A large part of the last few months has been taken up by problems with my PC. First the screen kept freezing and the mouse wouldn't work. Then I had the operating system upgraded and that took a long time to get used to. Then came the big blow with the melt-down of part of the motherboard. It has been repaired and no data lost - but it is still not working properly and will have to go back to the specialists to fix.
My enthusiasm for photographing flowers and gardens has again resulted in Overton Garden Society getting more than their fair share of coverage but I make no apologies for that. We visited some wonderful gardens and they were just irresistible to a photographer.
Photos from 1987 have been added to the Carnival gallery and it has been re-sorted to try and place the pictures in chronological sequence. The result is not perfect but is the best I can do.
The main addition to the website, which should be being uploaded to the Library as I type this note, is a 100+ paged document published by Stan Waight in 1996 - "The Estates of Corpus Christie College, Oxford, in Overton, Quidhampton, and Polhampton, Hampshire - A survey of the land, burgages and tenants (14th to the 19th centuries). Please note, this is very large file and takes a little while to download.
The work on the WW1 project has continued throughout the summer with the addition of further material on the website, the refurbishment of the war memorial in Church Road and an exhibition in the Fireplace Shop. Pictures for all of this can be seen on the "Remembrance" galleries.
The other main additions were an excellent series of photos by Janice Stott recording the demolition and rebuilding of the rail bridge in Kingsclere Road; and the Garden Society visit in June to Carolyn Sheffield's garden in Laverstoke Lane.
Don't forget that the latest work added to the website can be seen by clicking on "Last Uploads" in the menu on the left of this page.
We are pleased to announce the creation of a new gallery to mark the commencement of World War 1 and remind us of those who lost their lives. The gallery may be found in the Remembrance section and it shows pictures and information about the 34 young men named on the village memorial. Most of the material came from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). As its name would suggest it is mainly pictures and information about the graveyards or memorials where the deceaseds' names are recorded. Where individuals were in the Royal Navy we have been able to obtain pictures and some information about the ship or class of vessel that they were serving in. Sadly we only have two photographs of the actual individuals and little else to give a picture of what each person was like; rather than just a name on a cold stone memorial.
We would very much like to add to this collection by including more information about the individuals - documents, photos, press cuttings, medals etc. If you can help with this please contact Peter Baker in the Fireplace Shop or Tony Morris on 770779. Any items provided will be scanned or photographed and returned with thanks.
A future project that work has already started on is to produce a similar gallery for those who died in WW2. We would also like to extend both projects to include those who died and are recorded in Ashe, Deane, Steventon and Laverstoke. Again, we are hoping to add to the stark view provided by the CWGC, by including personal information / material about the named individuals. Any help you can provide with this would be much appreciated and will help to ensure that "We will remember them".
Spring arrived early this year so much of March was taken up with the garden and there were no major additions to the website. There were a number of minor tasks carried out and one worth mentioning was raised by Valda Stevens. In the High Street North gallery there are three pictures of the unveiling of the Memorial to Serving Men in WW1. The description "Memorial" has never seemed quite right to me as, while several of those named perished, many returned home to their families. Also we were never certain about the date of the ceremony. Following many hours of sifting through old copies of the Hants & Berks Gazette for the WW1 years, Valda came up with lots of interesting information about Overton. This revealed that the correct term for the plaque is a "Shrine" and it was unveiled on 24th April 1917. The descriptions of the three pictures have now been amended - thank you Valda.
I am always pleased to receive corrections and additional information about the material on the website. So if you have any information for me please let me know using "Contact Us"
Building on the work started in November, the Bridge Street gallery has been completely reorganized and lots of new pictures added.
Pictures of Charles Drinkwater, the Headmaster of the old village school, have been added to the school's gallery. Viv Brown provided the pictures and has several more of the Drinkwater family. She would be pleased to pass them on to any surviving member of the family if they would like to make contact via the "Contact Us" facility on this website.
A copy of the 2013 Annual Report & Accounts for Overtonpicture.com has been lodged with the Overton Library and is available to anybody who wishes to read it.
Work has started on developing a set of galleries in the category "Places of Worship". More pictures will be added shortly and then I will need to go out with my camera to fill some obvious gaps in the coverage. So its work in progress dependent on time available and reasonable weather. In particular, I need to revisit Dean Church but it is presently cut off by floodwater.
A small gallery for the "Royal Observer Corps Overton Hill", with just a hand full of pictures, has been added to "Around Overton". This gives details of the observation post which is still there on top of the hill and was manned until 1991. Its function was to measure radio-active fallout in the event of a nuclear attack.
The heavy rainfall this winter, the worst since records began in 1766, has produced some localized flooding along the river valley. A new gallery, "River Test in Winter", has been opened in the "Natural History" section. The normal source of the Test is at Ashe but at present it rises by the Beach Arms at Oakley. New pictures taken this February are shown together with similar pictures from 2001. A number of other pictures of present conditions have been added to the other two River Test galleries.
Three galleries have been added for the Overton Garden Society, with nearly 200 photos, recording some of their activities from 2010 through to 2013. I wouldn't normally upload so many pictures on one subject but I am a member of the OGS, I like taking pictures of gardens, shrubs and flowers, and my wife is the "Chairman". So that should be easy to understand. But while the OGS continues to thrive, and I shall continue to take some pictures for my own enjoyment, my focus for this website will move on. To see what has recently been added you can click on "Last uploads". But to steer you towards the more interesting pieces that are added from time to time, and where to find them, I will try to remember to mention them in this news column. So watch this space and do have a happy 2014.
Richard Waldram's 'History of The White Hart' is added to the Library
My thanks to Valda Stevens and Viv Brown for advising on a number of amendments to the Bridge Street gallery. These have been implemented and the pictures have been resorted into a more logical sequence. I am sure there must be many more cases of corrections needed and additional information available. If you know of any please let me know.
This website was first launched in 2007 as a community project for the benefit of the people of Overton. It is non-profit making and its objectives are educational. It has been very well received and material, help and advice has been provided by an amazing number of people. In the last six years it has grown substantially bigger than anticipated and as a result, become increasingly cumbersome to use. At the same time the amount of material we would like to add also increased. Something had to be done.
Over the last several months the website has been completely restructured. One feature which will help us all is that access to individual pictures is now quicker. Also, picture albums have been sorted and re-filed so that, hopefully, it will be easier for users to find their way around. A search facility has also been added so that, for example, information about a particular family can be found wherever it is on the website. We can now add sound to images, although at present there is only one example of this (see Railways). We have a substantial collection of documentary material which we would like to make accessible to users; particularly those wishing to delve more deeply into village history. We will do this with our new library facility where documents can be filed and will be available for study. At present only one trial document has been added. Others will follow as time permits.
For the future, we have a substantial backlog of pictures and documents to upload. The more we do the more we find that there is to do and our ambition is for the website to evolve into a virtual museum. In theory, anything that you can see or hear can be captured digitally and exhibited on the website. In time, we hope to include audio-visual material but there are problems to be overcome with download times. The development of a virtual museum is very much a long term aspiration. For the shorter term we would like to reduce the backlog of pictures and documents. But most importantly, as there is constant change in the village, we would like to carry out research and capture material while pictures, documents, properties, artifacts, people and their memories are still with us.
If you would like to help with the continuing development of this website please contact Tony Morris on 770779.