Harbury Mourns its Fortune Teller

Chapel Street Harbury, 2015.
Photo by Benjamin Earl

Leamington Spa Courier – February 13th 1959

Harbury is mourning the loss of Mrs. Eleanor Overton, a noted village character, whose funeral was reported in our last issue. “Old Mother Overton,” as she was affectionately named, had long been a resident of Harbury, and was widely known through her poetry and fortune telling. She was often seen in the streets of the village with her ancient perambulator, which earned her the nickname of “Boadicea.”

The Harbury Golden Age

Her fortune-telling was of the kindest and most optimistic kind, but caused the more simple of Harbury residents to fear her prophecies. Her poetry was mostly religious, and recited by her in public. The Harbury Golden Age, of which she was an ardent and regular member, heard many of her poems from her own lips at their meetings. The last occasion she joined them was when a party of 35 Golden Agers visited the Coventry Pantomime a fortnight ago. Her loss was all the more unexpected in that her picturesque stone house was recently rebuilt. During the rebuilding a spinning wheel was found which was over a hundred years old. A member of the Golden Age Club commented this week that she was the first loss to the club in the two years of its life, and would be greatly missed.


Here, as an epitaph, are eight lines from one of her poems written before she was married:

How many hearts are aching?
How many homes distressed?
Because of those dear loved ones
Who are now laid to rest:
But they’ve gone home to father
And may return again.
This blessed news should cheer us
When they are free from pain.

Harbury Heritage reference HM82

More from Harbury