No. 8 South Street is where Mrs Knotts dame school was attended by a young H.G. Wells between 1871 and 1874. In his autobiography, he describes it as “off with my brother Freddy (who was on no account to let go of my hand) to a school in a room in a row of cottages near the Drill Hall, kept by an unqualified old lady, Mrs. Knott, and her equally unqualified daughter Miss Salmon, where I learnt to say my tables of weights and measures, read words of two or more syllables and pretend to do summing — it was incomprehensible fudging that was never explained to me — on a slate“.
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