Clara Grant School, Knapp Road, Bow

Clara Grant School, Knapp Road, Bow

Do you remember Knapp Road School?

Bill Hawkins emailed us to ask, if anyone remembered Knapp Road School.

A walk to Knapp Road told me that it is now called The Clara Grant Primary School, and a quick bit of research produced an absolute deluge of fascinating local history.

School Board for London

Visually it looks like one of the many sturdy School Board for London buildings which have lasted so well. High on the wall a plaque reads Devon’s Road School, 1905. The SBL (colloquially LSB) was setup following the 1870 Elementary Education Act. The SBL built 400 schools like this one between 1870 and 1904 – quite an achievement. Then responsibility passed to the London County Council, but there was obvious continuity. The board was elected democratically and from the off in 1870 all ratepayers, including women, could vote in a secret ballot for the board. That 1870 board had three women on it, including Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. Many caring, influential and can-do people served on the School Board for London.

Clara Grant School, Knapp Road, Bow
Clara Grant School, Knapp Road, Bow

The aim of the SBL was to provide sufficient school places for London’s poorest children. By the late 1880s they were educating 350,000 pupils. The London board had passed a by-law in 1871 compelling all parents to have their children educated from the ages of 5 to13. That didn’t work too well as school attendance wasn’t free until 1891. Additionally poor children were working, either helping their mothers with outwork, such as making matchboxes on the kitchen table, or simply in employment.

Geezer Ted Lewis (1929 – 2017) told me how he came to leave school at 11 during WW2. He was evacuated to a village in Devon that had a church run school which only took infants and juniors. So Ted went to work on a farm, which he enjoyed. He’d previously spent all his boyhood summer holidays hop picking in Kent, and had gained some experience.

Ted Lewis tells how he left school aged 11.

Clara Grant

Clara Grant was born in 1867 to a reasonably well-off family in Wiltshire. She trained to become a teacher at Salisbury Diocesan Training College, and her first post was at a small Wiltshire church school in 1888. Motivated by her Christian faith, she became the head of a school in Hoxton in 1890. She set out to help the most deprived children in London. Ten years later she became head of a tin school at Bow Common (All Hallows). When the splendid Devon’s Road School in my photos opened in 1905 she was headmistress of the infants.

Clara Grant listed at Devon's Road School 1910
Clara Grant listed in 1910 PO Directory as infants’ mistress at Devon’s Road School

Clara was up to speed with the latest ideas on child development. She was influenced by the work of Friedrich Froebel who invented the kindergarten. This considered the whole child – health, physical development, emotional well-being, the environment and other factors as important.

Fern Street Settlement

Fern Street Settlement London Dec 2019
Fern Street Settlement London December 2019

The Settlement Movement began with the 1884 founding of Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel. This socially reforming movement brought rich and poor together in one place. Wealthy volunteers brought donations, culture, education, and provide daycare, and healthcare to the struggling poor. Clara Grant worked at Toynbee Hall for a while, and this influenced what she did next. In 1907 she opened up her own terraced house in Fern Street, which backed onto Devon’s Road School, as a small settlement. By the 1939 PO Directory (below) you can see that it now occupied 3 houses.

Clara Grant listed as Fern Street Settlement Warden 1939
Clara Grant listed as Fern Street Settlement Warden 1939

Margaret MacMillan established the first school clinic in London in Devon’s Road School in 1908. Clara organised hot breakfasts for her young pupils, paying for porridge, milk, bread and butter. She also gave them proper clothes and boots. The Settlement provided healthcare, a dentist, a library, and organised a thrift club. Clara Grant is famous for the farthing bundles of toys which the children queued to get. From 1908 a worker and nurse would visit every baby born to families in the area once a month for a year who were connected to Devons Road School.

Clara Grant received an OBE in 1949, and died soon after aged 82.


Does anyone have any memories of going to school in Knapp Road to share with Bill?

Knapp Road 1939 from London PO directory
Knapp Road 1939 from London Post Office Directory

Read more East End history on OurBow.

80 Comments

  1. To Jim Cornish.
    Hello Jim. I seem to remember that there was a George Cornish around at that time. Was he related ?.
    I used to go in the Lord Campbell back in the days when I drank Mackeson and cider mixed.— Oh the folly of youth.

    1. Hi Derek, yeah, Georgie was one of my older brothers. I had 3, but alas now only 1.
      Georgie and Johnny both gone. Now just me and Dave. We both live near Adelaide.
      Talking about a few faces from the area, remember Georgie Pluck and Teddy Pendry, they lived opposite each other in Fairfoot, near the corner of Rounton.
      Once, when I was with Jimmy Buss, we saw Georgie Pluck and another kid,they were counting a lot of brand new 5 pound notes. Of course, we never asked where they came from.
      Also, not so much a face but still a character, that was Ricky, a dog that belonged to someone, but never found out who. He would go about biting people, anyone that came along. When we saw him we would hide until he went away.

  2. Hi my name was Josephine Forbes when I went here from 1968 to 1974 and when it was still known as Devons Road School. Mr Gordon was the head teacher and he always looked out for me. He saw that I was good at maths and helped me to get better at it (I have had a career in bookkeeping for over 35 years now). I have very fond memories of this school. My most favourite teacher was Miss Jackson in my final year. She left at the same time I did as she was getting married and moving away. I went back there when I turned 16 and Mr Gordon was still there but about to retire. I remember thinking how small everything looked but as a child the school seemed so big. We had one teacher who was over 6ft tall and he had to duck in the stairwells as the ceiling wasn’t high enough neither were the doorways. I used to love school dinners here on most days. They don’t make them like that anymore. Most of the time it was the only proper cooked meal I had each day as my mother had to work 2 jobs to keep a roof over our heads and my sister only ever knew how to do beans or spaghetti on toast or a sandwich for tea. Even so, we were happy. I also remember the Fern Street Settlement, they used to organise holidays for children under 12 for the poorer families. It cost my mum £2 to send me away for 10 days and we would be sent to people who offered up their homes to us. Some had families of their own and some were older with no children. To me life was much simpler then and I was always happy. I was sad to leave Devons Road School as it was a great place to be every day.

  3. To Derek Voller.

    Hi Derek, I just wished my memory was as good as yours, although having read all this I must say it’s improving. Our family had six children, Wally being the eldest then Annie, Jean, Jimmy, Brenda and myself Rose. Sadly all three older sibling died quite young but glad to say myself Brenda and Jimmy are still around. Also I do remember Violet. Can you remember if Violet used to have a machine and make clothes for people or was it a few houses a bit further down .

    1. Hi Rose.
      Yes, I do remember that my Aunt Vi had a sewing machine that she was quite proud of, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find that she made clothes for others. She was a very kind and gentle lady. They moved out to Harold Hill when the houses came down.
      Here are a few more names that may spark your memory.
      Frankie Barber, about my and Jimmy’s age, lived opposite us, in the last house but one on the right.
      Hazel Shaw, tall attractive blonde, older than me , lived middle of the houses opposite. ( I bet Jimmy remembers her )
      Terry Boyce, again my age. lived round the corner to the left in Knapp Road.
      Take care. Keep well
      Derek

    2. Hi Derek, I remember you and some of the names you mentioned, opposite Terry Boyce lived Regie Crane and next door to Terry lived David Winn. I recall lots more names, from the area, Knapp road school, and the senior school we were appointed to, Elizabeth Barret Browning in Southern Grove.
      Nice to recall. You take care.
      Jimmy Drysdale.

  4. Hello John
    I agree. He was a great man.
    If I can find a way of uploading a photograph on here, i’ll include a picture taken from our old front room window with the shop showing. circa mid sixties. …………………… Nope ! Can’t find a way of doing it .. Best I can do is provide links to a couple of my shots on Flickr. Hope that will do.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/deevee40/50094091716/in/album-
    72157629782704852/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/deevee40/10721783285/in/album-72157629782704852/

    Regards Derek

    1. Hi Derek
      Fantastic pictures! Thank you for sharing.
      The shot of grandad’s shop really takes me back. Amazing.
      All the best,
      John

    2. Hi Derek ,
      Do you have a sister or relative whose name is Valerie , because l was at Devons Road school in the fifties and a girl in my class was called Valerie Voller
      Ann Williams ( nee Horncastle )

    3. Hello Ann.
      No, I haven’t got a sister, but there was another family of Vollers further up Rounton Road, a couple of doors from the corner of Swaton Road that was still an empty ruin. But to the best of my knowledge we were not related in any way.
      Best regards and stay safe. That Covid is getting bad again.

    4. Hello Rose.
      Here’s another name that I can chuck at you and Jimmy. Wally Tibbetts ( might have got the spelling wrong ) But he was a good bit older than us, and a bit of a local character. Lived a bit further up Rounton beyond Swaton but when the maisonettes were built opposite us , he moved in on the ground floor.
      Oh, and a couple more. === Joan and Bobbie Abbott, sisters, lived Knapp road next to the school gates.— And a family named Penn in the end house almost opposite you in Rounton.
      Take care. Stay safe.
      Derek

    5. Remember the Penn’s think Joyce Penn and if remember she was same age as my sister Ann and Joyce married a chap called Vick and think they lived in corner house in Knapp Road. Do you remember Chopper Night not sure what his real name was and no idea why they called him chopper, he was same age as brother Jimmy I think. Lived opposite Widows Son pub by a barbers called Skinner’s, story had it that the barber bit dogs tails off ha ha ha.

    6. Hello Rose. WOW the memories are really getting stirred up.
      Yes I do remember Chopper Knight. His real name was Charlie. But I didn’t know he lived opposite the “Widdows”. ( Where my mother-in-law used to play the piano )
      I had forgotten all about that horrible barber shop. I seem to remember that it was run by an unsavoury looking old man who looked like he could do with a good wash.
      Another memory jogger for you — The junction of Rounton and Swaton roads used to have a shop on every corner. Harvey’s we know about , and the others were Harry Neal and his son known as Bunny had the greengrocers, and there was a small grocery shop on our side called Newell’s, run by an old lady that appeared to dislike children intensely. The Fourth one got bombed in the war and was never built on again.
      Stay safe and well.

    7. The barbers name was georg Skinner , he use to cut out hair as kids for a tanner ,

    8. “”Chopper” Knight went to school–Southern Grove- with my big brother Johnny Cornish.
      My brother would tell me of one of Chopper’s activities after school. He would wait until the lorry came out of the pickled onion factory on St Paul’s Way, loaded with jars of onions. As it slowed at a corner, Chopper would climb on the back and throw jars of onions to his waiting cohorts on the pavement.
      True story. Sometimes he’d get caught and get a clip round the ear, but it didn’t stop him.

    9. Hi Derek, do you also remember the shop round the corner actually on the corner I think the name was Bailey’s, old man and a very small doorway, dark dirty old shop sold everything, you used to be able to go and knock him up at any time if the shop was shut. Also the bike shop just around the corner from Baileys, used to go buy our records there.

    10. Hi Rose Yes I remember Bailey’s the corn chandler. We used to buy food for our chickens there.
      The bike shop was Cooks, and as you say they sold records and radios
      . They also had a bike showroom up ay the other end of that block next to Minters , a grovery shop next to the pub.
      And what about Gibbins, the tiny sweet shop near the corner of Violet Rosd. They had luxurious chocolates displayed on a rack in a glass fronted cabinet , and you could pick which ones you wanted.
      Walklyn’s the bakers. Samson’s the ladies clothing shop and The “Oil Shop” , all on the row from Knapp Rd. up to Fern street.
      Oh. and I nearly forgot Barratt’s the sweet shop opposite, Coles which was yet another sweet shop along by Cooks. —- God . No wonder all our teeth went rotten.

    11. Hi Rose. I’m still in contact with three life long friends that lived in Campbell Road. Mike and Janet Ellis and Hazel Mills. They all like to reminisc, and we keep these memories going.
      Can you confirm if i’m right, but near the right hand corner of Violet Road I seem to remember a greegrocers next to another barbers shop . Were they called Lovell’s ? — And a bit further down were two grocers shops, almost next to one and other. Staceys was one, and the other was Barkers. Does that ring any bells with you ?
      And wasn’t there a coffee shop next to Bartons the bakers ?
      I’m stopping now, my head’s starting to ache..

    12. The green grocers Lovells was just round the corner from Glaucus street (where I lived) I think it was in Devon’s road. The other shops near the Tenderton Pub end was Paines the fish shop and I can remember Savilles the paper shop it was run by Harry and Eddie Saville. We later moved to a flat in Bramble House opposite the Red Church where my mum and dad were married. I can remember the shops under these flats there was a grocers shop called Mickey Lees, a green grocers a sweet shop and a laundry, I can’t remember their names but I remember Gibbons opposite and also the pub alongside the entrance to our flats called Kitsons where my Nan would buy her jug of Guinness. My 2 nans and 2 grandads all lived near us as did all my aunts and uncles and cousins, all good memories of my childhood.
      Linda Moncur nee Ellis

    13. Hi Linda, Kitsons has fond memories as my best friend (Joanie Gabriel) lived with her grandad just round the corner as her mum died when she was little and she lived in a small block round the back of Kitsons. (Can’t think of the name of the flats but only 6 flats in the block very old). Remember going round to Kitsons and getting the grandad home safely. X

    14. Does anyone remember a girl called Frances Adnams who lived in the flats opposite the Red Church.
      I went to Devons Road school with her in the late fifties. She had long, dark curly hair.
      While us boys were playing football at break time I remember the girls would do hand stands
      up the wall. It was all the craze back then.

    15. Hi Jim
      Yes I remember Francis she was my cousin’s (Valerie Dowsett) friend. I remember she had her beautiful hair cut short and she hated it and frantically wanted it to grow back (which it eventually did) we all played lots of games in the flats and made the best of no green spaces. I remember our sports day from Knapp road school was always held in the football pitch in Glaucus street next to our house (it was the only space for games and races).
      Linda Moncur (Ellis)

    16. Frances was a lovely girl. Saw her again once in my teens, but was too shy to say hi.
      The football pitch at Glaucus st. Spent half my life over there.
      Sometimes, after it got dark, us boys would climb over the fence and try the door to the light switch box
      in the corner at the Violet rd end. If we were lucky we’d switch the lights on and play floodlit football.
      Being good kids, we always switched them off afterwards. Those were the days.

    17. Re The Hand stands.
      I know. — I got a slap from my mum ‘cos someone told her I was looking

    18. Hi again Derek, yes remember the Tibbets, Wally Tibbets had a flat back lorry and collected scrap I think, lived by a bit of wast ground where a house had been bombed I think..

    19. Wally Tibbats was a real character. He raced pigeons and dealt in scrap metal on the side.
      That means Wally was a naughty boy. When they knocked down the Lord Campbell pub at the corner of Campbell and Swaton rds, Wally was up in arms.
      He said, ”Bloody cheek, they bulldozed the place before I could get the lead off the roof”
      He was really ropable……….
      On a Saturday night Wally could be seen bowling down the road dressed in a really smart suit on his way to the Bow Bells pub in Bow Road. Wally was a star of the Bow district.

  5. I went 1963 to 1965, loved it…remember having to wash my mouth out with soap and happy times in the playground.

  6. My name was Ann Horncastle and l went to Devons Road in the fifties and my two older brothers went there too . My two favourite teachers were Mr.Islip and Miss Gadd . My best friend was Valerie Taylor . Mr. Islip my teacher was very musical and had a piano in the classroom and l think through him l started to enjoy musical theatre and have always been in a choir .
    I have such fond memories of my days at Devons road school , and have enjoyed reading the comments of former pupils . I also remember Peters the sweetshop and the parrot in a cage outside the shop .
    We moved in 1959 when the prefab l lived in had to be demolished to make way for a large block of flats .I have been back once to show my children where l went to school ,and everything looked so much smaller from what l remember .

    1. Oh, yes. I remember Knapp Road. I lived in Fairfoot Rd. and then Swaton. Miss Gadd was my teacher
      and couldn’t stand me after David Cooper and I stuffed up the school play.
      All the mothers were there to see it and we embarrassed the hell out of Gaddy.
      Dave was supposed to be a king and I was the prince, being sent off to save the kingdom.
      Except Dave started laughing and then I did, and then all the mothers did. It was a disaster.
      Miss Gadd brought it all to a swift conclusion and never gave me a minutes peace after. She was a strange little spinster who had no idea with children.
      I think all the mothers had a great time. Miss Gadd also told me off for coming to school in football socks. I mean, really. Anyone would think I was attending Eton, not the junior school on an East London street. Thank god that teachers are a bit more in touch these days.

    2. I remember the Horncastle’s, I was at Devons Road at the same time. Mr Islip was my favorite teacher also. We lived in Rounton Road opposite the school. Before that, as an infant, I remember running out of the school when the curtains were pulled in the afternoon and we were required to sleep on army bunks, often discovered hiding up the tree outside our house number 70. Poor but a happy child. Does anyone remember going under Clara Grant’s arch in Fern Street?

    3. Hello James,

      I too remember going under the little wooden arch in Furn Street and we were given a bundle of cards and something else . Remember “ Enter those who are small, none can come who are too tall .l think it went something like that . We were a poor family and my mum used to go to it for adults as it was called “ bundles “ where she could buy second hand clothes . We had lovely parents who worked hard and did their best for me and my two brothers David and Jimmy . I was happy at Devons road school , and at 76 years of age still remember it fondly , Ann Williams .

    4. Reply to Derek Voller
      My brothers were called James ( Jimmy ) and David .
      Ann Williams

  7. Memories of Clara Grant’s wonderful Farthing Bundles.
    Pathe News made a couple of films about Bow Bundles and Fern Street Settlement. I can recall seeing one between feature films at The Pav Picture Palace in East India Dock Rd in the early fifties. A later one can be seen on Youtube.
    The little painted arch was once on show at the Ragged School Museum Copperfield Rd but was moved from there.

  8. Roy Clark, I’m glad it’s raised some good memories for you, and I’m delighted that life has gone well for you.
    The friend you remember might be Jimmy (James) Coley, who was a year or two above me at Raine’s Foundation Grammar School. He’s on a Facebook group for Raine’s. I hope you make contact with him. Let us know. Stay safe.

  9. Hi all
    My name was Linda Ellis. I went to Knapp road school 1955 to 1961. The headmaster was Mr. Jackson and my favourite teacher was Mr. White who taught English and was a brilliant teacher. He had a slipper hanging in between two blackboards and we all feared misbehaving as this slipper was a symbol of warning if anyone misbehaved. I was in the netball team and remember loving our matches with such passion. I can recall my teammates, Jackie Hood, Linda Sullivan, Eileen King, Vivienne Westwood and a few names I can’t recall, but wonderful times and a lovely school. Happy memories of my childhood.

  10. I started school there on my 5th bdy …1958…my first teacher was very young and wore a blazer….we had over 40 kids in the class I think…..remember playing on the roof…we lived over the Barton’s bread shop opposite Fern Rd and I often collected a farthing bundle. There was a sweet shop on the corner of Fern Rd that sold little lollies shaped like carrots and potatoes etc. Such odd memories…I was amazed to see the flat I lived in still standing on Google maps!

    1. Jan The shop was called Farrs And i lived in Sumner house just along the road from you .

    2. Hi how did this pop up? I started at the school in 1959. I lived in fern street. All I can remember is mr Pope? He was brilliant my mother was on her own and had very little money. I remember mr Pope handing my mother clothes for me to wear and borrowed shoes. Life been good very successful and now live in a 16th century cottage once visited and stayed Jane symore. Fond memories of my childhood with a loving mother. The school was brilliant

    3. Hello Jan,
      I too started at this school (Devons Road School then ) at age 5 in 1945. and left at 11 to go to St. Paul’s Way. The sweet shop you refer to was “Peters”, and always had a parrot in a cage hanging outside the shop door.It had “Born in 1931” written on the cage base. We lived in nearby Rounton Road, and my mum used to do a cleaning job in Bartons shop in the 60s.

  11. Ah, Mrs O’Shaunessy! She was my first teacher, but I just couldn’t recall her name. Thank you, Susan Jones.

  12. I went to Devons School from, I think, around 1960 to 1966, when I left for Raine’s Foundation Grammar School.
    My first headmaster at Devons was Mr Jackson, followed by Mr Pope. The teachers I recall (all of them with affection) are Mr Bond and Miss Price (who later married one another, I believe), Miss Terry (who I absolutely adored) and Miss Robinson (a lovely lady, who bought her pupils a little gift every Christmas.
    The schoolmates I recall were Danny Taylor and Terry Mann (my best friends at Devons), Stephen Clear (who gave me a bloody nose when we had a bout of fisticuffs), Terry Brand, Leslie Briggs, Joyce Bond, Denise Mentesse (sp?), Stephen Holman, Robert Brussels (who Mr Bond persistently referred to as “Sprout”!) and Denise Goode (my first “girlfriend” in those days of innocence). I wish I could remember more, but, being of senior years, my memory is not what it was.
    If anyone seeing this happens to remember me, I’d love to reminisce over old times.

    1. David , i had left the school in Dec 1951 , But i still lived in Sumner House Until I did my N/S in the 1955

    2. You just reminded me of all the teachers thank you miss price was lovely. I started there in 1959. I remember the free school meals. It was my main meal. We lived in fern street My mother was very poor but loving. Bringing back loads of memories. A friend of mine at the time was Jimmy coaly. Not shore out spell. Love to visit one day.

    3. Mr Bond taught me in 1977 – 1978 when it was Devons Road. I remember many teachers there Mr. Greenwood, Mrs. Mulcahy, Mrs Shergill and Mrs Lovatt and Mrs Pintos ( who played the Piano)

  13. I used to go Devons during the late 70s to mid 80s and remember Mr Bond which used to love shouting and would throw chalk at you if you got an answer wrong or asked a question. I also remember Iva wood the dinner lady, she was scary when she shouted across the playground and playing rounders on the roof playground. Happy memories!

    1. I completely forgot about mr bond with his combover although for some reason I thought he taught at St. Paul’s way however the best ever teacher by far was Mr Poonassy

  14. I went to Devons between 1959 and 1965. It was a great school, just a few minutes walk from our house in Fairfoot Road. Mr Jackson was the headmaster. My two favourite teachers were Mr Bond and Miss Purton. I also remember playing on the roof! I was in the the football and cricket teams. Some of my team-mates were Stephen Pluck, Eddie Chapman, George Lucas, Robert Thorpe and Jimmy Jones. I have wonderful memories of Devons. Bow was a great place to grow up.

    1. Hello All!
      My ancient father was telling me recently that this school was his first posting as a teacher. He went on to Tom Hood school later in his career.
      Does anyone recall a Mr Ron Hurrell?
      Thank you.
      Martin

  15. Tony I went to the school during the war , And we often played on the top playground , Unless there was an air raid on , The we used the shelter . But it was a really good school . and had some really great teachers

  16. Ann Targett Thank you , I do remember your family , Although it was 70 years ago . I used to love living in Sumner House , , In those days it was a different world , once again thank You Bill Hawkins

  17. I went Devon’s in the 70’s I think my headmaster was Mr Gordon, best teacher ever Mr Poonwassy and in contrast the absolute worst was Miss Lewis she was a proper cow

    1. The school keeper who terrorised you was Mr. Hooper.
      He terrorised me too but he had a limp and couldn’t catch us.

    2. Are you the David Cooper who lived in Campbell Road. If so, do you remember when we were in
      a play together organised by Miss Gadd. We started laughing half way through and it turned into
      a complete shambles. Miss Gadd was furious but couldn’t chastise us because all the kids Mother’s
      were there and were laughing along with us. Also, do you remember the Lovell’s, Michael and Jeffrey. They were in Campbell Road too. They were great days.
      Some of the other boys in my class were, Sidney Bootle. Leonard Sinclair, Roger Washbourne.
      David Cushing. Charlie Souza. John Lamming. Other teachers were Mr Islip. Miss Mitchell.
      Happy days……………………Jim

    3. OMG yes Mr Hooper the caretaker. I went to Devon’s Rd school from around 1950 to 1960 then went onto St Paul’s Way school. So lovely to read and remember when people remind me. We lived in Rounton Road until the houses were knocked down for redeveloping.

    4. Hello Rose.
      I lived in Rounton Road up until 1966 and I remember you, your mum and your brother Jimmy. I lived at 52 and I think you were at about number 70 or 72. Back in the fifties I used to deliver papers through your door from Harvey’s , on the corner of Swaton Road
      Hope you and Jimmy are well.

    5. Hi Derek
      My grandfather Herbert Harvey owned that newsagents. My mum Olive Curle and my aunt Rose Snowsill worked in grandad’s shop. He died in 1967 and left the shop to Olive and Rose. They sold it in 1970. I went to Devons Road school and was friends with Jimmy Drysdale.

    6. Does anyone remember David Anderson from Rounton Road. I forget what number he lived at, but he was mates with us from Fairfoot. He was an only child and in our family there were 6 of us so he loved the mateship we gave him. His mum was beautiful but fell over outside Harvey’s and damaged her kneecap, from there it went bad to worse and she developed some sort of cancer and died. That would have been in the late fifties. We always came to Harvey’s for the toffees. They were much better than the shop in Fairfoot sold. In 1960 we moved to Swaton and then in 1968 ,when I was 21, I emigrated.
      Ivé lived in Oz for 53 years and love it. My 2nd wife is from Broadstairs and she thinks Oz is great too.
      I think the life we had back then in East London was better than they get it now. The streets were safe then, now I hear you have to be really careful when you’re out and about.
      Great to hear from you all, keep it up.

    7. Hi John, good memory it was number 70 and I remember that either side was Mrs Pratt and Mrs Richardson. Mrs Pratt used to spend all her time on a chair looking through her front window, I don’t think we were the best of neighbors as we were a big family I was the youngest. Take care everyone that’s still with us.

  18. I went to devons school and I returned and worked ther for 32 years I retired in 2018 my children went to the school my mother went to the school and my aunt moved clara grant from the tin huts to devons school lots of memories for the family

    1. Susan . When I went to the school . Mr Goode was the headmaster . And we had a Miss Harvey and a Mr Jarvis , But the one Teacher I remember was Mr Coates , I think he was ex Royal marine , and he was our PT teacher , And he trained a group of us to do PT at the festival of Britain site on the south bank . But as I say thank you for the information , Bill Hawkins

    2. To Rose Knowlden
      Hello Rose,
      Following on from my previous comment. I think you also had an older sister called Jean.. I remember my older brother Leslie fetching her round one evening.
      Oh. and something else. next door but one to you in Rounton at downstairs in number 66, was my Aunt Vi and Uncle Harry Johnson, with their son Colin

  19. Thank you for the information about Knap rd /Clara grant school . I used to live in Sumner house just around the corner from fern st Where we used to go for our bundles of cards and toys , when I was a child , I left The school dec 1951 ,. But I still remember the teachers and headmaster with affection ,Those were the days , Once again , thank youfor all you help , And a happy new year to you all Bill

    1. Hi I lived in ferrar house .and went too that school aged five too 11
      Mr Jackson was head …

    2. I went to Devons school. I was there late 70s and left early 80. I remember Mr Gordon with his brown suede shoes. He did like us singing hymes in assembly. Mrs Cannon was the worst ever. She used to hit across the knuckles with a ruler. That has stuck with me for 40 odd years now. Mr Gardiner, mr bond, mr green who fancied miss brown!!! Wow the memories are still there. Going to devons school was great looking back. Only school in east london with a playground on the roof!!! I used to live in gayton house which was the flats opposite the school. Happy memories.

    3. I went in 1959 mr pope mr Jackson miss seagroat were in charge mrs oshaunasy was my teacher then miss terry miss price mrs Robinson mr bond

    4. To John Curle
      Hello John. I seem to remember that the owner of the shop was known as Dick Harvey, and also transported goods in his lorry. He once said he was going to deliver something in Epping and asked my mum if I’d like to go along for the ride. I was over the moon. That must have been about 1949 or 50. I also remember that a Frank Harvey used to knock on Saturdays to collect the money for the week’s papers. I think he also had a lorry. And was there a Dick Harvey Jnr with yet another lorry. They used to park them in a yard opposite our house where the houses were bombed and the site cleared.
      Later, when I was a teenager, I remember Olive and Rose serving me chocolates every Friday for my mum. ( I was a good boy, I was.)
      Do my memories fit in at all with reality ?

    5. Hi Derek
      You have a wonderful memory. Spot on with everything. Grandad was known as Dick Harvey. He had two sons, Frank and Dick jnr – my uncles. I used to go out with Frank during the school holidays when he delivered tarpaulin around London, Essex and Kent. I loved the smell of tarpaulin!
      Harvey’s shop was a massive part of my life growing up. I used to spend a lot of time in there when my mum Olive was working. Grandad spent many years in the army and won the DSM fighting the Turks during WW1. He was good to me and I was very upset when he died. A decent man.

    6. Does anyone remember that around 1947 0r 48 a very pretty little girl in my class from Devons Road school got knocked down by a bus in Devons Road, and was killed. Her name was Rosetta Anderson, and the school held a remembrance service for her.
      Back in those days the number 86 bus service from Romford used to terminate in Limehouse. and its route came down Campbell Road , Devons Road, St Pauls Way and Burdett Road.

    7. If i remember She came from the prefabs just past whitethorn street going towards st pauls way , Her brother was in my class i 1950

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.