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Chapter 8: Rubislaw Field

A quite different time scale applied when the provision of a new Recreational Ground for the School and the FP Club was under way. This great scheme was first foreshadowed by Morland Simpson (who else?) in 1909, and was launched in the spring of 1914. The School Board of the local authority was persuaded to purchase twelve acres of ground on the East side of Anderson Drive between Cromwell Road and Harlaw Road, and it was then agreed that in exchange for certain rights with regard to the use of the Field by its Athletic Sections, and representation on the Field Committee, the FP Club would contribute £1,000 towards the cost of the purchase. Despite the outbreak of war in August of that year, and the disappearance of large numbers of FPs on war service, the money was raised and handed over to the Board before the end of the year. Again despite the War, the levelling, laying out and preparation of the ground went ahead apace, and on 16th September 1916 Rubislaw Field was officially opened. Additional ground to the West of Bayview Road South, lying between the original Field and Queen’s Road, came into use soon after the 1939-45 War and provided much-needed extra playing pitches.

When the Field was first opened, the need for Pavilion accommodation was quickly recognised, and the Executive adopted a proposal made around the time of the opening that a Pavilion should be erected as an appropriate memorial to those of the School who had fallen in the War, and “as a constant reminder to the scholars that a genuine all-round education requires them to fit themselves in body, no less than in mind, for the battle of life, in peace as well as in war”. This proposal received an immediate favourable response, and while the scheme was not advanced while the War continued, it was formally launched at a public meeting in the School Hall on 26th December 1918. The principal speaker at that meeting was the Secretary for Scotland, the Right Hon. Robert Munro (1884-85) (who later became Lord Alness), and the first resolution adopted was “To erect at the School Recreation Ground a Pavilion containing adequate dressing-room and other accommodation to complete the equipment of the ground for the conduct and practice of games and athletic sports”. Plans for the Pavilion were finally approved in 1923 and the building was completed in time for an informal opening ceremony at the School Sports on 21st June 1924. The cost of the Pavilion was £4,595 which was entirely met out of subscription. That the creators of the memorial Pavilion could not have foreseen the expansion in numbers and in sports activities which would take place (nor the admission of girls to the School), making the dressing-room accommodation woefully inadequate for its usage seventy years later is, of course, understandable, and must not be allowed to detract from the excellence of the very handsome building or its memorial purpose.

Improvements to the Field in recent years include an astroturf hockey pitch, opened in 2004, and culminate in the expansion of the Pavilion and its refurbishment to modern standards.

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