the bottom drawer

recollections, photos and memorabilia of Leyton and Leytonstone

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History of Leyton









Farmer Road School

(later renamed George Mitchell School)

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During World War 1 installation of phones at Leyton schools was judged too expensive.  Warning of air raids was given by boy scouts, at the Church Road fire station on a rota of half day stints, running, one boy scout to each school.

Jack Cornwell attended the infants school briefly.  In February 1917 a painting of Jack Cornwell was hung up at the schools in the presence of his mother.

George Mitchell School

On 13th June 1917 the infants school had to close because of enemy aircraft nearby.  There was real fear of bombing during WW1.

In January 1918 school was disrupted by the amount of queuing people had to do in a time of food shortage.

In 1932 the girls junior school left the building.

The schools prepared for evacuation of pupils to the countryside but initial plans were cancelled when Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement with Hitler was announced.

The schools closed on 1st September 1939, partially reopened in 1940.  Initial evacuation was to North Weald Bassett, later to Devon.  Some pupils spent the war at a former Canadian military camp at Sheephatch of which some at least had fond memories later.