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Month: March 2017

On This Week – 27th March 2017

27th The 1871 rugby union match between Scotland and England was a single international rugby union match played between the Scotland and England national rugby union and was the world’s very first international rugby union match which was played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, the home ground of Edinburgh Academicals  in front of 4,000 spectators. The match was won by Scotland who scored two tries and a goal to England’s single try. The match resulted from a challenge issued in the sporting weekly Bell’s Weekly on 8 December 1870 and signed by the captains of five Scottish clubs, inviting any team “selected from the whole of England” to a 20-a-side game to be played under...

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Berlin 1936: Olympic Village Project

The Olympiches Dorf, the accommodation centre for the athletes of the 1936 games, was the first Olympic village designed to be permanent. The 135 acre site at Elstal in Wustermark, some 14 kilometres west of the Olympiastadion, was built on Wehrmacht (German army) land. The village’s architect was Werner March, who also designed the Reichssportfeld, including the Olympiastadion. March aimed to provide a vision of a modern, mighty and peaceful Germany. Hitler visited the village just before the games and dubbed the facility ‘The Village of Peace’. The village hosted some 4,800 male athletes and coaches from 50 countries...

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Victorian Turkish Baths

Victorian Turkish Baths is the first book to bring to light the hidden history of a fascinating institution – the 600-plus dry hot air baths that sprang up across Ireland, Britain and beyond, in the 19th century. Malcolm Shifrin traces the bath’s Irish-Roman antecedents and its origins as physician Richard Barter’s hydropathic expertise combined with the passion of idiosyncratic diplomat David Urquhart for the hammams of the Middle East. The book reveals how working-class members of a network of political pressure groups built more than 30 of the first Turkish baths in England. It explores the architecture, technology and...

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On This Week – 20th March 2017

20th – On this day in 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel about slavery, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was published. Today in 1898 the first recorded international cross-country race took place at Ville d’Avray near Paris.  England beat the hosts over a nine-mile (14.5km) course. Scotland beat England at Twickenham for the first time in 1926, the score was 17-9. They went on to share that season’s championship with Ireland.  American Long-jumer Jerome Biffle, was born in Denver, Colorado in 1928. At school he won all-state honours in the 100yd and 220yd sprints, high jump and long jump before landing at the University of...

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From Basket-ball to Net-ball: A Cross-Cultural Shift? Part 1 of 7

At the recent International Sports and Leisure History Colloquium organised by SpLeisH, (3-4 March, 2017), I delivered a Pecha Kucha paper that signposted a number of potential avenues for future research on the growth and development of female basketball. The paper examined the cross-cultural shift that occurred in the development of two seemingly disparate, but culturally significant sports in both the USA and the UK – ‘From Basket-Ball to Net-Ball’.   The research for my paper highlighted a number of subject-specific ‘layers of truth’ that should come with an academic health-warning when delivered as a Pecha Kucha. The subject...

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