This film is part of Free

The Island in the Current

Sea and seasons dominate life on Bardsey and animals must be taken to market by boat (boarding is a lot easier for those with 2 legs rather than 4).

Amateur film 1953 30 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Edgar Ewart Pritchard, a Staffordshire man who regularly visited Bardsey Island or, as it is known in Welsh, Ynys Enlli (‘island in the current'), came to the conclusion that, “close contact with nature yields a happiness which few townsmen know”. His tribute to this island which he loved illustrates how the community's life was dominated by the sea and the seasons, the children unconsciously learning how to survive there as they played or helped the adults.

The artist Brenda Chamberlain was living as part of the community at the time this film was made and she appears in it, as does her partner Jean van der Bijl. Mr Pritchard (1898-1976), an area surveyor for the National Coal Board, made another film specifically focusing on her entitled ‘Island Artist' (included on the BFI Player) for which he won an Amateur Cine World Award. At the beginning of the 20th century there were over 100 people living on the island but by the mid-1950s, soon after this film was made, just one family was left – Wil [William John] Evans or Wil Ty Pella, his wife Ellen and children Jane and Ernest. All four are seen on this film involved in churning butter using horse power.