1953 Paul Wiltshire
I wish I had something that I could contribute to the website, but I’m afraid I really didn’t enjoy my life at Mayfield at the time so was happy to put it all behind me. The only souvenirs I have are a book rack, made in Mr. Marriott’s woodwork class, a small copper bowl made in the metalwork class of Mr. Saunders. See photo below.
2007 – With my wife Wendy.
When we bought a second home close to Lake Chapala in Mexico, we faced a 2,700 mile drive from Toronto. This is from our diary of the trip.
Day One – October 24, 2007; we are on our way. We left Toronto at 9:55am with the car packed to the gills. We arrived in Coldwater, Michigan at 4:45pm. It took a good hour to get through the border crossing between Sarnia and Port Huron. The customs officer looked in the trunk, after asking a few questions, and announced that we’d made a false declaration. He’d noticed a jar of peanuts that we’d forgotten to mention, but after some tense moments he let us off with a warning. Not a fun experience! Otherwise the trip was uneventful.
Day Two – Sunny weather this morning, a frosty 4 degrees when we left Coldwater. Enjoyed a great lunch at Wendy’s cousin’s beautiful home by a lake in Fishers Indiana (just east of Indianapolis). Arrived in St. Louis without traffic problems but in rain. Hope to see the Arch tomorrow before leaving for Oklahoma City.
Day Three – We left our hotel this morning at 6:30am in darkness and drizzling rain and headed downtown to see the St. Louis Gateway Arch. We did, or at least some of it, the top was lost in mist. After a short stop to take the photo we started our drive through Missouri to Oklahoma City. The weather improved slowly and when we arrrived at 3:30pm the sun was shinning. We had covered a surprising 873km today and are now approximately half way.
Day Four – Left Oklahoma City at 7:50am on a sunny, but frosty, morning and drove straight through to San Antonio, Texas, with just one stop for gas. On our way we passed through Waco, Austin and Fort Worth. Our hybrid Camry is averaging 42mpg so we only need to fill up once a day. We arrived at 3:00pm with an additional 749km on the clock. It has been for the most part easy driving, all highway and light traffic, except around the big cities. After checking into a hotel we drove downtown and visited the Alamo where a famous battle was fought with the Mexicans in 1836. We then spent a couple of hours on the River Walk, which is very scenic. We had dinner by the river and then came back to the hotel for a nightcap and to check for email. All hotels now have wireless internet access which makes this very easy.
Day Five – We decided today that, as we’d seen all we wanted to in San Antonio, we would drive on to Laredo and, if the traffic wasn’t too bad, cross the border into Mexico. So we packed up and left San Antonio at 7:50a.m. for the 258km drive to Laredo. To our surprise when we arrived around noon there was no queue at all. We crossed into Mexico and headed for immigration which turned out to be a challenge. However, we made it and came away in about 45 minutes with documentation for ourselves and the car. We then headed off towards Monterey passing through customs, 30km from the border, without being stopped. This was a great relief as unloading the car, a distinct possibility, would have been a nightmare. The driving was again easy so we continued on to Matehuala (still not sure how to pronounce it). We are now recovering in a very nice hotel. Mexico switched to standard time today so we are now 2 hours behind Toronto time. Tomorrow we head to El Parque, our new home in Mexico.
Day Six – We left Matehuela at about 7:30am on the last 600km mountainous leg of our journey to El Parque. The drive varied from very good divided highways, to one lane each way bumpy roads. Speed limits ranged from 110 to 40kph and often bore no relationship to the type of road we were travelling on. Nobody seemed to pay the slightest attention to them anyway! Quite an experience. Wendy who hadn’t driven to this point got the short straw and drove the 200km single lane undivided stretch. We arrived at about 2:15pm in 24ºC bright sunshine. We had travelled 4,367km since we left Toronto, mostly pretty easy driving.
Yes I too made one of those book racks but never aspired to the copper bowl. I wondered how many others remember making one and still have it today? Unfortunately I don’t!
Actually I fortunately have happy memories of Mayfield days but that is probably only because something happened on my first day that was to correct my bad behaviour and set me in a different direction.
The Headmaster Mr Hicks, peering down from his upstairs room onto a group of new intake boys, myself included, saw this ‘little squirt’ at the back of the class running around playing tag and obviously paying no attention to the teacher’s demonstration of how to measure the size of the playground. You know….with one of those measuring instruments on a wheel?
Suddenly he appeared amongst us, his rather yellow complexion now a bright red and reduced me to tears in a second. From then on my indisciplined and extrovert tendences transfered over from my South Park Junior School days were radically tamed.
Years later after university I returned to Mayfield and become a part of the teaching staff for a few years. I shall always be grateful to Mr Hicks for that and thanks too Paul for reminding me.
Thanks for your input Howard.
Here are some of my unhappy memories of Mayfield and why I couldn’t (probably unwisely) wait to leave the year I turned 15. I suffered from asthma and being forced to play football and take part in cross-country runs was a nightmare! Another memory that has lasted a lifetime is after returning from an exchange student trip to France I shyly plucked up courage to ask the English teacher, Mr Bradley, during a question period if Mayfield could teach French? I was promptly put down and told he would not consider it until I learnt to speak English properly! I crawled back into my shell until I could leave!