Recreational Facilities
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Recreational Facilities  

 

'And of course there was also a football pitch that they built. 
So as boys we were always playing around there in the village,
so before you even went to the mill they knew you, knew your history'. 

The printing and papermaking industries were often the largest employers in their area, acting as a major focus for local communities. Often paternalistic in nature, such firms supported employees and the community alike by providing recreational facilities and supporting local events.   

Many firms provided a building specially dedicated to the social life of its employees. Such spaces were often built across the road from the firm and were usually called the Institute. The Institute doubled as a works canteen and a venue for concerts, dances, talks, sports and other events.  Next to the Institute employers often provided and built recreational grounds. These grounds often boasted football pitches, tennis courts, ‘pitch and putt’ courses as well as bowling greens.  Firms also were involved in supporting local events such as gala days, donating their lorries to be decorated for the parade.