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

August 2006


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


Calor Village of the Year Competition

At the March Community Council Meeting, the Community Council agreed to enter the Calor Village of the Year competition. Unlike previous competitions such as ‘The Best Kept Village’ this competition focuses on village life, what goes on, the sense of community spirit and what’s on offer. Community Council Clerk, Katharine Crockford put together the bid and as reported in the last edition of the Oracle, Overton is in the last eight for North Wales.

The next step is that the judges are coming to the village on Wednesday 6th September to have a look at us. So what is required of us the villagers?

What the judges want to see is evidence of what goes on in the community and has requested that we put on a table-top exhibition of village life in the Village Hall. Every organisation and business can take a table to display what they are about. Nothing fancy—it doesn’t have to be a professional exhibition with coloured display boards or anything like that. In particular, however, the judges want to meet as many people as possible from each organisation and business.

So dig out those photo albums showing all your triumphs, and turn up for the day. Get someone to represent you, fine for those organisations with members who are able to give up a Wednesday morning; if like me you work, now is the opportunity to take off that day’s holiday you’ve been promising yourself!

The Programme is as Follows: -

The Village Hall opens at 9.00 am

The judges will arrive at 10.00 am and are scheduled to leave at 12 noon.

Tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

Organisers: - Council Clerk Katharine Crockford 710055
Councillor Jacky Maskall 710328
Councillor Lesley Pugh 710409

We know it’s not a ‘Best Kept Village Competition’, but it won’t hurt to tidy up the centre of the village—so if anyone wants to volunteer..…!

Welcome To Our Friends From La Murette

This first week of August sees the visit of the party from La Murette to meet up with old and new friends from the Twinning Association.
We hope you have a great visit!

On the subject of visits, with the Twinning Association this month and the Eisteddfod last month, see below for Maxine’s light hearted take on puttin up with visitors.

This month it’s sunburn

Prevention, in this case, is better than cure – make like the Australians Sun and slip on a long sleeve top, slap on a hat and slop on the high factor sunscreen – at least Factor 15.
If you do get burnt, a cool shower will soothe. Use a soothing cream such as calamine lotion, paracetamol will help ease the pain of burned skin.

By Constable Darren King
Are your Alarm bells ringing?

Trading Standards Officers in Wrexham are urging householders to think twice if they receive a telephone call out of the blue offering them the chance to buy an intruder alarm at a bargain price.

They advise householders to:
"Ask yourself, Is the company really able to offer a system which “normally costs £1500 + £450 fitting" for £199? Do customers taking advantage of the offer have to sign up for an expensive maintenance or monitoring agreement, with a minimum period of 3 years?"

If you do receive a call, offering a free demonstration please:-
Remember that you have a seven day cooling off period to give you the chance to compare product and price and to discuss it with someone you trust. Insist on a detailed written quotation. Insist on using your seven day cooling off period.

Don’t agree to have any work done inside the seven day period. Your cancellation rights may be reduced if you agree to have work done.

Don’t pay cash – you can trace a cheque.

Consider whether you want the product. If you do, use reputable, established companies who you will be able to contact if things go wrong.

Ask relatives and friends for recommendations.

Stay in control – don’t let a doorstep trader decide how you should spend your money.

If you are worried about unsolicited calls or if you would like further advice please contact the Trading Standards Division of Wrexham County Borough Council’s Public Protection Department on 01978 296060.
Thank you.
Darren King, Constable 1360.
Overton Community Beat Manager.
The Police Station, Station Road,
Overton, Wrexham. LL13 0EF.
Tel: 0845 607 1002.

Ramblings From the Rectory
By David Lewis

Dear Friends,

The first day of August was known as Lammas Day and in medieval times was an important day in rural areas because it marked the beginning of Harvest. The word Lammas comes from the Old Saxon word Hlafmasse, meaning Loaf Mass.

At this time of year it was the custom for housewives to bake loaves of bread from the freshly harvested wheat and these loaves would be brought to church to be blessed and to be used as a thanks offering for the good harvest at one of the many special services held during Harvest Time.

August always reminds me of summer holidays and long balmy days without school. I still remember my father reading “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson to me as a small boy in our garden. Its tale of pirates and long buried treasure is engrained on my mind and to this day it remains my favourite book.

August is a time to really appreciate the works around us and give thanks for the good things of life. That is what Lammas Day was all about. Saying thank you.

Robert Louis Stevenson himself wrote this:
“The person who has stopped being thankful has fallen asleep in life”.

May it never be said of us that we have fallen asleep in life.

Your Friend and Rector

Some Rules for Sales People?

When selling double glazing ……….

Why start with that stupid question “Do you have doors and windows?” The answer will always be “yes”!

Find out what kind of house it is. Why carry on trying to sell UPVC to a medieval building!

Do not push patio doors to an upstairs flat.

Do not criticise the existing double glazing—you may find out in very short sentences that your company fitted it!

Don’t ring at tea-time!


A Colouring Competition for everyone to raise awareness of the beauty of our village. Blank copies are available from the Corner Shop, and return entries to the Corner Shop by 27th August. Judging will take place in early September. Winning entries will be published in the October Oracle.

Colouring Competition sponsored by Overton Corner Shop


Nursery and Reception class at St. Mary's School in Overton on Dee have been busy preparing for their up and coming play, “The Other Ark”, adapted from a story written by Lynley Dodd of 'Hairy McLairy' fame!

The play, in the form of an 'alfresco' assembly took place on Tuesday 18th July at the school at 9.30am, and told the story of Noah's friend, Sam Jam Balu and his twin brother, who take the animals that Noah has no room left for.

The picture below shows Joseph Edge, dressed as an 'Armory Dillo' and James Martin as a 'Dithering Dingbat' who are re-conditioning the ancient, ramshackle ark with the help of Melanie Genton, a French exchange student, staying in the village from Overton on Dee's twinned village of La Murette in South Eastern France.

Reading Matters
Jacky Maskall

Occasionally Wrexham Library invites authors to discuss their work. In May I had the good fortune to be able to attend Jasper Fforde‘s talk at the Arts Centre, It was an interesting two hours as this is a writer who loves books and who also used to work in the film industry so one or two film based anecdotes were also related.

He is an author who, having received 76 rejections, decided he would keep writing even if it was just for himself. He writes what he describes as “fantasy ordinaryfication” (sic) usually set in a parallel universe. He has also set himself the task of retrieving classics back from the academics and so far Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights and Hamlet have received his attention and he now has a world wide following.

So keep an eye out for visitors to this library – you may enjoy yourself as much as I did. For those who are interested, his books are: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, The Big Over Easy and soon to be published The Fourth Bear.

Finally, one of his anecdotes concerned the film Quills. It had been decided that the nearest city to Pinewood Studios that looked like Paris during the revolution was Oxford, so they had peasants, aristocrats in tumbrels, a guillotine and baskets filled with heads. What the film makers did not expect were all the Japanese tourists who took great delight in photographing everything, especially the baskets of heads. We all wish we could have heard the explanations regarding these pictures when the tourists went home.


Should we mention the lovely ‘you know what’ or is that a sure recipe for thunderstorms. It said on the forecast that we would have higher temperatures today than Athens! - it would be great to think we might get a few weeks like this for all those with summer holidays booked, I don’t think one should put money on it though, we know how quickly it can all change. So enjoy the time we have like this, will be interesting to see how next month’s issue starts – I take no responsibility!

Looking back at the July 2005 newsletter I mentioned the changes that were about to take place and it would seem to be a repeat performance this year. As you know Dr Asprou is about to finish his year with us, and Dr Rosemary Fallows takes up her new position as a Partner with the Practice as from 1st August. You may notice when booking an appointment over the next few weeks, that we have several locums in surgery but this always has to happen over the holiday period and is a short term solution to staff holidays.

We know it is early days, but the new appointment system does seem to be working rather well. It is, of course, influenced by the time of year, people away, and better weather which always seems to improve health generally. One doctor is starting surgery at 8.30am each day and then breaking mid morning, resuming around 11.30am for a short spell. That doctor then starts and finishes his afternoon surgery slightly earlier. The staff have certainly noticed a difference, hope you feel that there has been an improvement too.

The improved solid structure to provide a rather more private booth is now in place. This is not totally soundproof but it does shield one from inquisitive eyes and makes conversation of an intimate nature easier to undertake. If this is not sufficient for your needs you can ask to speak to a member of staff out of earshot, we always do our best to accommodate our patients and their requirements.

Musings on the Village Fete
By Sean Clarke

The village fete now seems to be establishing itself as an integral part of the community calendar and the question will there be another fete this year? Has become what date is the village fete happening on? That said, I was surprised by the heavy Police presence this year and was wondering what circumstances had mobilised our emergency services in such numbers. Constable King, (often affectionately referred to by the village youths as ‘Burger’), was accompanied by three colleagues and supported by what looked like a riot control van and car.

This gave me some cause to ponder on the possible reasons for such a deployment. Was it for crowd dispersal when the refreshment pavilion opened; could it have been for surveillance purposes in order to ensure that the botanical offerings were not of the Penley grown and graded variety? Had they received a tip off that the home-made cake stall contained ingredients that you cannot buy over the counter?

I mused on these matters as I walked around with my own children, who, even at a tender age, have developed an uncanny ability to extract whatever meagre allowance I happen to have in my possession. My eye wandered forlornly over to the alcohol tent at the younger or childless customers merrily imbibing without care and enjoying the sunshine in relative peace. Not that I was bitter, for they knew not the joy, or sense of gay abandon, that comes with a half an hour of watching your cherished little ones bouncing up and down on the bouncy castle, and, well, bouncing up and down again. And again. Oh, and again. You get the picture.

Professional footballers announce the retirement from International football with press conferences or public statements and I too am want to follow suit. For this year I decided not to even attempt the score-a-goal, three shots for a pound such is my ineptness and lack of co-ordination. Last year, the kids were younger and not really in a position to ridicule my pathetic attempts. Now they are growing more capable by the day and I am becoming more self conscious and cautious about exposing my considerable lack of talent. I’m resorting to saying things like “a bad scouse footballer is not an oxymoron “, but even this feeble attempt at feigning a greater vocabulary than them is waning. Damn that Pat Clarke…..
There was a slight commotion nearby and I wondered what was creating the disturbance, was it an anticipated breach of the peace? Was that the reason for the Riot Van: had Josie Ralph’s opening speech incited a rebellion? Had the village Twinners been adversely influenced by their French counterparts inherently mutinous anti-authoritarian attitudes? Unfortunately not. The row seemed to centre on whether there were more or less visitors than last year and the jury is still out.

As the event petered out I wandered back over toward the entrance and caught the full cacophony of sound emanating from the Evison Brothers band. It was then that I realised that a quite serious crime had been occurring all along and Constable King was obviously lying in wait gathering evidence. The Evison brothers had murdered the set…..

Bill Sykes & Oliver share the spoils


Omissions from the article in July Oracle

Many thanks to
Mick Pinder for providing the PA system and music,
and to Steven Sorfleet for so admirably manning the PA system.

How to…...have a house guest
by Maxine Palmer

A house guest is someone who likes you more than their own bed! Clarifying house rules early is vital for a stress-free stay. For example, in a shoes-off home, a visit can go badly wrong if a guest trails horse manure through the house. Another thing to establish early is the acceptable level of informality. Few things are more disturbing than seeing guests at breakfast in their pyjamas, or less!
Many people have a spare room. Theoretically this is where spare people go, but in reality it's where you store junk and usually resembles Tutankhamen’s tomb. A good way of clearing the room is to tell your guests to help themselves to anything they can carry. In an ideal world, everyone would have a guest bathroom too. But in the real world, you’ll be desperate to go to the loo, as your guest takes the worlds longest shower. Throughout the wait, all you will be able to think about is the possibility that they are using your face flannel in an unethical and inappropriate manner.
Ideally with house guests you should put on clean sheets before they arrive and then wash them as soon as they leave. This can seem rather odd when you change your own sheets once a year and you know your guest won’t notice if they are sleeping on a dog blanket. What really makes a house guest feel they’re being looked after is a stack of fresh towels on the end of their bed. It also gives you a failsafe way of accurately monitoring their personal hygiene regime throughout their stay.
Some people are incredibly good house guests. They arrive bearing gifts, they wash up after using one cup, they make their own beds and they leave very early in the morning. Of course the subtext is that they think you live in a pigsty and can’t wait to get out!
There is an old saying that fish and company stink in 3 days! These days you can extend this by putting fish in the freezer and your guests in a B&B. But you may find a little defrosting time is necessary before attempting to entertain either afterwards.

View from the Village Vets.
Holiday Plans

Those of you heading off on holiday over the next few weeks and with no one left at home to house and dog or cat sit will by now have made arrangements for boarding your pet whilst you are away. As this is obviously a busy time of year for boarding kennels and catteries, you should book your place well in advance. You should also make sure that your dog and cat booster vaccinations are up to date and that you have checked with the kennels whether a kennel cough vaccine is required for your dog prior to boarding.
Kennel cough is an infectious respiratory disease which can cause a fever, loss of appetite and horrible dry, retching cough. It is most commonly passed from dog to dog whilst in kennels and has very often already spread to other animals before the culprit starts to cough.
The kennel cough vaccine is an intra-nasal vaccine (i.e. it is squirted up the dog’s nose!) and is not usually given with routine annual boosters so you need to make sure that if it is required for kennels that it is given at least two weeks prior to boarding.
You might also wish to consider routine worming and flea and tick prevention for your dog or cat before their holiday and your vet will be able to advise on the use of some good single dose combined wormers for roundworms and tapeworms and some spot on treatment for flea and tick prevention.

Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre.

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
Unfortunately the signs which were made for the village fete by Linda Done (situated by the village hall) and our sign (situated at the end of Argoed Lane) have been removed. Please could we have them back or could anyone let us know their whereabouts. Tim Rosselli

A message from the Oracle Team

I have received feedback from a member of our village regarding the contents and size of the Oracle. I have made a note of these suggested changes and was wondering if anybody else has comments to make. If so, either contact me or drop your written comments in to The Corner Shop and Londis and I will take all suggestions to the next meeting.
Jackie Maskall