Comments about this page

Hi, Graham, Many thanks for solving this 'Mystery' of the angler fish that has been picked up, mulled over and embroidered in books and on websites. The story (or should one say exposure?) of the Rev. Joseph Overs who 'walked Canvey's beaches' and made the discovery is frankly delightful. Canvey in one of its 'characters' has the last laugh, though it may not be the last we have heard of the fish that may have been able to walk, for once such a story is out there, the theories begin. Recently there have been stories in the Echo of strange 'triffids' in peoples' gardens... Robert

By Robert Hallmann
On 04/07/2008

I worked one summer at the Jacksons (1954 I think) shop in the picture, trimming negatives. Joe was there, of course. One morning he was late, and needed for a "photo shoot" of some sort and I had to go down to the place near the Seaview Hotel where he then lived. I banged and banged on his door and eventually his landlady, who was very deaf indeed came to the door. I explained my errand and she went to fetch Joe. He was very cross at being disturbed, saying he was "saying his office"; that is conducting a service. Which, of course would have been just for him.
I seem to recall that Joe's church was "The Old Roman Catholic Church of Great Britain", which according to the internet actually exists.

By Miall James
On 16/12/2008

Which newspaper are the clippings from?

By Cameron
On 17/11/2010

I think you would have to ask Geoff Barsby that Cameron

By Janet Penn
On 17/11/2010

This topic (newly discovered by me) is very exciting, as I was THERE. I was a young lad of nine at the time. I noticed a group of peers in a crowd on the beach. Kids were prodding it with their spades. I ACTUALLY TOUCHED IT ! I thought it was a person at first as I could only see part of it through the crowd. Its flesh was NOT fish-like....Scales. It was a pinkish colour and looked like wobbly human flesh with cellulite (orange peel texture). I remember shouting to the other kids..."It's a mermaid" over and over. I have to say that even at 66, my long term memory is excellent, especially about the day I saw my first mermaid.

By Colin Day
On 28/08/2011

For Halloween, I and my friend who run the website '' made a festive spoof which made out that the Canvey island Monster returned this year and was captured on camera, and attacked residents! Enjoy! Click here

By Liam Heatherson
On 31/10/2011

Joe Overs also developed some of his own photos you could tell by his stained fingers I have been to many dances at the Jellicoe where Joes been there.

By cyril mawditt
On 22/02/2013

My cousin, Eileen, was Canvey Carnival Queen in 1953 and Joe was perched on top of the Rio Cinema waiting to take a photo of the float as it came by in the Carnival. Unfortunately he took so long setting the shot up that by the time he was ready she'd passed by!

By Maureen Buckmaster
On 23/02/2013

I feel I owe Joe a posthumous apology. Having just read the wonderful memoirs of the Rev Fleetwood ( thanks Jan) it would appear that Joe not only had episcopal status but also a scattered flock to administer. Much more than I gave him credit for in the above page. R.I.P The Reverend Joseph Overs.

By Graham Stevens
On 15/06/2013