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...

Find out more about Played in Britain, our books and our authors

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 news feed: reporting on Britain's sporting heritage

Edwardian Reading Lido re-opens after 43 years of disuse

Edwardian Reading Lido re-opens after 43 years of disuse

October 31 2017

Opened specifically for women in 1903 (although the date stone states 1902), and virtually derelict since 1974, Reading's former King's Meadow Open Air Baths has now re-opened as the Thames Lido, under the same ownership as the hugely successful Bristol Lido in Clifton. It represents a remarkable turnaround for a building that was listed Grade II in 2004 and which had been the subject of campaigning for decades.

For more on this story, visit theguardian.com
Official site: thameslido.com

Sporting Heritage Network conference to focus on photography and TV

Sporting Heritage Network conference to focus on photography and TV

October 20 2017

Archivists at museum and club level are gather on November 28-29 to hear experts share their experiences of how to look after and provide access to photographic and film collections. Organised by the Sporting Heritage Network, the conference will take place at the National Science and Media Museum.

For more information and to book your place, vist sportingheritage.org.uk

Three historic pools seek crowd funding to stay open

Three historic pools seek crowd funding to stay open

October 17 2017

Historic swimming pools in Birmingham, Birkenhead and Glasgow have launched crowd-funding campaigns in order to stay open as community run facilities. As featured in Great Lengths, Played in Birmingham, Played in Glasgow and Played in Liverpool (please add links to the relevant pages), they are Moseley Road Baths (opened in 1907), Govanhill Baths (1915) and Byrne Avenue Baths (1933).

For more on these appeals, vist sportingheritage.org.uk

Opposition mounts to demolition of Braintree & Bocking Recreation Ground pavilion

Opposition mounts to demolition of Braintree & Bocking Recreation Ground pavilion

October 12 2017

Residents and conservationists in Braintree, Essex, are objecting to the proposed demolition of a pavilion gifted in 1927 by the textiles manufacturer and benefactor Sir William Courtauld. Designed by Vincent Harris, the pavilion, although unlisted, has been deemed a Heritage Asset of high local significance, but has been boarded up for several years. Opposite the pavilion there stood until the late 1980s one of the first cantilevered stands in Britain, built in 1928 and also gifted by Courtauld.

For more on this story, visit gazette-news.co.uk

Does sport merit a place in England's Top 100?

Does sport merit a place in England's Top 100?

September 27 2017

If you think that any of England's famous sporting venues deserve a slot amongst the 100 top places in the country, Historic England wants to hear from you. And while you are pondering, here are two selections of amazing photos of sporting places from the Historic England's archive, featured in the Played in Britain series.

Six Places where Sporting History Happened

Six Spectacular Swimming Pools

Also worth checking out if you ride a bike is this fabulous selection of England's finest bicycle sheds!

Plaque to long lost running grounds unveiled in Wandsworth

Plaque to long lost running grounds unveiled in Wandsworth

September 18 2017

For years historians had pondered where Robert Sadler's Running Grounds were in south west London, until track and field historian Kevin Kelly located the exact spot in Summerstown, a stone's throw, coincidentally, from the Wimbledon Greyhound track. A plaque to commemorate its location has now been unveiled by Sadler's great great grandson, Robin, and his daughter, and a book published to tell the story of a track which lasted only from 1853-64 but staged some epic races.


Selected titles from Played in Britain

Played in Tyne and Wear

Played in London

Charting the heritage of a city at play

By Simon Inglis

Book information | Buy now

Played in Birmingham

Played in Birmingham

Charting the heritage of a city at play

By Steve Beauchampé & Simon Inglis

Book information | Buy now

Played in Liverpool

Played in Liverpool

Charting the heritage of a city at play

By Ray Physick

Book information | Buy now

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.

The Observer

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.

www.wordofsport.com

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