Overton’s Free Newspaper - issued monthly to over 600 homes in Overton

April 2007


The Editorial Team

David Burton - Euan Stevenson - Sean Clarke - Jackie Maskall - Cynthia Davies - Maxine Palmer

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


Exclusive - Village in Crisis, mystery deepens.
by Sean Clarke

The Oracle Team have been piecing together unusual reports that have flooded in to the office. Local farmers have reported missing livestock, village youths have complained of being watched and residents are reporting eerie noises echoing from the fields late at night.

The Team began its investigations in earnest and whilst eliciting witness statements, several ‘sightings’ were divulged. A number of residents reluctantly described incidents when they had been frightened by a large dark figure whilst on their way home from the club. They were either too embarrassed or fearful of ridicule to report the matter to the authorities.

Older readers may recall previous sightings in July 2001 of a Puma or Lynx roaming the banks of the Dee although the most recent claims seemed to point toward an upright two legged creature. The apparition is also said to stand about 9 foot tall and smell of a strong musty odour. A dossier has been compiled and passed on to The Wrexham Environmental Response Project. Once the evidence had been analysed a delegation of T.W.E.R.P.S set up surveillance equipment near the Crossed Foxes. An unnamed source from the T.W.E.R.P.S confirmed that they had managed to collect some hard evidence and that had led to a working label of Yeti or Troll for the animal which they have nicknamed “Erbi”.

It would seem that Erbi has been sheltering under Overton Bridge and has been blamed for a variety of incidents ranging from squatting, pavement fouling, making the foxes cross and rejection of planning permission. Several opportunistic locals are also said to have cited Erbi as the harbinger of misfortune following a day at Bangor races. Not to be outdone, neighbouring villages of Bangor and Penley are also claiming to have residents Trolls nicknamed Pat(troll) and Con(troll). Our intrepid editor David Burton tried to obtain a photo but had a traumatic experience. He is still being de-briefed by the T.W.E.R.P.S There is growing evidence of Erbi’s existence and movements are now being passed on to The Foundation Of Observed Life-forms for further analysis. Further details are expected in April 2008.

St David’s Day celebration at Overton School

Twins Haf and Aoife Edwards of the Nursery class and Tom Hollingsworth and Alex Kokic from the Reception class joined in the fun at St Mary’s School Eisteddfod and St. David's day celebrations.
Pupils took part in art and poetry competitions.

Easter Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear Friends,

A young man went out to China to serve as a missionary doctor. He was soon sent inland because of sickness among the more senior staff and found himself on his own in an isolated hospital with little knowledge of the language.

To his horror a terrible epidemic then broke out in the region. He was still too inexperienced in tropical diseases to diagnose the sickness, let alone treat it! What he needed was advice from Shanghai, but none of his patients would survive the journey. If only he had someone newly infected, then there was a chance they could reach Shanghai and allow the more experienced Doctors there to diagnose the illness. So he took blood from one of his infected patients and injected it into his own veins, before setting off to Shanghai. He took the sickness upon himself so that his patients might be healed. In effect he laid down his life that they might live.

On Good Friday we remember that is what Jesus did for each one of us. He died on a cross so that we might know the healing love of God in our own lives. He laid down his life, so we might live.

It is my prayer this Easter time that we might all experience the love and joy that God offers each one of us.
There is a medieval proverb, which says:
The way of the cross is the way of light’.
This Easter may we all choose God’s way of light in our own life.
Your Friend and Rector

Kelvin Davies
by Euan Stevenson

It is with sadness that we report on the death of Kelvin Davies, a loved and much respected member of our village. Kelvin hailed from Tanyfron and his first contact with Overton was as a visitor to the dances held in the 1960’s in the village hall. There he met, and later married Ingrid Gamble, daughter of the man who first brought electricity to Overton. Kelvin wrote articles for the Oracle a few years ago, telling this story.

Kelvin was a plumber by trade, but after a spell in the water industry, he decided to go down the academic route, took a B.Ed degree, and became a lecturer in NEWI technical college, settling in “Electricity House”, the Gamble family home, where his daughter Julie was born and brought up. Kelvin became head of the plumbing department in the college, and all of the plumbers and heating engineers in the area would come under his tutelage. The standard and methods of tuition introduced by Kelvin at NEWI were the highest in the U.K. and he frequently travelled to countries all over the world to give advice on setting up training standards and methods.

In his private life, Kelvin’s great love was golf, and he played regularly at Hill Valley, Llangollen and Henlle Park. Kelvin was on the first committee of Overton Sports and Social club where he enjoyed a beer, a chat and a laugh, and also, one of his other passions – a game of chess. He had played chess at county level and was soon encouraging others in the village to play this wonderful game.

Kelvin will be sadly missed, not only by his daughter Julie and family, and by Iola, his loyal partner of the last 10 years, but by all who knew him and enjoyed his company. Kel’s motto “I’m not a rich man in money but a millionaire in friends” reflected how he lived his life in our community.

KId's Page

by the Overtinions and our mascot Lucy!

Hello everyone!
Hope you enjoy April
especially April Fool’s day!

Agony Aunt

Hey everyone, this month my column is about braces!

Q. I am having braces fitted next week and I am really worried that people might laugh and call me names like brace face! What should I do? Help!

A: Chill! There is nothing wrong with braces, my friend has them and she looks really cool. You can choose between lots of different colours so they don’t have to be grey. Also at the end, when you take them off, you will have beautiful straight teeth and everyone will be jealous!
Good luck!

Jen’s reviews

Hi! This month I will not be writing a review on film but the television programme, MEERKAT MANOR!!
If you think that this is just another boring wildlife documentary them you are wrong! I think that Meerkat Manor is one of the best programmes on! It is not a cartoon, but footage of real Meekats living their daily lives.

It is based around one gang of Meerkats called The Whiskers. Their leader, Flower, has an electronic tag around her neck which tells us where they are. All the gang has very unique personalities, which makes them very lovable. But the Whiskers do have enemies like every Meerkat gang does, who often get into mischief with the Whiskers.

I think the reason that this is such a good programme is because the Meerkats are described like people. I would strongly recommend this programme, as it is funny, sad, exciting and nerve racking, but above all these Meerkats are soooo cute!
The programme is at 6.10pm most Sundays as a double bill, which lasts till 7.00pm.
Rating 10/10
Strongly recommended.
Give it a chance, you’ll be surprised!

Yr. 7 Review

Hi guys!
Happy April Fool’s day! We hope you had a good one!
We are going to tell you about P.E. this month. We do PE once a week and we always do games (there's a difference between the activities you do). In games girls do netball, hockey and basketball, and the boys do football, rugby and basketball. Where as in PE we do swimming, gymnastics and outdoor education (cross country running, athletics etc which helps build stamina.
We hope you think our advice is helpful. Remember if you have any worries you want to tell us, then send them into the corner shop!
We hope this will help you settle into life at high school.
From Lucy and Rebeccs

View from the Village Vets.

Tubby or not Tubby!!

The launch of a drug licensed to assist with weight loss in dogs has sparked considerable debate. As with the human population, obesity in pets is on the increase and in the same way that excess weight can lead to heart and joint problems and diabetes in humans, the same is true in dogs and cats.
Whilst it is also true that male and female dogs tend to put on weight after they are neutered if their food is not cut back, as pet owners (particularly with dogs) we are in the unique position of being able to control exactly how much our pets eat. In theory it should therefore be simple for your pet to lose weight simply by feeding it less, but in practice this is more difficult. As a general rule you need to cut back the amount of food given by at least 25% in order to see weight loss and this may mean that the volume of food you end up feeding is rather small. Prescription diets can assist weight loss because they allow a larger volume of food to be fed without excessive protein or calorie intake. So although the new wonder weight loss drug is now available, if you think you dog or cat is overweight:
· Call in to our surgery to weigh your pet.
· Reduce the amount of food given by 25% and re-weigh after 3 weeks.
· If no weight has been lost, consider further cutbacks in the amount of food or discuss the use of
prescription diets with the vet.

In response to the article (March issue of the Oracle) of suspicions that the dog fouling near the Church, Pharmacy and Doctor’s Surgery ‘may be due to pets having their bowels emptied on the way to the vets’, we would like to point out that:-
· our surgery is only open part-time (12 hours per week) and a good percentage of our canine
patients are brought to the surgery by cars which park either outside the surgery or preferably
in the public car park.
· We remove any fouling from the vicinity of our premises whether caused by our patients or not.
· We are happy to provide gloves and bags to any of our customers or indeed any dog walker if
their pet has an accident on it’s way to or from the vet centre.

We have been very pleased with the welcome we have received from the village and the positive comments made about the presence of a veterinary practice in Overton. We would be very disappointed if our presence was thought to be having a negative impact on village life
Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre. 01978 711975.

Pets: Welcome to Jojo a Jack Russell pup who has become part of Sally and Cliff Greens lives.also welcome (but hope we don't see it) a pet rat which was given to Russell Simon as a Birthday present from his children. We must also say a sad farewell to Micky a much loved Jack Russell of Pearl and Derek Edwards


There cannot be many people in Overton who do not know or have heard of Monsignor Webb. He came to the village in the early 1950’s and has since then endeared himself not only to his Parishioners, but to others of various denominations.

On 29th April 2007 he will reach the grand old age of 90, and though he now needs a walking-stick, and his hair has turned white, he is still ministering to his flock. He must be the oldest actively serving priest in Wales if not the whole of the UK. From those early days of saying Mass in the Caravan in the grounds of Pendyffryn to the present day, he has been an inspiration to us all. His hard work and dedication has transformed his congregation from just a handful to its present strength of about 120 drawn from Overton itself and all the surrounding area.

Once he was familiar figure driving his van to take children to and from the Catholic schools in Wrexham, or perhaps ‘labouring’ for the Builders when the Church was built. Although those days have long since past, he has lost none of his enthusiasm for his Calling. He has requested ‘No Fuss’ for his Birthday, and we respect his wishes, but we all wish him the Happiest of Days, and hope for many more.
PS Some one obviously believes there will be because Monsignor has provisionally booked a marriage ceremony for August - 2008!

The Maelor School Tapestry
by Josie Ralphs

As you can see from the photo the Overton piece of tapestry which is going to be part of the large one to be exhibited in the Maelor School from November is almost complete. These 8 people have put hours of work into its production. We are so grateful to them and they deserve our grateful thanks for volunteering to help. 18 months ago I personally could not see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ but here it is finally - a piece of work of which we are all justifiable proud.

From R. to L. Elizabeth Glyn Jones, Enid Thompson, Pat Matthias, Pauline Dodd & Beaty Roberts. Sitting from R to L Gwyneth Millington, Josie Ralphs & Jean Hughes

Overton has a new Methodist minister

The new Methodist minister is Una McLean, and she actually started serving in Overton last September. She serves 4 churches in the area, of which Overton is 1. Despite Una’s Scottish name, and English upbringing, her Dad was in fact Welsh. He was a professional footballer, capped several times for Wales and played in the same Wolves team as Billy Wright and Ron Flowers. Una has come from Lincolnshire where she spent her first 6 years as a Methodist minister. Prior to the ministry, Una spent many years as an occupational therapist and at one time was the National president of the Methodist Association of youth clubs. Una was delighted to find a strong sense of community in Overton and this has helped develop a “prayer for the streets” programme. She does not like being called a preacher, but prefers to be regarded as a leader of worship. She loves being in North Wales close to the hills and delightful scenery, and is looking forward to getting to know the village and its people much better. Overton extends a warm welcome to Una and her husband.

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
We would like to thank all the correspondents who have kindly responded to our request for information about the Gas House.All the information has been most interesting and we are pursuing our enquiries. In 1881 Thomas Owens lived at the Gas House in Salop Street with his son Edward and he is described as a gas maker.His wife, Ellen Owens, nee Taylor, (who calls herself Eleanor half way through her life) was working as a nursea family at Pentrecoed.In 1891 Thomas and Eleanor are bothat the Gas House aged 75 and Thomas is described as a gas stoker
We have virtually no information as yet for Thomas but Ellen Owens nee Taylor was born in Overton in 1815.Her parents, Joseph Taylor and Mary Taylor (nee Jones) with Joseph's brother, Henry were living in Salop Street in 1841.were married in Ellesmere.In 1851 Joseph was a widower living with Ellen in Salop Road.Salop Road appears as Road or Street in the censuses. We have traced the Taylors back but they are largely in Ellesmereand not Overton.It may be that Mary Jones was born in Overton but Jones are notoriously difficult to trace.If anyone would like any more information or has anything further we would be delighted to hear from them. Jennie and Allan Jones

Dear Editor,
I am trying to trace Susan Woods, alias "Harriet Hobbs", who was living in or near Overton-on-Dee a couple of years ago and may still be there.One of her poems was published in the April 2005 issue of the Overton Oracle, which is where I obtained your address from.
Many thanks, Joy Round

by Constable Luke Hughes

Dear All, My name is Luke, or if you would prefer my official title; PC 1842 HUGHES... I think I prefer Luke. As published in last month’s article you will no doubt be aware that I have now replaced PC Darren King as your Local Officer. This is a position I took up on March 1st 2007 and a position I hope to occupy for the foreseeable future.

I would first like the opportunity to introduce myself and give you a brief history of my career with North Wales Police; I’ll try not to bore you too much and keep it as brief as possible; I have been a Police Officer for what is now fast approaching 7 years. My first posting was as an Area Car Officer working in Wrexham town, this is the core police role that all officers must spend a least two years doing before completing their probation period.

In June 2003 I took up the post of Community Beat Manager on Caia Park AKA "Queens Park" in Wrexham. I considered this as a challenging and exciting role and during my time there I was responsible for the "Queensway" Council Ward. It was a satisfying role as it gave me the opportunity to help improve the quality of life for the residents and tenants that live in the community, as well as allowing me to take a pro-active response when dealing with a number of issues in the area whilst gaining skills and abilities that will benefit me greatly during my police career.

In July 2005 I also took up the post of Wildlife Crime Officer. This post saw me become a designated point of contact when dealing with all manner of Wildlife Crime Offices (More on this next month).2006 saw me move from Caia Park and start work at Overton Police station, at this time I took over the "Bronington" Council Ward which includes the villages of Cross Lanes, Bangor on Dee, Tallarn Green, Worthenbury, Bronington and all the bits in between. I haveenjoyed the last nine months working in such a fantastic and beautiful areaI am really excited about taking over the "Overton" Council Ward and I’m looking forward to the challenges it brings.

Enough about me.... We all lucky to live in such a fantastic part of the county, the area is rich with natural beauty and we also benefit from a low level of crime and anti social behaviour, however we do have a number of problems that I am determined to address, one example would be that we have far too many preventable accidents on the roads in the area, the majority of these accidents can be attributed to driver error, normally caused by lack of experience, too much speed and driving on unfamiliar roads. I will be working closely with the local community councils and Wrexham Highways Department to address this issue. However you can also help by slowing down, ALWAYS wearing your safety belts and NEVER using a Mobile Phone whist driving.

I will also be trying to have regular Open Mornings at Overton Police Station, this will givethe opportunity to call in any discuss anything that may be on your mind, I will also be offering Crime Prevention Advice, Advice on Local Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and Farm Watch Schemes (would you like to help set one up?) and I will also be conducting Free Cycle Marking on all bikes that you bring along. The first of these Open Mornings will be on Saturday 14th April 2007 between 10am – 12 midday.
Finally please help me to help you, if you see anything suspicious in the area please report it ASAP; you may be able to prevent a crime. North Wales Police can be contacted on 0845 6071002.
Thank you and see you all soon. Luke


We do seem to come in for criticism regarding closing the surgery for training purposes. There is a very active policy within the NHS to keep staff well informed and up to date with procedures and techniques. Perhaps if we published the dates for the next quarter it would give patients more notice, i.e. on the afternoon of Tuesday 17th April and Wednesday 16th May, the surgery will be closed. Shropdoc will provide the cover for these dates.
The Review Date on the bottom of your prescription means that you need to be aware of the following points. If the date is longer than one month ago from today, then the prescription will not be processed by the staff as routine, but given to the relevant doctor for advice. The doctor will either move the date, if happy with medication allocation, or if you have not been seen for some considerable time you will be asked to make an appointment for a review. Where possible, we are also trying to make sure all medicines are prescribed for two months. This does mean that it will certainly take 48 hours to raise a repeat prescription. We would ask that you make sure you give yourself sufficient time to obtain a repeat without running out of any of your medication.
There is a very interesting course, for those who have Type II Diabetes, being run by the Local Health Board.. It is a six week programme and is held in community venues. Anyone interested can get a leaflet from the surgery and contact the necessary personnel to enrol. Ask at reception for more information.


Belated March Birthdays: Happy Birthday to James Morrison 13, Charlotte Cusworth 16, also a Very Happy 50th Birthday to Russell Simon, a Very Happy 60th Birthday to David Burton.

April Birthdays: Happy Birthday to Mike Dorey, Gareth Edwards, Tim Hall, Haydn Austin, Bill Grindley also a very Happy 50th Birthday to Iory Evans and Derek Edwards.

A very Special Happy 90th Birthday to Stanley Wright.

Births: Congratulations Geoff and Davina Pritchard who are Grandparents again after their son Luke and his partner gave them their 5th grandson, Lewis.

Deepest sympathy to family and friends of Kelvin Davies who passed away at the start of March.

Deepest sympathy to the family of William Fitzhugh. Deepest sympathy to the family of Mr Chatterton, former Headmaster of St Mary’s School, Overton, retired 1979 and who passed away on March 1st aged 91.