Film: 5392

Social History | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Everyday life of the poor in a city in Northern England 1950's

Manchester, possibly Salford, Inner city study.
Morning signs, empty swings, milk crates, broken beer bottles. Close ups of street signs such as Hope, Paradise, Energy St, Love Lane & Every St. Graffiti on walls saying “God Save The Queen”, “Save the Rosenbergs” & “God Bless Fr Matthew”. Puddles, pigeons and run down residential buildings. Doll repair shop. Man rides off on a motorbike. Two policemen on foot patrol in the street. A man avoids the police as he walks along the street and into a building with broken windows. A man asleep on the pavement. A dog sleeping on the footpath. An elderly man in bed. Poor, overcrowded accommodation, a family share beds in one room. View through the residential streets. Child on a push bike delivers milk. Woman picks up pint of milk from the doorstep. Panning view of the docks, quiet and deserted.
Alarm clock shows 7:47. Children getting out of bed. A teddy bear on the bed. Old man waking. Child feeding a caged bird. Mother shouts up the stairs. Children wash. Old man shaves. Woman stirs a pot on the stove and behind are walls papered with newspaper. Man gives himself a dry shave. Family at breakfast table.
Children playing in the street, swinging around a lamp post, roller skating, hop scotch, skipping, boys on a soap box cart. Boys chewing gum and kicking a ball around, splashing water beside a pond and rolling a tyre with a stick.
Woman cleaning the door step. Kids cleaning a step with rags. Boys walk to school, past people standing in doorways and young kids in prams. Smiling girl. Boy slides down a lamp post. Boys running out the house with books under their arms. Boy pumping up a bicycle tyre. Man asleep outside. Girls walk to school. View down onto a large school playground where boys are fighting and girls playing and dancing in a circle. Boys picking their mates for a game. Girls skipping with a large skipping rope. Boys arguing. Older boys making their way to school and hanging around some railings. Older man blows a whistle. Two late comers run across open space. One boy clambers over some railings.
Woman peels potatoes at a table. Young kids pretending to be at school as they play on the pavement. Man’s face in close up. A panning view of a scrap yard full of various metal bits. Young men smoking cigarettes in doorways. Lads play a game of bowls or petanque with small balls in an open space.
Drips falling into a bucket. Run down housing, rooms with damp stains and holes in the ceiling. A cat. A very wobbly banister. Another car indoors. Close up of middle aged woman complaining about her leaking house. Drips keep falling into a bucket.
Man using a jack hammer in the street while another pumps water down the street. Woman window cleaning at a house. A street lamp is cleaned. Man up a ladder cleans pub windows. Women working in a commercial laundry. Laundry workers gossiping at work.
Man working in the road. Men working in a team as they haul steel cable. A man wanders along a street in a poor area. Making or repairing pavements.
Public library, a librarian stamps a book out and an elderly man takes the book to a table and begins reading. Close up of the bespectacled man in his cap. Other men reading, mainly newspapers.
Kids in the street. Boys play soldiers with sticks as swords. A makeshift bow and arrow. Women with a pram. A young boy plays with toy soldiers on the doorstep.
A transistor radio on a table. An elderly woman lights a fire and warms her hands by the coals. She sits in a chair with a vacant, distant look on her face. This is interspersed with slow moving clips of the street front houses. Three fallen toy soldiers on the pavement.
Rag and bone man with his horse and cart, blows a trumpet to announce his presence. Two women in head scarves gossip on the doorstep. Little boy plays a bugle but a woman pulls it out of his hands and lifts him onto her lap. She is gossiping with another lady. Washing line full of laundry. Hand spoons 4 teaspoons of sugar into a cup of tea. Young boy pulls a woman’s arm. Close ups of faces engaged in chatter.
Views of older people in a run down area. Old woman crossing the road alone. Shop window advertising vegetable prices. Older women look in a shop window. A woman asks for items in a grocery store. View from a moving vehicle along a high street with shops. Youths in a shop doorway. Lads hanging out on a street corner. Baby asleep in a buggy. Young boy pushes a toy pram with bricks in it. Little girl plays in dirt with a dog. Kids playing in the street. Two elderly seated men are talking.
Woman leaves a commercial laundry with a tied bundle of laundry balanced on her head and walks down the street. An older man facing the camera pulls the collar of his coat up and turns and walks away towards the road. A large lady drinks half a pint of lager. Two men walk through a park, their backs to the camera.
Girls singing in the school playground, while other girls play with hula hoops in the background.

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