Matthew Taylor

We are delighted to welcome Matthew Taylor, Professor of History in the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University. Matthew is a social historian with an expertise in the history of sport and recreation. His research focuses on the development of sport in Britain, Europe and the wider world and he has published widely in this area. His latest publication is Sport and the Home Front: Wartime Britain at Play, 1939-45

Matthew will be publishing 6 London viewpoints in June:

The Ring, Blackfriars

This viewpoint explores one of the hubs of working-class sporting life in London, The Ring in Blackfriars. A key site in the development of British boxing in the first half of the twentieth century, The Ring encapsulated the allegiances and rivalries of sport in the capital. 

The Frying Pan – New Cross Stadium and Dog Track

This viewpoint will focus on the New Cross Stadium (1934-69, now Bridge House Meadows) which hosted speedway and dog racing and was the filming site in the 1949 speedway film Once a Jolly Swagman starring Dirk Bogarde and Sid James. 

The Thames FC Ground (West Ham Stadium)

This viewpoint explores the history of the short-lived Thames AFC, who competed for two seasons in the Football League during the early 1930s. The club played at the West Ham Stadium in Custom House, East London, which was primarily a speedway and greyhound racing venue and one of the largest sports stadiums in the country.

Marshall Street Baths

This viewpoint focuses on Marshall Street Baths (now Leisure Centre) in Soho. A historic baths opened in 1852, it became a key venue for national and international swimming galas; this viewpoint will explore its history during the Second World War.  

Queen’s Club

This viewpoint looks at one of London’s best known sporting venues, Queen’s Club in West Kensington. It focuses on the fate of the club during the Second World War, when it became a symbol of the cosmopolitanism of wartime life.

Freemasons’ Tavern and the ‘Birth’ of Football

This viewpoint considers the role of the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street (now the Connaught Rooms) in the so-called ‘birth’ of association football. It was the venue for the first meeting of the Football Association on 26 October 1863.

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