Slideshow: When Overton’s created a buzz in Crawley
MENTION of the Overton’s Beehive Works van which was pictured in Historic Crawley, parked on The Boulevard c1958 has prompted one man to share his memories of life long before the new town arrived.
David Lee, of Southgate, used to live with his parents in a house called Ivanhoe.
They owned a 300ft apple orchard and kept six beehives and Mr CT Overton was a regular visitor who collected honey from the hives.
He remembers that Overton’s was right next door to the Blue Pencil Cafe on the Sussex/Surrey border and added: “We used to eat a lot of the honey. We never got colds because we were given so much of it.”
David was born in Ivanhoe and was the only baby to be born in Crawley on Coronation Day May 12 1937, when King George VI took the throne.
He thinks the building was demolished in 1974 to make way for new houses.
He said: “My family had five acres of land that was taken under compulsory purchase laws when the new town was developed.
“They built Langley Green on it.
“I had been brought up with no one else around and it was quite nice to have some one to talk to when the new people moved in. But dad did not like it at all.
“The people who moved in used to break into the orchard from the back of their houses and pinch the apples.”
David joined the Navy when he was young and then went straight into hairdressing.
His last salon was in Ewhurst Road but he had also worked in Langley Green, Pound Hill and Three Bridges. He married in 1964.
He added: “People used to say it was nice to be able to talk to some one from the old town. There aren’t many of us left now.”
The pictures in the slideshow were brought in by Peter Allen, of Three Bridges, and show the Overton & Sons apiaries, at County Oak, on London Road.
The family were bee breeders and manufacturers of beehives and apiaries in the early 20th century. Mr Overton wrote a book called ‘Catalogue of Bee-Hives & Appliances: Bees & Queens’ in 1938 and even tried his hand at building. Four homes, fondly known as Overton Villas still stand in Three Bridges Road, near the cricket ground.
On the back of the picture of the rows of hives, Mr Overton had written in blue ink and fine handwriting, a note to Miss CW Davison, of 15 Holland Road, Hove.
The card said that Mr Overton would have “much pleasure” to call round to “arrange your bees for winter” and see what honey they can spare.
It was posted in Crawley on October 20 1914.
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