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Collection of the week: Historic England: sporting venues & Katherine J. Mcfee

We've featured Historic England before in the COTW slot, but they keep sending us such great new content, we can't resist giving them another turn in the spotlight.

Sports fans can get their eyeballs on a varied selection of photographs by Simon Inglis documenting places and people associated with sporting greatness or venues that have served their community's sport and leisure needs. Many were featured in his 2014 book, 'Played in London - Charting the Heritage of a City at Play' but there are also photographs of subjects beyond the capital, both old and new, such as the Strawberry Public House in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, frequented by Newcastle fans on match days, or, over on Wearside, the sculpture, 'Men of Steel' close to Sunderland's Stadium of Light. There are also less exalted but still fascinating destinations like Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club, Woolton Baths in Liverpool, Manchester Ice Place, London lidos and some wonderfully ornate Tudorbethan cricket pavilions around the country.

The larger proportion of this latest set comprises over three hundred photographs taken by Katherine J. Macfee (1881-1952). Little is known about Katherine, except that she attended Kensington High School and then Bedford Colleage where she graduated with a BA in English in 1905. Nevertheless, her evident passion for photography has resulted in a quite delightful trove of images, spanning the first half of the 20th century, showing life in London at that time, rural pastimes, traditional crafts and historic buildings. There are also views of Scotland, France and Holland where she holidayed.

Katherine's photographs capture scenes that seem impossibly picturesque, of thatched cottages nestled in leafy clearings, farmhouses with tumbledown buildings or little boys in their starched Eton collars sailing toy yachts on the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens. There is undoubtedly a romantic impetus in her choice of subjects, a nostalgic desire to record a way of life before it disappeared, and the result is a collection of images that recall the places described in Thomas Hardy's Wessex or seen in the paintings of Helen Allingham. Click here to travel back in time with Katherine.

We hope our emails continue to interest and inspire you. We are on hand to help should you need a quote, a picture search or have any other queries. Do get in touch by emailing pictures@maryevans.com or calling 020 8318 0034. Until next week.

Mary Evans Picture Library Ltd.  59 Tranquil Vale  Blackheath  London  SE3 0BS. United Kingdom.
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