The planned four parts of the story of ‘Harlow to K2 and Beyond’ are being published in phases. Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are now available on this website. Part One largely covers the period up to 1975. Chapters 6 to 12 will be published subsequently in sequence. The Project has grown and become a very large exercise in research, scripting, and editing. As we go forward, it is also planned to add some additional, more detailed information, including individual reflections from personalities involved with centres over the past years. This will be done by adding hyperlinks to the Chapters. A few hyperlinks have been included already in the first chapters, others will follow. Apart from those additions, there are several special sections and features planned, which will also be added as we progress.
All feedback is welcome via the website’s ‘How to help’ section.
- A final Foreword and Preface will be added on full publication of the 12 chapters.
- Acknowledgements will also be made in full on the final website publication.
- A Bibliography will also be included for reference.
- In the meantime, it is important to acknowledge the work and support of the Editorial Group, which has met regularly over the last 2 years and contributed advice and written contributions. In addition, over 40 contributions have been received from past and present directors and managers and over 150 have taken a direct interest in the Project.
Gerry Carver – May, 2018
EDITORIAL ADVISORY GROUP
DAVID FISHER – Assistant Project Leader
After Carnegie David taught, then in 1970 he joined Basingstoke Sports Centre as a Sports Officer, alongside Bill Breeze and Martin Rees and under the tutelage and guidance of Bill Leadbeater, Director. The Basingstoke centre was one of the first to be provided in a large shopping complex, as part of the ‘new town’ development. Dave went on to manage at Worthing Sports Centre then became Recreation Manager for Horsham DC, and subsequently Director of Leisure for Hove BC. David has an MA in Leisure Management and after Hove he spent several years in consultancy. Having entered management at a relatively young age, he is one of the few practitioners able to remember the early pioneering days and their managers.
John trained at Loughborough as a P.E. teacher (1951-54). After teaching he attended Carnegie before joining the CCPR as Research Officer in 1965, where he was responsible for the first research on Indoor Sports Centres. He transferred to the new executive Sports Council in 1970 and was then Chief Leisure and Cultural Services Officer for Waverley District Council from 1974. John re-joined the Sports Council in 1980 and became Regional Director, Greater London and South East. He was National Director of Regional Services from 1986 and retired from the Sports Council in 1994, becoming Director of Second Innings Leisure Consultancy [1994-2004].
Hywel started in leisure management at the Sobell Centre in Islington in 1974. Unlike most of his contemporaries he hadn’t had a “proper job” before. He was fortunate to work with Harry Littlewood in the Sports Council’s Facilities Unit and worked on facilities planning and the management award among other things. Hywel then worked with John Birch at the Greater London and South East Region before joining local government. Hywel started as an assistant director in an Inner London borough and became a Director at a South Coast authority before leaving to spend time as a consultant working mainly for RQA and SOLACE. He retired in 2014 but maintains many friends and contacts in the industry.
John is the former Chief Executive of Inspire Leisure, a multi-functional IPS, and was an early Chair off the South East Region Chair of CIMSPA as a Chartered Fellow. Under John’s guidance Inspire traded very successfully as a social enterprise for 10 years. John’s first job involved working for Arun DC, undertaking playground research, as part of his DMS (Rec), under the guidance of Gwynne Griffiths and Tony Veal. He later joined Arun DC as a sports and leisure manager.
John trained at St John’s College, York, and latterly at North London Polytechnic, firstly under Tony Veal and then Fred Coalter. He worked at Redbridge Sports Centre Trust Ltd, North Devon District Council, The Sports Council and finally was Executive Head of Leisure and Cultural Services for Worthing and Adur Councils . This role involved amalgamating two district Council Leisure departments under joint working arrangements. He saw many changes in the way services were delivered and witnessed the changing priorities of Governments and Councillors. He responded to CCT, Best Value and Comprehensive Performance Assessment and saw the relentless drive towards externalisation of ‘discretionary’ services.
Jack was originally a town planner, and whilst he has not managed a leisure centre (so far) he spent much of his career in local authorities and the GB Sports Council/Sport England promoting their provision through strategies, land-use planning, project development and funding. This period spanned the first round of regional and local strategies, including the GL&SE Regional Recreation Strategy ‘Prospects for the Eighties’ , through to Lottery funding. Jack moved to teaching at the University of Brighton and other recent activities include the boards of Active Sussex, (Brighton & Hove) Albion in the Community and Sussex Cricket.
Mike left his native North London to study Town & Country Planning at Manchester University (1966-1970). His first post (1970-1975) was with the newly established Research and Planning Unit of the Greater London & South East Sports Council at County Hall. In 1975 he moved to a similar post with the North West Sports Council in Manchester, where for the next 17 years he was responsible for producing an extensive range of research and policy documents both for the region and for The Sports Council nationally. In 1992 he moved sideways to become a Senior Regional Officer of The Sports Council in Manchester, leading the Facilities Team in a wide remit across the region.
Mike trained as a physical education teacher at Loughborough. After teaching he entered sports centre management at the Lightfoot Sports Centre in 1971, then became Manager at Stretford Sports Centre; Returning to the North-East, management of Concordia Leisure Centre and Blyth Sports Centre followed, on their own and later as part of a wider range of public leisure and amenity services as Borough Recreation Manager. Mike was a founding ILAM Council member serving for 20 years and is a former President of ILAM. Now retired he swims, drives and collects old toys!
Malcolm graduated as a Geographer in 1973 and completed an M.Phil. thesis before joining a Sports Council Research Team at Durham University in 1976. In 1979 he moved to the North West Office helping to write the Regional Recreation Strategy before transferring to the Sports Council’s Evaluation Team in 1983, leading the Team from 1987 until 2006. The evaluation programme included the National Demonstration Projects, Champion Coaching, the TOP programme, School Sports Co-ordinators and Sport Action Zones. He joined Sport England’s Policy Team in 2006 before retiring in 2009 after 33 years with the Sports Council.
GERRY CARVER – PROJECT FOUNDER AND EDITOR
After Loughborough and teaching, Gerry managed the converted Carlisle Sports Centre from 1973 then moved to Crowtree Leisure Centre in 1977. He was also a member of the ARM National Executive and Editor of ARM News for 6 years. In 1982 he joined Arun DC as Deputy, then Chief Leisure & Tourism Officer. In 1987 he moved into consultancy, leading sports, leisure and tourism projects across the UK and Europe. He undertook projects for the European Commission in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland and the Middle East. Consultancy until 2013 embraced many centres, including The Oceadium (Brussels), the Paris sports centres; and, from planning to opening, the Harlow Leisurezone and the Catterick and Leventhorpe centres.
JOANNE SMITH-WOOD – WEBSITE MANAGER
Joanne is a Master’s graduate in Tourism from Surrey University and joined L&R Leisure plc in 1988 and from 1997 worked for L&R International for 17 years. Joanne has been involved in many leisure and tourism consultancy projects. This included sports & leisure centres in Liverpool, Belfast, Harlow, Catterick, and Leventhorpe, and in successful lottery grants for centres at Budmouth and Mark Hall, Harlow. Joanne is managing the technical development of the website, linking with the website designer when required.