[Article 1055]History of Pratten Park.

Below is the Official History of Pratten Park.




Responding to a request from the Ashfield District
Football Club, Council begins
action to purchase some of the a Beckett estate
known as a Beckett’s Paddock as
a first step in acquiring the land to establish 
Pratten Park.


Council resumes additional land adjoining a Beckett
Paddock that is owned by
Trustees of the Hall Estate. These two parcels of
land and become Pratten Park.
A remaining portion of the Hall Estate that included
a house, Cambewarra (since
demolished), was sold to Council in 1923 thus
completing the present extent of the
1911 The State Government gazettes Pratten Park on
26 July 1911.
Summer Hill Tennis Club proposes to Council that an
Association of tennis players
in the Western Suburbs and other districts be formed
 Council agrees and grants
land at Pratten Park to the newly formed Western
Suburbs Lawn Tennis
Association for 4 tennis courts. By 1914, the Club
had 6 tennis courts.



Photo of opening of Pratten Park 1912

The Governor of New South Wales officially opens
Pratten Park on 12 September
the Right Honourable Frederick Napier,
Baron Chelmsford. The Park was named
in honour of Herbert Edward Pratten,
Mayor of Ashfield between 1909 and 1911,
in recognition that the Park’s establishment was
largely due to his efforts.
Burwood District Cricket Club, having obtained a
lease of Pratten Park in 1911,
plays its first matches at the Park.
Pratten Park Wests first game 1912

1912 Western Suburbs Rugby League Club plays its

first match at Pratten Park.



Burwood District Cricket Club changes its name to
the Western Suburbs District
Cricket Club at the instigation of Council.
The South Ashfield Bowling Club forms and starts
using space in Pratten Park
allocated to it by Council.
Fundraiser held in September by the United Friendly
Societies Ashfield


Under pressure from local residents, Council refuses
 to let Western Suburbs
Rugby League Club use Pratten Park for its matches.
For the next 5 years the
Club plays out of St Luke’s Oval (now Concord Oval)
Council gives permission to the local Rifle Reserve
to use the Park for military training.
 Spectator seating erected at the Arthur Street
end of the tennis courts.
Parks Committee of Council recommends planting palm
trees both sides of the
avenue from the entrance gates to the oval.


 20 trees planted on the Western boundary of
the Park.


National baseball league holds Patriotic baseball


 A Patriotic Tennis Tournament held.


 A cycle track around the perimeter of the oval
is levelled and ashes rolled.


The Returned Sailors and Soldiers Club holds an
Anzac Memorial Carnival in
Building of a pavilion and grandstand at the oval,
with accommodation for 450
spectators, is completed and opened by
Senator HE Patten. The opening is
followed by a cricket match, Aldermen vs Council
staff. Senator Pratten (previously
Mayor of Ashfield) had donated
£500 towards the pavilion’s cost.
Western Suburbs Rugby League Club returns to
Pratten Park, which becomes its
home ground.
Pratten Park season tickets are issued for
life members, members and ladies.


1921 South Ashfield Bowling Club changes its name
to Pratten Park Bowling Club.
Alterations are made to the Bowling Club building.
A new bowling green is


A cricket scoreboard is erected with a financial
contribution from Western Suburbs
District Cricket Club. It replaces an earlier score
1923 An additional room is added to the
Bowling Club building.


The Evening News installs a direct phone line to
avoid delays in getting sports


1925 A children’s playground is established.
1925 A number of cycling carnivals are run


Council refuses an application by the licensee of
the Bald Face Stag Hotel at
Leichhardt to erect a brick publican’s booth to
sell liquor.
Western Suburbs District Cricket Club complains to
Council about the state of the
Pratten Park wicket. This is refuted by Council’s
Engineer – “the usual complaint
when batsmen do not make runs”.


Autodrome Super Speedways Ltd successfully
negotiates with Council to hold dirt
track motorcycle racing on Saturday nights.
The first meeting attracts over 6000
Fullscreen capture 12-Sep-14 84613 AM
Fullscreen capture 12-Sep-14 83609 AM
Fullscreen capture 12-Sep-14 82202 AM
Fullscreen capture 12-Sep-14 81719 AM
Council receives numerous complaints and petitions
from residents about noise,
crowds and late finishing times. Representations
are also made to the Minister for
Local Government.
An application to Council by the Model Aeroplane
Association to fly model
aeroplanes on Sunday mornings is refused.


1931 Autodrome Super Speedways Ltd goes into liquidation.


 An Eastern entry pavilion in Arthur Street is
CM Capture 11
The famous eastern entrance in the 1960’s
View of Pratten Park Grandstand.
Grandstand Pratten Park.
Work is provided by the State Government at Pratten
Park for the relief of the


A wooden cycling track is laid down over the existing
cycling track and is the first
track in Australia to conform to international
requirements for record making
Council permits the Western Suburbs Lawn Tennis Association
to occupy 4 ground floor rooms in Thirning Villa.


1936 Floodlights are installed around the cycle track
 to illuminate the oval.


Tenders are called for the demolition of the existing
 Bowling Club building and the
erection of a new building.
Aerial view of Pratten Park 1943.


6 wooden tiers of seating are installed in the Southeast
 and Southwest areas
around the oval


The new Northern stand at the Tennis Courts is named
after the Western Suburbs
Lawn Tennis Association’s first Secretary C M Harris


A modern scoreboard is erected.
1958 Council approves extensions to the Bowling Club
Pratten Park Scoreboard
The scoreboard in 1970’s


The enlargement and refurbishment of the Bowling Club
 building is completed and officially opened on 30 May.


Council permits an exhibition tennis match on a
Sunday despite protests from
church members.


Council gives permission for both tennis and bowling
 clubs to play on Sunday


First televised rugby league match at
Pratten Park.


Western Suburbs Rugby League Club moves permanently
to Lidcombe Oval.
Wests having played alternate home game matches between
Lidcombe Oval and Pratten
Park during the 1967 season.


1970 Council approves further extensions to the
Bowling Club building.


Wests return to Pratten Park after 3 years away.

Wests played 10 games during this period 1971- 1985.


 The Bowling Club extensions are completed and
officially opened on 29 January.
Fullscreen capture 110315 75916 AM
 Geoff Foster tackling Gary Stevens at Pratten Park 1973.
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Wests last game at Pratten Park August 18th 1985.
 Wests lost to Penrith 42 – 16. But Wests had won the AMCO Cup on Wednesday night .


During this period, complaints about parking are
periodically received from
residents. Ashfield Mall parking for 1300-1500 cars
is put forward as the solution.
1984 NSW Women’s Cricket Association plays the
England Women’s Cricket Team.
1985 2 demountable cricket sight-screens are installed.


Western Suburbs Rugby League Football Club is given
permission to play 3
Sunday games.

Two plagues on the wall of the Pratten Park grandstand.


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