My dad went to Mayfield when it first opened, and he told me some tales about those early days. Mr. Cutting, who was fresh out of Teacher Training, put my dad in hospital playing rugby in the playground. He was being a bit flash running through the boys tackles, so they ganged up to get him, but my dad got floored and suffered a badly grazed face.
At a later date Mr. Cutting took over the very successful Mayfield School Soccer Team. When he changed all the players positions the team went on strike. New payers were drafted in but the team started losing 9 or 10 nil every week. The striking boys used to go along to the matches and watch. Eventually they were summoned by the Headmaster, Mr. Hack (not Mr. Hicks – he came later) and asked to explain the reason for their strike. They were all reinstated into their old positions and the team returned to winning form.
My dad had been one of the ringleaders of the strike, and when my older brother started at Mayfield in 1959, Mr. Cutting recognized the name. My dad later met up with him at a School Open Day and they had a good laugh about it.
Thanks to Mayfield Memories I was put in touch with Doug Shaw’s widow, Joyce, who was my form teacher at Chadwell Heath Junior School. At the end of August 2009 my wife and I visited her at her home in Sidmouth and took her out to lunch. I hadn’t seen her for 48 years and at 84 she was still very active and, surprisingly, full of many of the memories I had. It was clear she missed Doug very much, so I was pleased when she told me another ex-Mayfield and Chadwell pupil was to visit her a few days after me. The pupil was Peter Holland who lived in the same road as me in Chadwell Heath, and was a member of Doug’s school band. I would also add that Joyce was able to tell me what had happened to all my teachers at Chadwell Heath Junior School. So if any ex-Chadwell pupils want to know about Mr. Chesney, Miss Coleman and Mrs. McMurrey, I’ll be happy to let them know. Before leaving I showed Joyce my school report from 1959 in which she had written ‘Malcolm is a disturbing influence on the class’. We had a really good laugh about that.
I am looking forward to retiring at the end of 2012 from my job as Head Coach at Amersham Swimming Club. Amersham is a small club of just 220 members but, for the first time in its history, made the National League B final in 2011. The club has subsequently gained a place in the ‘B’ final for 2012. We have at present two swimmers who have qualified for the Olympic trials to be televised from the new Olympic pool during the first week in March. In November I took 12 of our top swimmers to train for five days in Cardiff. They have 3 or 4 swimmers who are likely to make the Olympic Team.