You appear to be using a browser that is no longer supported. You may find that you are unable to use all features on the site. We recommend upgrading or changing your browser, if possible.
Skip to main content
Search... Open this section

Children of the City (clip 1)

Thought-provoking study of juvenile delinquency in Dundee during World War II

  • Print All


A dramatised study of child delinquency in Scotland during World War II. Filmed in Dundee this clip depicts boys breaking into a shop, their arrest by the police and the operation of a juvenile court.

Questions & Activities


  • What is child delinquency?
  • What do you think the statistics for crime are in Scotland today?
  • What is the sign outside the shop and what does it stand for?
  • How many of the arguments have changed?
  • How many of the type of tenements shown in this film still exist?
  • How have they been modified?


Media Studies: The attitude towards the causes of delinquency seem quite liberal in comparison to similar programmes today. Discuss why this might be and why moral attitudes have hardened. Discuss whether it has something to do with the arrival of television and other media.

S3, S4 Standard Grade History: Discuss this primary source regarding overcrowding in the city. Why is it a primary source? What does it show about the problems faced during those times.

English: Discuss the differences between young peoples lives today and life back then. What has changed, what remains the same? Try to explain how technology has changed their lives and how these devices work. Construct a drama explaining to one of these kids what life is today. Or more simply try to explain how a mobile phone works to a person back then.

PSE: Use this film as a starting point top a discussion about what the factors make a good home and how responsibility is instilled in young minds. You may want to also compare this film to 'Cally House'.

Research the work of the Childrens Panel and the Rights of the Child Charter.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-041-C
Resource Rights Holder Crown Copyright licensed by National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0291
Date 1944 (World War II)
Genre Documentary, Drama Documentary, Educational, Sponsored, Women Filmmakers
School Subject History, Physical Education, English, Drama, Media Studies
Subject Matter Citizenship
Who Budge Cooper (director), MOI for the Scottish Education Department (sponsor), Paul Rotha Productions (production company)
Where Dundee
Event World War II, Trial
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 7:29
Film Length 30:00