As Easy as A-B-C

Archive: Northern Region Film and Television Archive
ID No.: n/a
Title: As Easy as A-B-C
Date: 1946
Film-maker: National Screen Services, for Gateshead Council
Colour: Colour
Sound: Sound
Duration of complete item: 3 min.
Themes: Children in War-time


A road safety film incorporating a song, produced for children in 1946 to encourage them to take care when crossing the road.


The film opens with the title 'Presented by the Gateshead Prevention of Accidents Committee'. The film's song and accompanying illustrations, take children though the alphabet where each letter stands for a different aspect of safety when crossing the road.


Road safety is a generally forgotten aspect of life in wartime Britain. Designated pedestrian crossings had been established in the 1930s and included innovations such as the 'Belisha Beacon'. In 1942 the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents introduced the 'Kerb Drill', teaching children to look right, look left and look right again. During the war the society also produced several poster campaigns warning of the dangers of crossing the road during the black-out.

However, pedestrian accidents as a result of the black-out did grow substantially during the early period of the war. This film had its origins in an accident in January 1945 in Gateshead, when three schoolchildren were run over and killed by a lorry while crossing the road. It was dark, there was a thick fog and, in accordance with black-out regulations, the lorry’s headlights were switched off. The following year Gateshead Council launched its road safety ‘A-B-C’ campaign in primary schools, which included a book, posters and this film. After seeing it, children were required to learn the ‘A-B-C’ off by heart.

As Easy as A-B-C (1946)

As Easy as A-B-C (1946)

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