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

Aug 2005


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


Mayor relaxes with the local residents……….

By David Burton

Glorious weather was the order of the day for the 40th anniversary celebration of the building of Parkside on Saturday July 9th. The purpose built council houses were erected in 1964 followed by the warden controlled old peoples bungalows in 1965. Seventy people attended including residents and their families, community councillors and the Mayor Mike Edwards and his wife Kay the Lady Mayoress who stayed for two hours.

May & Vince Worthington with the Mayor

Flowers were presented to May Worthington, at 96 the oldest resident and the Mayor was presented with flowers by 7 year old Alice Foster. Music was provided throughout the afternoon by the Denver Duo. The two Sheltered Unit Managers, Julie Francis and Jayne Rogers also attended the event.

Pat Edwards, firstly as assistant warden and latterly as warden, and who has worked on the estate for the last 21 years, said that this was the first event to be held and it was such a success that it may become an annual event. She commented that with so many long-term tenants, there was a real sense of community on the estate. She thanked everyone who had contributed to the day with food and refreshments, those who had erected the gazebo's (essential in the heat), the Village Hall for the chairs and tables. She particularly thanked the other wardens and Care Call in Wrexham for their 24 hour cover for the residents in her care.

Pat Edwards, Alice Foster with the flowers presented to the Lady Mayoress

Pat said that Parkside appeals to elderly people because the bungalows are dispersed - often a block of flats is unappealing. There is the beauty of individual properties where residents can still feel independent and not condensed into sheltered accommodation, yet there is help a short call away.

There are four 2-bedroom maisonettes and 18 single bedroom bungalows, a total of 22 residents.

My father-in-law, Fred Weedman, moved onto Parkside 19 months ago from the West Midlands. He had concerns leaving all his friends behind, but has been delighted to make so many new friends since he moved to Overton. He wanted to say on behalf of the residents, thank you to Pat and all the staff who help to make their lives so comfortable and secure.


G Austin wishes to give a big thank you to all who made the afternoon of tea in aid of the RNIB a very big success, also a big thank you to Mick and Karen at the corner shop for selling tickets and for displaying posters of the event. The sum of £250 was raised.

Ramblings From the Rectory
By David Lewis

Dear Friends

I think Thursday 7th July and the terrible events in London will live in many people's thoughts and memories for a long time.

Our daughter, Claire uses Liverpool Street Station regularly to get to her place of work and we spent a worrying hour or two trying to get in touch with her. In the event she had missed being involved in the bombings by a mere ten minutes.

As with so many disasters, I was struck by the bravery and compassion shown by ordinary people as well as the emergency services.

Acts of brutality such as these can never be condoned and our prayers and thoughts go to those innocent persons and their families who have been caught up in these barbaric acts.

By our lives, Jesus asks each of us to be lights in our world, bringing compassion, love and, yes, justice to our often dark world. The police, fire fighters, doctors, nurses and paramedics who risked their lives to bring aid and hope to those in desperate need of it showed that light. The ordinary people who confronted those who had been injured and those who were grieving showed it.

In the darkness of that Thursday, the light of love and compassion shone brightly and no act of terrorism could extinguish it

Your friend and Rector.

St Mary's Service Times ....

7th August 11:30am Holy Eucharist
14th August 6pm Evening Service
21st August 11:30 Holy Eucharist
28th August 11:30 Family Eucharist

St Mary's church hopes to start a Sunday School in September. If you are interested please contact The Rector on 710 229

The Overton Oracle welcomes contributions from all faiths

County Beat
by Constable Darren King

At the time of submitting this article, the awful events of the London bombings are dominating the news, and I can only hope that by the time you are reading this, that there have been no further incidents. I'm sure that everyone is sickened by the terrible things that have occurred and our thoughts and wishes go out to the tragic victims and the loved ones they leave behind.
As a consequence of the above, have you thought about how the emergency services would be able to contact your next of kin if you were unfortunate enough to be injured and unable to communicate? I do not specifically refer to terrorist attacks, but possibly a car crash, fall, or even a collapse whilst out shopping.

Most of us carry some kind of identification or can be identified by the car we are driving, but sometimes this type of enquiry can be time consuming and it may be that your family are needed at the hospital as soon as possible. But do you generally carry identification whilst out walking the dog or riding your bicycle. If you were to get knocked over, how would we be able to identify you quickly?
This is why there are campaigns to place the details of a person you would want contacting in the address book of your mobile phone. The idea is to record them under I C E, which stands for IN CASE OF EMERGENCY. This way you need not only have one number but could record several, for example I C E 1, I C E 2, etc.

Further to this you could carry a laminated card in your purse or wallet, or even stretch to wearing an army style 'dog tag' necklace around your neck as used by some diabetic and asthma sufferers.
Please just consider the above and do not dwell on the though that something might happen to you or your family. I just wished to bring this to your attention, because with regard to policing, practicality is a major element.

Darren King Constable 1360.
Community Beat Manager for The Maelor Section.
The Police Station, Station Road, Overton, Wrexham.LL13 OEF. 
Telephone: 0845 607 1002 ex 35420.
Fax: (01978) 294 771.
E-mail: darren.king@north-wales.police.uk

By Lela Palin

Just a little note ….I was flicking through some of the old Oracles last night and I realised I have been writing the Kid's Column for eleven months! I could hardly believe it, this year has gone quicker than I expected.

I hope everyone has a really great Summer Holiday!

Lela xxx


Last months answer:
If you take 1 bar from machine 1, two bars from machine 2, three bars from machine 3 etc

You put all of the bars on the scale together
If all the machines were working correctly then the total weight would be 440ozs. Lets say the machine 10 was broken the weight would be 430 ozs (ie 10ozs short) If machine 2 was broken the weight would be 438 ozs (ie 2ozs short)

Doctor Doctor:

A man rushed into the doctor's office and shouted, “Doctor! I think I am shrinking!”
The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down, you'll just have to be a little patient.”

Remember If you have any ideas, drawings or article you want to see on this column pop them through my door or try emailing Email: info@overton-on-dee.co.uk

Congratulations to Toby Lynch from Overton and Tim Burke from Sarn who came second in the Canadian 2 man Canoe Slalom event which was held on the 18th of June at Stafford and Stone Canoe Club. Also further congratulations to Toby who passed his One Star Canoe Test on Tuesday 28th June.

Thanks to Aled who lent them the canoe on the day and to Emma Aldridge for all her time coaching at Penley Canoe Club. Well done all the paddlers that took part in the event.
Canoe Yahoo!!


Artist:Puffy Ami Yumi
CD: Nice
Produced by Andy Stumer

In my opinion this is one of Puffy's best CD's and I would highly recommend it! Both Ami and Yumi are very talented and they have used their amazing skills to create this awe inspiring collection of their biggest hits.
From the mind blowing “Planet Tokyo” to the we known “Teen Titans theme” (That's right Toonami fans, Puffy sang the Teen Titans Theme!)
This CD promises to have you smiling minutes into the first track.

Don't miss Puffy's new show, “Hi Hi, Puffy AmiYumi” on Cartoon Network every weekday at 4pm and again at 5pm on CN+

Don't forget the Produce Show in September ...this column will feature your entries full, results here!!

Macmillan Cancer Relief….
Be part of the “Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning”

Catherine Starkey will be hosting this event on Friday 30th September 10-12 at the Overton Village Hall.

Any offers of help or donations of cakes, plants or books gratefully accepted. Or perhaps someone may like to do a stall for this event?

We apologise to all our readers for the late publication of the July Overton Oracle. This was the result of circumstances beyond our control. I realise that the delay in publication resulted in some events that took place towards the earlier part of July being publicised too late.

If you are affected by the Overton Oracle not being published in a timely manner please call me, for example you may be one of our distribution team members, who plans their holidays around your monthly commitment. I would happy to distribute your round if you do have other commitments…..I realise that there is life beyond the Oracle!!
Regards Maxine

Overton Medical Practice News

We have a period of change over the next few months but hopefully patients won't experience too much disruption.

Dr. Marcus Asprou will be with us from August 1 and we are pleased to announce that as from October 1st, Dr.Charlotte is coming back to the Practice as a partner when Dr. Vibishanan leaves at the end of September. A Triage Nurse, Susan McNelly, has now been appointed. Angela Tennant the Health Care Assistant left at the end of July and she will be replaced as soon as possible.

Summer holidays always cause problems trying to cover doctors and staff. The Marchwiel surgery will only open on a Tuesday morning each week during the month of August; the doctor will take this weekly surgery but no nurse will be available.

Congratulations to Master James Morrison of Poethlyn Terrace who was the winner of the Overton Summer Fete competition.

HAIKU - 3 line form of seventeen syllables.
5, 7, then 5

i The red heart of dreams
Grown cold - yet even present
Poppies in a field

ii Shimmering beauty
Translucent wings emerging
Watched by hungry frog

iii Billowing flames
of anger confuse the mind
Flowers bloom, peace grows

iv Order from chaos
Meditating on the breath
Circulates the chi
By P.D.B

Tales from the Trade……...
By Sean Clarke

Farewell to Harmony and welcome to Inspirations.
Harmony Interiors 7 Pen Y Lan St Overton

June and Jeff Stuthridge were unaware that their decision to establish a soft furnishing business in Overton would cause so much speculation all those years ago. The couple had considerable experience in their line of business and were confident that they could make Harmony succeed. As a way of gauging the shops potential, Jeff sat in the window and counted the number of passing cars- 200 cars and ten minutes later, he was satisfied.

Traditionally village shops have been associated with the provision of essentials and there was apparently much debate at the time as to whether or not Harmony would survive. Through a combination of business expertise and an ability to offer a flexible, high quality product, Harmony flourished.

Pen Y Lan is a listed building Circa 1880's and in its past has been a Lawnmower shop and Co-op. but is still probably remembered as The Bowling Green Inn,- a venue were apparently the ancient game of 'Quoits', was played. The game originated in the 14th Century which may be worth mentioning to our victorious twinning Boules team!

The Stuthridge's have catered for a variety of needs and their customers have ranged from a passing horse rider who called in wanting their blanket repaired , to a full refurbishment in a customers residence in the Loire Valley.

The hard working duo have worked together for the last nineteen years and neither would thank me for a Richard and Judy metaphor so I won't digress. Jeff has focused on the technical aspects of the business, inventing a device for mitred corners and the like , whilst June chooses designs and fabrics.

You may have noticed the Sale signs in the window recently and this is due to the couples decision to move into semi-retirement. They plan to use their experience though by teaching locally and can be contacted at the shop for details on the courses available. Jeff also plans to help out the new owners with fitting as the business has been sold as a going concern- I wonder what the odds on that would have been twelve years ago?

Best of luck to the Stuthridge's from their many friends in Overton and welcome to the new owner Heidi Newlands.

Your Letters...

Pendas House, High Street, will at last receive some long awaited attention!
A quick note to firstly apologise for the dreadful visual appearance and condition of the front elevation of “Pendas House” and secondly to keep you informed of what will be occurring as part of the restoration.

During early September, all of the existing main windows, front door and surrounding façade will be removed and replaced by new hand crafted exacting units to the existing design.

Due to the complication of removal salvaging of the leaded glass for refurbishment and reuse, all new windows will initially be fitted with plain glass. The Front door and the surrounding façade will be dismantled following careful measurements to ensure that exact replicas are achieved.

It is our intention at all times to retain the exacting character of one of the village's older buildings.

Regards Clive Hellingman

Overton Residents host the Eisteddfod 2005.

Overton residents opened their hearts and homes to host the 51 young and talented female singers from the Czech Republic. With the help of their translator Camil Hora-k the ladies settled into life in Overton. Carol said that emotions where running high when farewells had to be made. Three of the singers had been unwell whilst over here, but thanks to the care and support from the people that hosted positives where able to be gained.

The choir from Krnov University where a young and talented team (the oldest was 20 years of age). Conden Cumil Tra-vnicek achieved a first and second prize for their efforts. Carol Dykes would like to thank everyone very much for providing loving accommodation for all 51 ladies. She said that the girls would not be forgotten and in fact hopes to send them a copy of the Oracle to give credence to this.

The Triage Nurse

A new title at the Overton Medical Practice but what does it mean? The name came about as a military term during conflict when casualties had to be assessed very speedily to ensure the correct treatment was given in the right order. Then, it was those who were near to death and unable to be helped, those who needed treatment rapidly and those who could be left a little while.

Nowadays a similar principle is applied and the doctor makes an assessment after speaking to the patient over the telephone, whether the patient needs to be seen urgently on the same day, whether advice or a prescription is needed or whether the problem can wait for a routine appointment later. The triage nurse will do much the same, working in conjunction with the doctor but taking the pressure off so they can hold their surgeries as normal.

Anne Lipson
By Sheila Miller

There was standing room only in Overton Catholic Church on Friday 15 July for the funeral of Anne Lipson who had died a week earlier after a 19 month battle with cancer. Her husband Nick spoke movingly of his love for her and of her love for their family and friends, and for their adopted village of Overton. 

They met in Newcastle where they had both studied at University. Anne told me once that she saw this handsome blond in his cricket whites and made up her mind that she would marry him. Everyone who knew Anne would know that that was that, then. They spent some time working in Nigeria and Penang before returning to UK when Chris was 6 and Briar 4, eventually moving into Yew Tree Cottage in Station Road in 1987.

Nick said they “all fell in love with the village amenities, and then with the folks”. Ann Billington remembers seeing this tall couple with two wonderfully blonde haired children and Scamp the dog walking down Argoed Lane. They stopped to talk and a friendship was forged.

They were quickly drawn into community life. The children went to St Mary's Primary and Anne became a governor. Sue Glover, who served on the Governing Body at the same time, remembers Anne's enthusiasm for teaching the children to cook. “Real hands on cooking .. all the fun of messy, sticky dough and pizzas proudly carried home for tea”. Headteacher Pat Clarke said that the angel outfits that Anne had run up for a nativity play Briar took part in were still in use in school. “That just shows what an angel she was!” said Pat.
Georgina Mason's children were the same age as Chris and Briar and she wrote that they were always delighted to be invited to play after school.  “Hide and seek in the big garden, creative activities round the huge table in the conservatory and delicious tea afterwards all added up to a great time for everyone.” 

Nick was a governor of the Maelor School, Penley, and, as the children got older, Anne became Community Development Officer there. The Headmaster, Geoff Mason, remembers her technique for setting up a series of exciting new adult classes. “She went round everybody she knew discussing what they might run a class in and then went round everyone again persuading them to sign up for these classes. There was a real buzz to the evening classes when Anne was in charge.” Stephen Sorfleet fondly remembers that she was responsible for the Wine Tasting Class.
When the village was buzzing with excitement at the start of the 700th Charter Celebrations in 1992, Anne came up with the idea of a Medieval Banquet. She popped into Metcalfes to get our support, and Sue England and I found ourselves volunteering to produce vegetable soup for about 80 people. Others fell into line as well, and the Banquet was a wonderful success but, as Glenys Farley recalls, “Anne ate nothing that evening. She stood at the back of the hall in her long gown and plaited headband, overseeing all the arrangements, ensuring it all ran smoothly.”

A couple of years later, Alan Edwards organised the first Twinning visit to La Murette and 11 stalwarts went along, including Anne and myself. We travelled by minibus, stopping overnight in Rheims going and coming. Anne and I shared a room and we laughed a lot. La Murette was baking hot that June and we spent a lot of the time standing on flattened-out cardboard boxes (because the tarmac on the school playground was melting) or fighting for shade under June Owen's tiny collapsible umbrella. As always, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the townspeople of La Murette but I can't say it was always comfortable because of the heat. Yet all I can remember of that visit was the fun and laughter.

Alan reiterated how keen the Lipsons all were on the twinning ethos, visiting La Murette on a number of future occasions. He remembered, too, the Allo Allo sketch which Anne devised for members of the Twinning to star in at a later Banquet, and in which her son Chris played one of two British airmen wafted out of France in a balloon fashioned from silk underwear contributed by Kath Price Jones and other members of the group.

By now, Anne was the village librarian and soon afterwards the library was threatened with closure. With Anne's help, the Community Council were able to fight off the threat and keep the library open. Alan remembers that Anne “provided them with statistics that proved that Overton Library issued more books per head of population than Wrexham Library.” Anne was a friendly, helpful librarian, said Jose Ralph: she started the children's corner, persuaded people to book their theatre tickets there, and encouraged her regulars to read books they might not otherwise have chosen.

In 1997, Nick started a new job in Newtown. It was too difficult to commute from Overton so they moved to Treflach, outside Oswestry. There they started making fruit coulis, using the billiard room with the table in the middle of the room covered with old sheets. The Best of Taste bottles can now be found in Fortnum and Mason, Jenners in Edinburgh, and other prestigious shops across the country.

I got a phone call from Briar in January last year. She told me her mum had had a big op, was in hospital and would I go and see her. Anne had been told just before Christmas that it was cancer and the prognosis wasn't good. Whenever I went to see her from then on, she wanted to know all the village gossip, every detail of what was going on. As usual, we found lots to laugh about. She was a great listener.

The last time she visited Overton was to join in the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Twinning last June when Briar was one of the narrators for the French Review. The last thing I told her about was the Village Fete and what a success it had been. She would have enjoyed being part of that, just as everyone agreed she would have enjoyed the Village Hall lunch which the family organised to follow her burial in the sunny churchyard last Friday.

A History of Penley Hospital ….
the second part of material submitted by Mary-Hilton Jones

Germany attacked Poland on September 1st 1939 and two days later, Great Britain and France, honouring their Treaty with Poland, declared war on Germany. In preparation for the many casualties that were expected a number of military style Camp-Hospitals were built by the Ministry of Works in several parts of the country including Iscoyd Park, Penley and LLanerch Panna. All three were occupied by American Military personnel, but from 1946, by Polish Military forces. These hospitals were later identified as Nos 3, 4 and 11 because in times of war, overseas hospital units became known by their divisions and so for some years their official address was just a number. LLanerch Panna Hospital, near Penley was closed down in 1949 when its patients were transferred to either Iscoyd Park or Penley; these two remaining hospitals were first administered by the Ministry of Pensions and as some 250,000 Poles remained in Britain, a large scale strategy had to be drawn up for the treatment of their military personnel. This involved a potential bed-strength of 750 at Penley and about 800 at Iscoyd Park. The latter hospital however dealt with the treatment of Mental and Tuberculosis cases, but the former were later transferred to British institutions. Iscoyd Park was de-requisitioned in 1956 and the patients went to Penley to occupy a specially equipped section of the hospital.

The origin and foundation of Penley Hospital was laid far away from Britain, actually in Russia in 1942, to meet the needs of those Polish prisoners taken by the Soviet in 1939 under an agreement between the allied Polish and Soviet Governments. These people later became the nucleus of the Polish Army. Penley was also to serve the needs of the civilians following the deportation by the Soviets to “concentration camps” in Russia and Siberia. In the same year of 1942, the Polish Army was placed under British command and travelled from Russia via Persia to fight the Nazis.

This was the beginning of an epic journey from Pehlewy in Persia to Penley. It is almost impossible to describe the nightmare journey from Pehlewy where the hospital was overcrowded thousands of patients. Dysentery, Malnutrition and Malaria were rife. Only those who have treated and nursed such cases can fully understand the suffering these diseases caused and the consequent high death rate of up to 25 patients daily. Many of the Doctors and Nursing staff were suffering the same diseases and high death rate. There was a pitifully small supply of drugs available, little to no equipment and only primitive standards of hygiene.

At the intervention of the Allies, Russia agreed to release the many millions of Poles from Concentration Camps on condition that Polish military personnel fought with the Russian forces. This was acceptable to neither the Polish Government in exile, nor the Polish Generals and with the persuasion of the Allies; all Polish Forces were free to fight under British Command. Many thousands of Polish Women joined the Polish A.T.S. and Nursing services. Gallantly the Hospital followed the route of the Polish Army despite personal privations, dedicated to the relief of suffering humanity, from Persia through Middle East, Iraq Palestine and Egypt. By 1944 they arrived in Italy, where the 2nd Polish Corps under the command of General Anders were fighting side by side with the British 8th Army. Thousands of wounded were treated in the Hospital in Italy before 1946, the Hospital was transferred to Penley.

To be continued. The 3rd & final part of The History of Penley Hospital will feature in the September edition of the Overton Oracle