Granville Park, view from centre of field to covered stand, Parramatta Council Heritage Centre, LSP00764

Recreational and sporting activities have taken place in Granville for over 100 years. One of the first groups to use the parks were the local soccer clubs who began using parks in the area in the 1880’s. The first games took place in Brunton’s paddock but by the early 1890s they had relocated to Clyde Park.  In 1902 the Granville Football Association, the ‘Magpies’, was formed and they extended the use of local parks. By the 1930s increased use of the grounds, and complaints about theft of materials from the ground keepers office, led to Granville Park appointing its first caretaker. This happened in 1935 with the appointment of J. Walker, an ex-serviceman.

The Granville Sub-Branch of the Returned Serviceman’s League (RSL) were another group who were keen users of the park. They opened the first official club rooms in 1936 and its members to use local grounds for soccer, cricket and vigaro games. After World War Two the RSL membership expanded and the club decided to build its own library and started hosting evening events as well as supporting a long list of sports and recreational activities. These included: cricket, soccer, billiards, snooker, table tennis teams and family picnic days, concerts, and even its own rifle club.

Boy Scout Groups became popular in Australia in the early 1900s and Granville Boy scouts were established around this time. While these boys learned traditional scouting exercises and lessons they also used the local parks for dances, fetes, parties, boxing tournaments, and other fundraising events.

Other recreational activities included swimming at the Granville Baths with over 140’000 attending in 1936 alone while the local cinema was  also popular, especially after the arrival of the ‘Talkies’ in 1929. The opening of the ‘Granville Bowling Club’ in 1950 also proved to be another major draw card for the community over the late 1900s.

by-saEmma Stockburn, Research Facilitator Family History, Parramatta Council, Research Services, 2015

References:
Parramatta: a past revealed, Kass, Liston, McClymont.
The Talkies. (1929, August 15). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 6
GRANVILLE BOWLING CLUB OPENED. (1950, March 8). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 8.
GRANVILLE SOCCER MAGPIES AT THE FRONT. (1917, August 18). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 4.
BATHS RECORD LIKELY TO BE BROKEN. (1945, March 28).The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate(Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 2
Granville from forest to factory: Parramatta council 1991,
Granville RSL sub branch Diamond Jubilee Souvenir 1979.
Progressive Granville: Its Brotherhood. 1915.
SUNDAY CRICKET. (1929, November 18). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 2.
SOCCER. (1912, July 20). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 3
JUNIOR SOCCER. (1941, May 14). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 4.