In a week when horseracing becomes a national interest, many of our Sydney readers may have visited this historic racecourse. Randwick Racecourse traces its history back to 1832, as we discovered in a previous post, but this week it is the 20th century history of the racecourse which interests us.
As the 20th century progressed, greater crowds of spectators, and of course the bookmakers who are so much a part of racing in Australia, attended the race track. With greater crowds and the funds they bought to the track, Randwick was able to expand and upgrade, with new stands and buildings constructed, many of them in the first half of the 20th century. Robertson and Marks, an architectural firm responsible for many of Sydney’s famous 20th century buildings, were behind the design and construction of many of the buildings, ensuring consistency in style and appearance.
As is the case today though, Randwick Racecourse was not just used as a horse racing track, playing host to various other groups and events. During both World War One and World War Two the racecourse was used as a camp for embarking soldiers, with temporary buildings and tents appearing around the site. Charles Kingsford Smith landed his plane, The Southern Cross, at Randwick racecourse in 1928 following his transpacific flight and the area has also been used for concerts, social events and even as the venue for three Papal Masses.