I just returned from watching some Scottish Screen Archive films at the Filmhouse as part of the Edinburgh Film Festival – it was great. The first film was called “The Singing Street” and was made by a group of Edinburgh school teachers calling themselves the “Norton Park Group”. It shows school children singing songs and playing games, some incredible skipping, all round Edinburgh. Its fantastic, and you can watch it all here. The timing and rhythm of the skipping in particular is well worth a watch, as is the single “boys” song, and their subsequent sweeping off the step by a girl. In the audience were some women who featured in the original film, as well as relatives of the film makers. And an angry woman who said she couldn’t hear anything. And lots of people saying “ooh, look, its Easter Road” etc…. A longing for the past can be a dangerous film, but what this film shows is that kids have always had a sense of humour, and the creativity to develop their own art forms. I wonder what the current equivalent is, if there are any school teachers who can tell me, I’d like to know.
The group made other films as well, which are listed in the Archive, I guess they can be accessed through them somehow. I’ve also seen the book called “The Singing Street” compiled by one of the film making team, and the above image is the front cover.