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“We have gone recreation mad” : the consumption of leisure and popular entertainment in municipal public parks in early Twentieth Century Britain

O'Reilly, CA 2013, '“We have gone recreation mad” : the consumption of leisure and popular entertainment in municipal public parks in early Twentieth Century Britain' , International Journal of Regional and Local History, 8 (2) , pp. 112-128.

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Abstract

This study examines the development of popular entertainment in the municipal public parks of a variety of British cities in the early decades of the twentieth century. It seeks to extend the debate about the social role of the urban park beyond the Victorian period and to challenge the idea that parks were mere mechanisms for social control. Their later developments were more complex and offered an increasing variety of popular entertainments such as dancing to a more discerning leisure consumer. In so doing, park managers found themselves in direct competition with private leisure providers and attempting to anticipate future trends in an expanding leisure population. The article concludes by considering how the determination to broaden the recreational value of the public park ultimately weakened its unique character and began a long cycle of decline.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Regional and Local History
Publisher: Maney Publishing
ISSN: 2051-4530
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr Carole O'Reilly
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2016 12:07
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2016 11:56
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/37904

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