Played in Britain
Charting the heritage of a nation at play
We publish books about Britain's sporting heritage. If you like an old scoreboard, or a mildewed pavilion; if you would like to know where to find the world's oldest bowling green, or the best Art Deco grandstand in London; if you're fed up with homogenised, commercialised sport, and long to dive into a Victorian swimming pool with gorgeous ceramic tiling; if you think potting balls all afternoon in a dimly-lit billiard hall is definitely not time mis-spent; if you have ever wondered why tennis and suburbia go together so well, then Played in Britain is for you...
I love this kind of history... The great value of the books is that they help us to remember, to see more clearly, and hopefully to preserve the many ways in which Britain is a country shaped by sport.
Sarah Crompton, Daily Telegraph
Played in Britain
Win a book from Played in Britain!
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Three lucky winners (picked from a hat) to be announced on December 16 and books posted that day.
Played in Britain news feed: reporting on Britain's sporting heritage
Unique 1980s leisure centre in London listed
November 3 2016
Years behind schedule and massively over budget, Brixton Recreation Centre was one of Britain's most sophisticated leisure centres when it opened in 1985. But now the six-level centre, with a swimming pool on the first floor and a climbing wall in the atrium, is much loved and well used. In 1996 it made history when Nelson Mandela visited. Two decades later it has been listed Grade II by Historic England.
World Cup hero honoured at Craven Cottage
October 3 2016
Where once stood a controversial statue of Michael Jackson at Craven Cottage football ground on the banks of the River Thames, Fulham FC have unveiled a rather more meaningful sculpture of former full back, George Cohen, one of the World Cup winning team of 1966. The artist, Douglas Jennings, was also responsible for the statue of Johhny Haynes on the Stevenage Road side of the ground, as featured in Played in London.
To watch a film of the unveiling, visit fulhamfc.com
Heritage Lottery Fund to hold sporting heritage live chat
September 29 2016
To celebrate this year's National Sporting Heritage Day (which is on Friday September 30), on Thursday September 29 the Heritage Lottery Fund is holding a live chat session from 12.30-1.30pm. Experts will be on hand to answer questions relating to HLF funding and offer advice on other aspects of sporting heritage.
For more information, visit hlf.org.uk
Blue plaque for footballer Laurie Cunningham
September 22 2016
Laurie Cunningham has become only the second professional footballer (after Bobby Moore) to be commemorated with a blue plaque. The plaque, at his former family home in Stroud Green, north London, honours Cunningham achievement of being the first black footballer to play a competitive match for England and the first Englishman to play for Real Madrid in modern times.
For the full story of the plaque and of English Heritage's new diversity initiative, visit english-heritage.org.uk
Classic 1930s bowling green in Carlisle to be built over
September 21 2016
A bowling green at one of Carlisle's celebrated State Management Scheme pubs, the Redfern Inn, is to be built over with seven houses, despite efforts to save it. Opened in 1939 and featured in Bowled Over, the Redfern was one of four such Carlisle pubs with greens, only one of which survives, at the Magpie.
London sporting buildings on show at Open House Weekend
September 17 2016
This year's Open House weekend is, as usual, a great opportunity to visit some of the capital's most interesting sporting venues, old and new. All featured in Played in London, the list includes the Lee Valley Athletics Centre and QE II Stadium (Enfield), Greenwich Yacht Club (Greenwich). Hurlingham House (Hammersmith & Fulham), Uxbridge Lido (Hillingdon), Ironmonger Row Baths (Islington), Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge (Waltham Forest, illustrated), Tooting Bec Lido (Wandsworth). Royal Automobile Club swimming pool (Westminster).
For more details, visit openhouselondon.org.uk
Selected titles from Played in Britain
Played in Liverpool
Charting the heritage of a city at play
By Ray Physick
Full of warm nostalgia, but in a serious meaty way, absorbing detail and fascinating social history… the usual Played in Britain trick (is) luring you into their world and making you care as much as they do about something to which you’d barely given a thought before. And… the quality of the photography is superb.
For me, this series of books is invaluable. Previous lack of attention by sports historians to the built environment and the way this reflected or impacted on sport is now being redressed. Long may this excellent work continue.
Richard W Cox (University of Manchester) Sport in History
I love your books... keep this wonderful stuff coming.
Brenda Grace, Pontefract
Hugely impressive and immensely important, Played in Britain (is) rapidly becoming the guardian of the nation's sporting heritage.
A marvellous series - how did we ever do without it?
Brian Salter, East Grinstead
Played in Britain has a reputation for thoroughness and insight... editor Simon Inglis deserves credit for the clarity of his vision.
John Burnett, Folk Life: Journal of Ethnological Studies