Worldwide there are numerous towns, villages and cities called Upton, while there are none called Overchurch. This was one of the arguments put forward in March 1913 by Canon Bellamy, then Vicar of St Mary's Church, to have the name of Upton changed to Overchurch.
Canon Bellamy claimed that this would not be a name change, but a return to the townships original name, which dates back to Anglo Saxon days when the church stood on the crest of a hill and overlooked the sea (or tidal lagoon) which swept along by Moreton. It was known then as 'Ofer Cirice' or 'The Church on the Shore'. This, Canon Bellamy claimed, fitted in well with the neighbouring Woodchurch or "The Church in the Wood".
In official church documents, the name of the parish remained Overchurch, and there is no indication as to when the name of the township changed to Upton ('The farmstead on the Hill'), certainly, at the time of the domesday survey in 1086, the name is recorded as Optone, from which Upton has obviously been derived.
Canon Bellamy's final argument was that with the 'unique' Overchurch name, letters and parcels would no longer go astray or be delayed. Canon Bellamy wrote to the Postmaster General to start the process of changing the name.
When the people of Upton learnt of this proposed change, it was not popular. A petition was organised and presented to the Parish Council at its meeting on 19th June 1913. More than 80 per cent of the occupiers and property owners of the village signed that they were opposed to the change of name, the remainder were mostly neutral, leaving very few in favour of changing the name to "Overchurch".
The Council, recognising that the proposed change had not met with the sanction of the parishioners, resolved to notify the Postmaster-General, and others concerned, that no change was required or desirable.
So the name remains Upton, which is the only township in the parish of Overchurch.
Do you have any pictures of Upton, or of events in and around Upton either old or not so old?
Do you have any documents, newspaper cuttings or other information relating to Upton or the surrounding area?
Do you have any stories about Upton or the surrounding area?
If you do, please contact me by e-mail at email@example.com