INTRODUCTION BY TONY MORRIS

The Story So Far

The Beginning

   

I live in Overton with my wife Cynthia. We moved from Basingstoke to our home beside the River Test in 1987 and have never regretted it. After retiring from a career in the City my main hobby was the garden, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but after a while I felt I needed something more.

(Left - me enjoying my gardening).

   

I revived an old hobby, photography and started taking pictures of the village. This in turn gave me an interest in the history of Overton. In 2005, Irene Tungate, a keen member of the Overton History Society, gave me some old pictures of Overton and I attempted to take similar photographs of the present day, from the positions where the old photographers would have stood. This wasn't as easy as it sounds as most of them seem to have been taken from the middle of the road.

(Left - Irene Tungate and her husband Gerry at the 2004 Sheep Fair).

   

Peter Baker took an interest in what I was doing and displayed some of the pictures in his Fireplace Shop. People started to come in to look at them and then began to bring in their own old pictures. I scanned these into my PC and worked on them with Adobe Photoshop to get rid of creases, spots. stains etc. They were then reprinted and returned to Peter's shop for people to see. The ones that attracted the most interest were old group photos, often of villagers who are now quite elderly or who have passed away. Peter has enthusiastically set about recording the names of the individuals in these old prints and he already has quite a collection which he is keen to add to. So if you have any old pictures please take them in to him. They are all returned to their owners after scanning.

(Left - Peter Baker at the 2000 Sheep Fair).

   

By this time my collection of pictures of Overton and the surrounding area, past and present, had grown to about 2,000 images. There was a lot of interest in it and I decided that the best thing to do with the pictures was to put them on the Internet so that everybody could see them. I was lucky at this time to meet Mark Winter who has his own business in the village, Acclaim Marketing Services. Mark's work include building websites and he very generously offered to provide one for what was rapidly becoming a community project.

(Left - Mark Winter).

   

I was then introduced to Brian Burgess who has a wonderful collection of over 800 pictures of the village which he has built up over many years. There have been several generations of Burgesses in the village and Brian has a deep interest in village history. I was delighted, therefore, when Brian very kindly allowed me to borrow his collection. This wasn't done lightly as, sadly, there have been several instances of cherished photographs being stolen or damaged while on loan for display or copying. I am pleased to say that all 800 pictures were scanned and returned undamaged, and Brian has since loaned me several more.  (Sadly, Brian has since passed away).

(Left - Brian Burgess in his youth).

   

More recently, I joined the Overton Photographic Club and found them to be a very friendly and helpful group of enthusiasts. Several of them have given me pictures to include on the website and helped me with a number of technical problems. They are too numerous to name here individually but I must make special mention of their "Chairman" Sue Teagle who, with her kind husband Jeff to pilot her, has taken several aerial pictures of the village and surrounding countryside.

(Left - Sue Teagle, the intrepid aerial photographer).

   

This brings us up to early 2007 when Janice Stott, who was raised in the village, joined the team. Janice is a keen photographer and also has an interest in village history. She has already unearthed some wonderful aerial photographs showing the development of Lordsfield and is working on a number of other interesting sources of village photo history.

(Left - Janice Stott).

 

By March 2007, which is when I first wrote this, we had 1,000 images prepared to put on the website, with hopes for an April launch. My hobby of taking a few local pictures has grown into a fascinating community project with a major collection of photographs. It has become an Overton project, run by Overton people, for the benefit of Overton village.
 

The Next Steps

   

I am exploring ways of moving the project on from "my hobby" to setting it up as a separate entity with charitable status. ( Since first writing this, Overtonpictures has been established as an unregistered charity under the umbrella of the Overton Recreation Centre [ORC] and is answerable to the ORC's trustees).  The objectives of the charity will be build and maintain a photographic record of Overton and its surrounding area, showing the past, through to the present and continuing on into the future. The underlying purpose will be educational and I hope the website will be used by a wide range of people, be they new to the village and wanting to find out about their new home; teachers working on projects with their students; those delving into family histories; Overton people who have moved away, perhaps abroad; or just old Overtonians who want to enjoy a trip down memory lane.

(Left - Overton crossroads).

There are a lot of photographs in the collection which have not yet been processed. Please don't be disappointed if you have given us pictures and don't see them in the initial launch. We will be working through them all in time and adding more to the website.

We need more photographs to fill in gaps in our overall "picture" of the village and to keep it up to date. I know there are other people in the village who share our interest and have their own collections. If they would like to share their pictures with us they would be most welcome. Or if you have just one picture you think might be of interest to others please let us see it. But most important of all, please don't throw away your old photographs. If you are downsizing your home and need to make more space, or if you are sadly having to tidy up the affairs of a deceased relative and have photographs to dispose of, please contact us and we can collect them from you.
 

The Future

   

I hope the website will have a long life and be of interest to local people for many years to come. There have been a lot of changes in the short time that I have lived in the village; not all of them for the better. Hopefully, our record of the past will remind the town planners that we have something rather special here in Overton and they will realise that it is worth preserving.

(Left - Overton Hill development, March 2007).

Since first writing this there has been continued pressure from developers to build more houses in Overton.   As a result of recent expansion of the village we are suffering from a major increase in road traffic, problems with parking, plus strains on  the sewerage system and other public services.  It seems likely that more houses will be built  and there will be some deterioration in the quality of life for people in Overton.  However, it still is a relatively good place to live and this in itself continues to atract new residents.

 

Tony Morris
March 2007.  Revised August 2014

 

Copyright

The images on the website are intended for non-commercial use and may be downloaded for personal, educational or other non-business purposes. The source of each image is shown as part of its description. In some cases, this is the name of the photographer but in many others it is not. If you wish to use any of the images on this website for commercial purposes you should first contact us so that appropriate arrangements may be made for a licence.

As far as we are aware, in every case where we believe copyright might exist, we have the approval of the owner to include their images on this website. If you believe that you own the copyright to any image shown and you do not approve of its use in this way, please contact us so that the appropriate action might be taken.

Factual Accuracy

As far as possible we have tried to give the correct names, dates and descriptions for each photograph but we are entirely reliant in most cases on information supplied by others. If you believe we have made a mistake - wrong name, spelling, date etc - please tell us so we can put it right.

In quite a lot of cases we have very limited information on the pictures shown. If you can help fill in the gaps then please let us know so that the descriptions can be improved.

28.03.07