I was at Mayfield Boys from 1947 until Christmas 1951. Mr. Bennet, a Welshman, was one of my Form Masters. Another Welshman, Mr. Davies, was a dab hand at administering the slipper for those minor misdemeanors.
I loved woodwork and had Mr. Stanford for one year before he retired. Mr. Marriot, who took over from him, used to cycle to school on a dropped handlebar ‘Claud Butler’ bike. He lived in a house that backed onto the Ilford Lane end of Barking Park. For P.E. we had Mr. Aston, a very tall teacher. Mr. Fankland started as a second P.E. teacher. I met my old art master, Mr. Goldwin, in the 1960′s when I lived in Hutton, near Brentwood, he was living nearby in Shenfield.
The old prefabricated classrooms come to mind, just inside the railings, by Goodmayes Lane. They were heated with old fashioned coal burning stoves, fenced off in the corner of the room. Those rooms could be very cold in winter. The newer prefabricated building housed the metalwork workshop where Mr. Saunders taught us to work with metal and plastics. One of his favourite sayings if you did anything wrong was, ‘I will drop on you from a great height’.
Some of my classmates from those times were, Derek Chambers and Arthur Poultney (both very good at drawing), David Cracknell, Owen Bristow, Brian Lock, and John Popplewell. We had two Peter Wilsons in our class and for the purposes of calling the register one was known as P. Wilson, the other P. D. Wilson. I met John Lock some years later when I went into his electical shop, in Green Lane. There was also Jeffrey Humphries, who I have since met a number of times as we were both Members of ‘The North Essex Caravan Club’.
If anybody out there remembers me I would be very pleased to hear from you.