Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Leisure in Market Harborough in 1906

Browsing behind the London Review of Books paywall, I came across a review of The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. Vol. III: 1840-1950.

The reviewer, Andrew Saint, writes:

Stephen Royle’s chapter on small towns, heavily based on Leicestershire, seems at first to paint a picture of stagnation (Hinckley’s ‘stinking state’ in 1840 etc) and cultural decline. Then abruptly he tells us that Edwardian Market Harborough, a town just short of 8000, boasted Sunday schools, friendly societies for young men and girls, a Church Lads’ brigade, a Territorial Army branch, a debating society, a reading society, a choral society, an opera society, a brass band, an angling ‘society’, clubs for cricket, football, tennis, golf, polo, water polo, bicycling and point-to-point riding, a swimming-bath and a roller-skating rink, and regularly put on carnivals, flower, produce and horse shows and swimming galas. I abridge. There can have been little room for masterly inactivity in Market Harborough.

The swimming baths, as longstanding readers will know, were given to the town by this blog's hero J.W. Logan MP.

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