mayfield-19341934: Mayfield Central School opened in Goodmayes Lane. The first Headmaster of the boys school was Mr. James Henry Hack. The first Headmistress of the girls school was Miss May Elizabeth Tappenden. Both came from Beal Modern.

Mayfield pupil Harry Verlander1939: Following the outbreak of World War 2, Harry Verlander left Mayfield to work in an engineering factory. By 1943 he’d joined the army and volunteered for the SOE. In 1944 he parachuted into occupied France with two other members of a combat team code named Jedburgh. Harry’s book ‘My War In SOE’ was published in 2010.

Mayfield pupil Kenny Ball1944: Kenny Ball was a pupil at Mayfield from 1941 to 1944. He played trumpet from the age of 15 and gained experience playing in the bands of Charlie Galbraith, Eric Delaney, and Sid Phillips. In 1958 he formed his own group and quickly became a leader in Britain’s traditional jazz movement.

Mayfield Headmaster1945: Mr. C. F. W. Hicks was appointed Master in Charge of Mayfield Central Boys School following the resignation of Mr. Steer.


1946: Doris Garrett left Mayfield and began a career in Music. She became a Fellow of the Royal College of Music and in 2014 she received the MBE for services to music and charity.

1947: The school is named as ‘Mayfield Secondary Modern School’ in the report of H.M. Inspectors dated 14th to 16th May 1947


1948: Alan Cherry left Mayfield and would go on to found Countryside Properties, one of the UK’s leading and most successful property development companies.

Mayfield School Badge

1949: A new school uniform was introduced with a blazer badge designed by Art Master, Harry Braham.

1950: The School’s name changes to ‘Mayfield County Secondary School’ and the first photograph is published in the Mayfield Magazine.

1950 School Leavers

Mayfield PE Teacher1952: Stan Frankland was the Mayfield Boys PE Master who coached the Ilford Schools Football Team that became Essex, London and National Champions in the 1951/52 season. Mayfield also completed a unique double when both the boys and girls schools won the challenge trophies in the Ilford Secondary Schools Athletic Championship meeting at the Cricklefield.

 The girls school moved to its new location in Christie Gardens, Chadwell Heath.
The boys school became Ilford Athletic Champions for the second year running.

1955: The motto ‘Nil Sine Labore’ (Nothing Without Labour), suggested by Harry Braham, was changed to ‘Nothing Without Effort’ and adopted by the Boys School.

Mayfield Headmistress1958: Miss H. E. Rayward was appointed  to the post of Headmistress of the Mayfield Girls School following the retirement of Miss M. E. Tappenden, who had served twenty four years as Headmistress of the Girls School.

Mayfield pupil Bill Fifield1960: When Bill Fifield left Mayfield he started work in a London art studio as an apprentice to become a commercial artist and Illustrator. But his self taught drumming skills led him into the music scene. By the end of the 1960s he was playing in a band called Legend when he met Marc Bolan, the leader of T.Rex. Bolan invited Bill to join the band and renamed him Bill Legend after the band he’d been playing with.

Mayfield Girls English teacher1962: Audrey Nicholson returned to the Mayfield Girls School after spending a year in the USA teaching English Literature at Berkley High School, California.

1965: Mayfield Boys football team won the Gibson Cup, beating Beal Grammar in an exciting final.

1970: Headmaster, Mr C. F. W. Hicks, retired and was replaced by Mr. P. E. A. Birchinell. Mr. Hicks had served twenty five years as Headmaster of the boys school.

Mayfield Girls School PE Mistress1972: Heather Crouch joined the Mayfield Girls School staff as PE Mistress.  Heather went on to coach the England Netball Team for eight years in the 1980s and was awarded an MBE for her voluntary services to sport in the 2010 New Year Honours List.

Mayfield Olympiad, Wilbert greaves1973: Wilbert Greaves left Mayfield and went on to represent Great Britain in the 110m Hurdles at two Olympics, Moscow in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1984.

1977: In July the Mayfield County Secondary Schools closed for the last time. When they re-opened in September, the girls school had become Chadwell Heath High School and is now ‘Chadwell Heath Academy’. The boys school had moved to Dagenham, amalgamated with Gilbert Miles School and become Mayfield High School, which is now listed as ‘Mayfield School’. The original Mayfield School building in Goodmayes Lane is now the home of Mayespark Primary School.



Snapshots From Mayfield’s History — 10 Comments

  1. The page layout has been updated and more information and photos added.

  2. I was at Gilbert Miles Secondary school, Mayfield Road, from 1971 to 1976. The period just prior to the merger with Mayfield. I remember many of the boys who got the cane from the head, Mr. Hutchins, in the lobby. It wasn’t compulsory to wear the uniform until after 1973. Then the six form girls protested to be allowed to wear trousers in the winter. Around this time Mr. Spadbury took over as temporary Head and a year later girls were allowed trousers.
    We had hymn sheets hanging on the sides of the hall for assembly. The hall doubled up as a dining room at lunch, yes with hexagon tables. Elizabeth, the sister of Richard Madeley the TV presenter, taught English, and the man she married in 1975 was Geography teacher Mr. Lawrence.
    The history room window served as an make shift tuck shop at break times. There was a common room for end of year six form leavers to have some free time together. The maths classes were upstairs with Mr. Kandola and ? forgot other teacher. Mr.Green and Mrs. G ? Were P.E teachers. Miss. Morris later Mrs. Jones was science teacher.
    When I was in the 4th year Mr. Kannimere became permanent headmaster. I hope this ruffled some old feathers from the past.

  3. How great to, at long last, find the History of my old school. I attend the school from 1950 until 1955. I remember Miss Tappenden with a certain amount of fear, if you were in trouble it was off to sit outside her office. I remember having to carry our desks from Goodmayes Lane to the new school. A great line of girls marching along. We were sorry to be leaving the boys behind. They, at that time, were down stairs and us up. We would lean over the outside corridor (which was open on one side) and flirt. That is why I think we were put in another school! It was good at long last to have a domestic room as I learnt to cook, and Science with Miss Mendham was always interesting. I have just re-read my School reports and it seems I was pretty average but I still managed to run my own company and have had an interesting and complete life. I am still in contact with my one and only school friend, Monica Willismer, and talk regularly. She is now in Kent and I live in Cornwall. There cannot be many of my old class mates left now. May be there are some old girls who will remember my friend Monica and myself.

  4. 1957 was my final year at Mayfield Secondary Boys School. I entered Mayfield 10/9/52. My favourite subject was metalwork, especially operating a small lathe in the workshop. I acted in a production of a play called ‘The Old Bull’. I also took an active part in physical education displays organised By Mr. Franklin. Members of my final year class included Malcolm Cole, Derek Wendt, Alan Mayes, David Flewitt, Alan Dover, John Hartley, Horst Schick, Anthony Burtenshaw, Malcolm Bramwell, G. Adams, L.Barry, and Alec? Adams. The Head Master was Mr. Hicks. I have lived in Adelaide, South Australia, since 1966 and have been unable to establish any contact with old class mates. I am seated far right in front row next to John Hartley. I wonder where and what lives these old class mates have experienced. Have not been able to make contact with any of them. Perhaps you can help?
    Class of 1957

  5. Hi Dennis

    Just seen your info on being an ex Mayfield boy and you live in Adelaide. You dont know me but thought you might be interested that my brother Paul at Mayfield 1958-1963 lives just north of Adelaide in Gawler. Happy to pass on his details if you are interested

  6. Headmaster, Mr Jones, changed my life course for the better. I am indebted to him. I was a pupil from 1973 and stayed on in the sixth form. He used to take time out to tutor me in A level maths. Came to court to support me as a character witness when I was drunk and disorderly in Ilford. I only recently found out he convince my dad for me to stay on and I eventualy went to Queen Mary College, University of London. I would love to know what happened to him.

  7. Hi Mervyn, I was in your A-level maths class for the first term before switching to English Lit. I agree, Mr. Jones was a good man and a great Head Teacher. Do you remember that he organised a weekend revision course for Maths and English 6th formers at some hotel- I cannot remember where. I think he termed it a ‘collegiate weekend’.
    I do know that Mr. Jones wa a keen golfer and occasionally played with my Dad, but my dad passed away a few years ago so cannot ask him.
    I hope you’re keeping well? Still enjoying the karate? I’m living in Norwich now and don’t get back to Essex very often now. All the best, Mark

  8. My twin sister Sheila and I went to Mayfield School from 1955 to 1960 when Miss Rayward, Tupperden, Mendham and Kimber were teachers. We were both in the Netball Team, Rounders and Hockey. We were also in all the Nativity plays. The school food was great. Harry and David Verlander, who went to Mayfield Boys School were my cousins and became famous.

  9. Hi all,

    The Charles 3 Coronation brought back memories of his mum being crowned and one thing led to another regarding my childhood including my time at Goodmayes Infants and Juniors then Mayfield and in doing so I just found this Mayfield Memories site and recalled many of my class mates.

    If you are still alive and kicking, do not hesitate to contact me should you wish.

    Best regards

    Terry Rockall

  10. Derek Jones, Headteacher from 1976 until his retirement in 1993, is alive and well and living in Hampshire. I saw him last year at a Memorial service for Don Pusey, who was a Deputy Headteacher until his retirement a year or two later.

    David Backhouse MBE, Chair of Governors 1988

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