‘The Shack’ Shock


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in School Event | Posted on October 22, 2015

In the early hours of this morning, ‘The Shack’ next to our school burnt down. It celebrated its 100th birthday last year and if the walls could talk, they would have been able to tell stories about dances, concerts, weddings and wakes over the last century.

Photo from Google images

Photo from Google images

Photo taken by Alison H

Photo taken by Alison H


Until today, students at Upper Plenty P.S walked past ‘The Shack’ on their wayย  from the car park to the school grounds. After school the playground next to The Shack was a popular place to play.

This morning we worked in teams to research more about The Shack’s history. Before we started our research all we really knew was that it had been there for a long time. We discovered:

-It was built in 1914

-It used to be called ‘The Upper Plenty Hall’

-Sometimes it was called ‘The Mechanics Hall’

-After the original Upper Plenty school house burnt down in a bushfire, The Shack became a temporary classroom from 1919 to 1920

-Many dances and concerts have been held in the hall

-School concerts were held in the hall in the 1920s

– It was a very important part of the Upper Plenty community

-There was an exhibition on display showing how Upper Plenty has changed over time

-The committee received a Victorian Community History Award commendation only last week


We became journalists for the day and created a news bulletin about today’s events.


Thank you to the fire fighters who put the fire out and the police who looked after the scene today.


What do you think Upper Plenty would have been like 100 years ago?


Comments (24)

What an awesome news report guys! I think The Shack is going to be missed by many, many people. It would have been amazing to have been able to witness the multitude of events that those four walls witnessed!!

Thank you for replying to our blog and thanks for saying that about our news report. It is sad that The Shack burnt down and I hope that they will rebuild. It is sad for the students at UPPS and the community of Upper Plenty.

Thank you for commenting on our blog.

Bailey D

Hi the Ashleys,

Thanks for commenting on our blog.

It is very sad that the shack has burnt down. I agree that many, many people will miss having the shack. Lots of people had special events there. Now it is history and many people will remember having it there when it has been there for 101 years.

Bye for now,

I felt very sad when I drove past the shack today. It was so much a part of the area and I feel very sad for the committee members who have worked so hard to keep the shack looking good and maintained.

When I first got to the school we used it for special events like incursions. It was also the venue we used for the first UPPS trivia night.

I think your report was excellent. Very informative and professional.

Look after each other as some people will be upset for quite a while.

Mrs Laffan

Hi Mrs Laffan,

I agree, it’s very sad to see one of the oldest buildings that has been in Upper Plenty Primary School gone away but the memories that were held in the shack will stay with us forever.

When I first heard about the shack I was terrified that the school would be burnt down too. I was just as sad as you were I bet. It’s sooooo sad because it’s like a part of school has moved away and will never return.

However, looing on the bright side, at least it didn’t get to the school and no one was hurt I hope. The one thing I that am a bit anxious about is I find a dead animal or something and then I will scream and cry and that’s what I just need.

I hope that this won’t happen again and it will be another sad but exciting memory that again will always be there.

Kind regards


P.S: I hope you like the new school that you are at. Are they treating you like a queen? ๐Ÿ™‚

Hi Mrs Laffan,

I felt sad when I got to school on the day the Shack was burnt. The Shack has been around for many years. It is sad to see it go.

I remember when my family and I went to Daniel’s dad’s birthday party there. I also remember going there for Saxon’s (Badyn’s little brother) birthday party.

At least the school wasn’t burnt and no one was hurt.

Bye for now,

Dear Mrs Laffan,

Upper Plenty Primary School students got the bad news on Thursday morning ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ The shack was a big part of the community and the school for parties, dances and trivia nights.

I think 100 years ago it would have been the best time ever and I think I would have had a ball there because I would have danced and danced until my feet were about to fall off!

Also 100 years ago it would have been really great to have parties there and dance. They would have been great and people would have lots of fun.

From Aimee

Hello Mrs Laffan,
It is a shame that the shack burnt down, as it is a part of the school and community’s history.

It is such a sad time. I think the community will get together and help rebuild because it would mean so much to them.

We enjoyed being news reporters for a day. It was a great experience, however it is upsetting that the shack is gone.

How often were there special events in the shack? Do you have a favourite memory?

I liked going to parties and other events at the shack. Hopefully they find out/know how it was caused.

Looking for the positives, at least the school buildings and school grounds weren’t burnt as well. Hopefully when it is rebuilt everyone will make more memories around the area.

Thank you for commenting on our blog and we hope to hear from you soon!

Happy Blogging!

From Kaitlyn

Hello 5/6 Team
Today was a sad day for the Upper Plenty Community losing such an iconic feature of Upper Plenty. I would often look at the Shack and imagine the dances that were held there and what the ladies would have worn and imagine the men all dressed up in their best suits. All the horses and buggies tied up in the shack grounds which is now the car park. We attended functions ourselves at the Shack and we all passed it everyday. The Shack was a part of us and we a part of the Shack. Today we have all been involved in a little part of what will become history. Maybe in another 100 years those students attending the school will research the Shack and discover more about the day the Shack burnt down and how our life was in Upper Plenty 2015. Thank you for your report it was perfect!

What a fantastic report! Being a newcomer to UPPS I knew very little about “The Shack”, except that it was a very quaint little hall that I drove past many times. After starting at UPPS I soon realised that it was a focal point of our community. After reading and watching your report I learnt so much about it and was better able to understand its history and why it holds such special meaning for so many. THANKYOU for such an informative report done at such a high standard. My thoughts are with everyone in the community.
Sue Egan

Thank you for your comment Mrs Egan.

Yes, The Shack was a big part of the community of Upper Plenty. It had been there for a long time and it is disappointing that it is gone as I used to walk past it every day I went to school. It was a beautiful landmark for the community and I wonder if it will be rebuilt. I would love to find out if it was deliberately lit or if it was an accident.

Thank you for commenting on our blog.

From Bailey

Hi everyone,

I know it was sad even if you don’t know much about The Shack.

From Michael

Great news presentation kids, you all did a great job on reporting such sad news. A lot of memories made at the Shack as it was a big part of UPPS history and the community and will be again once it is rebuilt.

Hello everyone,

I was very sad when I came to school because I thought it was at a farm near the school. When Mum and I pulled up, we were shocked to see that it was not actually at the farm, it was at our school.

I know that it was built in 1914 and it was used for parties and all that sort of stuff. It looked pretty cool and it is a shame something so old has been lost.


Hello everyone,

It was very sad that The Shack burnt down as it was a big part of the community. I hope it is rebuilt soon.

From Michael

Hello Everyone,

Even though I haven’t been at this school for long I have lots of memories of the Shack. Everyday after school I would play downball with Daniel R. I also remember when I went to Jason D’s birthday at the shack a long time ago.

From Xavier

Hello everyone,

Everyone had good memories at The Shack. There were lots of parties and celebrations. It was a wonderful shack.

The first time I went in there was when it was my Dad’s birthday which was four years ago in 2011. I was 7. Brayden went too and we ate lollies in the back!

From Daniel

Dear Ella

I am so sad because the shack burnt down yesterday.
I am proud of you.
What do you do Ella?

Mia and Sinead

Hi Y5/6 @UPPS,

We listened to your report with great interest, but were disappointed not to find out how the fire started โ€“ if you find out, could you let us know please? How fantastic to interview a fire fighter! We thought your report was very informative and well put together โ€“ you made a really professional job of it. It’s really interesting for us to listen to your accents – you sound very different to us!

Mrs Monaghan & A Room with a View

Hello Mrs Monaghan & A Room with a View,

Glad you liked our news report, thank you for your kind words. We were very lucky to be able to interview the fire fighter. The fire fighters that came to put the fire out were all volunteers and members of the Country Fire Authority (CFA). Do you have a volunteer fire brigade in Middleham? I felt rather old as I taught two of them when they were in Grade 5!

The investigation to determine the cause of the fire is still continuing. We will be sure to let you know the final outcome.

I bet our accents do sound funny to you – hope you still understood us!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love hearing different accents from around the world. Sometimes it is easy to work out which part of the world the person comes from and sometimes it is difficult.

Bye for now,
Miss Crowther

Hello 5/6 Team @ UPPS
I am so sorry about losing the shack.
It looked well built {from the photos}
Do you know how the fire was started?
from Sara


What an interesting review of the shack. I also have a question, does this tragedy have any affect on your class or teachers? Also another question, are you going to build the building again?

Kind regards
Eli H

Hello Eli,

First of all thanks for commenting on our blog.

When we got to school it was sad to hear that the shack had burnt down. The shack had been there for 101 years which is a very long time. As we said in the video people would hire the shack for special events like parties, wakes, weddings and much more.

You asked if this tragedy had any affect on classes or teachers? To answer that it didn’t affect anyone but it was very sad for everyone.

You also asked if we are going to build a new shack? Well the school doesn’t own the shack, the council owned it so we’re not sure if it will get rebuilt. We all hope it gets rebuilt.

It looks very plain in the car park without. It seems different and it also feels like a part of our school is missing.

Thank you again for commenting on our blog.

Bye for Now,

Hello Mrs Monaghan and Room with a View,

It was very interesting finding out about the history behind the shack. We were able to dig up a couple of old news articles that gave information to help us write our news report scripts. The school and the surrounding community are very saddened about what happened to the shack. As of now it is undetected of how the fire was caused.

Hope to talk to you soon,
Mia from 5/6Team @UPPS ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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