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Victoria Park Oval, Echuca

Grounds and Locations
Echuca Football Club



Modern image of the Park Oval - Source - Google Map - Crofton Street
Modern image of the Park Oval - Source - Google Map - Crofton Street


Dimensions

The Park Oval is approximately 180m x 122m.(197 x133 yards) The ground is long and thin. Echuca's oval is longer than many traditional VFA venues such as Preston (183 x 121 yards) but not as wide as many traditional VFL/AFL venues such as the Whitten Oval (197 x 145 yards).

The Oval is oriented East/West meaning that the setting sun can be a factor late in the game.

Introduction

The Park Oval is Echuca's primary Sporting Ground. The Oval is located within Victoria Park Reserve, a pretty Parkland to the North East of Echuca's city dentre. The Murray river winds past Echuca and the large parkland is surrounded on three sides by the Murray. At the far end of the Park, the Campaspe River joins the Murray.

The Oval is not deep in the parkland, and sits on Crofton Street, with houses opposite and beside a school.

Crop of Department of Lands and Survey 1940 - Source SLV
Crop of Department of Lands and Survey 1940 - Source SLV


Early History of the Park

In May 1869 the Council moved to name their new park. "Albert Park", "Queen's Park" and "The Alfred Park" were suggested before, finally, "Victoria Park" was agreed to.1

At first the park was little more than bushland with a few paths and plantings. The first cricket pitch began construction in 1873.2 but it was not until 1881 that the first major round of improvements were undertaken.

In 1881, Significant improvements were made such as a Turf Pitch, Picket Fencing, Iron Gates and seven acres set aside for athletics.3

The historic Red Gum Arch, built in 1884 for a visit by Governor, Sir Henry Brougham Loch was moved to the entrance of Echuca Park soon after the visit.

Redgum Arch Echuca SLV H2000.222_58
Redgum Arch Echuca SLV H2000.222_58


The Park Oval has since has been home to Cricket, Athletics, Football, Cycling as well as sports days and agricultural shows. The park behind and beside the gound has developed into a popular place for scenic drives and BBQs.


The Echuca Park Oval


1899 - Cycling Track
The cycling craze in the late 1890s led to the formation of an Echuca Cycling club and a track was soon installed at the oval.

1901 - First Press Box
In 1901, The park curator, Mr Alton constructed a small press box.4

1903 - First Scoreboard
Prompted by a request from J. Dickson, the, Hon. Sec. Northern District Football Association,a 'Scoring Board' was added to the ground by Mr Alton in 1903.5

1908-09 - Grandstand built
A impressive grandstand was built late in 1908 and much celebrated.6

A Hearty welcome to Echuca the capital of the north c1910 SLV_Page_23
A Hearty welcome to Echuca the capital of the north c1910 SLV_Page_23


1911 - Connected to Water Mains
Surface Graded,Turf Relaid and water connected.
Ground unavailable for football for most of season.7


1925 - New Larger Scoreboard installed
A working bee led by Hughie Lyons finished building a new scoreboard.FOOTBALL NOTES. (1925, May 8). 8

1926 - Permission to build a press box under the scoreboard was accepted. Though it is unclear if this was completed.9. This was not completed
10


1936 - Electric Lights and an Loudspeaker
A large round of improvements, such as improving the track for trotting, adding lighting 11 and amplification12

Riverine Herald 26-Dec-1936 Lighting
Riverine Herald 26-Dec-1936 Lighting


Rose Series Photos - The Rose Series are post 1936s Views - Compare the fence to earlier shots (note the wider track and the Electricity Poles).

PORTION OF THE OVAL Victoria Park Echuca SLV H32492_7791
PORTION OF THE OVAL Victoria Park Echuca SLV H32492_7791
SPORTS OVAL, VICTORIA PARK, ECHUCA, c1920-1954 Rose Stereograph Co - SLV H32492_7808
SPORTS OVAL, VICTORIA PARK, ECHUCA, c1920-1954 Rose Stereograph Co - SLV H32492_7808


The revival of Echuca Football and Joining of the Bendigo League led to a range of improvements. Some of the improvements were made by the players themselves.

1949 - Footballers Repairing the Redgum Arch - Riverine Herald 11-Apr-1949 p4
1949 - Footballers Repairing the Redgum Arch - Riverine Herald 11-Apr-1949 p4
1950 - Footballers Repairing their Club Rooms - Riverine Herald Echuca - 9-Mar-1950 p1 Working Bee
1950 - Footballers Repairing their Club Rooms - Riverine Herald Echuca - 9-Mar-1950 p1 Working Bee


1950 - New Scoreboard and Press Box
Councillor George Oglive (an ex-player), and then chairman of the Echuca Recreation Grounds Management Committee was in change of a new round of improvements including a new press box, scoreboard and additional seating.13


1950 First Live Broadcast of a Football Match - Riverine Herald 22-Jul-1950 p4 Live Broadcast
1950 First Live Broadcast of a Football Match - Riverine Herald 22-Jul-1950 p4 Live Broadcast
1951 - First Siren - Riverine Herald 19-May-1951 p1 Siren
1951 - First Siren - Riverine Herald 19-May-1951 p1 Siren


The Brick Grandstand has a capacity for around 500 spectators.

Modern Photos - MRiley 2015

Echuca2015 12 30 01 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 01 Source: MRiley 2015


Echuca2015 12 30 10 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 10 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 02 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 02 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 03 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 03 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 04 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 04 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 05 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 05 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 06 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 06 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 07 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 07 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 08 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 08 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 09 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 09 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 11 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 11 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 12 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 12 Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 13 - Source: MRiley 2015
Echuca2015 12 30 13 - Source: MRiley 2015





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