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Uleybury School Museum

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by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Published March 16th 2016
But computers weren't invented then
How many times have we shared with our children the stories of transporting siblings on our back to school, walking miles in a pair of Clark sandals, the feared cane and the morning milk deliveries. And how many times have the stories been dismissed as embellished dreams. But now, thanks to the generosity of the local caretaker and Playford Council, it is possible to show kids what it was really like at school in those days.

Uleybury School, Uleybury Museum, Uleybury WInes, Playford Council, School Days
All purpose blackboard - Steve Hudson


The Uleybury School Museum located near One Tree Hill is as true a representation of a 20th century school as can be, starting with the building itself. The Uleybury School was built in 1856 and operated as a co-ed church school for its first two decades. In 1874, the school transferred to Government care and operated that way for 97 years.

Uleybury School, Uleybury Museum, Uleybury WInes, Playford Council, School Days
Uleybury School - Steve Hudson


Closed in 1971 when it was the oldest school building still in use by the Education Department, the building languished for a little while until an idea was hatched to create a museum that replicated the school as it was in its latter years. A quick restoration program of the building took place in 1978, and some aged equipment was added, and in 1979 the building opened as a museum, one of only three in Australia.

Uleybury School, Uleybury Museum, Uleybury WInes, Playford Council, School Days
School Room - Steve Hudson


Today the original school room is furnished with the key items of equipment that students and teachers used in those days including the ear-screeching blackboard, finger-crushing desk lids, all-staining ink pots, rotary dialling telephone, scratchy speaker box and the trusty and reliable multi-sized rotary pencil sharpener.

Uleybury School, Uleybury Museum, Uleybury WInes, Playford Council, School Days
Pencil Sharpener - Steve Hudson


Ancient maps of the world adorn the walls alongside pictures of the Monarchy, explanations of the letters of the alphabet and paintings by younger students. And much to the disgust of today's students, the only item that required electricity in the room was a projector that was so large that it required two students to move it around the room.

Uleybury School, Uleybury Museum, Uleybury WInes, Playford Council, School Days
Modern Technology - Steve Hudson


Outside the classroom, additional memorabilia has been collected and is on display either in the schoolyard or in a separate room which resembles the milk shelters of yesteryear. The small court yard and grassed area gives a good indication that children came to school to learn, rather than play.

Uleybury School, Uleybury Museum, Uleybury WInes, Playford Council, School Days
Way back then - Steve Hudson


The Uleybury School Museum is open every Sunday from 1pm to 4pm with admission via a gold coin. There are a few car parks available, but no kiss 'n' ride facilities noting how different things were back then. And when your child asks you why the teacher keeps a set of canes behind the desk, perhaps a gentle demonstration may help provide the answer.

Uleybury School, Uleybury Museum, Uleybury WInes, Playford Council, School Days
Not so politically correct - Steve Hudson

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Why? To see what it was really like
When: Sunday 1pm-4pm
Where: Cornishman Hill Road, One Tree Hill
Cost: Gold Coin Donation
Your Comment
Takes me back...the canes...I remember lifting my boots and broke it...it was called"willy sting"The photo of the school building is beaut.It is good to see these old buildings restored keeping our history alive for future generations.
by noelp (score: 3|1166) 547 days ago
Good Stuff have been to some / must see the rest .
by dennis (score: 1|44) 545 days ago
I remember the desks, the pencil sharpener, blackboard( ours were attached to the wall) and the blackboard chalk + the remover (I looked like thick a small solid block of felt. We had an old film projector. I think it looked a bit different to that, and learning to put the films on . The crates of small bottles of milk.
by r.eng (score: 2|268) 521 days ago
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