Darebin Heritage Links :
Compiled for Darebin Heritage by Brian Membrey
School 824 : Memories, Slate, Pencil and Ink
This was, of course, some 40 or more years before computers took over much of the learning process.
My recollections are that in Grades 1 and 2, slate boards and erasable slate pencils were provided by the school for arithmetic and other exercises where the results were of a transitory nature, but handwriting and basic English spelling -
Grade 3 was all pencil and paper -
Grade 4 by comparison saw the introduction of every mother's worst nightmare -
That is, ink, to be spread at random across children's hands, faces, shoes and clothing.
The dual desks from this grade on had metal inkwells inserted in the front. The old wooden pen and steel nib must have been in use for decades, but I seem to remember that during my fourth year, a rather fat plastic pen came into use, not quite like the more expensive fountain pen, but with some sort of device, probably a lever, that cause a quantity of ink to be sucked up into a reservoir within the shaft, thus eliminating the need for constant re-
But even these required ink and thus the "volunteering" of services to be an ink monitor to make sure that all the desk inkwells were filled prior to class. Similarly, there were also chalk monitors to clean blackboards before the teacher arrived.
The two were easy to tell apart -
For drawing and other artwork, the crème e la crème was a full set of English "Lakeland" pencils, the ultimate of which, drooled over by many small children with their noses pressed up against the Bell Street window of W. E. Green's news agency being a wooden box of three rows of carefully graded colours, 24 to a row, neatly priced at 72 shillings which probably represented half the weekly wage around Preston at the time. 
There were occasional appearances of Lakelands at South Preston which inspired rank jealousy -
For most though, it was the cheaper Derwents, or Embassy coloured pencils from Coles, but the ultimate drawing weapon was the Black Magic -
(I seem to remember that in the very early grades, on your birthday you were given a coloured pencil and allowed to sit at the front of the class -
The rather more messy alternatives were Indian ink for black or VANA  coloured inks in blue, green or red with drawing sets available with various nib shapes and sizes. Blotting paper, as it was in the pen-
The jury remains out on ballpoint pens -
Initially only available at either Coles or maybe Woolworths in High Street (one of the pair had a monopoly until competitors caught up), they were 1/6d and came in any barrel colour you wanted provided it was yellow, and in any ink colour you fancied (provided it was blue).
|Memories : Day 1|
|Memories : Teachers|
|Memories : Pencil and Ink|
|Memories : Reading|
|Memories : Lunchtime|
|Memories : Preston Tip|
|Memories : Punishments|
|Memories : Uniforms|
|Memories : Where To Next|
|Memories : School, 1955|
|Memories : School, 1928|
|Memories : A Centenary|
|Memories : Sports (official)|
|Memories : Sports (local)|