Tennis and Golf in Suburbia
Clare Balding continues to explore the history of sport in Britain and in today's programme visits one of the oldest tennis clubs in the country in Leamington Spa. In Victorian Britain, lawn tennis took off thanks to the growing numbers of a whole new strata of society - the middle class. Living in suburbia with clean air, space and leisure time, tennis and golf became increasingly popular pastimes. There were 250 clubs in the Lawn Tennis Association by 1900 rising to 3000 by the 1930's and 5000 by the 50's. The middle class had grasped hold of a sport that seemed perfectly designed for polite society. It didn't involve getting dirty or even particularly sweaty and the same could be said for golf. Clare also visits Kenilworth Golf Club where Professor Richard Holt of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University explains that these clubs were as much about social division as they were about inclusion.
Readers, Nyasha Hatendi and Sean Baker
Producer: Sara Conkey.