Looking for old friends Knapp Road School and Sumner House London E3

Looking for old friends: Knapp Road School, and Sumner House, Watts Grove / Devons Road London E3

Jimmy Drysdale and Chris Savory wrote in to ask.

Knapp Road School

It would be great to have contact with anyone remembering me during the 1950s at Knapp Road School. I lived in Rounton Road, which was opposite the main entrance to the school.

Some names that come to mind during that period are the Calvey brothers, The Bone twins. The Caudroys, Sam, Alan, Sally. Reggie Crane, David Winn, Raymond Cooper, Charlie Dell, Terry Underhill, and Lots more also. My best friend at that time was Charlie (chopper) Knight. He lived on the railway bridge next to the Fisk family and Skinners the barber shop on Devons Road opposite the Widows Son Public House.

Is anyone out there?

Jimmy Drysdale.

Sumner House, Watts Grove / Devons Road

I lived in the above from my birth ,1950 till 1968.

I’d love to hear from anyone who lived in this PBC block, or who has tales regarding its residents.

We had to move in April 1968 ,as part/all of it was to be demolished. It’s still there! Does anyone have the story regarding what happened.

I had a great childhood there and remember John Paine & his sisters, Michael Coleman and David Jones (sadly no longer with us). Tina and Terry Lowe, Len Fenn and Tony Gillard. The memories.

Chris Savory

Looking for old friends: Sumner House Watts Grove / Devons Road, London E3
Sumner House Watts Grove / Devons Road, London E3. Photographed 9th Jan 2023.


  1. Hi I remember well Devons Road school that my brother John and I attended. My name was Hilda Figg then and we lived at 54 Fern Street. I remember playing on the roof playground looking down and watching my mum hang out the washing. I also remember playing on the bombed out house at the top end of the street. I recently found a photo of some of the kids on coronation day with our certificate s commemorating the day. From Devons Road school I went on to Elizabeth Barret Browning high school and then on to St Paul’s Way. Happy days. I have lived in Manchester for almost 50 years but never forget my childhood days.

  2. Hello all my name is Michael garvey I moved to knapp road as a 5 year old from Liverpool in 1972 with my family. We lived next door but one to the school the old wool shop we just used the shop for storage. We had 2 chicken’s bill and Ben and a cock called horace who loved to wake up the street in the mornings.

  3. Hi my name is Iris perez name before marriage was Iris Hale, I lived right opposite Devon’s rd School in Knapp rd, my parents had a corner shop many years ago, but in the 50s he turned it into a snooker room, my best friend was Rosie Drysdale who lived in Devon’s Rd, opposite Mrs Penn and Mrs Whittick who was my aunt. I also knew Kevin Lowe who sadly passed away, his parents lived next door to my sister. Would love to know if Rosie Drysdale is ok.

  4. My family lived in Glaucus Street. Mum worked in Fern Street Settlement, dad was a black cabbie. Me and my two sisters went to Devon’s Road School and then on to St Paul’s Way, secondary.
    We had the best times playing out during the six weeks holiday in the hazy sunshine days. It never seemed to end. Great days.

  5. Hi my name is Paul Wooster and I lived at 6 Sumner house with my brother Peter and my sister Teresa from 1962 until 1971. Terry and Tina Lowe,s brother Kevin was a good friend of mine who unfortunately is no longer with us. Other friends were Steve Proudfoot Paul Jury and Susan Paine

    1. hi paul

      i knew terry and tina well.john paine was a friend of mine.

      we lived at 35 and moved in ’68.the place was supposed to be demolished.

      do you know why it wasny?

      chris savory

    2. Hi Paul
      I am Tina Terry and Kevin’s cousin and remember so well Kevin’s terrible accident where he unfortunately lost his life. It was such a traumatic time and my aunt and uncle (his mum and dad) never got over it needless to say it was a terrible time for all the family. I was in touch with Tina for a while but she moved away to Kent I believe, and we have lost contact I am sorry to say, but they were lovely relatives and formed a big part of my childhood. I am in contact with a couple of other cousins and we are trying to trace Tina’s location.
      I often wonder how Kevin would have turned out as it was such a young age to have died in such an awful accident.
      Thanks for your sharing
      Linda Moncur (Nee Ellis)

  6. Hello Jimmy Drysdale,
    Yes, I’m ‘out there’ [out here], whatever. I’ve only recently found this site, so I hope you still check in and will see this message,
    I remember you well along with the other names you mention. Charlie [Chopper Knight] was a great kid and we had a lot of laughs when we were at jnr school. Harry Huckle lived a few doors from Charlie near’ Skinners’ the barber. I always accepted the name ‘Skinners’ as being the correct surname of the barber, but he was Polish [I think ] ,and he spoke with a strong continental accent. ‘Skinners’ is unlikely to have been his name, it is more likely to have been the locals NICKNAME for him, due to his one style close shaven ‘Short back and sides.
    So many names come to mind from that area. here’s just a few to add to your list. Roy Penn, Jimmy Stone, Ronnie Stone, Johnny King, Lenny Hoy ,Roy Softly, Alan Dodds , Willie Flowden, Terry Donaghue, Georgie Thomas, Don Baron, Peter Evans, Ernie Kingston.
    There are many more, far too many to mention on this message. All great people. As Jimmy said ‘Is anybody out there’. If so, it would be great to hear from you.
    John Stephenson [Stepho ]

    1. Hi jimmy im iris hale i was rosies friend how is rosie and how are you, i lived at 15 knapp rd, mum and dad had corner shop opposite school. Im now almost 82 but have been blessed with good health.

  7. Hi Linda,
    I’ve just found this website.
    I lived in Fern Street, and grew up with Margret’s brother Jimmy Stubbs . We used to play football for hours on the brick dust pitch in Glaucius Street, and if it had been raining, we would go home covered in wet brick dust. Our mums only had scubbing boards in those days. We used to play football for the jnr school [it was then called Devons road school]. The original Knapp Road school was built at the far end of Knapp Road near the gas works. it was damaged beyond repair in 1944 when a V1 flying bomb hit the end of Fern Street and killed ‘Chic Clarke’s family. It was built a few years before the existing school and looked very simialer to it. It was left for years after the war as a damaged shell. It was also one of our other favourite place for playing ‘war games’. I remember most of the names you mentioned. I remember ‘Con’ Moncur singing in Kitsons pub [now known as ‘The Angel of Bow’]. We used to go in there when aged about 18yrs, after we came out of the youth club in Whitethorn Street, known as the ‘BUS ‘OUSE’. The club was named after a woman who did a lot of charity work charity in the Eastend,she was Franis Mary Buss.

  8. hi linda
    thanks for your reply.
    great memories indeed- the surnames are so familiar -not all christian names.
    i remember pat and christine dunn;the dells,charlie and siddy; bill ellis!

    what happened to tina and terry?


    1. Hi Chris
      Tina lived in Greenwich for a number of years and now lives in Kent with her son and his family. Terry has been married to Jackie for many years and lives in Essex.
      Bill Ellis was my uncle.

  9. Chris
    Tina and Terry Lowe are my cousins and I lived in Bramble House opposite Sumner House in Watts Grove. I married John Moncur whose Nan lived in Sumner House. I remember Charlie Dell and the Dunns who also lived in Sumner house and also my Nan and grandad Ellis lived there too.
    My name then was Linda Ellis until I married into the Moncur’s. My other cousins were Valerie and Gillian Dowsett, Jimmy And Elaine Clark, Christine and Katherine Lowe. My best friend was Margaret Stubbs who lived in Fern Street and we both went to Devon’s Road school. I was on the netball team with Jackie Hood, Linda Sullivan, Eileen King, Vivienne Westwood, and some I can’t remember their names.
    Our families all lived close to one another and we spent great times together in times without worry and had lots of freedom that our children don’t have today.
    Lovely times and great memories.
    Linda Moncur

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