the bottom drawer
recollections, photos and memorabilia of Leyton and Leytonstone
Farmer Road School
(later renamed George Mitchell School)
Notes of a talk by Martin Spafford at George Mitchell School to Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society on 11th June 2008
In October 1940 a string of bombs was dropped across the area, killing at Skeltons Lane members of the Breeden family who made cricket bats. Other bombs destroyed houses opposite the school on the site of which the ‘DT’ centre was built in the 1950s. Another bomb fell to the rear of the school breaking most of the glass on that side. The schools were closed the following day 11th October 1940.
During air raids school pupils were taken to trenches by Skeltons Lane, and at the height of the Blitz spent a lot of time there.
Mitchell’s VC ‘citation’ is on the web.
In 1948 the boys junior school left the building.
School trips in the 1950s were mainly to factories like Ford at Dagenham and Ever Ready.
In 1957 the school was renamed George Mitchell and became a secondary modern school for boys.
In 1987 the school became co-educational.
The school log books were maintained by head teachers for inspection by the school attendance committee. They concentrate on attendance by pupils and staff. The school log books are an effective resource for teaching history to the young because they are direct, tangible and have locational immediacy. Pupils can undertake their own research into an aspect not researched before. The log books are written in language which can easily be understood today, and earlier ones are in clear handwriting. They are “wonderful historical documents”. The last entry (as far as we could tell on our visit) was for 16th February 1973.