Bell Street Grounds

In 1955 the Cadbury Charitable Trust, Birmingham, England, donated £6,250 to the School. The Board of Governors decided that plans should be drawn up immediately for the development of the land acquired near the City Council hockey fields at Risdon Park. 

The resulting sports fields are what we know today as the Bell Street Sports Grounds, used by many hundreds of students each year to this day.

The original Focus article proclaimed: 

“This field will have six 440yd. tracks, and will provide ideal conditions for athletics meetings. Surveys and plans for the Sports Ground were drawn up by Colonel Milledge. Tenders will be called shortly for the moving of the earth and formation of the main football and hockey fields, and it is hoped to commence work on the area early in November. Included in the plan are two stands. The main stand (which will be covered) will provide dressing room accommodation for home and visiting teams, umpires and Sportsmasters’ rooms and storage for sports equipment. It is hoped that there will be sufficient money to include a committee room for use as a centre for old scholars sports’ teams. The hockey stand will be an open one, with two changing-rooms, sportsmistress’ rooms, and storage for girls’ sports equipment. 

A groundsman’s cottage, parking area, and two basketball and tennis courts are also part of the final plan. It is estimated that a further £10,000 will be needed to provide all these amenities.”

To raise the money an Appeal Committee was formed comprising many names well known to The Friends’ School community: Robert Mather (chairman), R. 0. Mather, Colin Fitzgerald, W. N. Oats, N. G. Hutton, Malcolm Taylor, Dugald McDougall, Evan Williams and J . E. Annells (secretary). 

We thank the Cadbury Charitable Trust, these dedicated Appeal Committee members and everyone who donated during the Appeal for their generosity and vision in creating the incredible resource we have today for all students to develop their sporting capacity.