1965 Bayfield Primary School Book of Children’s Verse

This poetry collection had its genesis in 1965 in my second-ever class as a primary teacher: Standard 2 at Bayfield Primary school. The collection was developed over the next four years as our daily poetry and singing sessions included an increasing range of poetry. The collection would not have been possible without the enthusiastic participation of the children in those late 60’s classes.

This collection has been started using material sent to me by Loretta Crossley from her 1964 poetry exercise book which is now 50 years old. Loretta is at the left-hand end of the second row from the front of one of my photographs of the class. This is my favourite photograph of the class and was taken in the tiered “Bell Room” at Bayfield Primary.


Over the next four years, the poetry collection expanded as I taught different classes. Finding out that Loretta still had her poetry book after some 50 years, made me think that it would be worth archiving the poems that we read, learned and recited.

Unfortunately, I do not have a record of all the poems from 1965 through to 1969.

In particular, I do not have tongue twisters, the caterpillar, a battle, some bulldozer, more bulldozers, cats, the little grey billy goat, night, the ark, bad memory, haiku poems, after the flood, from arawata bill, close the door, trains. from the 1965 class.

So if any ex-pupils are reading this and have their old poetry exercise books or know someone who has one, I’d love them to contact me at thaslett@bigpond.net.au so I can arrange to archive the material that they may have.

I’m also interested in old photographs if anyone has .jpeg files

Index of poems so far (if you click on each title, the URL for each of poem will come up)

A Good Hum, such as is Hummed Hopefully to Others.

A mother to her son did utter

A Smuggler’s Song

Algernon Who played with a Loaded Gun, and, on missing his Sister, was reprimanded by his Father.


At the Zoo

Cats Sleep Anywhere

Clap! Snap! the black crack


Eeka, Neeka


Ezra Shank

Five Eyes


From “The Waste Land”
From a Railway Carriage

George Who played with a Dangerous Toy, and suffered a Catastrophe of considerable Dimensions.

Go tell it on the mountain

Henry King


I am a gold lock.

I can’t abear

If I Had A Hammer

Jim, Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion.

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho

Matilda, Who told Lies, and was Burned to Death

Moses supposes

Night Mail

O! What are you doing,

On yonder hill there stands a creature

Poor old lady, she swallowed a fly

Puff, The Magic Dragon

Rebecca Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably

See the Robbers Passing By

The bear went over the mountain

The Bees’ Song

The Daniel Jazz

The Hag

The Highwayman

The Irish Pig

The Octopus

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Purist

The streets of Laredo

‘Tis the Voice of the Lobster

There was an Old Man with a Beard


Troll sat alone on his seat of stone

Waiting At The Window

Waltzing Matilda

When I close my eyes


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