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 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. South Wales highlights include the mooring of a First World War battleship at Giant’s Grave, Briton Ferry, in May 1921 ready for breaking, the newly-built Swansea Guidhall in 1935, and Dowlais Ironworks in 1929. 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. Indeed there is something for everyone!
4 October – 28 November 2014, Kidwelly Industrial Museum
7 November – 24 January 2015, Oriel Pendeitsh, Caernarfon
21 March – 16 May 2015, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
20 July – 25 September 2015¸ Plas Llanerchaeron
20 July – 14 September 2015, Swansea City Library
18 September – 30 October 2015, Rhyl Library
25 June – 18 September 2016, National Maritime Museum Swansea