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Women, Sport and Modernity in Interwar Britain


Fiona Skillen

This book offers a unique examination of women’s increasing involvement in sport during the period 1919-1939. Focusing primarily on sites of participation, it analyses where and how women accessed sport and their participation across class, age and marital groups. It also demonstrates the diverse ways in which sport was incorporated into women’s everyday lives, with particular emphasis on the important and yet often neglected area of informal participation, so fundamental to understandings of women’s sport. The unique combination of in-depth studies, drawing on the voices of the women themselves through oral testimonies, and the tracing of broad national and international trends, contributes to an innovative and comprehensive exploration of the evolution of women’s sports participation across Britain during this significant period.


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Appendix Oral History Interviews


The interviews conducted focused on a specific time frame, the years between 1920 and 1938. However these boundaries were not rigorously adhered to and this allowed respondents to explore wider changes in their leisure habits. The oral history element encompassed ten interviews, recorded between 2004 and 2007 and an informal round- table discussion conducted in one of the care homes visited with a group of eight women. In addition a collection of transcripts from other interviewees was drawn upon to augment findings from the other interviews. Brief biographical records are given of the 10 women whose oral testimonies have been used in this study. Details are given where known. None of those interviewed wanted pseudonyms to be used; each is therefore referred to by her first name throughout the study. 1. Name: Alice B DOB: 14/10/1921 Father’s Occupation: Company Secretary Mother’s Occupation: None Area: Rutherglen, Glasgow Sports at School: Hockey, Swimming, Netball 1st Occupation: Shorthand Typist Sport post school: Hockey, Tennis, Badminton Marital Status: Married Children: Two 2. Name: Isabelle B (Belle) DOB: 08/02/1927 Father’s Occupation: Chemist Mother’s Occupation: Shop Assistant (until marriage) Area: Shettleston, Glasgow Sports at School: Gymnastics, Netball, Hockey, Swimming 1st Occupation: Secretary Sport post school: Badminton, Tennis Marital Status: Married 1952 Children: Two 238 Appendix 3. Name: Bethia B DOB: 11/12/1916 Father’s Occupation: Railway Clerk Mother’s Occupation: None Area: Rutherglen Sports at School: Netball, Tennis 1st Occupation: Accounts Clerk Sport post school: Tennis Marital Status: Married 1946 Children: None 4. Name: Helen L DOB: 21/10/1919 Father’s...

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