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Overstream House, Victoria Avenue

Overstream House, Victoria Avenue

History of Overstream House

1911 Overstream House

John Fynn, 60, tailor, b Cambridge

Mary Jane, 59, teacher of dancing, b Worcs

Felix Freeth, 24, tobacconist’s assistant, b Cambridge

Arthur John, 22, scientific instrument maker, b Cambridge

Geoffrey Hyde, 18, tailor, b Cherry Hinton

1913 Overstream House

John Fynn, tailor

Mrs Fynn, teacher of dancing

1917 UK Roll of Honour

Felix Freeth Fynn: Private 352901, 9th Battalion, Royal Scots. Died in United Kingdom 12 October 1917.


Arthur Fynn died 3.11.1918 probably influenza

Mrs Fanny Edith Fynn  died 8.11.1918 probably influenza


Mrs A R Darby, dance teacher


Mrs Ivy Benstead, teacher of dancing


Joan Metcalfe taught dancing


Mrs Benstead taught ballroom dancing

BR recalled in 2020: Mrs Benstead’s son Jack played in a jazz band in Cambridge but later went with his music to the U.S.A. The House looked very different  back then from how it looks like now. The extension which we danced in had a lovely polished wooden floor and had a ballet barre  round the walls; a large mirror hung over an open coal fire with a safety guard around so we didn’t get burnt. The music for ballet was played for us on a piano with records for the ballroom. The room was very popular for hiring for parties and had a regular jazz club there every week.

1962 Overstream House

Children’s Relief International


Children’s Relief International


Save the Children Fund

Leslie Griggs, caretaker and handyman, remembered coming to Overstream House to learn dancing in 1927.


The charity Wintercomfort took over the house as its headquarters. Visit its website for more information.


In a highly controversial case, the manager, Ruth Wyner,  and deputy manager, John Brock, of Wintercomfort were prosecuted under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. The crime was to ‘knowingly permit’ the dealing of Class A drugs at the centre for the homeless.

This caused a storm of protest and great concern throughout the voluntary sector. Summaries and discussion of the case can be found:


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