Foot and Mouth disease hits U.K.

Experts warn that the Foot and Mouth disease is continuing to spiral out of control with 700 cases being confirmed since the outbreak in February. Over 720,000 animals have been authorised for slaughter, and 257,000 are waiting to be culled.

Foot and Mouth Disease is a virus spread by direct contact or indirect contact with affected animals, movement of animals, people, vehicles, etc.  Airborne spread takes place readily over considerable distances.  Foot and Mouth Disease can be destroyed by heat, low humidity or certain disinfectants, but may remain active for a varying time in a suitable medium such as a frozen or chilled infected carcass or contaminated objects.  Meat from the carcass of animals infected at the time of slaughter can also transmit the virus, and past outbreaks have been linked with the importation of infected meats and products. The Food Standards Agency has advised there are no implications for the human food chain.

So far, Overton has remained free of the disease, but the restriction on the movement of animals and access to agricultural land is causing serious hardship to local farmers.

A main road location makes Little Overton Farm more vulnerable. David Price Jones said:- ”The movement ban has meant that cows that have calved must remain inside, and   wintering sheep are still on farms and cannot be moved to their normal grazing even though the area is currently disease free”.  At Lightwood Hall, Peter Williams described how delivery vehicles are thoroughly spray washed and drivers don paper coveralls, including head covering, which are then removed and burnt at departure.  His cows were due to calve and would normally go outside, but now cannot be moved. This restriction will place a burden of extra cost for feed and land being overgrazed.

A different problem faced Sandra Manley from Firs Farm.  Because customers for her “Get Ahead Hats” business could not call at the farm, she has recently been given permission to use premises adjacent to the Corner Shop so that she can carry on trading.  So if you need an Easter bonnet, why not pay her a visit, or give her a ring on 01978 710268.  Despite the crisis, local butcher Howard Jones says that he is not yet experiencing any problems obtaining supplies of meat.

The Foot and Mouth Disease has also hit the tourist industry. According to the North Wales Tourist Association, there has been a sharp drop in visitor numbers, in part due to the Government’s restrictions on access to public footpaths and bridleways, with some visitors cancelling their Easter breaks in the mistaken belief that everything is closed.  The National Parks, and many National Trust properties are closed to the public, although these are now under review. Gardens open for charity are also affected.  National Garden Scheme Press Officer Lesley Pugh said:- “Because of the foot and mouth disease some gardens have already been closed.  The May opening of Argoed Cottage will be reviewed nearer the date, but if your readers have access to the Internet, regular updates will be appearing on the National Gardens Scheme’s web site.”.

Councillor David Burton, Chairman of the Community Council said:- “ We can all play our part in preventing the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease and I would particularly ask everyone to respect the difficulties currently  being faced by our local farmers by observing the restrictions to the countryside.

When the Clerk to the Community Council became aware that the Avenue had been closed to the public, we discussed the problem and Councillor Farrell successfully negotiated with Wrexham County Borough Council to have it re-opened”.

He added:- “I am pleased to say that the Avenue is now fully open to the public, and contrary to what is believed to be the case, there was no proposal put before the recent Council meeting to ban dogs from the area.”

For up to the minute information on the outbreak, see the Ministry of Agriculture’s  web site.


In October 2001, Jan Tinsley, whose father Gerry Owen lives in Plas Madoc, Overton, is planning to cycle 260 miles along the Grand Canyon, with the aim of   raising as much money as possible for the dental charity, Dentaid.

Dentaid commenced their activities in the Ukraine in 1994 and 2 years later became a registered charity.  Nowadays, their projects extend throughout Eastern Europe and the underdeveloped world. They are working to supply re-furbished surgeries, equipment and materials to these areas, train local engineers to maintain the equipment and encourage local oral health education programmes, especially amongst children.

Jan said: “I work with many dentists and appreciate the plight of many areas in the world, where there are no dental surgeries and extremely rudimentary facilities. Indeed in one village in Uganda, the local  dentist was a blacksmith, simply because he owned the only pair of pliers!  When the tooth broke, leaving the roots in the gum, he dug them out using the spike of a garden hoe! “

Fortunately, Dentaid are now attempting to do something about this but it all costs a substantial amount of money to finance, hence Jan’s attempt to cycle 260 miles in 5 days across arid  American landscape in a bid to raise funds to    support their work.

She is working hard to raise funds for the trip, but desperately needs sponsorship as part of a group effort to raise £100,000 for this extremely worthy cause.

Ed:  If you would like to support Jan and this worthwhile charity, please contact her sister, Jill Pugh, on 01978 710020 to pledge your sponsorship. 

Community Council adopts Meadow Plan

Overton Community Council has adopted the Master Plan for the Avenue following a review of the comments received from the public. Copies of the draft Plan were included in the February issue of the Oracle. Arwel Griffith, consultant landscape architect said: “The response rate was 7.3% which, for an exercise of this kind, was very good.  Normally it is in the region of 2-3%”

Forty-two questionnaires out of a possible 575 had been returned, indicating that 57% of respondents were in favour of the additional footpath arrangement.  Most people (88%) were in agreement with the proposal to provide wheelchair/pushchair access to Argoed Lane, and just over half of the respondents (52%) agreed with the proposal to have areas of grass managed for wildflowers. Some 60% liked the idea of areas set aside as “recreational lawn” whereas 52% were against the introduction of a pond.

The Chairman said: “The Council is committed to creating a scheme for the Millennium Meadow and had, if nothing else, an obligation to maintain the area, which included any work required to safeguard the protected trees. Revenue costs had been included in the budget for 2001/2002, and additional works could be carried out incrementally from both current and future Capital reserves. By carrying out the scheme in phases, it would be possible to spread costs over a number of years, but more importantly it would allow the Council to review the success of the planting at each stage and decide upon how future stages are managed.  Although some concern was expressed over the possible conflict between free roaming dogs and the planted areas, there was no proposal to ban dogs from the area.”

The Council adopted the plan, subject to the exclusion of the pond.  They also considered others areas of concern  highlighted by some respondents.

The consultant landscape architect was instructed to amend the Master Plan and put together a full schedule of works for each item which the Council could debate and prioritise at its next meeting. A full tree survey is to be carried within the next few weeks. 

Wright Landscapes (Lightwood Green) has been appointed to carry out a regular cutting regime starting this month. This will include the use of selective weed-killers to deal with the docks, nettles and thistles.

Photo with the famous

This month we feature a young Jim Phillips (centre) at a pre-season cricket match at Oswestry in 1970  between Shropshire and Worcestershire.

Pictured left to right: Sir Basil Dolivera (Worcestershire and England), Van Bernholder (Worcestershire and West Indies),  Jim Phillips of  Knolton (Capt. Of Oswestry C.C. playing for Shropshire), Geoff Othen (Capt of Shropshire),  Brian Davies (Oswestry and Shropshire), Norman Gifford (Worcestershire and England).

SHHH...….new ‘quiet area’ at Overton Playgroup

Following a Social Services inspection, Overton Playgroup was advised that if it was to be approved as suitable to provide full day care, then a rest/quiet area, separate from the main room would be required.

Since then there has been a number of fund raising events, including the very successful Millennium Banquet, held in the village hall last May. This was a joint venture, enabling the Playgroup to share some of the proceeds.  In addition, the children at the Playgroup staged a Christmas Production and Fayre to which was added some of the £400 raised by Tina Williams’s sponsored run to Ellesmere to complete the room.

The work involved lowering the ceiling, putting in two new windows, installing a radiator, building a cupboard, repainting, new curtains and a carpet.

Julie Done said: “Social Services carried out another inspection on the 5th March, and commented on how cosy and snug our new ‘quiet room’ is, and that there is obviously a lot of hard work going on at the Playgroup. They also said we are moving forward in a positive way.” 

She added: “I would like to thank everyone who helped us to create the ‘quiet room’, including Rhosddu Carpets for donating the carpet, Nick Buckley for plastering the ceiling and making the cupboard, Charlie Harris for donating the paint and to the committee members, past and present.  Our next project is to lay chipped bark around the climbing frame and slide, and to pave the rough area at the side of the building. Margaret Davies, our new supervisor is settling in well and is an asset to our group.”

White Horse raises £640 for comic relief

The landlord, his family, and customers of the White Horse helped to raise £640 for Comic Relief, contributing to this year’s record of £24 million.   Several events were organised, including street collections both in Salop Road and the High Street.


It was a freezing cold day on the 16th March, when Micki Blair, Sandy Griffiths, Sara Blair, Joanne Edwards, Doreen Howell, Lesley Shone and Anita Brown, dressed in Sari’s, stepped out into the middle of the road and “requested” contributions from passing motorists, most of whom were very willing to drop their small change into the plastic buckets.


1.               Why are 1990 American dollar bills worth more than 1989 American dollar bills?

2.               Where was Paul going on the way to Damascus?

3.               Mr and Mrs Overton have five children.   Half of them are boys. How is this possible?

4.               How many of each species did Moses take aboard the Ark with him?

5.               A farmer had 19 sheep, all but ten died.    How many does he have left?

6.               If you had one match and entered a dark, cold room in which there was a paraffin lamp and an oil heater, which would you light first?

7.               Is it legal in Scotland for a man to marry his widow’s sister?

8.               How many two pence stamps are in a dozen?

9.               Why will natives in the Artic never eat a penguin’s egg, even if they are starving?

10.            Why can’t a man living south of the Thames be buried in North London?

First correct entry will receive a £5 book token.

Sorry, entries limited to those resident in the community of Overton


Dear Editor,

As a parent whose daughter has attended several Overton Youth Discos I am writing to give my wholehearted support to the sentiments expressed in the letter from Sue Glover (Oracle February 2001).

The village and immediate surrounds are a community, which suggests that the people in the area are reliant upon each other for support. Children’s needs are not adult’s needs. Teenagers need to be able to experience some level of freedom to gradually become more independent. Where is my daughter supposed to get that first taste of freedom from being escorted everywhere? Certainly not left to wander the streets of the village or worse still the centre of Wrexham on a Friday evening.

Obviously, disturbances to the peace of the village need to be kept to a minimum. The young people who attend the Disco need to be made aware of this. Children are not bad because they are children, but they don’t always understand the need to suppress their natural enthusiasm, so anti-social behaviour tends to be more overt.

Having collected my daughter from each of the Discos they appear to have been well supervised and far from rowdy despite the numbers attending. I do not think it is too much to ask for villagers to accept a little extra noise for a short period at the close of the event once a month.

Give the youth of the village a chance to be a part of the community. Tolerate their enthusiasm and they may learn to respect the needs of the rest of the community. If as a community we fail to cater for the needs of the young then the village may be quiet, but then again all dead things are.

Damian Atkin,




Ex-Services Fund

Coffee Morning
Stalls, raffle

Saturday 7th April

Commencing 10.30am

Overton Village Hall

 Tickets 50p

Overton W.I.

20th April


Parish Rooms

WI Markets and Tray Bakes

Competition - Cake plate

(non-members £1 admission)

Our Lady and

The Welsh Martyrs

Second Hand Sale

Saturday 24th April

2.00 pm

Catholic Church Hall


Overton Youth Club

Junior Disco

Saturday 28th April

Admission by voucher only

For vouchers Tel: 01978 710786

   or 01948 830162


Overton Recreational Club

28th April

Paul McKenzie

Top Class Vocalist


Hunger Lunch

Wednesday 16th May

Chapel School room 

Between 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm


Summer Ball

Saturday  June 23rd

Overton Village Hall

Duo, Disco + Buffet

Evening Dress only

Contact Debbie 01948 830387

Sponsored Cycle Ride

42 miles around The Maelor
To raise funds for St Mary's Church Millennium Window

MAY 2001

Watch this space for details for more information


Part-time Village Warden


10 hours/week   Salary £1924 per annum

To be responsible for litter collection and sweeping village streets including occasional small maintenance jobs.

Protective clothing and equipment provided.

Apply in writing with names of two referees to:-

Alan Edwards
Clerk to Overton Community Council
1 St Mary’s Court
LL13 0FA

Not later than 30th April 2001