Category Archives: Cowan Grammar

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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October Mystery Continued

This building was once part of the Grammar School

This building was once part of the Grammar School

Sadly, nobody has yet taken on our October Mystery, and instead of fully solving the matter, we have decided to offer just a teaser in hopes of coaxing some of our readers to share their memories.

Mt Colah Grammar School was once in the area of a charming, if now rather ramshackle house on the Pacific Highway near Mount Colah Station. Presumably the rundown house was used as one of the school buildings. The house, and the land once occupied by the school is now fenced off, and for many living in the area, the unused and seemingly unloved land has been a mystery in and of itself.

This image from Google Maps perhaps hints at the location of other buildings or garden beds - who knows!

This image from Google Maps perhaps hints at the location of other buildings or garden beds – who knows!

Do you have any memories of this home, or any information to share about Mount Colah Grammar School?

Elissa

Images courtesy of Google Maps.

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