There are few things more seductive than old film. Jon Bounds has been rootling through the online footage at MACE — that’s the Media Archive for Central England.
There is a 1956 colour film about living in Back to Backs which I’ve added there:
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The blurb from the original page tells us:
We see shots of terraced houses included back-to-back properties filmed from the top of St Alban’s church tower in Highgate, Birmingham. The panorama also shows factories, warehouses, back yards and children playing in areas planned for redevelopment. We then see more scenes of Birmingham life prior to redevelopment including children in a school playground and classroom and work in a small engineering factory. Using maps and diagrams and a voice over the film explains how several areas in Birmingham are to be redeveloped focussing on the Bath Row and Gooch Street areas of the city. We also see establishing shots of St Alban’s Church, the ruins of St Thomas’s Church on Bath Row which were badly damaged during a bombing raid in 1940. Not all of the old terraces are being demolished and we see a street that is being refurbished and improved. We then see the exteriors of new flats, houses and maisonettes in the Bath Row and Duddeston areas that have recently been constructed as well as new premises for P & M Jig and Tool Co. Ltd.
The Back to Backs are incredibly imprtant to the trust because our most recent major project restored Court 15 Inge Street before handing the buildings over to the National Trust to run as a locally and nationaly significant historical atracton.