What excitement there must
have been when "One day I gazed through the window in a trance, lessons
forgotten. Mr. Pincott brought me back to earth with, 'What are you looking
at, Maud? I dazedly replied, 'A balloon, sir.' We all dashed out into the
playground (gravel at the time). The balloon came lower and lower until the
travellers in the basket shouted, 'Where are we?" They were informed,
'Eastling, near Faversham.'
you,' they replied, and away they went, to our amazement."
Her appraisal of Fred
"Bless him, he
was a School Master in a million, each pupil was a personal being in his
life. Strict to the utmost degree, but very understanding of children's needs
and frailties, his punishment was served according to the deed.
Fred Pincott was a
Londoner, born in Tooley Street, Bermondsey) and he spent the first thirty
years of his life in London. He concluded his pupil-teacher ship at St.
Paul's, after which be went to Trinity College, where he gained his teaching
certificate and returned to St. Paul's as first assistant.
The circumstances of
his application for the Eastling headship are of interest. Mr. John Smith,
who had been headmaster of Eastling for four years, had a son who was also
going in for the teaching profession, and this son went to serve his apprentice-ship
at St Paul's Islington, where Mr. Pincott was first assistant. Mr. Smith
casually mentioned to Mr. Pincott that his father was resigning the headship
of Eastling, and then added, "Why don't you apply for it?"
Mr, Pincott did apply, got the job,
and stayed for thirty-six years. Thus are our careers guided by very casual
A last word on the Fred
Pincott era. In the winter of 1954 Eastling was completely cut off by eight-foot
snow drifts. Pictures and reports of the villagers' plight were printed in
the "Faversham News", a copy of which eventually reached William Hills, an
ex-pupil of Eastling School, then residing in Ontario, Canada. He was moved
"I have just read about Eastling being snowbound. This brought back
a lot of memories. In particular, I remember a morning sixty years ago when
there was a ten-foot drift near the school. Only six of us made it to school
that morning. Our school master was Hr. Pincott and what a lovely man he was.
I remember him lighting a coal fire, and how we sat round it, painting Until
home time. What happy memories of the village school I have, where I received
the groundwork, to become a good citizen."
Fred Pincott died in
1931, after becoming a legend in his own lifetime. He loved the school, and
I've no doubt his spirit hovers still over the school down the lane, wishing