Film ID:
NEFA 22278



Visitor Tabs


This amateur film made by Michael John Keane records local children's play on the Cleveland County Playbus visiting Eston, Hemlington and Billingham. The final part of the film shows a playbus taking part in the 9th Playbus Rally in Birmingham followed by a phantom ride in the bus as it drives back to Middlesbrough.

The film opens on a Cleveland County playbus (Reg No. JVW 40E) in red and cream livery parked on a road in bright sunshine.

A close up of the destination board on the front of the bus reads ‘Cleveland County Playbus’. Then the destination board changes and reads ‘Eston’.

On board the bus a group of children play with sand in a sand box. Others play on a slide and with  toys. A view through the windows shows the Eston Hills in the distance.

A number of children start singing in front of the camera [underexposed film].

Children do some drawing, whilst another group play with toys on the floor of the bus.

A small boy concentrates very hard on his drawing. A boy and girl play with toy cars on the carpeted floor, whilst a young girl plays on a rocking horse.

Some other children make models with interlocking plastic sections. A man plays guitar and gets the children to sing and follow the actions from the words of the song.

Outside the bus, mothers wait to collect their children and then set off for home.

Next a view of the front of the bus, where the destination board now reads ‘Hemlington’.

Two young girls plays with sand in the sand box. Others play on the slide. Another child plays with a toy which requires shaped pieces of plastic or wood to be hammered into holes on boards mounted on a frame.

The sand box is popular with three girls playing buckets and spades. More children play on the slide. Two boys hammer pieces of wood/plastic into their frames. A boy goes backwards down the slide. Outside in fine weather, some of the children play with toys.

A young girl holds a microphone, while the children play. Quite a few of the children play with the hammer and peg frames.

One of the boys shows another a picture of sweets in a book he’s holding.

A group of children play some sort of game, by following each other in a line.

The film cuts to the bus destination board again, and this time it reads ‘Billingham’.

On board the bus children soon occupy themselves with the various toys and the slide. The sand box proves once more to be very popular, as does the hammering of pegs into a board. Drawing and model making also attract attention.

Two girls play with a Fisher-Price toy called Play Family House, involving plastic model houses. A small boy plays on a rocking horse.

A film is projected on board the bus. [Underexposed section]

The Playbus makes its way down a road and parks.

Parents bring their children to the bus. General views.follow of the children playing, and sometimes posing for the camera.

An exterior view of the bus follows as it leaves its current location. At another location, a new group of children enjoy the toys and games the bus has to offer. One of the supervisors talks to the children.

Outside a small boy carrying a toy dog walks towards the bus. Only a few children seem to attend this session. The filmmaker asks some of the children questions on camera. A group of the children go silently down the slide one after the other. Music plays from a radio or tape machine while the children play. One of the supervisors helps a child with a drawing.

Two young girls play with the model house.

In the next section, there's a playbus with the words ‘Rally 81’ on the side of it. Men sweep a compound where two buses are parked. More playbuses arrive and park in the compound.

A poster advertises: ‘The National Playbus Association, 9th Playbus Rally, St Peter’s College Saltley’ (Birmingham)

More buses arrive all painted in bold colours, and from a number of locations, Wakefield, Northampton, and the Humber area. The camera zooms in on the skyscraper skyline of Birmingham.

Travelling shot from the playbus heading out of the compound and out onto a street, the driver now heading through Birmingham. The bus joins the slip road to the A38 motorway.

More travelling shots as the bus passes by the supporting columns of another motorway, and evidence of heavy industry beyond. The bus passes a row of parked buses.

A bus joins a main road heading towards ICI at Billingham. Travelling shots reveal the ICI plant and works beneath a very grey sky.

The bus now enters a housing estate and parks in a lay-by. The film ends as mothers help their children onto the bus and they start to play