Memories of Crafers Primary School

Text: John McGregor
Images: SLSA, John McGregor

The “new” Crafers Primary School at its opening in 1928

I began grade 1 In February, 1946. The school’s enrolment was just over 110 students, taught by three teachers.  Miss Dangerfield taught grades 1 & 2, and to us who were 5 or 6 she seemed old. How wrong were we!  At the end of the year she left to get married.

In those days it was common to change left-handed students to right-handed ones by tying their left hands behind their backs.  There were three of us who were left handed and, luckily for us, we were allowed to stay that way.

Every morning we all lined up in class groups to march into school accompanied by the drum and fife band. The only tune that I can remember them playing is now the tune for the Adelaide Crows’ song.

The School as seen from Piccadilly Road in 1933

Every Monday morning we saluted the flag, (you can see the flagpole at the far right of the photo above) saying, “ I am an Australian, a member of the  British Empire. I salute her flag, the Union Jack. I honour her King, King George VI, and I promise cheerfully to obey her laws.”

However, we thought that last line was “I promise Chifley to obey her laws”, because Ben Chifley was the Prime Minister at the time. Once we got into school and the roll had been  called, we all sat on the  wooden floor (no luxuries like carpet then) and recited times tables.

Crafers Primary School, Grade 1, 1946. John McGregor is at back left.

For our work we sat two to a small table which had a groove cut into it to support a small black board. I only remember using the blackboard and chalk a few times – we then graduated to paper and pencils. The students came from Piccadilly, Stirling, Crafers, what is now Crafers West and The Eagle on The Hill. Everyone walked to school, and so in winter there were many shoes clustered around the open fire to dry out.

Do you have memories of Crafers Primary School as a student, parent or teacher, or as a local resident or can you identify the students in the class photo? Contact us at or drop into the History Centre at the Coventry Library, 63 Mount Barker Road, Stirling.

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