This podcast from Dr Douglas Hope, from a collection of short papers on aspects of sport and leisure history, has its origins in two North-West British Society of Sports History regional symposia hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University on its Crewe campus. The contributors come from many different backgrounds and include some of Britain’s leading academic sports and leisure historians alongside early career researchers and independent scholars in the field of sports and leisure history. The full collection of papers were later published in book form, Sport and Leisure Histories, please click here for more details and purchase information



This paper is based on research at the University of Cambria into the activities of two organizations that pioneered the provision of ‘rational’ holidays for working people at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries; the Co-operative Holidays Association (CHA) and the Holiday Fellowship (HF).

A number of researchers have delved into the origins and early development of the CHA and HF. Principal amongst them are Harvey Taylor, Susan Barton, John Walton and Bob Snape. In his seminal work, A Claim on the Countryside, Harvey Taylor explores the concept of ‘rational’ holidays, the role of the National Home Reading Union (NHRU) which supported the CHA in its formative period, and the genesis and early development of the CHA.  In Working Class Organisations and Popular Tourism, Susan Barton identifies the CHA as a noteworthy example of ‘alternative’ holidaymaking. In examining the role of John Ruskin in the development of popular tourism in Britain in Constructing Cultural Tourism: John Ruskin and the Tourist Gaze, Hanley and Walton consider the influence of Ruskin on the ideology and early development of the CHA, and the subsequent foundation of the HF.  Bob Snape, in his paper The Co-operative Holidays Association and the cultural formation of countryside leisure practice assesses the significance of the CHA to the development of countryside leisure.

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Article © Douglas Hope