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  • Edinburgh
  • Orkney Islands


  • Architecture and buildings
  • Construction and engineering


  • Experimental
  • Women film makers


  • TAIT, Margaret


  • 1970s

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Reference number: 3702

Date: 1974

Director: filmed by Margaret Tait

Production company: Ancona Films

Sound: sound

Original format: 16mm

Colour: bwcol

Fiction: fiction

Running time: 32.33 mins

Description: The film compares Rose St. in Edinburgh in 1973 with another film by Margaret Tait, of the same subject, shot in 1956. In the words of the film-maker, it is a film about the 'life of the street'.

See also ref. 6234 THESE WALLS for related film.

See also Additional Information file at 11/1/455. Paper Archives 4/5/119, 4/11/651, 4/5/92. See also ref 6224.

The Tait papers are deposited in Orkney Archives. Currently being catalogued. For any enquiries please contact Principal Archivist.

Undercut No. 7/8 Spring 17 - 19. Review

Time Out No. 522.18 April 1980, p45. Brief review, in an account of a short season of her films at the London Film-Makers' Co-op.
[above information from Film Index International, Copyright 1993 - 1997 British Film Insitute]

The British Artist's Film and Video Study Collection at http://www.bftv.ac.uk/avantgarde based at Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design holds an artist's file on Margaret Tait.

The British Film Institute National Library http://www.bfi.org.uk holds many of the published articles on her and her work.

In 1979 Margaret Tait was the subject of a BBC Scotland 'Spectrum' arts programme.

Credits: by Margaret Tait assisted by Alex Pirie

Shotlist: (0.00) [bw] opening credits and title (0.20) [very dark, underexposed] The Changing Face of Rose Street 1973 shop fronts incl. 'Galloping Major Lounge Bar', various exts pubs (1.10) shot overlooking truck carrying bottled beer and wine (1.17) c/u sign 'Rose Street' pan down to 'No Loading Signs' on lamp post (1.30) shot overlooking policemen walking along street (1.33) shot looking down Rose Street, shop front in view is 'George S. Todd Electrical Engineer', a bin lorry is seen being loaded as bin men manually empty bins (2.27) gvs Rose Street, pedestrians walking, binmen at work, c/u huge 'Pedestrian Precinct' sign (3.11) slow pan along shop fronts, including clothes shop, 'John Whyte' jeweller, 'Wonderland' toy centre, betting shop and street gvs (4.09) exts 'Kenilworth' pub and further gvs looking down Rose Street (4.59) pan up from shop fronts to tenements and storeys above, some with broken windows [soundtrack gives way to ghostly whistling] gvs derelict backyards with refuse, construction work continuing on new flats behind facades, there is scaffolding on some buildings including 'The Goblet' pub (6.28) gvs construction work (7.08) back courts, various sharply edited shots exts windows broken, stonework, graffitti such as 'Jungle Skins Rules' 'Niddrie Rule' (7.38) ints and looking out of window, c/u stone stair (7.46) gvs Rose Street again, reflections in shop window (8.10) Looking Back 1956 children reading on steps (8.31) c/u pamphlet reading 'Rose Street A black and white film of a black-like street full of its own sort of colour by Ancona Films' (8.40) [countdown leader - soundtrack still contd. with singing] censors certificate (9.04) shot of Edinburgh Castle high on the hill in background, slow pan left to right along street shop fronts and general bustle, ending with a shot looking down Rose Street lined with parked cars - a heavily laden goods truck turns in (9.34) c/u sign 'Rose Street' (9.43) shot overlooking lorry load of wooden boxes full of bottles of beer or wine [presumably delivery for one of the pubs] (10.00) lightly laden lorry stops outside antiques shop (10.13) binman empties refuse bins into his truck (10.19) extremely c/u shot as 'Blue Ribbon Furniture' lorry slowly drives past shop window (10.33) c/u shot traffic passing by, the first vehicle being a truck laden with sacks [possibly coal] - after man has directed this lorry he jumps on to the side of it and hangs on, various other vehicles pass, in background two ladies in fur coats peer in shop window (10.52) two men, one on a ladder, clean and polish shop window (10.58) empty wine or beer bottles are unloaded by hand from truck, intercut with brief shot cat lazily sitting on doorstep with empty milk bottles alongside (11.21) ints grocery shop, where whistling shopkeeper in white coat walks through from back room (11.28) c/u antiques shop window, man and woman converse outside, the man appears to be selling an item to the lady, but she refuses and moves on (11.43) man looks in shop window, across the road ladies look in another shop window (12.00) ints milliner shop, gvs ladies trying on various hats (12.51) gvs street, as people pass by, stopping, starting and looking in shop windows (13.29) man pulling along a makeshift 'barrow' with pieces of wood in it, walks to camera and then stops and stares at camera - could be a down and out? (13.45) a few men give bin lorry a push start, helping to start the engine (14.07) exts bookshop, where a man browses the second hand titles shelves lined up on window ledge (14.52) general shot looking down Rose Street (15.03) front of shop, man walks in, a small girl stands to left of picture holding toy (15.13) shot of street, lorry parked in foreground, exts shop and sign 'Kelly - Everything For The Kitchen (15.25) ints cobbler at work, manually shaping heel of shoe (15.55) shot of woman climbing staircase [very dark], ints woman handmaking jewellery (16.46) two small children outside shop (17.21) looking down on exts pub, the barman stands outside to watch the world go by, then returns inside, shot of two small children standing on street (17.54) a woman puts up security metal grating on flower shop window at close of business, another woman securely padlocks her shop door (18.15) small boy runs into cafe where he speaks to man behind counter, c/u chips being wrapped up in brown paper (18.38) exts pub, where man plays accordion on pavement (18.53) ints pub, where the bar is crammed full of men in overcoats drinking (19.12) exts accordion man again, with little girl dancing along to the music beside him (19.32) while Sunday morning church bells peal in background, the scene is of children playing games such as hopscotch and drawing with chalk in an empty street (20.20) young boys play football in the street (20.32) very brief shot crowd of young women smoking (20.34) shopkeeper stands on doorstep, a group of young lads stop by - they chat and laugh (20.52) gvs as children on bicycles career along the street, some run and jump, gvs street or yard where they all play games in a crowd (21.46) gvs boys playing football - they are joined by young men standing outside the pub, intercut with crowd of children playing street games (one of whom is wearing wellington boots) (23.05) group of children sit on doorstep and read book together, followed by slow pan upwards to reveal a painted sign on door reading 'Ancona Films Second Floor' (23.22) ecs (23.30) -blank- (23.33) [col] Then and Now [bw] ints pub (24.00) ints cafe (24.02) [col] looking through window to Takeaway, exts 'Galloping Major' Lounge Bar (24.17) [bw] unloading loaves of bread, street cleaning windows on ladder (24.46) same man in 1973 (24.49) 1950s window polishers intercut same gvs in 1973 (25.27) [col and bw] shots intercutting 'then' and 'now' exts pub and construction (25.52) [bw] cobbler ints (26.18) [col] and now derelict (26.22) [bw and col] exts shop and as it stands in 1970s (26.36) [bw] ints milliner, cat sitting on stone step (26.48) [col] step now empty (26.56) [bw and col] boys and shopkeeper, the doorstep as it stands in 1970s (27.12) [bw] exts bookshop shop sign reading 'hygienic supplies' [col] as they look in 1970s (27.52) c/u pamphlet on ground 'Ghosts', ints shop with closing down sign discarded on floor (28.09) [col] looking up at windows and street [bw] footage of when they were occupied (28.44) [bw] boys playing football games in street (29.20) [col] in 1950s, women leaning out of back court window, washing line [col] a man shutting up shop pan down to 'Ghosts' pamphlet, c/u graffitti (29.57) [bw] looking down Rose Street, girls playing hopscotch and gvs children's games (30.13) [col] the same street in 1970s, gvs building site and street, c/u entrance doorway (31.30) [bw] exts doorway with sign 'Ancona Films' 'then' and 'now' (31.51) Gone Away (31.57) Fine Fine End (32.03) [neg] street scenes in negative in 1950s (32.33)