Eric Midwinter

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Eric Midwinter OBE MA DPhil (born February 1932) is an English author, broadcaster and academic. He is known as a consumer advocate, a social policy analyst, a historian of the sport of Cricket and an expert on British comedy.

Life and career[edit]

Between 1972 and 1975 Eric Midwinter, Principal of the Liverpool Teachers’ Centre, established a unified organisational structure responsible for delivering continuing professional development (CPD) to Liverpool schools. His ambition was to embed community education practices across the city’s entire teaching force. [Re-shaping teacher identity? The Liverpool Teachers’ Centre 1973–1976 Keith Williams] Between 1968 to 71 he was lead the team for action research in the Liverpool Education Priority Area.[Williams, Keith. The North of England Educational Priority Area projects 1968-1971: an area-based response to educational underachievement. Diss. Institute of Education, University of London, 2012.] Professor Midwinter was Chairman of the London Regional Passengers Committee, the government appointed watchdog for public transport, 1984–96. He was Director of the Centre for Policy on Ageing, 1980–91, when the Centre was developing its new role as a policy institute, and is now Chairman of CPA. He was Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Exeter, 1992–2001.

A social historian and social policy analyst, he has enjoyed a long career in the public and voluntary service. He is a Co-founder of the University of the Third Age and has been consultant to the Millennium Debate of the Age project and to the International Longevity Centre UK. He has been Chairman of the Health and Social Welfare Board of the Open University, which awarded to him an Honorary Doctorate, and he was a member of the Carnegie Inquiry into the Third Age Committee. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee on Telecommunications for Disabled and Elderly People and, for five years, a member of the Prince of Wales Advisory Group on Disability. He completed a European Commission study, under the auspices of Age Concern England, into the feasibility of a Senior Euro-pass. Until 2008, he was Chairman of the Community Education Development Centre, Coventry.

A recognized cricket historian (he was for seven years President of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians), he is Chairman of the Cricket Society Cricket Book of the Year Award and is a biographer of W.G. Grace. He was for several years editor of the MCC Annual, and he has prepared many notices of the lives of both cricketers and comedians for the old and new Dictionary of National Biography. He is also known as a perceptive expert on British comedy, through, for instance, his well-received texts, Make ‘em Laugh; Famous Comedians and their Worlds and The People’s Jesters; British Comedians in the 20th Century. He is a witty and gifted after dinner speaker.

Author of over fifty publications, among his latest books, many of which have been published by Third Age Press,[1] have been 500 Beacons; the U3A Story; the award winning Red Shirts and Roses;[2] the Tale of the Two Old Traffords; Lord Salisbury in ‘the 20 British Prime Ministers of the 20th Century’ series; George Duckworth; Warrington’s Ambassador at Large in the ‘Lives in Cricket’ series, and Parish to Planet; How Football Came to Rule the World.[3] The Cricketer's Progress: Meadlowland to Mumbai won the Wisden Book of the Year award in 2011.[4]

For further details, see Jeremy Hardie Variety is the Spice of Life; the Worlds of Eric Midwinter, Third Age Press (2015), ISBN 1898576459


  • 500 Beacons: The U3A Story
  • An Illustrated History of County Cricket
  • As One Stage Door Closes: The Story of John Wade – Jobbing Conjuror
  • Best Remembered
  • Brylcreem Summer: 1947 Cricket Season
  • Citizenship: From Ageism to Participation
  • Development of Social Welfare in Britain
  • Education and the Community
  • Education for Sale (Classroom close-ups)
  • Encore: Guide to Planning a Celebration of Your Life
  • Fair Game: Myth and Reality in Sport
  • Get Staffed!
  • Leisure: New Opportunities in the Third Age
  • Lord Salisbury (20 British Prime Ministers of the 20th Century)
  • Make 'em Laugh: Famous Comedians and Their Worlds
  • Nineteenth Century Education
  • Novel Approaches: A Guide to the Popular Classic Novel
  • Old Liverpool
  • Parish to Planet: How Football Came to Rule the World
  • Patterns of Community Education
  • Pensioned Off: Retirement and Income Examined (Rethinking Ageing)
  • Projections
  • Quill on Willow: Cricket in Literature
  • Red Roses Crest the Caps: Story of Lancashire County Cricket Club
  • Red Shirts and Roses: The Tale of the Two Old Traffords
  • Schools in Society
  • Social Administration in Lancashire, 1830–60
  • Social Environment and the Urban School
  • The Lost Seasons
  • The People's Jesters: Twentieth Century British Comedians
  • The Rhubarb People: A Childhood Memoir of Manchester in the '30s
  • Victorian Social Reform
  • WG Grace: His Life and Times
  • Yesterdays : The Way We Were 1919–1939
  • Yesterdays: Our Finest Hours 1939–1953