1957 Roy Malin
It is so pleasant to note that my opinions of my old school are shared by others, and not just me looking at my past through rose-colored spectacles. I was privileged to attend Mayfield school after failing the dreaded eleven plus examination. Like many other children in the post war years the stigma of not being a ‘grammar school boy’ was huge and tended to reduce ones own expectations in particular, and those of society in general, of an individual emanating from a Secondary Modern education. Mayfield and its teaching staff prepared me for the career that I aspired to and still enjoy.
I particularly remember, with much affection, Messrs McGuire and Ivey for their patience and understanding in the teaching of mathematics, Mr. Cutting for opening up to me the wonders of science, Mr. Hussein for imparting the delights of the English language and Mr. Frankland for making a man of me through the joys of playing football during very cold and wet mornings. There were of course many others all equally deserving of my thanks. The whole school being under the supervision of Mr. Hicks a dedicated and superb head master. For my part I will always be indebted to them for imparting their many gifts which enabled this secondary school boy to go on to become a B.Sc. in engineering and later obtain my PhD. On looking at the photographs of the school as it is today, I noticed with some disquiet that the Quadrangle is in use for school activities. I remember it being totally out-of-bounds to all boys and crossing it was punishable by ‘six of the best’ from the head, which was administered after the mandatory wait outside his office for all the school to see. Such happy years.
Didn’t we both attend Goodmayes Junior School (Airthrie Road) together, when the headmaster was a Mr. Tester during the early 1950’s?
I think that we probably did. I lived in Airthrie Road at number 39 along with my younger brother Michael. I departed Mayfield in early 57 & transfered to Southeast Essex Tech before joining Plessey as an Engineering Apprentice. So many years ago, so many fond memories. For me Mayfield and the teaching staff provided a superb education which stood me in good stead laying a foundation which I built on. Hope that you are fairing well, for my part I’m as fit as a butchers dog, happily residing in Spain where I have lived and worked for 30 years.
All my best regards
It’s great to hear from you. We used to live at 563 Green Lanes – Goodmayes School was a long time ago but do you remember the headmaster, one Mr. Tester? (First names were unknown then.) I was always in some kind of trouble in those early days and his cane was in frequent use. And the scout camps that we used to go on. I remember one in particular when we were all bedded down after lights out and our leader (an ex-RAF type cadet) made me run round the outside of the tent in pouring rain for talking instead of sleeping. You told him I suffered from asthma and he panicked a bit.
Mayfield Boys was the school where most of the education took place. I was encouraged to take the extended course and so ended up in 1958 taking RSA exams. Something fairly new to a secondary modern. I agree with you, we do owe a great deal to those who taught us – so patiently and not so patiently.
I ended up, after a few years of trying other jobs, at the English Electric Valve Co. (Marconi) in 1975 and enjoyed working there until I retired in 2007. I’m living in Maldon (Essex) now, and I’m a granddad.
During the last ten years working at EEV I took up cycling to work and managed to clock up over 20,000 miles. I don’t do so much now – but I do play badminton regularly. Helps to keep the arthritis at bay! You probably don’t have that trouble in warm, dry, Spain.
NB – I never did suffer from asthma, that RAF cadet panicked for nothing!
Very best regards
Thank you for your reply if you would like to email me please feel free to do so. (Email address forwarded to Mike – Ed)