Played in Britain
Charting the heritage of a nation at play
PLEASE NOTE: Apologies for the delay with Played in London. Publication now scheduled for Spring 2014.
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
Home of British boxing listed
December 2 2013
York Hall, a 1920s baths and laundry complex in Bethnal Green, has been listed Grade II in recognition of the importance of its well preserved interiors and historic association with boxing. The main, first class swimming pool has been boarded over since the late 1940s and is one of the most well loved venues for boxing in the country whilst swimming continues in a pool dating from the 1960s.
For listing details see english-heritage.org.uk.
For more on York Hall, see our book Great Lengths.
Military rackets court listed
November 21 2013
A rackets court at Burgoyne Barracks, Shorncliffe Camp near Folkestone in Kent has been Grade II listed and could form part of the redevelopment of the former army base. The court was built by the Royal Engineers in the late 1860s as the result of a drive to promote fitness in the army. Whilst the building is not the earliest to be built for this purpose, it appears to be one of the best preserved examples of its type in England.
For the listing details, see english-heritage.org.uk
Oldest cantilevered grandstand in Britain listed – but there are two sides to the story
October 21 2013
The oldest reinforced concrete cantilevered grandstand in Britain, opened in Finchley, London, in 1930, has become the latest in a series of buildings to be listed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, following research carried out as part of the Played in London project. In addition to its use of advanced concrete engineering, the stand is also one of the very few double sided stands in existence, serving two different clubs.
For the listing details, visit english-heritage.org.uk
Historic Pools Network launch
October 16 2013
Pool operators and campaigners from around the country met at the Victoria Baths in Manchester last month to launch the Historic Pools Network. The idea behind the network is to raise awareness of the crisis facing many old swimming pools which have been closed or are facing closure and to share information on restoration and fund-raising.
The launch of the network was timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Victoria Baths winning the BBC’s Restoration programme. To mark the occasion, the gala pool was temporarily filled, tempting some of the hardy campaigners to brave the chilly water.
Plaque unveiled to Newcastle football hero and all round talent Colin Veitch
September 26 2013
A plaque has been unveiled in Heaton, Newcastle, to commemorate one of Newcastle United's finest, Colin Veitch (1881-1938) In addition to his sporting career Veitch was an actor, musician, composer and journalist. He was also a co-founder of the Professional Footballer's Association, who helped fund the plaque with the Heaton History Group, and a lifelong political activist in the north east.
Played in London author Simon Inglis to speak at Lord's
September 23 2013
Played in Britain's editor Simon Inglis, currently also working on the next book in the series, Played in London (due out next year) is among an illlustrious line up at the inaugural London Sports Writing Festival, due to take place at Lord's Cricket Ground from October 17-20. Inglis will talk about research on London's sporting heritage and on progress with the book on Friday October 18.
For details and booking, see londonsportswritingfestival.com
Selected titles from Played in Britain
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