This film is part of Free

Town Sparrows

The back-to-backs and canal tow paths of their home town are their playground: meet the town sparrows of Oldbury.

Amateur film 1949 14 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


Frank Wakeman captures some wonderful images of fading Victorian streets unchanged since the industrial revolution. His camera follows children recording an Oldbury in decline. See the girls on their way home from school who pick flowers along the canal towpath. Modern parents may wince at the sight of a boy climbing over a dangerous looking spiked fence but it was a way of life when your environment was also your playground.