Theme parks, pubs and ‘human zoos’: how the Victorians invented leisure

Entrepreneurs came up with increasingly elaborate ways to part Londoners from their money, inventing many staples of the modern leisure industry Whether it was visiting a human zoo, taking a bull on a hot-air balloon ride, or singing risqu songs about rhubarb, Victorian Londoners loved to have fun. As entrepreneurs and impresarios came up with increasingly elaborate ways to make money from the capitals huge potential audience, Victorians effectively invented the modern leisure industry including theme parks, pubs and professional football. As a new book by historian Lee Jackson explains, the hunt for profit took place against the backdrop of typical Victorian concerns surrounding morality, class and empire. So where did Victorians go for fun? And what still exists today? …

The skyscraper infinity pool sorry, but where’s the diving board?

It is meant to be a boundary-busting punch for the sky. But this design for a rooftop London pool is just another high-rise ego gimmick In 1924, swimming pool designerno apparent means of escape, as if the digital people are in some kind of sublime prison cell for the super rich. We are assured there is in fact a way in and out, courtesy of a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor, and that this is an entirely buildable proposition that includes an inbuilt anemometer to vary the water level and access to the pool. Underwater swimming … how the pool could look Photograph: Compass Pools The designer, Alex Kemsley, said, the building started life as a …