The Sergeant’s Pavilion
The appeal was successful and plans were prepared for a new pavilion known as the Sergeant’s Pavilion in 1952. As well as dressing rooms and a kitchen they included a caretaker’s residence. The caretaker was well-known to the children who lived around the square in the 1950’s and 60’s. They were not allowed to enter the square but they often did and were chased by the watchman who was known as “Whitey”. He does not seem to have actually caught anyone, so it is not known what the punishment would have been.
In 1942, during the second World War, High School agreed to make Belgrave Square available for use as an assembly centre, in connection with the assembly and marshalling of evacuees, in the event of it being necessary to put the Government evacuation plan into operation.
The Department of Defence considered it desirable that the following equipment should be stored on the premises:
(1) Boilers and a small quantity of fuel;
(2) Serving Counters;
(3) A few boxes of Erinox and a supply of drinking vessels;
(4) Extension of water supply to new taps in the grounds.
It was proposed also to construct trench latrines.[i]
Fortunately, evacuation proved unnecessary and the sports ground was left intact. However the Corporation were (reluctantly) given permission by the governors of the school to erect a water storage tank on the square.
The Headmaster, Mr. J. Bennett, was opposed to the construction of the water tank in Belgrave Square by the Department of Defence because the
consequences for the school could be very serious. The sports ground is already much too small for tne number of boys and compares unfavouraly with that of other schools with which we are in competition, e.g. St Andrew’s, Wesley and Mountjoy.
It consists of:
- the lower footall ground for Seniors.
- The very small upper ground for Juniors
- A number of Tennis courts at the edges
He maintains that they have lost students due to the already inadequate sports facilities and that teachers’ posts are at risk. He opposes allowing bodies such as the L.S.F. (Local Safety Forces) to use the premises and mentions that there has been a great deal of annoyance at Belgrave Square caused by boys from the warren of lanes nearby who climb the boundary walls and that the Sergeant says it is impossible to keep them out when strangers come in.[ii]
Despite his protestations a water tank was erected in 1942 as part of the National Emergency Plan but it was dismantled within two years.
Although the building at Danum in Zion Road, Rathgar, which housed the new school, was not ready for occupation until 1971, the sports grounds moved to the twenty-three acre grounds in 1961, thus ending an association of over seventy years with Belgrave Square. More...
[i] High School Archive letter from the Department of Defence to High School 8th September 1942
[ii] High School Archive letter to the Board signed by J.Bennet, Headmaster, dated 16th March 1942