Being forbidden from “dressing in bright colours” seems draconian in this day and age – but that was just one of the regulations placed on teachers at the historic Silverton Grammar School in the late 1880s. Marriage was out of the question for teachers as well...
From humble beginnings housed in a NSW Government-issued tent, Silverton Grammar School grew to accommodate a roll call of almost 300 students by 1888.
Fast forward to the present day and the Silverton School Educational Museum now draws tourists and students alike to this unique attraction, just 25km north-west of Broken Hill.
The school is set up as a class room to depict education through the eras and consists of photos, old maps, books, educational resources and newspaper articles of the historic Silverton Township and surrounding area.
Examples of school work completed by ex-students is also on display, some of the students having being taught by noted poet, author and journalist Dame Mary Gilmour (nee Cameron) who was an assistant teacher from 1887-1889.
Mrs Gilmour, who features on the Australian $10 note, began writing as an eight-year-old and was still putting pen to paper in her 90s. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1937 for services to literature and later passed away in 1962.
Along with the ban on bright clothes and marriage, teachers at Silverton Grammar were also expected to be home between the hours of 8pm and 6am - unless attending a school function – and were told to not “loiter down town in ice-cream stores”.
Although the school closed on March 13, 1970, current day schools are welcome to enrol for a “lesson back in time” where students utilise slates and slate pencils and take writing lessons with pen and ink.
The Silverton School Educational Museum was officially opened on June 7, 2009 and attracted some 6500 visitors in the first 12 months.
Located on Loftus Street at Silverton. Bookings for school groups and others wishing to experience a class lesson must be made well in advance.
For further information and current opening times phone (08) 8088-7481, or contact Marlene on (08) 8087-2865 or 0448-882-550.