I have enjoyed a long career in the Police service, firstly with The Metropolitan Police CID in East London and then with Essex Police Major Investigations (Murder Squad) based in Old Harlow. If any one remembers me or my brother Barry, please get in touch.
Having seen the photos of a pupil’s woodwork and metalwork triumphs, I thought that fellow ex Mayfieldonians might like to see a couple of my souvenirs. Sadly my woodwork masterpieces used to fall apart before I’d even got on the Routemaster heading for ‘The Hawbush’ and my metalwork efforts were usually classified as ‘lethal weapons’ and far too dangerous to be allowed off the premises. But I didn’t do too badly in Mr. Francis’ pottery classes. The photo show two of my ‘Coil Pot’ owls. One is supposed to be a wise old owl (made when I was in class 3A) and the other was a young owl. A quite wealthy boyfriend of my sister, in the 1960′s, was very taken with my ‘wise old owl’ and offered a sizeable sum of money to purchase it, but my mum wouldn’t part with it. Sadly, I’ve lost my mum now and the sister’s boyfriend fell by the wayside. But ‘OLLIE BEAK’ lives on to tell the tale and both owls still have ‘pride of place’ in my cottage in Navestock.
Here’s something that may jog the memory of an ex Mayfield boy. During my last year or so at school, I was made Cycle Monitor, which involved patrolling outside the school gates as pupils were arriving to encourage boys who arrived by cycle to dismount and not to ride on the pavements. This was generally quite effective. We had been issued with Cycle Permits to allow us to bring bikes to school and most obeyed the rules (unlike today when you are far less likely to ever see a bike on the road and are more often dodging them on the pavements). One lad, however, despite previous warnings, refused to dismount and continued to ride along the pavement, scattering pedestrians as he did so. It got to the stage where I had no option but to report him to Mr. Hicks. I didn’t know what punishment had been metered out until lunchtime as I was leaving a class room just as the boy was walking past. He lunged at me and said, ‘This is for getting me the cane’, and punched me on the nose. I very clearly recall saying to him that I would let this episode go without mention, but if I ever saw him on the pavement again or had occasion to speak to him anymore about his cycling habits, he would be for the high jump. I never did have cause to speak to him again and he always got off his bike and pushed it into the school grounds from then on. I had no idea, at that time, that I was destined to become a Police Officer but, looking back, perhaps it was always in me. If that boy was you, I would be pleased to hear from you.