1st Edition

Leisure and Recreation in a Victorian Mining Community The Social Economy of Leisure in North-East England, 1820-1914

By Alan Metcalfe Copyright 2006
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    'Amusements they must have, or life would hardly be worth living...' Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 1895

    This text explores life in the mining villages of the north-east of England in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - a time of massive social and industrial change. The sporting lives of these communities are often marginalized by historians, but this thoroughly researched account reveals how play as well as work were central to the lives of the working classes.

    Miners contributed significantly to the economic success of the north-east during this time, yet living conditions in the mining villages were 'horrendous'. Sport and recreation were essential to bring meaning and pleasure to mining families, and were fundamental to the complex social relationships within and between communities.

    Features of this extensive text include:

    * analysis of the physical, social and economic structures that determined the leisure lives of the mining villages
    * the role of 'traditional' and 'new' sports
    * comparisons with other British regions.

    Table of Contents

    List of Plates


    Map of East Northumberland


    Chapter 1 - The Social Context: East Northumberland, 1820-1914

    Chapter 2 - Non-Sporting Leisure During the Nineteenth Century

    Chapter 3 - The Strength of Tradition

    Chapter 4 - The Transformation of Traditional Sports

    Chapter 5 - New Sports for New Times

    Chapter 6 - Football: A Symbol of Sport in East Northumberland





    Alan Metcalfe

    Nothing reveals more glaringly the limitations of braod generalisations about a 'working class' or a 'working class culture' than a close apprasial of particular working class communities. Northern History, University of Leeds