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

August 2004


The Editorial Team

Maxine Palmer - Sean Clarke - Wally Wilton - David Burton - Lesley Pugh - Euan Stevenson

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


Councillors and Clerk Clock Up 61 Years
By Councillor David Burton

Pictured below are Marjorie Moraghan, Keith Nicholson & Alan Edwards receiving gifts presented to them at their final meeting!

In May Councillors Marjorie Moraghan and Keith Nicholson stood down from the Community Council and at the end of June Clerk to the Council Alan Edwards retired. Between them they had clocked up 61 years of service to Overton Community.

Marjorie served for 30 unbroken years surviving up to 7 tests of public opinion at the polls, a sure testament to her popularity and hard work on behalf of the community. She has always been a person you could talk to - a good listener, who then would quietly work to ensure that the right thing was done.

Keith Nicholson was co-opted onto the Council in 1990 and served until 1996 when there was a contest and he lost his seat. He was returned at the next election in 1999, serving for 10 years altogether. In the last four years he has also served as the Councils nominee on the Board of Governors at St Mary's School.

Alan Edwards became a Councillor in 1983 and three years later became Chairman, a position he held until the sudden and sad death of Clerk Jane Rate, in 1999. At that point he agreed to become Clerk himself to ensure continuity and served for five years, a total of 21 years.

Their experience and guidance will be sorely missed and we thank them for their dedication in the interests of the Community of Overton.

By Lesley Pugh

Andrew and Duncan Myers, sons of Drs. Paul and Jane (Dr. McNeil), celebrated their Mum's birthday - we won't be horrid and say which birthday - with notable achievements.

Their youngest son Andrew aged 9, climbed to the top of Ben Nevis with a family group and his gallant effort raised over £400 for the charity WARCHILD who supports children harmed in any way by conflict. It took four hours to reach the summit, which is a very impressive 4,400ft and the top was swathed in mist with snow and ice. (Pictured above with his cousins from Orkney)

Congratulations must go to Duncan, their eldest son, who achieved a 1st in his Chemical Engineering Degree from Manchester University, again on his mother's birthday, so it was a very special day for all of the family.

Upgrading the garden of Rememberance in Overton Cemetary
By Councillor Sue Glover

Back in June 2003 the Community Council agreed to upgrade the Gardens of Remembrance in the village cemetery. Several designs and quotes were considered and one with a wooden cross was chosen as the preferred option.

All the woodwork was completed by local craftsman, Adrian Lloyd to a high standard. It was felt that the final task of the project, laying gravel, could be done voluntarily by enlisting members of the Youth Advisory Committee and the Youth Club.
On the evening of 9th of July 2004, with wheelbarrows, spades and rakes, the work began to move a mountain of gravel from the cemetery gates to the designated area. The gravel was laid on weed free matting and then raked level. The job took some two and a half hours of non-stop work and it would not of been possible with out the band of willing helpers.

Our thanks go to Gaynor Spencer - Youth Leader, Llewelyn Kember and Tom Futcher from the youth club, Kevin Bamber , Sue & James Glover from the Youth Advisory Committee helped by Kay Lawrenson & Scott Well Done

By Constable Darren King

I would like to offer my best wishes to the new editorial team at the Oracle, and I would like to thank them for continuing to allow me the opportunity to provide information to the village from a police perspective.

Every month I have tried to pass on information and advice regarding police procedures, personal safety and protection of property, all with the aim of providing help to the community and avoiding confusion. I am quite sure that where 50% of the residents enjoy having a village police station, providing a police presence and peace of mind, the other 50% would prefer not to have one, so that 'whatever they get up to' has less chance of being seen. It is this point that I wish make clear.

Almost all of the information provided to the police comes from members of the public. Obviously police officers cannot be 'everywhere, all of the time'. This is why we ask that you, as good law abiding citizens, inform us if you believe that a crime is taking place, this can range from reporting a suspicious person or vehicle, to letting us know who is selling drugs or driving without a licence. (Because if they haven't got a licence, then it is impossible for them to have insurance, and without insurance you will find it very hard to get your compensation if your vehicle is hit, or you are injured by the offender).

I would like to thank again the very committed members of the village who are prepared to contact the police, reporting incidents and providing information on a regular basis. Everyone must understand that the police are here to help YOU. Individual officers get no material benefit from the information we receive. We only use that information to help catch the offenders who have stolen or damaged YOUR property. So it is not practical to be of the opinion, 'I'm not going to help the police'.

But information on crime should not just be shared with us. Overton has a great community spirit, a rare thing in the 21st century, but more information should be shared between neighbours about 'goings on'. I know that some residents are very 'neighbourly minded', always keeping a watch over each others houses when either are out. This type of activity should be encouraged to grow.

A great way to have a more organised approach is to get the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme up and running again. If anyone is interested, all they have to do is provide me with their contact details in full. Speak to me in person, leave me a telephone message, or drop a note through the police station letter box. It's as simple as that. Your details will then be passed to the area organiser in Wrexham who will provide you with a welcome pack.

Maybe if people are prepared to pass on information about local crime before they become a victim themselves, then there is every possibility that the offender will be dealt with before he or she targets you. Thank you.
Darren King, Constable 1360.

Votes are being counted as you read this......

Overton Prepares to challenge La Murette
By Jenny England & Lewis Simon

Cricket wasn't the only game being played in the Overton Playing Fields on Sunday afternoon the 11th July. Four teams hotly contested the title of Boules Champions in preparation for the French arriving in August. The first match was between the Winners and the Dragons with the Winners roundly defeated by the junior team. Then the "Betweenies" got off to a great start against the Oldies and although they made a little spurt towards the end, the Oldies were defeated 7-10.
Then the Dragons (no one of them over the age of 12) played the "Betweenies" and it was neck and neck until the "Betweenies" finally won 10-8.

The contest over, everyone tucked into a wonderful Barbecue of hamburgers and pancakes served by Fred Edwards

Tales from the Trade...
By Sean Clarke

Each month we aim to profile a local business, helping us to understand what resources we have available in the village and a little about their background. If you would like us to highlight your going concern, please contact the Oracle. First in the spotlight is......
C.H. Wason & Sons (Londis), Overton Garage, Salop Road Overton.

Robin and Caroline Wason are the third generation of retailers in their family, which has a tradition of trading dating back to around 1912. Robin's Grandfather Jack Davies originally ran a Butchers shop and Milk Round, also in Salop Road. The Wason family bought the garage in 1945 and two of the sons met and married two daughters from the Davies family who ran the butchers business across the road and farmed locally.
Its main goods including sweets, cigarettes and petrol have remained largely unchanged since and the current owners have continued the tradition since they bought the business in 1990 from the family.
The store offers general convenience goods, video and DVD hire and a Pay point for settling bills. I'm told that you can even settle your London Congestion Charge there - although I'm not too keen to test this one out.
The opening hours are 7am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-8pm at the weekend.
Future developments will include a Satellite Tourist Information point, which will enable the store to offer information about local amenities and services. There are also plans to increase their chilled food availability .

The Community Church News
It's good to have the Oracle back!

Our numbers have risen yet again, and we have had some great times together. July was a very busy month for all of us especially Carol and Emma who went to Kenya with the charity Equipe. The last I heard was that they were on the beach drinking cocktails! Though they have since been extremely busy travelling around the area on various crusades. An experience of a lifetime, and an experience that has no doubt changed their lives forever. No doubt Carol will give a fuller report in next months Oracle.

A team from The Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, Canada, were with us for a weekend conference held in Wrexham. It was very well attended and I believe everyone received something from God through the awesome speakers. Some young people stayed in Overton over that weekend. [And of course fell in love with our village]. If there were more young folk as on fire for God as these guys, the world would be very different.

We mustn't forget the wonderful Whole Church Holiday at Blaithwaite Christian Centre in the Lake District. Every year it gets bigger and better, as do the speakers. This year there were approx 300 people from all over the UK including a party of 12 from Normandy, France. The whole week was very special, and, as always the incredible sense of the presence of God. There's nothing better than being part God's family.
We haven't done a programme for this month, because people tend to be on holiday and wish to spend time with family etc. We shall continue to meet though, and if you would like more information or prayer for anything please telephone

Sports Reports
Plea From the Oracle.......

We are keen to establish a regular sports column charting the highs and lows of the Village Teams. We are appealing for the Captains, Managers or interested
parties to contact us. We wish to broadcast you achievements, near misses and any case of downright poor refereeing! If you compete in any event and would be happy for us to chart your progress then please let me know.
Erstwhile Sports Reporter, Sean Clarke

25 French guests arrive for the 10th Anniversary of the Twinning Partnership
by Sheila Miller

This week sees the tenth anniversary of the twinning Partnership between La Murette in France and Overton-on-Dee. The occasion is marked by special events throughout the week (2nd -9th August) when Overton hosts 25 French visitors from its twinned village.

The Fun Boules tournament (featured elsewhere in the Oracle) was the start of the Twinning Association's many preparations for the visit, which will commence on Monday evening with a short welcome in the Village Hall at about 7.30pm before their hosts take them home to recover from their long journey. On Tuesday there is a trip to the Legacy Centre and on Wednesday, after a day at Attingham Park and a tour of the Roman City of Wroxeter, there will be Junior Drama presentation of "A Review of French History", specially written for the occasion in the village hall commencing 7.00pm. (Doors open 6.30pm). Everyone is welcome to attend. A variety of activities are planned in Llangollen on Thursday before departing for a scrumptious evening meal at the Bickerton Poacher. Friday will be spent in Chester and in the evening there is an opportunity for everyone to join in a variety of sports and games at the Cricket Ground, Wrexham Road. There will be a Hog Roast, an international Boules Match, Cricket and many other activities aimed to make this a fun evening for all the family. Tickets will be available for purchase from Alan Farley,
The Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth is the venue for Saturday while on Sunday there will be a Treasure Hunt around the village and a Barn Dance in the evening in the village hall to complete the visit. The Twinning Association hopes that a lot of people will join in these events, and give the visitors a great welcome. More information is available.

"A Review of French History" - a Junior Drama presentation
by Sheila Miller

Twenty-four local children between the ages of 6 and 15 have spent their Sunday afternoons rehearsing for a performance specially prepared for our French visitors. Written by Sheila Miller and directed by Sue England, with help from Ruth Overthrow and Mike Redworth, the Review covers most of the history of France as we know it - from Asterix and Joan of Arc to Marie Antoinette and Napolean Bonepart.

It includes the vocabulary children learn in the first years of high school for discussing the weather, introducing themselves to each other and asking for food and drink. All this is woven together with well known songs such as Frere Jacques, Sur le Pont d'Avignon and Thank Heavens for Little Girls.

The Review will be presented on Wednesday 4th August in the Village Hall, following official presentations and exchange of gifts at 7.00pm. The Review will be followed by a light supper when the children and their parents will have the opportunity to meet the visitors they have spent so much time rehearsing for.

Overton Medical Practice News

The new surgery now looks more like the architect's drawing that regales one wall in the waiting room. The building seems so much bigger in reality but, within days of moving in, we will no doubt be wondering where everything is going to go. We are sure our colleagues who work at the Chemist Shop will have viewed the area that is to be their own little loo with great jubilation after so many years of crossing their legs or nipping out to 'spend a penny.'

Dr. Mukunda will be leaving us this month after his six months training session towards becoming a General Practitioner. Dr. Charlotte Kaundakjian who is in the last six months of her training programme, will be joining us on August 4 for that period as the new GP Registrar


Higher traffic volumes...
Wrexham Race Day at Bangor On Dee Race Course on 14th of August 2004. AA signs are to be erected this year directing traffic down Argoed Lane and Turning Street

So what's it all about?
By Maxine

As a result of the retirement of two members for the community council there is now a vacancy for two more members to be co-opted. I was intrigued to understand what was involved in being a member of the council? I approached Josie Ralphs for an insider's view of community council life and this is the result........

Josie believes that first and foremost one should have the best interests of the village at heart and be willing to work in any area in which the council requires you to. Josie became a member of the council in 1974 when the council it was originally reorganised, so she has almost got the hang of it now!

She believes that discretion is an important quality, but interestingly she shared with me that although the meetings held are "council meetings" the meetings are open to the public, so long as they do not interrupt. (Because on very rare occasions there may be a matter to be discussed of a sensitive or private nature then one may be asked to leave the meeting for a while.) Further credence of this open approach to events is given when one considers that the minutes to these meetings, once verified by the chairman are published in the Overton library for all to read and enjoy. Meetings are held once every 2 months.

Spending time with Josie it was clear to me that she really loves the village when I asked her what advice she would give to anyone who was considering putting their name forward for the role of community councillor she responded "not to be daunted, its extremely interesting, ensuring that the village remains a village and does not develop into an urban spread." She further added that Overton had been very kind to her over the years, in fact Josie completed her teaching career in Overton, she taught for 5 years in Northwich, 12 years in Hanmer and 13 years in Overton until 1982 when she took early retirement; although the fact she fitted me in between two other meetings in the one day I use the word retirement loosely!

Josie highlighted the various sub committees to help me (and hopefully others) understand all the facets of community council activity. When at full compliment there are 11 members of the community council. Every Council member is asked to sit on approximately 3 of the 8 sub committees. The sub committees are as follows:
Planning - Chair and 4 members. Here plans are received from Wrexham and the committee reports back with their comments Josie said that Wrexham generally respect decisions made (best abort my plans for that extension then!) However Josie did say that extensions are encouraged rather than new buildings on the green belt!
Cemetery sub committee - Chair person and 3 members
Playing Field & Millennium Meadow sub committee - Chair Person and 5 members
Overton United Charities sub committee - 2 members plus appropriate members of village and rector.
Youth Advisory Committee - Chair and 2 members (plus other village members)
Police & community consultative Group - 2 members
St Mary's School - Governor 1 member
Overton Oracle - 2 members plus other village members
To summarise it is clear to me that anyone can become a member of the council, as long as you have basic common sense and a desire to improve village life, go for it! Remember it's a non political role and I did hear that applications from the female sector of the village would be welcomed to level the balance........I think Josie is really missing Marjorie! If you feel you have the qualities and are interested in being co-opted, apply in writing stating your reasons.

By Euan Stevenson

An exhibition of "Arts and Crafts" works produced by local artists was on view in St. Mary's Church between Thursday 15th and Saturday 17th July.
There was a good response with many visitors from the local community and also a few visitors from further afield.
Those visiting the exhibition would have been pleasantly surprised by the wide range of talent shown by people from such a small community.

There were over 120 exhibits, with many paintings in both oils and watercolors. There were many beautiful landscapes and a group of paintings of plants by Royal Horticultural artist Doreen Jones.
In addition to the paintings there was an amazing variety of different types of arts and crafts, such as:

* Wicker work; baskets, plant holders and bird boxes
* Patchwork cushions
* Dolls in traditional Welsh costume (which quickly sold out!)
* Cross stitch and tapestries
* Pottery

The setting of Overton St. Mary's church was most suitable, since people could also view the legacy of wonderful artwork in the stained glass windows and carved pews of the church.
Church Warden Keith Overthrow was delighted with the success of the show - some funds were raised which would go towards replacing the church central heating system, which has become faulty.
The impressive new church organ, which has cost around £ 25,000, was on view although several weeks work is necessary for completion of the installation.
Keith said that a dedication and inaugural concert for the new organ would be held in St. Mary's on the evening of Sunday 3rd. October.

A "Gold"en Goodbye
By Pam Lynch

On Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th of July pupils from the junior department of St Mary's Primary School performed an exciting drama and musical extravaganza called Gold. The musical influenced by ABBA, was written by Mr Williams (Year 5 teacher) and followed the story of Chicquitita and her older brother Fernando.

Children aged ten and eleven overcame their stage fright and put heart and soul into their performances. One could feel the energy and enthusiasm of the cast and choir radiate around the Village Hall, which created an exciting, electric atmosphere.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the performance and after demanding an encore the audience could no longer remain in their seats. Kicking off their shoes they joined in the sing along and danced and clapped.

It was a fantastic experience for all; an opportunity for the Year 6 pupils to "go out with a bang". We wish them all the best when they start secondary school in September. Thanks to all involved in this brilliant production.

A Falklands "Hell and Back"
By Euan Stevenson

Now living in Overton is Mark Pemberton, with his wife Belle and two girls Sarah and Pollyanna. The family have been enjoying life in Overton for the past two years at their lovely home at Queensbridge, complete with 4 horses, 4 donkeys and 5 dogs.
Although life is peaceful now, Mark has traumatic memories of the Falklands war.
22 years ago, as a corporal in the Welsh Guards, Mark set out for the Falklands on the QE2, arriving there on the 27th May, 1982.
First, the Welsh Guards "dug in" at San Carlos, waiting to take over from the "Paras" (who had fought at Goose Green) and they were then deployed onto "HMS Fearless" heading for Bluff Cove.
The "Fearless" was attacked by Argentinean Mirages and Skyhawks and had to return to San Carlos, although they had managed to shoot down one of the planes.
Shortly afterwards, the guards were told that they would again try to get to Bluff Cove, this time on the "Sir Galahad", which was a "roll-on, roll-off" supply vessel, a bit like a ferry.
Mark and his colleagues were a bit alarmed to find that there was an unexploded bomb on a corridor of the Sir Galahad. However, the ship sailed off, and arrived in Fitzroy Bay, where they dropped anchor, next to the "Sir Tristan".
Mark recalls that, unusually for the Southern hemisphere in June, it was a really fine day. This turned out to be a key contributing factor to the fate that would befall them, since the ships were spotted by an Argentinean observation post, located in the mountains.
The Welsh Guards found themselves stranded on the Sir Galahad since the rear ramp was stuck in the "up" position. After a long 5 hours waiting to disembark, the Argentinean jets attacked at 2 pm.
The "Galahad" was struck by 2 bombs, both landing within 10 yards of the landing ramp, close to where the guards were located, with ammunition and mortar bombs stored.
Mark recalls seeing the jets fly over, followed by an enormous explosion. He says "It was like receiving a huge smack on the face, and suddenly you couldn't see a thing for thick black smoke. Everything you touched was red-hot and you were tripping over debris and bodies. The only way out was through the "fireball".
By sheer instinct, Mark staggered up through what had become a furnace, onto the deck and over the side, down a net into the landing craft and finally onto land at Fitzroy.
He recalls being hosed down and then sheltering in a sand-pit in the Fitzroy village hall, when there was another air-raid.
Of the 30 men in the platoon, only 8 survived - two of them, Mark and Simon Weston were then transported out by helicopter, with severe burns to face, head and hands.
Mark was in hospital for over 2 years where he underwent 27 operations, before getting out and getting on with his life.
He adapted well after the trauma and set up his own business - even returning to play football for the "Druids".
Mark continues to enjoy life, although he still awaits further operations on his hands.
He is a brave man, who has literally been "To hell and back". We wish him and his family a happy life in Overton.