This photo from the TAS (The Armidale School) photo archive shows, I think, boarders leaving the school at the end of the nineteenth century.
For those who don't know Armidale, it became a major New England educational centre in the second half of the nineteenth century. From the 1890s, its boarding schools drew borders from across Northern New South Wales into Queensland.
It's an interesting shot for a number of reasons. You can see them packing the coach, while the boys' uniforms are clearly visible.
It could be a school excursion (it looks like sport's gear with the whites), but might also be a break-up. To get to or from school in Armidale, most people travelled by horse or coach, then train, then horse or coach. Some added a steamer trip in the middle. As late as the 1930s, abysmal road connections to the coast meant that some North Coast kids at the Armidale Teachers College went to Sydney by train and then by steamer back up the coast.
It's an interesting shot because of the clothes and its composition. The master on the right with his gown strikes me as a bit of a lad from his posture.
On the far left, the stolid bloke with his hand in his jacket pocket looks like the School Sergeant. The headmaster, clerical of course, sits in the middle.
This is the second of my nostalgia posts for the day. The first, Armidale vs Canada in Rugby 1960, was much more modern, even if I am starting to get a tad ancient!