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. 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 ]

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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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