The Streets of Overstrand
Overstrand High Street showing the entrance to Ivy Farm
Overstrand High Street showing the entrance to Ivy Farm, which is still owned by the Reynolds family. The road and the Overstrand Hotel that once stood on the opposite side of the road have since fallen away. The hotel suffered subsidence in 1903 was burnt down in 1947 and eventually fell down the cliff. The old Grade II Listed Road Sign situated at the South end of Coast Road, was erected to limit the weight of vehicles using the road.
In early 1930 a new road, bypassing the village was built, due to the Coast Road becoming unstable. The Coast Road was closed to through traffic in 1937. A cliff fall severed the road around 1968, followed by a massive fall in 1994. Today a track does link Ivy Farm and the High Street to the other side of the slip but it is not a recognised footpath and should be used with caution.
The Londs has changed very little over the years. It is the location of Overstrand Parish Hall, which is used by community groups, hosts the monthly Parish Council Meetings and houses a number of interesting photographs relating the history of the village. The tall tower seen in the left of the photographs is part of the Pleasaunce.
Overstrand Parish Hall is a Boulton and Paul building and was endowed to the Parish by Lady Battersea. The room is licensed for one hundred people although alcohol cannot be sold on the premises. Available for private hire and meetings details of which are available from the Parish Clerk. Next-door is the old reading room now a private residence
Lady Battersea wrote about her husband and his involvement with the village ” Cyril included a tennis court and a cricket-ground in our domain, and these have given unqualified amusement to more than one generation.
He not only joined in some of the games, but watched them with keen interest and, having given up his old pursuits, exchanged once and for all the hunter’s crop for the tennis racket and the golfer’s iron. The inhabitants of Overstrand were also considered football as well as cricket was started, a reading room opened for use on winter evenings, and a good lending library provided, which has indeed proved a signal blessing”.
Note the Crab shed visible in both photographs given to the fishermen of
Overstrand by Lord Battersea. In Lady Battersea’s ‘The Reminiscences of Lady Battersea’ she writes ‘When not out at sea, the men are mostly to be found standing on the top of the gangways-which, be it said, are draped with hundreds of yards of drying fishing-nets-gazing seawards.
When not on the cliff, most of them may be seen in a fisherman’s hut, or look-out, given them by my husband, where they clean their lobster-pots, mend their gear, and look to their ropes. In this shelter the men keep their heavy mackintosh coats and their high sea boots, such boots as would, I feel sure, prevent them from ever being able to save their lives in an accident at sea”.