Mystery Solved October – Mount Colah Grammar School

This building was once part of the Grammar School

This building was once part of the Grammar School

Like today, in years gone by many children in Berowra and the surrounding area left the immediate suburb to attend school. In the mid 20th century, one school available to local families was the Mount Colah Grammar School which was once located near Mount Colah Station. The Grammar School was originally located in Berowra itself, but moved to Mt Colah where it shared the land with St George Church Of England. You can read a little about the Grammar School during it’s Berowra years here.

Beverley Gibbons attended the school at Mount Colah from the age of ten and recalls:

The Mount Colah Grammar School was a Church of England School run by Mr and Mrs Sidwell. Some people called it Sidwell’s School. All of the buildings were made of fibro, including the little Church which we went to every morning. I remember lining up outside the Church for my first funeral.

It wasn’t a big school. The house which is left is where the Sidwell’s lived and also where Mrs Sidwell taught kindergarten. She had a little Pekinese dog which she used to carry around with her – it yapped and yapped, but she loved it. Mr Sidwell taught the older children in another big building which was nearby – it might have had two rooms. He took classes from 3rd or 4th I think, right through to high school (which was three years then).

We had a school uniform and I remember for the girls it was a brown serge tunic with box pleats and a belt. We wore a white shirt underneath and also a green tie. In later years, for Summer, there was a bone frock with green buttons. We wore felt hats in Winter and in Summer we had straw panama hats.

There was quite a lot of land, and it sloped down at the back into the gully. We had a playing field down there, but there were also a lot of caves, which were very deep.

The school ran for at least 20 years I think, and closed down perhaps in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I think it closed when one of the Sidwells died.

Does anybody remember attending this school, or know of local children who attended? Leave us a comment!

Elissa

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3 thoughts on “Mystery Solved October – Mount Colah Grammar School

  1. Darlene Pattrick (Giles) says:

    Thanks for the story but are we talking about Cowan Grammar or Mt Colah Grammar? Story is so conflicting…and for this lady (mwah!) who lives in Cowan and grew up in Mt Colah I am totally confused. However this photo looks like Cowan on the Pacific Hwy. For clarity’s sake please explain!

  2. Mrs Elwin Huett says:

    I also attended Mt Colah Grammar School till Mrs Sidwell died. I remember Mr Sidwell as being a tall thin man and he always wore a cap on his head. He had the most perfect handwriting and encouraged his students to do the same. Beverley Gibbins is my aunt.

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