1960 David Ross Walker
I have just re-read some of the entries in Life after Mayfield and was especially interested in Peter Cardew’s description of his hobbies. I have been retired for five years, after spending 41 years in the Met Police, so I’m now able to spend more time at my hobbies – marquetry and gardening (growing fuchsias). It is important to have hobbies to prevent stagnation! The photo shows me teaching marquetry at Beal School on a Wednesday evening.
I left Mayfield in 1960, having only been any good at football, cricket and woodwork. Stan Frankland was my sports mentor and Mr. Marriot my woodwork teacher. At a particular prize-giving the West Ham United Manager, Ted Fenton, was the guest speaker. I was chosen to present him with a cigarette box, which had a marquetry design of a football pitch on it’s lid. This had been created by Mr. Marriot, and I had watched him doing it. This generated an interest in marquetry, which I took up as a hobby many years later. Following my interest in all things wood, I went to the Woodworker Show at Wembley in 1981, but got no further than the Marquetry Society booth. I was absolutely amazed at the wonderful pictures that had been ‘painted’ in wood veneer, so much so that I joined the Society, which has a branch in Redbridge. I am still with the Society 27 years later, and teach marquetry on a Wednesday evening at Beal School. The Redbridge Marquetry Group website has a selection of my work included in the Galleries.
Had I not been fortunate to have such a dedicated woodwork teacher as Mr. Marriot, I would have missed out on a wonderful pastime, which I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new hobby. It is unfortunate that woodwork is not taught in schools today as it was when I was at Mayfield. If anyone reading this would like to know more about marquetry or would like to join our class at Beal School on Wednesday evenings, please get in touch with me.
I was interested to read the posts by Colin Baker and Michael Mercer. I remember them vaguely. The years dull memories unfortunately! I’m afraid that Mr Ivey, who must have been a good teacher as he had been at Mayfield for years, gave up on me. Mr Bradley however paid more attention and I have always appreciated his skills.
I have tried for years, through Mayfield Memories and other social sites, to find my two closest friends John McGowan and ‘Bobby’ Blunden without success. We were the closest of friends but after leaving Mayfield didn’t see each other again. We played for the school 1st X1 and for Ilford Boys throughout our Mayfield days. Stan Frankland was a great help with cricket too.
I still live in Redbridge. I retired from Met Police after serving with them since 1961 – 2003, 41 years! Retirement is great. Plenty to do. If Malcolm Greig reads this, do you remember whacking me on the head with a set square and splitting my head outside the woodwork room?. Claret everywhere. I never found out why you did it and I had to say that I ‘walked into a doorpost!’ I am reminded of this every day as now my hair has left me I can still see the scar. I am Web Secretary for the ‘Marquetry Society’ and also ‘Secretary of Redbridge Marquetry Group’.
When I was in the 4th form I had a lot of friends who were into football. On most Saturdays we would be playing for the school team and we used to do quite well in the Borough Schools league. During the summer when the football season came to a close we used to continue by going to the local park and play amongst ourselves. One Saturday morning we had been playing and had just finished and were on our way home. We were on our bikes and cycling through South Park when the park keeper came in sight and shouted to us to get off and walk. We all did except for one member of our group. He carried on riding and was again told to get off and walk by the park keeper. Instead of getting off he made some gesticulations towards the park keeper like all brave youths do when in a pack and carried on out of the park. We were all a bit astonished by our teammate’s behaviour.
On the following Monday after assembly a prefect, the headmasters runner came into the classroom with a note stating that anyone who had been playing football in South Park on Saturday was to go and stand outside his study. I went along with a couple of others in my form and by the time we arrived all those who had been playing football were assembled. Mr Hicks wheeled us all in and demanded to know who had abused the park keeper. You see the park keeper had recognised one of our team as coming from Mayfield and had contacted the Mr Hicks. The Bible text ‘Be sure your sins will find you out’ came to mind. Mr Hicks was a disciplinarian and we had committed a cardinal sin. Firstly by letting the school down and secondly by causing offence to the park keeper. It was pointless pleading ‘It wasn’t me sir’, and, needless to say the interview terminated rather painfully. Happy Days.
Hi David, did the John McGowan you are looking for have two brothers, Colin and Ian? I also have tried to trace them as I was friendly with Colin who, after leaving school, went in to partnership with Trevor Brooking (Colbrook Plastics). As I remember, both John and Ian played for West Ham Colts and John worked for the Daily Mirror. After I posted on this Mayfield site someone kindly reported that Colin had died of cancer in Spain, but I would like to know more. Best of luck with your search.
Regards Dave Bryant
Hi David, I’ve only just seen your comment to my blog. Yes I was the one who informed you of Colin’s death some time ago. I still have not had any luck with my search. I think John married and moved to Brentwood but further than that I don’t know. Both were very good footballers. I played with John throughout our time at Mayfield. I’ve put both football and cricket pictures on the web site. We all lived in Gresham Drive off Barley Lane. I left there in 1961 when I Joined the Met Police.
Best Wishes – David Walker
Hi David thank you for your comments, I lived at 74 Abercorn Gdns which is Gresham Drive end. I retired to Spain 7yrs ago, but as we get older and the health problems start, we are looking to come home. My family all live in the Bournemouth area now so that’s where we hope to end up. I played rugby for the school with Mr. Summers and on leaving school served an apprenticeship as an electrician with Roding Electric in Ilford Lane. My days at Mayfield were happy ones. I went to a reunion of the Rugby team some years ago and met some old pals. It was nice to see that most had done well in life, its funny how much life shapes and changes us all. They were good days and I think we had the best of it with employment opportunities and certainly the best music lol. For me the only drugs were motorcycles and girls. Enjoy your retirement and best wishes from me.