Overstream House, Victoria Avenue
History of Overstream House
1913: Overstream House
John Fynn, tailor
Mrs Fynn, teacher of dancing
Arthur Fynn died 3.11.1918 probably influenza
Mrs Fanny Edith Fynn died 8.11.1918 probably influenza
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
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: