Letter from Harold Cutting
Thank you for your kind letter. I apologise for not replying sooner but I am getting old and recently my health hasn’t been very good.
I was very interested in your website project and hearing about it triggered a great number of memories – about the premises in Goodmayes Lane and the staffing of Mayfield Boys School. I can even remember staff prior to World War Two as I was appointed in 1934 when the school opened. I well remember the first headmaster, Mr. James Hack, MA. He was very interested in sport and selected staff of a like mind, which was how Mayfield became ‘tops’ in athletics, football and swimming.
During the first year of the war Mayfield pupils were evacuated to Barsham in Suffolk, where they were helped by the local Church members and farmers etc. During the war most of the regular staff members were called up to serve in the armed forces, with women teachers taking their places. Three of us, Jack Barnes, Jim Stone and myself trained as pilots in the RAF. Jack flew Sunderland flying boats, Jim was a ferry pilot in the Med, and I flew fighters. Two teachers, Norman Astell and John Last were amongst those killed during the war.
Later, after the war, under Mr. Hicks several boys each with 7 GCE ‘O’ levels challenged Beal School for the Nuffield education prize for the best school in science in Inner and Outer London. Mayfield Boys won, with my name as teacher. I was fortunate to have two excellent science colleagues, David Haggerstone and Stuart Clarke.
These are a few of my memories and if I can be of any further help I shall be pleased to keep in contact. I am afraid I don’t use a computer so I’m unable to view your website, and my daughter has typed this for me. Every best wish for your enterprise.
Harold Cutting – 11th March 2009
Sadly, Harold died just 19 days after writing this letter