By Cathy Jones
Hudson Park, Strathfield is bounded by Centenary Drive (west), Arthur Street (north) and Mitchell Road (east) and at its southern border it joins Frank Zions Reserve. It is the largest park in the Strathfield district and is about 16.9 hectares in size. The park is bisected by Centenary Drive, though both sides are connected by pedestrian underpass.
Hudson Park is located on land once controlled by the Church of England Cemetery Trust as reserve land for Rookwood Cemetery. The building of the freight railway line to the Enfield Marshalling Yards separated this land from Rookwood Cemetery in 1914.
In 1930, the NSW Government gazetted the land as a park and transferred control and management to Strathfield Council.
The park was originally known as ‘Hampstead Downs’ and in 1935 was renamed ‘Hampstead Park’. In 1953, the name was changed to Hudson Park, after Colin Hudson, a former Mayor of Strathfield [1944-49]. Hudson served as an Alderman on Strathfield Council from 1941 to 1952 and once held the record as longest serving Mayor.
In 1933, a grove of trees was established in Hampstead Downs donated by Alderman John Robert Firth in tribute to his son, Bernard, who died at age 25 years in October 1933.
From the 1930s, Council undertook various improvement works such as tree planting and laying out of multiple cricket pitches in the Park from the 1930s. These uses ceased when the Strathfield Council Public Golf Course opened in 1956. The course was redesigned with the construction of Centenary Drive which ran through Hudson Park in the 1970s. In 1978, Strathfield Council opened a Night Golf Driving range to complement the course.
In 2019, Hudson Park Golf Course closed operations due to falling numbers of players. Plans to transform the site into a park were developed including a new lake, courts and areas for passive recreation.
Hudson Oval opened in 1962. The construction of over £8000 was funded by Strathfield Council with a contribution of £2000 by St Patrick’s College, who have had a long association of use of Hudson Oval.