'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.
University of Windsor, Canada De Montfort University, UK.