Mayfield East Public School – 150th Anniversary 2008

Mayfield East Public School - 150th Anniversary 2008

Mayfield East Public School celebrates its 150th Anniversary year in 2008. To assist staff, current and former students and members of the community in those celebrations Cultural Collections in the Auchmuty Library of the University of Newcastle has prepared the following online historical items recently deposited with the University’s archival collections. They form a substantial portion of records relating to the establishment of one of this region’s oldest schools.

Please note that in the following printed accounts many references are made to Mayfield’s first settler John Laurio Platt and the often repeated account of his house burning down and the death of his two children in that house fire. This is incorrect. Platt’s children were killed in a bushfire. Please read the authoritative account on the Mayfield Website – John Laurio Platt (1782-1836)

We would also like to thank State Records New South Wales for their kind permission for us to digitise and publish online some of the materials relating to the history of Mayfield East Public School. It is greatly appreciated.

Gionni Di Gravio
University Archivist
University of Newcastle, Australia

2008 Updates

See the Letter to the Editor from Ms Peyton Gaffney on behalf of the students of Clas 3/4P in the Newcastle Herald 17 May 2008 p.23:

Museums Need Benefactors - Letter to the Herald 17 May 2008 p.23

1st July 2008 Update

I had a great phone call this morning. At a ceremony held yesterday at the Ervin Gallery in Sydney the Mayfield East Public School ( represented by the children of Class 3/4 P) won their section of the  National Trust Schools Competition 2008.

The children created a replica of their original school house from the 1850s, and explored historical identities such as the late Daniel F. Cooksey, who reported on aboriginal artefacts on the site of the school in 1925.

The kids were very excited and chased down the original artefacts held in the Australian Museum and invited Dr Stan Florek to bring the artefacts along to their school for a ‘Show and Tell’. They even tracked down two of Cooksey’s grandsons and invited one, Mr Ian Cooksey, to speak to them as well, along with a former academic in the University’s French Department, Col Whitehead, who has a great interest in aboriginal stone artefacts and had made copies of Cooksey’s reports in the 1980s.

They have entered the competition many times before and this is the first time they have won. So, we are all so proud of them. According to Mrs Vera Deacon, a former student who attended the school in the 1920s, and who also accompanied them yesterday, they are classed as a disadvantaged school and so, competing against 400 private and church schools ‘funded to the hilt’,  it’s such a fantastic achievement for them.

From the Newcastle Herald:
Students take top honours

IN a week of horrible news with children being neglected, molested, gassed and apparently killed by their own flesh and blood; two pollies involved in a police investigation; the coal industry champing at the bit to redouble its capacity to damage the planet’s climate; our politicians either incapable or unable to create a renewable energy revolution like the Spaniards, Germans or the British; our transport systems in chaos; our King Edward Park rotunda vandalised along with other parts of the city and scribbled all over; and the world poised for an economic recession, you might understand my great joy at learning on Tuesday that Class 3/4P at Mayfield East Public School (at a ceremony at the Ervin Gallery in Sydney) won their section of the National Trust Schools Competition 2008 against 400 competitors.
It felt like the Knights had won another premiership.
I am so happy and proud of them.
Get behind them Newcastle.

Gionni Di Gravio
Mayfield, July 2

19th September 2008

Mayfield East 150th – Interview on ABC1233 Radio Newcastle

13th November 2008

We are delighted that Ms Sue Prior, teacher of the Mayfield East 3/4P Class that won the National Trust Heritage Award, was herself recognised with a Newcastle Civic Award at a ceremony in the Art Gallery.

__________________________________________

MAYFIELD EAST PUBLIC SCHOOL – HISTORICAL RESEARCH PAPERS
COMPILED BY MS JEAN GRAHAM FOR 125thANNIVERSARY BOOKLET.

Conduit: Mr Warwick Beard, Principal, Mayfield East Public School.
Date Deposited: 25 September 2007.
Date Accessioned: 26-28 September 2007.

Mayfield East Public School was established on the 1 July 1858. It was also known as ‘The Folly School’ and ‘Waratah Public School’ up until 1912. It is not to be confused with the Hanbury School which opened in 1864 and also known as ‘Waratah’. The confusion forced the name change of both schools to ‘Mayfield Public School’ and ‘Waratah Public School’ respectively. On 9 August 1923 its name again changed to ‘Mayfield East Public School’ after Mayfield West opened.

In 1983, Ms Jean Graham a former Principal at the School conducted research into the records of the N.S.W. State Archives concerning the Mayfield East Public School in preparation for a 125th Anniversary commemorative booklet. The files consulted, and documented in item A6595 (iv) below, were: National Board of Education 1/399 to 1/429; Schools files – 5/18019, 5/16798 A, B and C, 5/16799 A, B and C, 5/16800 A, B and C.

In addition, various local publications and written accounts by Mayfield identities were also consulted. Further material relating to the History of Mayfield can be accessed on the Mayfield Website.

A6594 (i) Correspondence and papers relating to 125th Anniversary celebrations, May-September 1983. Includes copy of “Tighes Hill Public School Centenary of Education 1878-1978” Commemorative Booklet, 1978.

A6594 (ii) [Class Magazine] 6B Class Projects Mayfield East Public School 1962. Written and illustrated by the pupils. Donated by Mr. John B. Brown 19 April 1977.

A6594 (iii) Mayfield East Public School – Lists of Teachers 1858-1977.

A6594 (iv) ‘The Folly’ School Magazine, 1986-1995, 1997.

A6594 (v) Folder containing various copies of maps and plans drawings, 1978-1990s.

A6594 (vi) Collection of colour slides of various iron and steel making processes at the BHP Steelworks, Port Waratah. c.1980s?

A6594 (vi) Copy of “The Waratah” Waratah High School Magazine, 1977.

A6594 (vii) Student Essays ‘Lost in the Rainforest’ and ‘Dear Mr. Woody Please! Footsie the Frog’ c.1970s?

A6595 (i) Photographic copies of plan drawings held at NSW State Records, c.1917.

A6595 (ii) Folder containing copies of Application for the Establishment of a Non-Vested National School and related correspondence [ in photographic and xerox formats] 1858-1860.

Application for the Establishment of a Non-Vested National School - 5 May 1858 Application for the Establishment of a Non-Vested National School - 5 May 1858 Application for the Establishment of a Non-Vested National School - 5 May 1858 Report dated 27 May 1858 Report dated 27 May 1858 Report dated 27 May 1858 Report dated 27 May 1858

Letter dated 23rd March 1860 List of Books

A6595 (iii) Unexpurgated History of Mayfield East Public School and related documents and papers, 1872-1983.
This file contains the early drafts of 1983 commemorative booklet as well as various histories of Mayfield and material relating to Mayfield Public School. The early drafts are particularly useful as they contain helpful references and footnotes.

Unexpurgated History of Mayfield East Public School

History of Mayfield East Public School – Draft 1a

History of Mayfield East Public School – Draft 1b

History of Mayfield East Public School – Draft 2

History of Mayfield East Public School – Draft 3

Waratah – Extract from “The Newcastle Directory and Almanac for the year 1880″

Department of Education – Mayfield Public School – 26 August 1920

Extract from Health Inspector’s Report 15th November 1921

“Waratah and the Original Grants” by T.A. Braye (1936) (Courtesy Newcastle & Hunter District Historical Society);

The Early Days by W.J. Goold

The History of the Folly from J.F. Crebert’s Memoirs – Handwritten in 1936

Mayfield East Public School – 18th June 1937

The early days of Mayfield – Extracts from the Souvenir Booklet “Jubilee Celebrations” 1950

“The Development of State Aided Education in Newcastle 1858-1880″ by Dr. E.J. Braggett (1968) (Courtesy Journal of Royal Australian Historical Society);

Salute to Mayfield – Radio Station 2HD radio Broadcast October 1980

A6595 (iv) ‘Notes for Anniversary Booklet from N.S.W. Archives’ [Notebook]

A6595 (v) Copy of Mayfield East Public School 125 Years of Education 1858-1983 Souvenir Booklet, 1983 Compiled and written by J.N. Graham, B.A. Edited by Dr E.J. Braggett, 1983.

A6595 (vi) Folder containing Department of Education correspondence relating to history of Mayfield East Public School, 1883-1983. A selection of correspondence has been digitised below:

Correspondence 1883

Return of School Fees in Arrear – 29 April 1889

Plan – (1891)

Waratah Public School – List of Pupils who received certificates – 9 August 1893.

Public School Waratah – Names of Staff – 26 October 1893

Plan of Proposed Purchase for Public School Purposes at Mayfield Parish of Newcastle County of Northumberland – 13 July 1917.

Mayfield East – Mrs. Cunliffe’s property. Transfer to Broken Hill Proprietary, Limited. 5 July 1934

Mayfield East Public School – New Infants’ Building – 5 November 1936.

Mayfield East Public School – School History – 19 May 1965.

Mayfield East Public School – 19 April 1982

A6595 (vii) Folder of photographs, c1890s – 1980s.

Mayfield East Public School Class 1c (1926)

Mayfield East Public School - Class 1c (1926)

Mayfield East Public School Class 1c (1926)

Mayfield East Public School Class circa 1926-1927

View of South Arms of the Hunter River from School ?
View of South Arms of the Hunter River from School ?

School Building

Original School Building Original School Building

Fete preparations circa 1960s.

Fete preparations circa 1960s

A6595 (viii) Folder of news clippings, 1872-1997.

Click for a Selection of Newsclippings relating to Mayfield East Public School – 1874 – 1974


LARGE FORMAT PLANS AND ITEMS

M4833 Mayfield Public School Block Plans Scale 16ft : 1 inch Date: 26.7.1917 (?) Originals held by the Archives Authority NSW (NSW State Records)

M4834a-b Mayfield East Public School. Drawing No.1. Ground floor and First floor. Scale 1/8 inch : 1 ft Date: c.1920. Originals held by the Archives Authority NSW (NSW State Records)

M4834c-g Mayfield East Public School. Plans for New Toilet Block. Scale 1/8 inch : 1 ft Date: 26.2.1974.

M4835 Department of Public Works NSW. Mayfield East Public School. Part Pland Detail and Contour. Scale 1:200 Date: n.d.

M4836a Mayfield East Public School. Craft Room by Conversion of Shelter. Scale 1:100 Date: 12.5.1975

M4836b New South Wales Department of Public Works. Mayfield East Public School. Sketch Plans. Scale 1/8” , ¼” = 1” Date: 15.5.1972.

M4837 Class Book of Mayfield East Public School Class 6/9 1977.

M4838 Class Book of Mayfield East Public School Class 6/4 1981.

M4839 Class Book of Mayfield East Public School Class 6/7 1985.

M4840 Class Book of Mayfield East Public School Class 6/9 1984.


FURTHER SOURCES:


Dr Stan Florek ‘Show and Tell’ with the Cooksey Collection, 5 May 2008

In 1925 Daniel F. Cooksey (1864 -1927) discovered an interesting collection of Aboriginal artefacts in Mayfield, Newcastle. Many were collected along the South Arm of the Hunter River, former BHP site, and Mayfield East school site. The discovery was considered so important at the time that the Ethnologist of the Australian Museum, W.W. Thorpe, travelled to Newcastle and officially reported the find in 1928. Cooksey is recognised as the earliest discoverer of evidence of Aurignacian culture in Australia, which is quite significant, but the scholar F.D. McCarthy doesn’t appear to mention him at all in his work entitled “Australian Aboriginal Stone Implements“. W.W. Thorpe however went to a lot of trouble to formally recognise D.F. Cooksey stating:

“The Elouera – The writer desires to place on record the earliest discoveries of this interesting implement. The late Mr D.F. Cooksey found the first at Mayfield, Newcastle, during June, 1925. It was one of many from this source, and figured in the Records of the Australian Museum, XVI, No.5 pl.XXIV, figs. 2 and 2A, May 1928. In December 1925, another example was found by the writer in a midden at Lane Cove. This was described with the Mayfield specimen. About this time several were discovered at Garie, National Park, by a party of geographical students from the University of Sydney. – W.W.T.”


Cooksey, Daniel F. “Aboriginal Flakes and Tools of Newcastle (N.S.W.) and District” 1st Paper [Typescript] [1926]. (1.72 MB PDF) [Courtesy Col Whitehead with kind permission from the Cooksey Family]

For more on the Cooksey discoveries please consult The Mayfield Website and Virtual Sourcebook for Aboriginal Studies in the Hunter Region (1925 onwards) compiled by Gionni Di Gravio.


ORAL AND VIDEO HISTORIES

Mrs Beldham –Mrs Beldham’s Memories of Mayfield East Public School

Mrs Bertha Downie – Former Teacher – “Mayfield 1910-1920” Interview with Bertha Downie

Mrs Helen Marshall – Student at Mayfield East Public School 1930-1936 – Autobiographical Recollections

Mrs Helen Marshall – Student at Mayfield East Public School 1930-1936 –Mayfield Walk No.3

Mrs Helen Marshall – Mayfield East Public School – (September 2007) – Memories – Mayfield East Public School

Mr Jim Downie remembers Mayfield East Public School in the 1920s (No. 1)

Mrs Vera Deacon remembers Mayfield East Public School in 1932

Mr Jim Downie remembers Mayfield East Public School in the 1920s (No. 2)
Have You Ever had The Cane, Son?

Mr Jim Downie remembers Mayfield East Public School in the 1920s (No. 3)
Was Miss Gentle gentle?

Mr Jim Downie remembers Mayfield East Public School in the 1920s (No. 4)
The Folly Park

Mr Jim Downie remembers Mayfield East Public School in the 1920s (No. 5)
The Ingalls and Ingall Park

PUBLISHED SOURCES

50 Years of Progress : Mayfield Jubilee Celebrations 1900-1950 Souvenir Booklet (11MB)

Peter Crebert by W.J. Goold (Reprinted from Newcastle & Hunter District Historical Society Vol.2 August 1948, part XI p.161-164.)

PHOTOGRAPHS FROM HUNTER PHOTOBANK (LOCAL STUDIES – NEWCASTLE REGION LIBRARY)

North Waratah Public School picnic at the Botanic Reserve 9 October 1909 – Ralph Snowball (Photographer)

North Waratah Public School picnic at the Botanic Reserve 9 October 1909

North Waratah Public School Pupils 9 May 1895 – Ralph Snowball (Photographer)

North Waratah Public School Pupils 9 May 1895 - Ralph Snowball (Photographer)

North Waratah Public School Pupils 9 May 1895 – Ralph Snowball (Photographer)

North Waratah Public School Pupils 9 May 1895 - Ralph Snowball (Photographer)

Mr Ingall’s House North Waratah – 11 April 1890 – Ralph Snowball (Photographer)

Mr Ingall’s House North Waratah - 11 April 1890 - Ralph Snowball (Photographer)

Mr Ingall with group at his home in North Waratah (now Mayfield) – 4 April 1890 – Ralph Snowball (Photographer)

Mr Ingall with group at his home in North Waratah (now Mayfield) - 4 April 1890 - Ralph Snowball (Photographer)

BHP Steelworks – Filling in between Administration Building and Folly Park – 6th July 1933

BHP Steelworks - Filling in between Administration Building and Folly Park - 6th July 1933

18 thoughts on “Mayfield East Public School – 150th Anniversary 2008

  1. What a wonderful site. I have been trying to trace my mother and her sisters, who spent their primary days at Mayfield East and would love to confirm what years they were there. Around the 1920’s would be their era.

    I was most impressed with the effort, time and information available, was most enjoyable reading each and every article. Regards Cheryl

  2. Hi
    Thanks very much for the information. Currently, I am doing the website for the Mayfield East Public School.
    These information are really important to me.

    Thanks again for this.

    Regards,
    Maria

  3. HI, Just stumbled across this site. I was so excited to see pictures and read all about it. I was a pupil at the school from 1954 to 59 I was very good at athletic and I lived in Crebert street opposite the convent
    very happy memories, my grandfather Harry Brown whom we lived with worked at the steelworks and we use to have one of the first pieces of steel rolled out.
    Regards, Sonia

  4. I was a pupil at Mayfield East from 1957 til 1960. I have fond memories of the school, and can vividly remember the headmistress (but for the life of me, cant remember her name) I will send photos from Yr 3, 4 and 6. I do remember the headmistress (who was our Y6 teacher) coming into class with a dead bat to show us girls. (Remember, girls upstairs, boys downstairs, no participation in the school grounds, we met at the monkey bars! School is very different now. I also remember Mr Tassell who was very tall, getting into his VW after school. We used to laugh to see him try and squeeze into it. I got into trouble for going to the shop across the road, instead of getting lunch at the canteen. Unfortunately I cant come to the dinner, but I will be there at the open day. Good luck, and best wishes for a wonderful weekend.
    PS Sonia Cummings was in my class for a couple of years. (see message above)

    • Hi Sharon, not sure if you remember me. I lived in Kerr Street and had two sister Cheryle and Sandra. Did you live near the park in Crebert Street I think the street is Regent street.
      Robyn McDonald (Hickey) I went to Mayfield East School and your name is familiar.

    • Sharyn,
      Would that headmistress be Mrs Goffett.
      We had her as a teacher in 3rd class about 1960 or so.
      Mr Ainsworth was the Headmaster whist I was there.
      Mr Tassell did a manouvre on the monkey bars and said that had to be emulated for the right to sit on top. Nobody could of course.

    • HI Sharyn,

      The principal and our 6th class teacher was Miss Edwards, who made class exciting, she was before her time. Do you remember her slides and talks about travelling through the Suez Canal? I remember Sonia as well, often wondered what happened to you Sonia.. Also Robyn hickey and Jennifer Mccorquodale. Wendy Semple (McCarthy)

  5. Hi, Great site. My mother attended the school possibly 1926-1931.
    How can I access records of pupils who attended the school.
    My mother’s name was Jane(Jean) Wilson.
    She had arrived from Glasgow, Scotland in 1925 so I’m not sure when she would have started school.
    Thanks, Any info would be appreciated.

    Sandra Black

  6. During the sesquicentenary year (2008), tMayfield East Public Schhol celebrated in many ways including a book publication containing the school and local area history, memories of past students,staff and others, events at the school, news articles, staff over time and contributions by current students.
    As this school is one of the oldest, continually operating public schools in Australia, the book makes an important contribution to documenting its history.
    Copies are still available by contatcing the school during school hours.

  7. What a wonderful website. I have come across this by accident( glad I did) What a wonderful year in 2008 for the sesquicentenary as it holds a special memory for me. My son Isaac Chute was School Captain. Being a proud Aboriginal Woman it was great to not only have my son as school captain but we were lucky enough to have Brodie Wicks as the girl school captain.Two Aboriginal School Captains in a very special year.

    Michelle Knight.( Proud mum of Isaac Chute)

  8. Great website. The Butcher, Samuel Osborne Greenland, who is mentioned in the jubilee celebrations souvenir booklet under unofficial history on page 45 is my G.G.G Grandfather. He was also an alderman in waratah council for 3 terms, secretary of the master butchers association and a musician. He died 23.5.1911 aged 66yrs. If anyone has any further info or photo’s please let me know.

  9. wat an awsume find i was jut showing my kids were i attended school i live in qld with my family but wil neva 4get my days at may east from 1982/87 we lived in mounter street near dangar park my parents still live there lol

    • Hi there, i also attended in 82 & 83, i have clasd fotos and im also keen to yry and find friends from nack then. I now live in New Zealand. Any info wud br great. Cheers

  10. My Father Douglas John Greta Kemp attended Mayfield East Primary School in the 1930/40. As an adult and married in 1949 doug remained in mayfield with his wife and six children whom all attended mayfield east Primary School the youngest leaving there in 1969

    • We were five boys who attended MEPS from about 1957(Neil Doherty) onwards.
      I can recall (I think) Julie Kemp in my years.
      I spend many hours recalling the times there and the precious memories of students.
      If I could fall into a reunion sometime, it would be with great interest.

  11. Hi there, i was a student at Mayfield East in Newcastle back in 1982 & 1983. Im just wandering how i can put these class photos on of both of the years above. Im now in New Zealand but have often wandered how i can find my friends. Please if anyone went in these yrars please contact me. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s