'A Relic of Bygone Days'? The Temporal Landscapes of Pleasure Grounds

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/13219
Title:
'A Relic of Bygone Days'? The Temporal Landscapes of Pleasure Grounds
Authors:
Pussard, Helen
Abstract:
This chapter explores the idea that pleasure grounds in the first half of the twentieth century became ‘theatres of memory’ (Samuel, 1994), mapping narratives of the nineteenth century on to popular leisure forms. Pleasure grounds encompassed the gendered shift from rational recreation to mass culture during this period, drawing on discourses of tradition, modernity and the exotic (Bennett, 1983 & 1986) to sell an eclectic mix of rides and amusements. From the boating lake to bellicose fireworks displays, representations of the ‘bygone days’ of Victorian life, in its domestic and imperial settings, were one way in which entertainments were packaged and popularised at the pleasure grounds. The construction of this historical temporality was by no means an even or uncontested process, however. Versions of the past on display at pleasure grounds were destabilised by their physical proximity to new forms of mass culture on the sites and by contemporary disdain for these ‘Palladium[s] of Victorianism’. (Graves and Hodges, 1971: p 358) Visitors to the pleasure grounds negotiated their own way around these different temporal landscapes and attached subjective meanings to the sites. Another way of understanding the pleasure grounds as ‘theatres of memory’ is to consider the ways that they have been remembered. In oral testimonies, the pleasure grounds become sites of nostalgia for a ‘golden age’ of leisure and social order in the first half of the twentieth century. The paper, therefore, seeks to demonstrate the ways in which the past and the present have been continually ‘rewritten and reconceptualized’ (Samuel, 1994: p x) in the spaces and places of leisure and memory. The paper is based on archival research from a doctoral study that offers a comparative and historical analysis of two pleasure grounds - Belle Vue in Manchester and the Crystal Palace in south London - as sites of domestic tourism.
Publisher:
Leisure Studies Association
Issue Date:
2004
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/13219
Submitted date:
2007-08
Type:
Article
Language:
en
Appears in Collections:
Department of Life Sciences Collection

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorPussard, Helen-
dc.date.accessioned2007-08-14T13:24:48Z-
dc.date.available2007-08-14T13:24:48Z-
dc.date.issued2004-
dc.date.submitted2007-08-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10142/13219-
dc.description.abstractThis chapter explores the idea that pleasure grounds in the first half of the twentieth century became ‘theatres of memory’ (Samuel, 1994), mapping narratives of the nineteenth century on to popular leisure forms. Pleasure grounds encompassed the gendered shift from rational recreation to mass culture during this period, drawing on discourses of tradition, modernity and the exotic (Bennett, 1983 & 1986) to sell an eclectic mix of rides and amusements. From the boating lake to bellicose fireworks displays, representations of the ‘bygone days’ of Victorian life, in its domestic and imperial settings, were one way in which entertainments were packaged and popularised at the pleasure grounds. The construction of this historical temporality was by no means an even or uncontested process, however. Versions of the past on display at pleasure grounds were destabilised by their physical proximity to new forms of mass culture on the sites and by contemporary disdain for these ‘Palladium[s] of Victorianism’. (Graves and Hodges, 1971: p 358) Visitors to the pleasure grounds negotiated their own way around these different temporal landscapes and attached subjective meanings to the sites. Another way of understanding the pleasure grounds as ‘theatres of memory’ is to consider the ways that they have been remembered. In oral testimonies, the pleasure grounds become sites of nostalgia for a ‘golden age’ of leisure and social order in the first half of the twentieth century. The paper, therefore, seeks to demonstrate the ways in which the past and the present have been continually ‘rewritten and reconceptualized’ (Samuel, 1994: p x) in the spaces and places of leisure and memory. The paper is based on archival research from a doctoral study that offers a comparative and historical analysis of two pleasure grounds - Belle Vue in Manchester and the Crystal Palace in south London - as sites of domestic tourism.en
dc.description.provenanceRoehampton University-
dc.description.provenanceSubmitted by Pat Simons (p.simons@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2007-08-14T13:21:37Z No. of bitstreams: 1 relic.pdf: 842531 bytes, checksum: 1450cc86e37b6cc2e8d2014280d3e035 (MD5)en
dc.description.provenanceApproved for entry into archive by Pat Simons on 2007-08-14T13:24:48Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 relic.pdf: 842531 bytes, checksum: 1450cc86e37b6cc2e8d2014280d3e035 (MD5)en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2007-08-14T13:24:48Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 relic.pdf: 842531 bytes, checksum: 1450cc86e37b6cc2e8d2014280d3e035 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2004en
dc.format.extent842531 bytes-
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf-
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherLeisure Studies Associationen
dc.subjectleisureen
dc.subjectmemoryen
dc.subjectspaceen
dc.subjecthistoryen
dc.subjectpleasure groundsen
dc.title'A Relic of Bygone Days'? The Temporal Landscapes of Pleasure Groundsen
dc.typeArticleen
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