knox grammar school


How Gillespie Field was established

In 1938, the School Council borrowed £5,000 from the Church to purchase the 8.5-acre Chilton's Warrawee Orchard Estate. Before being sold to Frederick Chilton, in 1878, the land belonged to the grandfather of Neville ‘Dick’ Rhodes, the 29th student enrolled at Knox.
Chilton’s Orchard, as it was known, was offered up for sale in October 1936 and the School Council immediately saw an opportunity to add playing fields to accommodate its rapidly increasing student numbers. Negotiations to purchase the Orchard began in September 1937 and by May 1938 the transaction was complete.

Ploughing, piping and tree removal was undertaken from July 1939. A dressing shed was designed by Aubrey Kerr Architects in 1952 and the R W Gillespie Trust provided the funds. The building was officially opened on 16 July 1953.

The OKGA supported the construction of a cricket pitch by providing funds to cover half of the cost. In 1955, permission was granted for the OKGA to use Gillespie Field on Saturday afternoons as their home ground during Rugby season.

The possibility of an under-railway line tunnel was canvassed to provide easy access to the field from the School in 1969. This option continued to be discussed by the Council but ultimately was never implemented. The field continued to have improvements made including the additions of tiled change rooms, showers and tea making facilities.

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