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

Sunderland Echo - - Nostalgia -

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-

ball.

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.

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