Arden St Oval

Gasometer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arden St oval is being upgraded to be of a size and quality for AFL. So we’ve been seeing it in transition over the past few weeks – from grass, to dirt, to a giant sandpit and back to grass again. It’s looking fabulous and we can’t wait to see it in use again!

I have some wonderful photos that we use in the Arden Street program to teach students about how the place has changed and how it has been used, so this is a good opportunity to revisit Arden St as it has been in the past and as it is today. The images are a good way of getting students to reflect on social spaces, the importance of gathering spaces for belonging and on how humans impact on environments. It also gets them thinking on how much care is taken to create and maintain sports and gathering places.

Arden St December 2012 – here it is dug up and then made into a huge sandpit:


Below are some photos of Arden St from the 1900’s. They show the oval and the enormous gasometer which was such an important feature of North Melbourne until the 1970’s when it was removed. There are some great photos of players with the gasometer in the background – player Mick Nolan came to be known as “the galloping gasometer”. We always called it the gasometer but they often seem to be referred to as “gas holders”. There aren’t many of them I left in the world now as gas it stored differently.

This photo was taken in 1928:


Locals used to come to Arden St for training in their own time after work – now players are professional sportsmen who come to Arden St everyday to work as players. You can see the gasometer in the background:


Les Foote was awarded the Syd Barker medal 3 times. Here kicks the ball at Arden St in front of the gasometer:


These photos show Arden St in the 1970’s and were given to me by a member but we don’t yet know what day they were taken on or who was playing. You can see how imposing the gasometer is. On this match day, a marching band and marching girls seem to have been the pre-match entertainment. The last photo with the banner at the ready for players to run through shows the old scoreboard and the Housing Commission flats in the background.

Arden St 1970’s – gasometer and marching band