Leisure in an industrial town : a case study of Rochdale, Lancashire, 1880-1939
The thesis contains two complementary strands of inquiry. On the one hand, there is an examination of the way leisure was included within a way of life; the home and the neighbourhood being key elements in this account. There is a description of the parameters set by paid and unpaid work on the extent of people's spare time, and what money they were able to spend during it. Note is taken of how patterns of activity and spending differed when childhood, youth and adulthood are compared. On the other hand, there is a survey of the provenance and growth of those institutions arising in the period, together with a picture of the progress of those already present by 1880. The six decades preceding 1939 witnessed a massive growth in the commercial provision for spare time activity; the pub, music hall, and railway companies provide a basis for this, but the cinema, dance hall, radio and gramophone soon outpace them. Over the same space of time, the church and secular societies cease to retain their role as an amenity and as a force for the organisation of people's spare time.