Willen Leisure

Victorian pastimes

In Victorian times, the labouring classes has very little time for leisure activities. The richer people enjoyed a range of pastimes such as hunting if you were energetic, or fishing and painting if you were of a quieter disposition. Towards the end of the 19th century, sports became more organised, and some poorer people found time to enjoy them. However, some leisure activities appealed to nearly everyone, but were very seasonal.
These people are enjoying skating in Bury Field around 1912. If a heavy frost was forecast, the field would be flooded to a depth of a few inches, so that a large area of safe ice was created. Skating went on far into the night.
The annual mid-summer fair on Market Hill in Newport Pagnell. The photo was taken around 1905. Notice the horse and carriage driving through the merry crowd. The Newport Brewery is the large building in the background.
Photographs from the Mike Pratt collection.