Film: 5888

London | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Youth clubs and teenagers in London in the 1950's

Two boys walk through council estate fenced playground. Boy with girl on his arm. 350 members of youth club. Boys walk through council estate and streets. Boy with cricket bat. Bowler. Group of girls chat about being asked out and boys with cars. More cricket. Peggy and Harry in groups. They smoke. Ady 'always needs an audience' talks about singing. The girls chew gum. They shout at the boys. General view of the club. Boys from the Local County Council estate off Kennington Lane. The gang 'go together where ever they go'. Buying squash at the canteen. Bell Belsham, warden. Boys and girls chat in the club. Lots of smoking. Lots of shots of teenagers. In the library, organized talk, discussion on fashion, how much money on clothes? 30 bob or shillings a week. A good suit for 15 guineas says Ady. A good suit should last, much discussion about men's fashion as they are fashion conscious teddy boys with quiffs. Discussion on parents and smoking. Teenagers / youth admit they have 'nicked' / stolen to get more money. Pinching fags / cigarettes from the shop. Petty crime is discussed. 'The girls don't pinch like a boy'. How much money would you give your kids / children? should the girls be paid for when you take them out ? Dating etiquette One boy says 'if you want to go dancing .... you pay'. Music 'Putting on The Agony' girls and boys dancing at a week day dance. Boys hang about or horse around or on your own staring at the girls. On the phone, boy in very funny conversation to this girl friend. 'Eh, eh, eh', 'Are you coming up the club tomorrow?'. Girls dance together mainly, they look bored. Dance hall. At the fish and chip shop. Shovelling out the chips. Teenagers put salt and vinegar on their chips. Boys eat pie and chips at tables. They talk and eat. Boys next to cash register. Employees cook the chips. Boys and girls into street to walk home in the dark. Council estate. Boy takes bike down stairs and rides. All the teenagers are either at school or at work. At assembly at school. Master in gown. Organ and hymn singing. Other boy works at the post office. He sorts mail. One of the girls in at a dress makers, hand sewing (not sweat shop or machine, more like high fashion house). Butcher shop. Boy with meat. More assembly at school. Numerator machines. Accounting job, Frances has had three jobs in a year. Janet sews in the basement of a Mayfair dress maker's. Butcher 'with luck he'll be in the meat trade for life'. Bobby is a junior postman. This job is dull but he will be driving a van soon. The staples papers. Beryl is in a food processing factory, pastry on a conveyor belt. Box does lots of stapling. Thoughts about fighting and gangs. Friday night, the girls are all dressed up in the street going to the club, boys play indoor football, girls in sewing club, dress making on the girls, drawing designs, painting classes, drawing fighting soldiers and cowboys shooting, discussion on hanging, 'a bloke murdered two girls of five, shouldn't they be hanged?'. Clapham Common gang. Under sixteen years old. Discussion on if they abolish the death penalty. Life sentence is better punishment. A girl says if they kill they should be killed. Strong feelings. Shots of talking teenagers.

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