New "Closed Schools of Marion" DVD

A new DVD funded by a History SA SA175 grant entitled The Closed Schools of Marion commemorating Marion's nine public schools that were closed between 1987-2009 was launched by the Marion Historical Society last month.  

Using photographs, original footage and oral histories from former teachers, pupils and their parents, the DVD tells the story of the nine schools that were built in the Marion area to cater for the baby boomers of the 1950s and 60s and that were subsequently closed over the last 30 years.  

The film was made by award-winning local film maker Ashley Starkey, himself a former pupil of Glengowrie High, one of the now defunct schools.  

Film maker Ashley Starkey (r) and MHS's Bob Donley (l) with former Marion schoolAt the end of World War I, Marion only had two schools – Ascot Park Primary School and Sturt Primary School - but as it developed into a market garden area and soldiers returned home to have families, there was a great need for more schools.  The Marion Historical Society put together a very successful exhibition and reunion at the Marion Cultural Centre for History SA’s “About Time” History Festival in May of this year.  Hundreds of former students and staff from the closed schools – Dover Gardens Primary, Dover High, Glengowrie High, Marion High, Morphettville Park Primary, Oaklands Park Primary, Sturt Primary, Tonsley Primary and Vermont High – converged on the event, which included displays of 1960s desks, uniforms, photographs and an old school bell.  

Over two afternoons Ashley interviewed and filmed 17 participants, many of whom returned for the launch at the Marion Historical Society’s headquarters at Cooinda Neighbourhood Centre, Sturt Road, Marion.   A second edition of the DVD is available online for $22 plus postage and a 7 minute preview of the film can be viewed here or on YouTube here

Ashley is also the maker of Ute-opia, a 4 part film to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Holden ute, made in conjunction with Holden and the National Motor Museum. 


Average: 5 (4 votes)


That is great that it is still bringing pleasure to many apart from the children who attended the closed schools, now the parents of those children, who knows in future years it could be the children of, or even grandchildren of these students seeing these accounts of the simpler times at school.

It is good to hear that watching the DVD gets people discussing their own school day memories, to my mind that was one of it's main purposes. It's a one hour film and I feel all contributors probably had more than an hour of memories each they could've shared, so it's incredible to think of how many other memories must be out there from all those schools and all those years. I appreciate your support Christine and Greg. DVD's can still be ordered directly from me and it's also available on Amazon.

School life and the world is changing so rapidly Christine that documents and films that explore the past will likely have great value and perhaps interest to future generations.

I think it will give future generations who view it a flavour of not only what the schools were like but how we were and what our attitudes and views were in the 1960's - 70' all seems so innocent and quaint now and I miss it. I miss that feeling of 24 hours of sunshine and respect for elders and others despite all the mucking around that went on. We were lucky to grow up in those times.

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I read this blog again and realised we were all very similar with the antics we got up to.I must agree with you, it does seem innocent and quaint.When my daughter was at school, she used to tell me about things and would ask if it was like that when I was at school and I said no, I used to be concerned for her. Really though thinking about it now I was petrified at secondary school, I just think there is pressure from every angle now. Yesterday i told my father and sister about the dvd and we spent alot of time talking about the school days and our area in which. The only thing is we couldn't remember where Glengowrie High was. Also we were wondering why the schools closed and what replaced them,.is that all on the dvd. My sister also reminded that when she was at school and I was little I would walk all the way from Bradley Grove to Sturt Primary just to see her and she would have to bring me home and get into trouble. I will be buying the dvd as we all want to see it, it is all very interesting. Another thing i don't know why but I seem to want to check my english all the time while typing this ha ha.

Great to see that people are still keeping this thread going. Was devastated to find that my kids had watched the dvd and scratched it beyond use. :( will have to order another one, Ash.

Welcome to the new people on this thread taking an interest in the film, great to see this page is back up the top of the views and comments on History SA today. Glengowrie High was on the corner of Oaklands and Morphett Rds Cynthia. It is now a combination of a housing estate, retirement village and dog park! The DVD does have a short introductory section that touches on why the schools were closed but doesn't delve into what became of the sites. It is an hour long series of interviews with people who went to these 9 schools from around the 1950's to late 1990's, so it covers a fair bit of territory. The interviews are illustrated with photographs from the period.
Pity about your DVD Allan, I guess it's a bonus the kids watched it - if you want another one just let me know, half price for the stars of the film of course.
I know my sons have a very good time today, I can here it in their laughter and see it in their smiles but I do feel children are under a lot more pressure from society and parental expectations a lot earlier, plus they get exposed to a lot of heavy stuff in the media. I grew up in the 70's and there were good and bad aspects but it was a blissful and less complicated time, I agree that we were lucky to experience that.

I think the pressures on children are no different now to what they have ever been...the difference is, in my view, that there is less structure in their lives. We would not have dared stroll into an out-of-bounds area or called a teacher or parent by their first names. Despite the mucking around, we knew our place and what the perameters were we could work within. I wonder how many kids these days would care less whether or not Mrs Whatever from next door saw them hanging around Westfield Marion when they should have been at school? Having said all that, I do think that the young generation have it all over us in lots of ways.....but we had the superior childhood :)

I should also say that there are some spectacularly good interview subjects on the dvd but modesty forbids of course.

I agree with a lot of what has been said about why the generations are so different, & like it has been said before structure, respect & discipline, are the main things missing, plus dare I say,-a stay at home mum & families that stay united for the length of the child's upbringing, so many kids these days go through a series of male heads of house in their short childhoods, any wonder they dont have a firm structure & direction, when even home life is not so stable. I have raised 4 kids & have been married 43 years, but I realize I that am in the minority these days being married that long.,

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