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Book reviews — October 2014

'Played in London: Charting the Heritage of a City at Play', by Simon Inglis
Published by English Heritage 2014, pp360, A4 format paperback, £25
I was invited to the launch of this new book by Simon Inglis, who is Editor of the English Heritage Played in Britain series, since a number of items in GLIAS publications are included in this book. The series now runs to 11 volumes. This volume offers six chapters on sportscapes ranging from Dulwich to Westway. Then nine chapters on sports buildings followed by 14 on some of the hundreds of sports played in London from bowls to greyhound racing. It is very well illustrated with many especially commissioned photographs plus many specially drawn maps ranging from boat houses on the Thames to the site of London's 61 lidos and outdoor pools. Although being your rather unsporty chair I have found this book absolutely fascinating because it covers not just the obvious e.g. Oval cricket ground, Olympic stadiums etc but it's the hundreds of fascinating details it includes.

Most days I walk past the cloisters of Charterhouse on the way to my lab. Yes there are two surviving medieval monks' cells but the book tells me the cloisters were actually built in 1571 so that the Duke of Norfolk could walk to his tennis court in the dry. The oldest concrete tennis court in the world is in the grounds of Downe House, Charles Darwin's home in Bromley. Not only is it concrete but it is also the only surviving hourglass shaped court in the world! The MWB encouraged sports clubs and their Aquaris club still plays golf on top of the covered reservoir at Honor Oak. The oldest indoor gymnasium is not the German one at King's Cross but the Havelock Hall in Addiscombe Croydon built in 1851. I could go on.

A superb book to interest all GLIAS members and a bargain at the price especially with the following offer. David Perrett

Special Offer to GLIAS members

English Heritage is delighted to offer member of the GLIAS 20% discount and free post & packing on the new book Played in London by Simon Inglis (rrp £25.00). Please telephone 01235 465577 or email and quote reference number 722010024 to take advantage of this offer and get your copy for £20.00. Offer expires 31 December 2014.

© GLIAS, 2014