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 news feed: reporting on Britain's sporting heritage
Public invited to see proposals for Haggerston Baths
September 18 2015
The future of another historic swimming pool in London is up for grabs. Built in 1904, the Grade II listed Haggerston Baths has been empty since 2000. Now, Hackney Council has received various proposals for its future, all of which will be revealed at a public meeting on October 8.
• For full details, download the PDF.
Victorian swimming baths on endangered list
September 17 2015
Built in 1885, Ladywell Baths in Lewisham, London, is one of ten Victorian and Edwardian buildings appearing on this year's Most Endangered Buildings List, nominated by members of the Victorian Society. The Grade II listed baths building, which features in both Great Lengths and Played in London closed for swimming in 1965.
• To see the Victorian Society list, visit victoriansociety.org.uk
Bowled Over – the bowling greens of Britain
September 3 2015
Played in Britain and Historic England are delighted to announce that Bowled Over, the bowling greens of Britain, by Hugh Hornby, is to be published on October 10. A glorious celebration of the heritage of bowling, Bowled Over is the culmination of a ten year study, features over 300 clubs and is packed with photographs, maps and diagrams of the nation’s most historic bowling clubs and greens. Pre-order your copy today. Books will be posted out after October 10.
Archaeological dig at historic Bradford football ground
Sept 1 2015
Unused and overgrown since 1973, the ground of Bradford Park Avenue FC is to be excavated by a team led by archaeologist Jason Wood and artist Neville Gabie (whose earlier excavations in 2013 revealed one of the goalmouths and goalposts). Park Avenue was the site of football ground designer Archibald Leitch's first double decker stand, built in 1907. The site will be open to the public as part of the annual National Heritage Open Days on Sept 11-12.
• For more details, download the PDF
Campaign renewed to save outstanding Aberdeen Art Deco pool
July 27 2015
Seven years after it was closed by Aberdeen City Council, the future of the stunning Bon Accord Baths, opened in 1940, is once again in the balance as bids are invited to take the building on. The Bon Accord Heritage Group hopes to raise £10 million to return the baths it its former glory.
• To find out more, visit dctdigital.com
Trent Bridge archives win £10,000 Heritage Lottery grant
July 7 2015
Trent Bridge, the third oldest Test cricket venue in the world, is to have its archives secured and placed into the public domain following the award of a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The archive includes a vast collection of material on Nottinghamshire CCC amassed over the years by the noted historian and archivist Peter Wynne-Thomas.
• To find out more, visit trentbridge.co.uk
Selected titles from Played in Britain
Uppies and Downies
The extraordinary football games of Britain
By Hugh Hornby
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