Popular recreation Social analysis and mainstream values An analysis of the class system and structure prior to the Industrial Revolution is needed. Britain was effectively a two class society consisting of those who HAD (The Gentry) and those who HAD NOT (The Peasantry) Britain was also broadly Rural in nature, with the Rural calendar forming the basis of the Recreational calendar with Church Wakes, and Village Feasts, Fairs and Festivals being an essential ingredient of pre-industrial life.
Social analysis and mainstream values Life was both hard and cheap Public Hangings were amongst the most popular Social Gatherings So, while the agricultural workers had neither wealth nor particularly Good Health, at least they had both Space and Time-A feature that was soon to change From the 1750 s, there began a move to the towns and the influence of the technical revolution began to be felt.
Sports such as the maypole, the harvest festivals, the church wakes and various other opportunities for a bit of sport did not transport well to the grime of the cities. People now had to work long hours to keep a roof over their heads.
Social analysis and mainstream values The impact of such overwhelming change in economic and industrial terms clearly had social impact.With both Time and Space now severely curtailed, life changed dramatically for the working family. A new Urban Middle Class emerged (Industrialists, Entrepreneurs, Professionals, Managers ) and their values and attitudes were different from those of the pre industrial Peasant or Gentry Farmer
SPHERE OF LIFEACTIVITY SURVIVAL The need to hunt, fish and defend personal territory Weaponry & personal combat MILITARY War, service and the need to be skilled in weapons Personal weaponry used for war RITUAL Festival, worship ritualRitual, fertility, physical prowess, sacrifice, contest INVENTITIVE From play challenge and the need to contest and invent Invasion, throwing, catching, dodging and target games.
ACTIVITYPARTICIPATION Blood SportBear, bull baiting, cock fighting ContestsBack –swording, ingle sticks, archery Festival gamesStrength contests, foot races CricketIn village games or as invited players in gentry games Group village gamesMob games football, hockey, hurling Horse RacingJockeys, spectators or punters huntingBeaters, servers Prize fightingBoxing, wrestling Rebound gamesUse of church / pub wall fives
ACTIVITYPARTICIPATION Blood SportOnlookers involved in wagers ContestsFencing as a gentleman art and settlement of honour CricketTook part with own class fishingOn own estate or on holidays. Combined with swimming Horse RacingOwners, patrons huntingSocial status linked to ownership of land Prize fightingpatrons racquetsReal tennis, special facilities
Popular recreation - key words Occasional Wakes Prize Fight Dogget, Coat & Badge Localised Mob Games Holy Day Haxey Hood Games Laws Courtly