Hunter Park at 60 years

8th April 1964 – “Council has instructed the Clerk and Colonel Hay to visit the contractors at Bexleyheath and request completion of the pavilion by 21st April.”

The minutes of the Sports Field sub-committee show that plans for the official opening of the Sports Field were well advanced. Football had started to be played on the site in November 1963, but there was no pavilion. Yet the official opening was only two weeks away on 24th April.

An invitation had made to Prince Phillip to carry out the official opening ceremony, he was unavailable, so Lord Ashburton performed the task instead. Teas and refreshments were planned, a cricket match arranged, and BBC Television from Southampton were attending to record a report for South at Six. But still no pavilion.

In the event, whatever Colonel Hay and the Clerk had said to the contractor on their visit to Bexleyheath in early April 1964 must have worked, because the construction of the pavilion was completed and the minutes of the next meeting of the sub-committee report that the opening event went very well and everyone had a jolly good time.  

Lord Ashburton (right) inaugurates the new Sports Field, With Rev’d Roy Beynon (left) and Cllr. Miss Duncan-Lewis (centre), Chairman of the Twyford Parish Council.

It was Colonel Curtis, former Chairman of the Parish Council who chaired the Recreation Committee which really got the Sports Field project going in earnest. He died in 1965 and his wife donated the first piece of play equipment in what was then known as Children’s Corner at the Sports Field.

The Parish Council had wanted to provide improved recreation facilities for some time and identified that a facility could be developed on land it already owned at Park Lane which was used for allotments (much larger than the allotment site we know today). In 1960, the Council had requested permission from the Secretary of State to change the use of some of the allotment site to recreation use.

The Council then approached Mr. Hunter, a poultry farmer, to see if he would be amenable to a land swap. Hugh Hunter lived at Suntrap, now known as Hunters Hill on Park Lane.

Mr Hunter must have liked the idea of a sports field because he turned down the idea of land swop and instead offered to gift two of his fields to the Parish Council. You can read more about the Deed of Gift at Hunter Park – The History – Twyford Parish Council

This photograph appears to have been taken in Hunter Park and shows Mr. Hunter on the left, Admiral Powell on the right - if you know the man in the middle, do let us know!

This photograph appears to have been taken in Hunter Park and shows Mr. Hunter on the left, Admiral Powell on the right – if you know the man in the middle, do let us know!


This generous gift of 8 acres of land when added to the Council’s existing 4 acres meant there would be sufficient room for a whole range of recreational activities including separate cricket and football fields. The new Sports Field later became known as Hunter Park.

Work on the park was approved in October 1961, a footpath diversion was applied for and a tender awarded to carry out levelling and landscaping works to create the sports pitches. The value of the tender was £2,791 (£52,000 in today’s money) and the work was overseen by Mr D.I. Portsmouth and Mr A. Alderman who, later along with Mr. Barr, were the dedicated groundsmen in those early formative decades of the park.  

In August 2003, the new pavilion was opened.  It is named the Pottinger Pavilion after Pat Pottinger, Clerk to the Parish Council for 17 years who lead the project to fund and build the facility and died just a few months after its completion.

This weekend we celebrate sixty wonder years of Hunter Park. There’s been a few changes over the years, but it is very much the same recreation facility which was envisaged sixty years ago and a legacy to those who had the vision and community spirit to drive the project.

Happy Birthday Hunter Park!