Crowtree is remembered in a new online focus
SUNDERLAND VENUE IS ONE OF MANY TO BE FEATURED ON A NEW WEBSITE – ‘SPORTS LEISURE LEGACY’ TAKES AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE RISE OF LEISURE CENTRES
A voluntary national project to remember old leisure centres has put a Sunderland venue in the spotlight.
The Sports Leisure Legacy Project is recording the history of the UK indoor community sports and leisure centres.
The dedicated website has included Crowtree Leisure Centre, which it describes as a ‘national landmark’.
Gerry Carver, the project founder and editor of The Sports Leisure Legacy, has plenty of reason to be interested as he worked there from 1977, at the time of its opening, until he moved on in 1982.
Gerry said that centres which were featured on the website included Poole Sports Centre, Coleraine in Northern Ireland, Eldon Square Recreation Centre in Newcastle and Concordia Centre in Cramlington.
In his reference to Crowtree, he recalls the pool and how early morning club swimmers used it.
His website added: “Leisure pools became extremely popular and attracted many families who might not have attended a traditional swimming pool. The fun element, especially for children, was significant.
“Certainly, the large sports halls in many centres, from the Cresset to the Link Centre (Swindon) and Crowtree (Sunderland), were equipped with large portable stage units and seating and hosted large, oneoff entertainment events.”
Part of the website also brings the story up to date with the closure and demolition of the sites in some cases.
In its prime, Crowtree Leisure Centre was one of the busiest in Britain. It held everything from swimming lessons to ice skating, keep fit classes for all ages, to indoor football, indoor bowls and from trampolining to basket-
The centre first opened in 1977 but was closed to the general public in October 2011.
To access the Sports Leisure Legacy Project website, visit http://sportsleisurelegacy.co.uk
Were you among the Chipsters at Chesters Play Park in Crowtree Leisure Centre in August 1991?
The Crowtree Leisure Centre pool, pictured in 1991.
A photo of the centre in 1981.
Crowtree was popular with Wearsiders.