History Matters || Living at Furracabad: Portrait of life in the 1930s

Legs inside the bus: A gentleman makes his point about safe travel on a Furracabad school bus in the 1930s.
Legs inside the bus: A gentleman makes his point about safe travel on a Furracabad school bus in the 1930s.

With even more still to board, this is an obviously overcrowded 1930s Furracabad school bus with hard forms for seating, and rolled up canvas blinds for protection on wet days. How stuffy would that have been?

However by the look of the driver about to kick the shins of the boy in the front seat, it was not encouraged to hang limbs out even when there was no room inside.

Grace McLeod, nee Tate, who was born in 1923 and wrote the well-illustrated "Tates of Furracabad and Colonial Cooking" is most likely in the photo.

She described her Furracabad days: "Covered wagons selling Manchester, sheets, towels, men’s, ladies’ and children’s wear came about three times a year.

"There was also the Griffiths Tea traveller, a "Rawleighs man" and later a "Watkins’ man. They always fed and rested their horses before moving on. Quite often swagmen called and they were always given a meal and rations to take on their way.

"We had to walk to Rummery’s creek about a mile way to catch the bus.

"Each morning at class we would sing “God Save the King” before starting lessons and at 11.30 would recite "The Creed" in front of the flag pole before filing back into class.

"We had a pot-bellied stove in our small room to keep us warm in winter and feltex mats to sit on. We sang and danced and Miss Guthrie would read us stories on wet afternoons like "Gumnut Babies", "Dot and the Kangaroo" and "Nomads of the north".

"There was a sliding door between us and the primary classes, fourth, fifth and sixth, which were taught by our headmaster Mr Sid Staines. The older ones sat at desks and used pens with nibs and ink from wells in the centre.

"Sometimes the boys would break the middle out of their nibs and attach them to paper aeroplanes with notes written on them and throw them to the girls. At playtime and lunchtime we played rounders, hopscotch and marbles with the boys, hide’n’seek, and chip-chop-cherry"

At the museum we are looking for good sturdy pre-1950s children’s toys.