Your memories of school excursions from yesteryear

School excursions from yesteryear

Step into a classroom today and you’d hardly recognise the place. Computers have almost completely replaced pens and paper, healthy snacks at the tuck-shop have taken over the daily milk delivery (thank goodness!) and school excursions, well, they’ve changed from factory tours to trips to Disneyland. While times have certainly changed, these are some of the fond and nostalgic memories that the Travel at 60 community have of their own school excursions from yesteryear.

Read more: The changing face of Australian family holidays

1. A train ride like no other

School excursions from yesteryear
Image: National Archive of Australia

“Puffing Billy. My mum made me a picnic lunch and I can still remember the bottle of water with a glass lid, a neenish tart, celery and cheese sandwich and a chocolate frog. I sat on a ridge and watched the steam billowing out of the train,” Susan fondly recalls.

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2. Some mother-daughter bonding

“In year three or four [we] went to Taronga Zoo and a deer gave birth in front of us all. My mum was one of the parents with the class. Very special day holding her hand and watching,” says Lyn.

3. A trip fit for royalty

“In the 1950s a school excursion was a visit to the museum and I also remember going to the Gabba to see the Queen but things sure changed in the 1990s when my son went to Disneyland!” remembers Owen.

4. One for the chocolate lovers

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School excursions from yesteryear
Image: National Archive of Australia

“I went to Tasmania (Yr 11, 5th form), and visited the Cadbury factory! Came back on the Empress of Tasmania and will never forget sailing through the heads into Sydney Harbour… beautiful. But also great memories of Jenolan Caves, staying at Caves House, and I have ALWAYS remembered what onion skin weathering is, after climbing around the Granite Tors up near Tamworth. Science and geography excursions were the best,” says Judy.

5. But not all had fond memories

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“In Wentworth in the 50s we didn’t have excursions and a lot of young lads had to work and miss school because of fathers who died during or just after the war. I only had three years of school in total and started working at six to help my mother, she did get the war widows pension but we couldn’t live on it. I taught myself to read and write from books. No, most bush kids didn’t get school excursions in the 50s but I bet the city kids did,” remembers Stephen.

6. There’s a first time for everything

“Was in first year of high school and had a week down at the Snowy Mountains. First time I had ever seen snow, had a ball. That was around 46 years ago,” Carol says.

7. Sweet success

“Coco Cola Bottlers in Townsville,” recalls Sharon. “I won six large bottles of Coke by writing an essay after the visit.”

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8. A morning tea like no other

“We lived in Wagga and we went to Canberra and had morning tea with the then prime minister Menzies,” remembers Denise.

9. A shock to the system

“I went to school in Ireland,the first time I knew of such a thing was when my daughter asked me for money to go on one,” says Bill.

10. A mad dash to the finish

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School excursions from yesteryear
Image: National Archive of Australia

“Can only remember one – to the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, saw Betty Cuthbert win gold in the 100 m,” Marilyn remembers.

11. Music to our ears

“We didn’t have many school excursions but my favourite was our end of year grade ten outing in 1964 to see Sound of Music,” remembers June.

What are your childhood memories of your school excursions? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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