The Adelaide Mayor of the time, Charles Glover, believed playgrounds were important to “promote the happiness and well-being of the children of the City”.
Mayor Glover donated 863 pounds towards construction of the playground. The Council set aside the land of 8,000 square metres
When it opened in 1918, there were two grassy areas, one area for girls, and one for boys – as well as shade trees, garden plots, sand piles, wading pools, seating and equipment such as swings and see-saws.
Over the course of 12 months the supervisor of the playground recorded over 6,000 attendances per month, equivalent to 200 per day,
We don’t have current attendance figures because playgrounds these days don’t have “supervisors” on site.
There are now 10 children’s playgrounds in the Adelaide Park Lands including two only a short distance away, so children have much more choice of places to play.
But it’s still very popular here, especially in fine weather and on weekends.
The fully fenced area contains equipment intended mostly for children 7 years and older. There’s a flying fox, climbing net, brightly coloured caterpillar tunnels and a large swinging hoist.
There’s also a brick shelter, with a brass plaque mounted on the wall recording the opening of the playground in 1918 by the State Governor.
This building has what is recognised as “Edwardian” architectural traits.
Although it has a relatively modern Colourbond roof, the shelter retains its original form, original brickwork, and basic configuration, including public toilets on either side.
The playground features a pair of mature English elm trees and a group planting of eight golden ash trees dating from 1927.
From here, walk south-east diagonally across the playing field to meet the side of Unley Road and stop where you can see dirt mounds, just past a creek crossing.