Windy Hill, Essendon, Victoria

Photo courtesy of Essendon Hall of Fame

Round 11, 1985. The Bombers catch their breath and collect their thoughts (and check the race results) in front of the W.G.Brew Scoreboard at Windy Hill during a game against Sydney.  The players include Michael Thomson (34), Mark Harvey, Glenn Hawker (33), Mark Thompson, Tim Watson (leaning over), Shane Heard (drinking), Leon Baker (obscured), Terry Daniher (very obscured), Garry Foulds (10), Merv Neagle (1), Roger Merrett (25) and Paul Weston.

Photo courtesy of Essendon Hall of Fame

The scoreboard was built behind the local croquet club in the late 1950s or early 1960s and named after Bill Brew, a committee member from 1930 to 1968, including a decade as president from 1959 to 1968.

Bill is seated on the left in this 1953 photograph, with some handy Bombers behind him – Jack Clarke, John Coleman and Bill Hutchison – and long-time secretary Bill Cookson.

The scoreboard was demolished within the past ten years, without any fanfare.  Some lettering from it is currently in storage, along with many other Windy Hill Hall of Fame items, as Essendon prepares to eventually move to  new facilities at Melbourne Airport.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Lawton

VFA Division Two Grand Final, 1988. Oakleigh kicked another two goals, Sunshine another two points. Within a few years both club had folded, as the VFA shrunk to a single division. Scoreboard Pressure would love to know more about those blokes inside the scoreboard.

Photo source unknown.

Hugh Mitchell flies for a mark and Mal Pascoe waits for the crumbs in a 1957 game against North Melbourne. Note the scoreboard and, to the right, the state-of-the-art media facilities. You can see the same scoreboard in the team photo below, from 1932. Given that the Bombers moved to Windy Hill from East Melbourne in 1922, one wonders if this was  Windy Hill’s first major football scoreboard.

Photo courtesy of Essendon Hall of Fame

Amongst the players are:
Clarrie Hearn, back row, second from left – 92 games
Garnet Campbell, back row, third from left – captain/coach 1931-1933, 197 games
Howard Okey, front row, first from left – won Essendon’s Best and Fairest in 1929, became a field umpire after retiring from playing, long-time EFC committee man.
Keith Forbes, front row, third from left – 152 games, one of Essendon’s greatest players, won the Best and Fairest in 1930 and 1935 and runner-up in 1929 and 1934.

There are two scoreboards at Windy Hill these days: this generic scoreboard on the bowling club wing (formerly the site of the Wally Crichton Shelter) and, below, the substantial cricket scoreboard, in the Cookson Stand. Cricket has been played at Windy Hill since 1872. Past players include Test players Bill Woodfull, Gary Cosier, and Richie Robinson.

Many thanks to Jeff Lawton, regular contributor to Scoreboard Pressure.

Many thanks to Essendon Hall of Fame.

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Aerial view of Windy Hill (via Flickr 2007)


  1. Hey Vin,
    Some of these photos are just fantastic, in particular the one where Hugh Mitchell is going up for a mark with the old scoreboard in the background. Love the pic from the VFA grand final also…do you know if it was a curtain raiser to the Division 1 GF or were they played on seperate days? Not that it really matters!

    • Thanks John,

      The second division VFA grand final was the curtain raiser to the first division GF, apparently.

      As for the Hugh Mitchell pic, it’s surprising – and handy – how scanning an ordinary photocopy of an old photo can seem to improve things.

  2. […] Down at the primary school end of the ground lies one of the makeshift scoreboards that was in use for a time during the 2000s for VFL matches. The main scoreboard was demolished with most of the outer after the ground stopped being used in the early 1990s. To read and see more about the old scoreboard, see Scoreboard Pressure’s great post on it HERE. […]

  3. They may well have brought that Scoreboard over from East Melbourne in 1922 – I’d be surprised if the previous occupants Essendon A which played as a separate entity in the VFA (Same Colours) would have had anything as sophisticated.

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