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