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  • Short Summary

    Great film showing the need for playgrounds to keep children amused.

  • Description

    This documentary is also recorded on film id 1359.01 with sound.

    Reel 1. A group of young boys (6 - 10 years old?) play football in a park. One of the boys has a dog (Staffordshire Bull Terrier?) which is attached to a park bench by a lead. C/U of ball being kicked then boy in shorts running after it. M/S of policeman walking towards camera - he is gesticulating at the boys that they can't play football in the park. They look at the policeman and there is a C/U of one of the boys shrugging his shoulders and complaining. "What is the world made for if not to provide a glorious great place in which to play..." says narrator. Boy collects his dog from the bench - dog nearly pulls him over. Boys play football in a grey city street. Group of younger children and two girls sit on a wall and watch. Narrator speaks of how nearly a thousand children every year are killed because the street is not the proper place to play. Group of boys sitting on the wall shout and laugh. Various shots of boys playing football - the ball smashes a window. The boys look sheepish then run off down the street. Narrator demands that there be playgrounds within scooting distance of every child's home - to keep children away from the Juvenile Courts and out of the cemeteries! Mayor Councillor Kemp opens gates to a new playground in Bermondsey. Visiting dignitaries and stars of stage and screen inspect the facilities. Stars include Ronald Shiner. Members of the public follow the celebrities. C/U of children in the crowd. The playground was a present from the Variety Club of Great Britain. M/S of Ronald Shiner pushing a child on a swing. A female star (not recognised) does the same. Three starlets sit on a rocking horse type ride with lots of children. C/U of one of the women taking off her hat and putting it on the head of a baby. National Playing Fields Association is talked of. M/S of Prince Philip shaking hands - presumably with members on the board of the NPFA. M/S of young girl presenting flowers to Queen Elizabeth who is in evening wear. Another girl presents flowers to Princess Margaret. John Mills accompanies the royals. The Taverners Ball - various shots of the guests seated at large round tables. The cabaret entertainment includes a comedy cricket routine - presumably played out by stage and screen stars - in L/S so can't identify players. The Queen and Margaret laugh and applaud. L/S of large playing field. C/U of Prince Philip in striped blazer walking by a marquee with the Earl Marshall Duke of Norfolk. Philip tosses a coin and the charity cricket match begins.

    Various shots of the game and of the crowd of spectators. Prince Philip bowls as the Duke of Norfolk goes up to bat. C/U of film star Betty Hutton arm in arm with a lady Mayor. They are visiting a playground. Various shots of crowds and Betty Hutton. C/U of Betty kissing a young girl on the cheek. Betty has a go on one of the children's swings. L/S of six children being pushed on swings. Convoy of cars shot from following car passes under a sign reading: "Welcome to Bletchley." Prince Philip cuts a tape to open a new playing field. L/S of some girls playing "catch", boys playing football and two boys riding on a seesaw. C/U of sing reading: "Welcome to Treviscoe." Prince Philip arrives and shakes hands with local dignitaries. Various shots of Prince and of the crowds. Young girl in a white dress (looking very cold as everyone else is in overcoats) curtseys and presents Philip with a flower. C/U of Taunton city plaque. C/U of a tablet presented from the citizens of Taunton Massachusetts to the people of Taunton England. C/U of two boys on a seesaw. Photographer takes pictures of the children playing Two children are dressed up as a King and Queen and sit astride a toy locomotive.

    Panning shot of a playground with a large sand pit full of children. C/U of the door of a bus which has a cartoon Red Indian painted on the side. Pan up to show boys leaning out of bus windows. The children climb over the bus. Norman's Park playground in Fulham. Another aim of the National Playing Fields Association is to encourage the development of new ideas in playground design. Lots of kids clamber over a commando climbing net. A woman in black coat and hat blows a whistle and beckons a boy to her. He stands beside her and she ticks him off for something, waving her finger. HA of the boy looking up at her. Children swarm around the playground. A group of youngsters run along, some of the girls are skipping. C/U of children playing in and around a truck which has the words: "Hurlingham Flying Squad" the side. C/U of a freckled girl smiling and talking. C/U of a young boy at the driving wheel. Two boys play with a boat in a very shallow paddling pool. C/U of a boy drinking from a water fountain. High angle panning shot of a playground with paddling pool and rocking horses. High angle shots of children climbing up steps of slide, then of them sliding down. POV shot sliding down the slide - presumably the cameraman had a go. Various shots of children, including one boy in school uniform - coming down the slide. Children stand on the steps of the slide and wave at the camera. C/U of a sign which reads Sayes Court. High angle of large playground. Voiceover speaks of the National Health Service and of how rich or poor children all need "proper outlets for their animal spirit." Shots of children on swings. Climbing frame with lots of children swarming over it. Rocking horse with a rather stern elderly lady watching over the children who play on it. Narrator talks of the differences of equipment in richer areas and poorer areas. "...the equipment may be more modest, the happiness of the youngsters is just as complete." Panning shot of lots of children in a sand pit, then crowds of children on a roundabout. Low angle shot of a tall chimney pans down to show children walking to a playground in Deptford. At a playground on the South Bank children clamber over a model ocean liner called: "Festival Queen." A very small girl with Shirley Temple curls turns the wheel of the ship in C/U. High angle of the ship which turns out to be a pretty groovy modern sand pit. Many children at play. C/U of girls crawling in tunnels which are part of the ship. Girl looks up at her mates as they jump off the ship into the sand.

    Pan across a truck - the same as one seen earlier, this time with "South Bank Flying Squad" painted on the side. One of the boys inside the truck is holding a toy gun. C/U of the young boy driving with friends crammed into the truck all around him. C/U of tiny boy climbing into the truck. Various shots of children playing in a model steam engine. "...just give them something to capture their imagination, they will provide the work part of the fun, the dreams and the doing, don't amuse them - stimulate them..." C/U of a street corner - sign reads: "Clydesdale Road" A group of children run along holding bits and pieces of wood. An experimental playground in Kensington. The children put pieces of junk onto a small fire. This is a bomb site where children played amongst the rubbish and this was obviously what they enjoyed. A local committee created a playground from junk. Shots of the children swinging on tires, climbing down ropes attached to ruined coal bunkers and walking around on the mud on stilts. C/Us of children walking on stilts and fantastic shots of a group of boys playing cowboys and Indians. Complete mayhem with toy guns, cowboy outfits, bows and arrows, a French flag, spades, bandanas, etc. All played out against a backdrop of bomb damage. Great C/U of a boy in a cowboy outfit shooting his gun from behind a tree trunk. The play leader is mentioned but he is there to guide the activities, not to direct them. C/U of the entrance to a "Pets Corner" at Crystal Palace. Children queue up to pay for Pony Rides and Animal Snacks. A child is lifted onto a pony. L/S of children being walked around on ponies. Various shots of children stroking all manner of pets - rabbits, sheep, lambs, goats etc. etc. Sign telling children about the play space in Holland Park. Girls in school uniform walk to the play area. Various shots of children working together to build a camp out of branches. Boys lift large logs and girls pass branches up to boys balanced on top of their construction. Various shots of happy, smiling children.
    This documentary is also recorded on film id 1359.01 with sound.
    Note: excellent film with great voiceover about the importance of playing fields and playgrounds to keep children off the street and out of mischief. Great shots of children at play in all sorts of environment. The "junk playground" sequence is especially good.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1950 - 1959
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:18:43:00 / 01:31:41:00

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