All posts by: Joanne Smith-Wood

About Joanne Smith-Wood

Social Media and Leisure Centres

Print and broadcast media were the main sources of information about sports centres and sport more widely in the 20th century, but with the advent of widespread access to the internet and associated social media platforms in the 21st century, the media landscape has changed for leisure centres in the same way as it has […]

Popular Group Physical Exercise Activities in the 21st Century

An important leisure centre development since 2000 has been the facility provision for the growing popularity of exercise classes. We have come a long way from those rather traditional keep fit classes in Harlow Sports Centre’s sports hall. Now, new or improved centres often have two or three dedicated ‘studio’ spaces, capable of accommodating income […]

Buckinghamshire – the changing organisational and school sports centre scene

Based on a submission from Professor Peter Thomas MBE, former Senior Education Officer and Head of Arts, Sport & Recreation, Buckinghamshire County Council Buckinghamshire, including Milton Keynes, also sought to make the best use of school facilities. As a consequence of the many changes in the structure of Local Government in 1974, a significant and […]

Joint Provision in Nottinghamshire – the most significant pathfinder in jointly provided sports centres

New schools underpin early Nottinghamshire Joint Provision Nationally there were numerous school building programmes in the 1960s to cope with new settlements or expanded towns. From 1960 to 1969, Nottinghamshire County Council built 32 new secondary schools and 73 new primary schools [ref. Hansard March 1970]. Nottinghamshire’s first purpose-built comprehensive school, Ashfield School, had arrived […]

Cheshire Joint Provision, 1972-1979

Origins In 1967 Cheshire recorded only 25 indoor ‘sports premises’ in the County in excess of 3,999 ft.[i]. By 1979, a mere 12 years later, some 29 additional new indoor sports centres had been provided, an impressive achievement. But what is all the more remarkable is that 22 of these were jointly provided by the […]

The Oval Bebington, Cheshire

The Oval Bebington, Cheshire, (sometimes referred to as the Bebington Oval and Port Sunlight) is a municipal athletics stadium with a sports hall in Bebington, Merseyside. It opened in 1973 and its first centre manager was Denis Woodman, who became Director of the Countryside & Recreation Division, Cheshire CC, and Chairman of the Association of […]

Alec Collins

The late Alec Collins was an early Leisure Director for Macclesfield Borough Council from Local Government Re-organisation in 1974. He brought his administrative and management experience as a Town Council Clerk to recreation management. His wartime service was in the RAF, where he combined his navigation skills with piano playing, performing with many of the […]

An Assessor’s Personal Review from the 1970s & 1980s

My initial view as an assessor at the beginning of the award, was the difficulty of comparing the management of centres that were very different e.g. a large town centre facility with a small rural. Indeed, at one stage there was a discussion about the desirability of having different categories. The award then moved on […]

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