1946 Ronald Osborne R.I.P.
My mother had a cafe in Green Lane, a few shops down from the Lord Napier Pub. On occasions I would get a lift to school from the local Undertaker in a Rolls Royce, or the coal merchant on his horse and cart. This background, plus a great desire to travel was probably the reason I went to sea. I joined the original Queen Mary when she was still in trooping colours (grey) and was to get a taste of fame by getting my name and photo in the Ilford Recorder. I stayed at sea for ten years and then moved to New Zealand where I lived for thirty years before retiring, and moving to the Gold Coast in Australia.
In a couple of months I’ll be 75 years old, having left Mayfield in 1946. I have dug deep into my failing memory of those days and was able to recall just a few of my teachers. There was Miss Pocock, who would leap over her desk and march down the aisle to administer punishment with a ruler, not allowable in these enlightened times. Mr. Ivey, who became Deputy Head Master, would write a statement on the blackboard and then give his opinion, followed by ‘Agreed’. Heaven help you if you didn’t, as I was to find out when I disagreed. I was hauled up by the lapels of my jacket and given a thorough shaking then dropped to the floor when he realised what he was doing. I recall Mr. Ivey always wore a three piece suit, possibly the same one as clothing was rationed. Mr. Thatcher was our woodwork teacher, my favourite subject along with art. I must have shown some talent for it as I was allowed to attend evening classes when still twelve years old. It must be remembered that these were the years of World War II, and the teachers did a great job. Many of them having returned from retirement, as younger teachers were called up. I wonder if other pupils from this period remember the morning roll calls to see who had perished in the previous night’s bombing? The playing field littered with markers to show where unexploded incendiary bombs were? And walking down Breamore Road, seeing the sky bright red in the distance as London burned?
I am afraid that Ron passed away on Wednesday, 3rd June 2015. He loved the Mayfield Memories website and remained a true, proud Essex boy to the end. .We went back to Seven Kings three times while his family were still alive and he took great pride in showing me around Ilford. He remained a true Essex boy to the end and loved stirring up our pommy friends with ‘The Hammers were going to win one day’. He had an interesting life and lived it to the full, as we all should.
– Julie Osborne
With reference to Ron Osborn’s reminiscing I have almost identical memories to him, we must have been in the same class in 1946. Hi Ron, my memory is like yours, I cannot place your name with a face. When I left junior school (Chadwell Heath) I thought it was the end of a nightmare for me, but when I arrived at Mayfield for my first day the nightmare was there to greet me. Yes it was Miss Pocock, who’s mission in life was to drum an education into me and any other poor unsuspecting pupil who came her way. To be very honest, between her and Mr Ivey, who we all had the greatest respect for, they did manage to give us an education to build a life on despite the war years. Mr. Thatcher gave me my start in industry when he arranged an interview for me as a Apprentice Pattern Maker, what ever that was. I was clueless, but I was offered the job and started four weeks before my 14th birthday. Fifty four years later I retired as a Product Design Engineer with my own company. So the teachers who struggled to give us an education didn’t do a bad job. Thank you Mayfield.
I was delighted to read your post and get verification that Miss Pocock and Mr. Thatcher were teachers in our time. Can you recall a pupil called Doug Thorogood who, I believe, went on to do scientific research? He was known to actually question Mr. Ivey in science class. Another pupil’s name that comes back to me is Gasgoin, probably because he and I had a punch up in the play ground and I was sent to the Head Master to receive six of the best.
It was great to hear from a member of the war time mob, we managed to grow up in those bad times despite the bombs etc. Like you I remember Doug Thorogood. He managed to blow out the rear of his parents house and was found underneath the table with some considerable damage. I hope his scientific research had better results. We had a lot of boffins in our group. I was hauled up in front of the school for selling pieces of carbide at one penny a piece. Unfortunately, inkwells, toilets and other containers started exploding around the school. I was found out and my ill-gotten gains were confiscated and added to the Red Cross Box by Mr. Hicks.
I was just browsing the internet when I punched in my name and found you on Mayfield Memories. I went to Mayfield but left a couple of years before you in 1944. Remember Mr.Thatcher, I didn’t care for him. I came to Canada in 1957, best move I made. I lived in Chadwell Heath after moving from West Ham during the war. Would love to make contact with you.
Cheers, Ron Osborne