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Several proposals to provide playgrounds for city children were discussed in the early twentieth century. In September 1918 Adelaide’s mayor, Charles Glover, told the city council that to hold the annual Mayor’s Ball ‘while the War is still taking heavy toll of so many of the best of our younger citizens’ would be inappropriate. Instead he proposed to ‘promote the happiness and well-being of the children of the city’. The council cancelled the ball, and spent the money on a playground in Park 20 in the South Parklands, close to Gilles Street School. Glover Playground was opened in December 1918. Glover’s commitment to children’s playgrounds saw him build two more at his own expense in the 1920s, on Le Fevre Terrace, North Adelaide (also Glover Playground) and East Terrace.

By Peter Bell

This is a revised version of an entry first published in The Wakefield companion to South Australian history edited by Wilfrid Prest, Kerrie Round and Carol Fort (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2001). Revised by the author. Uploaded 25 June 2014.

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Glover Playground in North Adelaide

Images
Image: A group of girls perform exercises in a grassy ground surrounded by trees and playground equipment
Girls perform callisthenics at Glover Playground on Le Fevre Terrace, North Adelaide, 1945.

History SA. South Australian Government Photographic Collection, GN08966

Glover Playground in the South Parklands

Images
Image: A group of girls and boys play on playground equipment, including see-saws and swings
Children playing at Glover Playground, c. 1930s

History SA. South Australian Government Photographic Collection, GN13616

Image: Several children play at a playground with a large shelter, flagpole and equipment
Glover Playground in the South Parklands, 1927. Note the shelter shed and wading pool at image centre
Courtesy of/Photographer:South Australian Government Photolithographer

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 4591, http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+4591, Public Domain

Image: A group of children stand near the edge of a pond in a playground. One child balances on the edge of the pond. A flagpole and playground equipment are visible in the background
Children play near a pond at Glover Playground in the South Parklands, c. 1927
Courtesy of/Photographer:South Australian Government Photolithographer

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 4592, http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/04750/B4592.htm, Public Domain

People

Images
Image: Lord Mayor Charles Glover
Adelaide’s first Lord Mayor Charles Glover, 1919. Glover personally funded the creation of the playgrounds named for him

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 55002, http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+55002, Public Domain

Image: Black and white photograph of a young August Wilhelm Pelzer with a moustache
August Wilhelm Pelzer, designer of Glover Playground in the South Parklands

Courtesy of the City of Adelaide Archives. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Image: A man in glasses stands at a podium delivering a speech. A group of male and female dignitaries sit on seats on the stage behind the speaker. The roof of a building is visible behind the stage
Adelaide Lord Mayor Charles Glover delivers a speech at the opening of Glover Playground in the South Parklands, 1918

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: PRG 280/1/24/115, http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/searcy/24/PRG280_1_24_115.htm, Public Domain

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