show held in Abergele on 26 July 1950, and the eerie stillness of Gresford Colliery, one month after the mining disaster of 22 September 1934, when a major explosion and subsequent fire killed 266 miners.

Gresford Colliery, Wrexham, 23 October 1934. This photograph was taken one month after the Gresford mining disaster of 22 September 1934, when a major explosion and subsequent fire in the Dennis section killed 266 miners. NPRN: 301580

South Stack, Holyhead, Anglesey, 1950. Erected in 1809 the simple, dignified, lighthouse has survived over two hundred years of storms.NPRN:41288

Other images include the picturesque magnificence of Snowdonia and the simple, barren cragginess of South Stack, Holyhead, as well as the iconic Edwardian castles. In addition, the exhibition includes a number of images of historic events drawn from England and Scotland, including the 1935 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, the flooding at Jaywick Sands, Essex, in February 1953 ─ a sobering reminder of the great storm in 1953, and the Queen Mary in John Brown’s Shipyard, Clydebank, the flagship of the Cunard White Star Line, now permanently moored in Long Beach, California. A dvd of more localised images will also be shown alongside the exhibition at Oriel Pendeitsh. Indeed there is something for everyone!

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