This film is part of Free

Place to Play

A taste of freedom: children in the Splott, Butetown and Grangetown areas of Cardiff get a chance to play, explore and invent in the city’s experimental adventure playgrounds.

Amateur film 1972 12 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Learning for life through play free of adult strictures – that was the motivation for the Adventure Playground movement and what inspired the experimental Adventure Play Schemes run during the summer holidays by Voluntary Community Service, Cardiff, in economically depressed areas of the city - Splott, Butetown and Grangetown. Filmed by Cardiff Cine Society, children and play workers construct and play, take part in a theatrical circus and enjoy a street party.

Adventure Playgrounds or “junk playgrounds” were established, mainly in cities, in Britain and across Europe from the late 1930s/40s onwards. After World War II many children played on derelict land or on bomb sites but as urban areas were re-built and developed advocates of child-centred play felt there was a need for dedicated spaces where youngsters could make and break things, explore, invent and create at leisure, free of adult control.