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  • Edinburgh


  • Home life
  • Housing and living conditions


  • Amateur


  • 1950s

Related films

1952 | bwcol | silent
1952 | bwcol | silent
1951 | bwcol | silent
1951 | bw | silent
1951 | bw | silent

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Overall rating:


Reference number: 0799

Date: 1951

Director: [filmed by Nigel McIsaac, Raymond Townsend, James T. Ritchie]

Production company: Norton Park Group

Sound: sound

Original format: 16mm

Colour: bw

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 18.00 mins

Description: Collection of children's street games filmed in the streets of Edinburgh accompanied by traditional children's songs.

Publicity leaflet: Their progress is followed along an ideal thoroughfare. In songs where ancient ritual, myth, the mountain and the rose, mingle with taxis, telephones and powder-puffs. Old rhymes rarely dying - something new always appearing. No-one asks "What does this mean?" The world's accepted, poetry's kept alive. Favourite topic, love and death. Not meant for education or entertainment but belonging to the art of play. Shot in six Easter days of boisterous weather, the cast, mostly girls, numbering sixty.

Made by teachers at Norton Park School, Edinburgh. "Whistling" done by poet Norman MacCaig. Councillor Pat Murray is the bespectacled man next to the teddy boy (c.11 minutes into film). He was the founder/moving spirit behind establishment of Museum of Childhood. Film shown at UNICA festival Barcelona, 1952.

Credits: [camera W Geissler and R Townsend
'whistling' by Norman MacCaig]

Shotlist: [Shotlisted from Beta SP Master]

ocs (.08) pan Edinburgh skyline from North Bridge to Royal Scottish Academy (.55) tilt down Bothwell Street footbridge, Albion Terr. in b/ground (1.05) Title (1.16) gv's girl calls up to open window; gv's girls playing skipping games, cutting steps to rhythm of songs intercut shots girl singing to reflection (2.21) brief shot girl shows high toss with diabolo; elevated shot street; gv's girls play circle and skipping games, including Here Comes the Bluebird and I Paula-tay Paula-tuska (3.51) elevated shot girls cross footbridge and play game intercut close shots game, timber yard and Salisbury Crags in b/ground (5.15) gv's girls skip rope in the middle of street; girls play Mother, Mother May I Go on a set of six broad steps (5.32) girls play In and Out the Dusting Bluebells (7.12) brief shot No. 6 bus driving past busy pavement; shot crossroads, towards Crags (7.36) girls play and sing intercut shot of paving stones chalked with lyrics of The Golden City (8.49) pairs of girls skip alternately over rope held in their outer hands down Royal Terr. (9.29) brief shot busy Leith St towards GPO and hotel; tilt from Regent bridge on Waterloo Pl. to girls skipping with varied steps on Calton Rd., trams passing in b/ground (10.17) ls girl juggles off a wall over boys sitting on steps; girl shoos boys off her peever grid; seated boys sing I Sent Her for Butter (12.01) gv's girls french skip with two ropes on side street, traffic flowing along crossroads in b/ground; girl skates downhill [some slo-mo shots] (12.41) brief shot Victoria St; hide and seek through Victoria Terr.; pan along line of rooftops (13.49) gv's girls skip over a turned rope, landing either side of a rope held taut by the toes of the turning pair; c/u chalk angels; skipping game (14.46) brief shot steel construction on site of National Library of Scotland; girl skips down Victoria Street, waves to her friend above (15.54) gv's girl walks down curved street to Water of Leith and looks out toward Sandport Place Bridge (16.33) ecs (16.45)