The development of pedestrian simulation systems requires the acquisition of empirical evidences about human behaviour for sake of model validation. In this framework, the paper presents the results of an on field observation of pedestrian behaviour in an urban crowded walkway. The research was aimed at testing the potentially combined effect of ageing and grouping on speed and proxemic behaviour. In particular, we focused on dyads, as the most frequent type of groups in the observed scenario. Results showed that in situation of irregular flows elderly pedestrians walked the 40% slower than adults, due to locomotion skill decline. Dyads walked the 30% slower than singles, due to the need to maintain spatial cohesion to communicate (proxemics). Results contributed to refine the parametric validation of the agent-based simulation system ELIAS38.