King Lloyd Reserve was officially opened by the Newtown City Council in April 1980, and has been the home of the Newtown City Hockey Club since then. The Reserve provides an excellent playing surface, which is used for hockey, cricket and touch football.
When the Reserve was opened in 1980, there were 2 hockey fields and a cricket pitch, but the only facility for changing or shelter was an old cattle shelter. The process of obtaining more suitable facilities proved to be more difficult than we thought, and stopgap measures during the years included the use of old builder’s site sheds, a portable toilet and a shipping container for storage.
Plans for a pavilion were first prepared in 1984, but resident objections and the loss of the club’s savings in the the collapse of the Pyramid Building Society saw the project shelved. Revised plans and renewed funding finally bore fruit in May 1995, when the Claire and Alan Barnes Pavilion was officially opened.
In 1998, the Murgheboluc Cricket Club joined the club as the summer co-tenant, beginning a co-operative working relationship. In 2009, the pavilion was developed further through the efforts of MCC, adding change rooms, umpires room, storage for the two clubs’ equipment and additional shelter for spectators.
In 2011, the Geelong Touch Football Association became a co-tenant and the usage of the field and the pavilion grew again. Much hard work by the GTFA resulted in the installation of flood lighting in 2019, which allowed GTFA to conduct evening games to cater for their expanding membership.
2019 also saw the addition of the deck at the front of the building which added further to the amenity of the Reserve, thanks to the work of MCC.
The increasing membership of the 3 clubs over the years and the desire to provide safety, security and comfortable facilities for members and families has now led to plans for further development of the pavilion and its amenities. Planned extensions will provide additional change rooms for female use, social space, storage space, internal public toilets and a larger kitchen and canteen facility. However, as the estimated cost of the project is $1,220,000, the aim is to begin with Stage 1, involving the relocation of the kitchen and new toilet block.
The project is a joint partnership between the three tenant clubs – Newtown City Hockey Club, Murgheboluc Cricket Club and Geelong Touch Football Association. With a combined membership of over 800 people, and the potential to grow this even further with the provision of female and family friendly facilities, there are exciting times ahead for all 3 clubs.
An application has been submitted to the City of Greater Geelong Community Infrastructure Grants Fund, which it is hoped will provide some support for the project. Some of the funding can be supplied as in-kind labour or services, so if anyone has expertise which could assist in completing a successful project, we would love to hear from you.
Enquiries: Claire Barnes, OAM. President, Newtown City Hockey Club. Ph 0417 015130.