School Histories

To School by Goods Train

By Kaye Scott, 2023.

I am the daughter of Alan James Smith and Daphne Smith nee Brenton, who were farmers at Hillside Farm four kilometres east of Brunswick on Beela Road.

I began school at Brunswick in 1950, aged 6 years.  I travelled by goods train each school day on the Brunswick to Collie line.  The train would whistle at Mitchell’s dairy, and we knew it would be at Marsh’s Bank for me to board in ten minutes. Marsh’s bank was a landmark for the railway men.

My mother would lift me up for the guard to grab my arm and pull me into the guard’s van.

On the return journey, I had to run from the school which was north of Brunswick townsite on South West Highway, to the train station to catch the train home.  As the train approached my home, the guard would hang onto me out of the guard’s van, telling me to move my feet and lower me to the ground. The train did not stop, it kept moving.

There were approximately eight children who boarded the train between Beela and Brunswick.

After a year, the Education Department assisted in a taxi service driven by Ray Piggott.

On graduating to high school, we travelled from Brunswick to Bunbury and home again on Cooper’s Bus Service.  I then rode my bike from Brunswick to home.