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

Dec 2002


The Editorial Team

Alan Edwards - David Burton - Ken Farrell - Lesley Pugh - Christine Stead

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.

If you have a story contact any team member or ring 01978 710422

Overton Primary School Gets Top Marks

By Euan Stevenson

Following a recent Schools Inspection, Overton St Mary's Primary School has been highly commended for not only achieving excellent academic results, but for the leadership provided by the Headteacher, Pat Clarke, who has created a strong, positive ethos and given a clear sense of direction to the life and work of the School.

Unless one has a child or grandchild attending Overton St Mary's Primary School, you are probably not familiar with the activities at the school and the standards it attains. The recent Inspection carried out at the school and its findings provide an excellent opportunity for everyone to get a better appreciation of the school.

The Inspection found that the academic results achieved by the school are significantly higher than local and national results, and the many favourable comments made by the Inspectors are a tremendous compliment to its staff and the 173 children who attend the school. (see table)

Mr Williams with pupils from year 5

The Inspectors found that relationships between the staff and pupils are exemplary and constitute one of the major strengths of the school. In addition, behaviour was found to be impeccable, making a considerable contribution to standards of achievement and quality of learning in all classes. Lessons are characterised by challenge and excitement and learning takes place in a calm, happy, stimulating environment where pupils are made to feel secure and valued. The Inspection also revealed that overall, good provision is made for the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of the pupils, and that values promoted by the school are strongly reflected in pupils' attitude and behaviour. They also found that able support is received from a committed and dedicated staff and an effective body of Governors.

In addition to its high academic standards, the school provides many other activities and opportunities for the children. For example, next January, 21 children from the school will be competing in an international cross-country ski-ing competition to be held at the Winter Olympic site at Autrans, France. This is an international, televised event, with competitors from Switzerland, Belgium, and Japan. This is the second time the School has been asked to participate in this prestigious event, and arose from the twinning links between Overton and La Murette. On the last occasion, Overton was the first U.K. village to have been invited to attend - yet another first for Overton. The school also has a link with Bigyn School in South Wales, with visits exchanged and friendships formed. E-mail is a favourite communication link between the pupils of each school.

As part of a "War and Peace" theme, the school recently held a World War II party during which members of the local community talked to pupils about war experiences and the evacuation of children from the cities to the countryside. Barbara Watkin, Den Owen, Tom Haynes, Mary Hilton-Jones, Bill Storey and Canon Hywyn Jones had the children enthralled with their exploits. Sharing this experience created a wonderful event for both children and adults.

They say that "School Days are the happiest days of your life". Certainly Headteacher Pat Clarke and her staff seem to be making this a reality at Overton. If anyone has children who will be ready to start school in September 2003, now is the time to apply.

Pat Clarke said: "I would welcome a visit from anyone wishing to send their children to Overton St Mary's, and would be happy to show parents around and answer any questions about the school."

Academic results

Key Stage 1 Teacher Assessment 2002

St Mary's Wrexham Wales English 87.3% 82.5% 83% Maths 90% 88.4% 88% Science 95% 89.7% 88%

Key Stage 2 Test Results 2002

English 100% 80.2% 80% Maths 85.2% 71.9% 73% Science 88.9% 85.1% 86%

Letters to the Editor

Dear Readers,

As I read Jim Glover's letter in last month's Oracle I was a little perplexed. I wondered why he had underlined the word our when referring to our church.

It soon became apparent to me that he was referring to our church in the sense of 'our church belonging to the community'.

I wholeheartedly agree with Jim's sentiments. It would give me the greatest joy to see the whole community participating in the services and functions of the church on a regular basis. After all, the church is the people.

Sadly, however, there is a trend in modern society which places busy lifestyle pressures above the church in their list of priorities. It is only when the church becomes financially unviable and closes that people truly recognize the valuable role it plays in our society. In Overton too it is certainly the case that, in proportion to the population of the village, only a small percentage attend on a regular basis. The church needs to be much more than just a pretty place to have the wedding photographs taken.

The church certainly needs the financial support of its community. We keep the church functioning at an annual cost of £24,000 (£65 per day). In addition to this our church organ needs to be replaced and work has already begun to raise funds for this investment in our future worship. Equally important are our spiritual needs.

St Mary's Church welcomes you all through its doors to come to be with us in our church to join the religious community that remains strong in this village, under the spiritual leadership of Canon Valerie Jones.

Phil Humphreys Church Warden

Dear Sir,

I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support in visiting the gardens open under the National Gardens Scheme. It is so nice to meet up with regular visitors whom we regard as our friends; the local support was very much appreciated by the new gardens at Knolton Bryn and Penley.

Flintshire and Wrexham were able to donate nearly £15,000 to the Scheme, quite an achievement for one of the smaller counties. We have been contacted by the charity Marie Curie Cancer Care who tell us that the impact of funding locally for 2002, ensured that 8 patients received 5 nights of care each and without charge. They are just one of the beneficiaries, mainly nursing, that you have helped to support. Thank you.

Lesley Pugh Lightwood Green Press Officer NGS

Dear Editor,

Why are there so many fireworks again this year? In Overton alone the fireworks have been going every evening well before bonfire night and up to now we have endured it for seven continuous evenings.

It is not only in November but families celebrating birthdays, weddings, examination results and any other result that they want to light a firework for!!

My dogs have been petrified and I know that some of the families that have set off fireworks have animals of their own. I wonder if they gave them a thought at all, or even checked on their pets to see how frightened they have been. I doubt for one minute that they ever gave them a thought. I do like fireworks, but on November 5th and not any other time. Please give the animals a thought when you next decide to have a firework display.

Sandra Jones Salop Road

by Constable Pat Burns

At the time of writing this article, we are experiencing a spate of burglaries in our most rural areas. Maelor farmers have been easy targets for the past 3 months now, where we have had a range of outbuilding break-ins and an assortment of property being stolen. Such items have included power tools and gardening equipment, riding tack and in some cases theft from vehicles including motor vehicle tax discs and the usual car stereos.

I was amazed to see out of all these crimes how many victims had little or no security. There was not so much as a padlock on some buildings, but having said that there were a lot of victims who had tried to protect their property but the offenders still managed to gain entry.

Pretend you are the criminal or thief for the day. Look around your property and see what would be made difficult for you! That lovely rose hedge on the patio is nice to look at, but it's also a cover for a thief whilst they are breaking in. If the tools in the shed were to be stolen, would you recognize them if they were found again? Mark them in such a way you can identify them, postcodes are favourite or like the person who painted all his tools pink! That was a great deterrent, as nobody wants to buy a pink lawnmower.

Any dark corners in that yard? For less than £10 you could purchase a light with a movement detection beam.

I've seen some great looking padlocks that a pair of bolt croppers would struggle to cut but how good is the hasp you are fitting it to?

Join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme or start one up if you live in a small community and look out for each other.

Get used to writing down vehicle numbers of strange or suspicious vehicles but more so pass the details on to me and as soon as you can. Don't ever say, "I don't like to bother the Police, it could be nothing." It could be just the piece of the jigsaw we are looking for. Please let us be the judge of that.

Together we can fight crime and together we will crack it!

And finally, my family and I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year"

PC Pat Burns.



Crimes are similar worldwide. Dealing with them can be individual.

I read the other day that in Melbourne, Australia, an 18-year-old girl was car jacked and raped in broad daylight by two knife-wielding criminals. Her 81 year-old grandmother, Ava Estelle, spent seven days touring the wino-infested neighbourhood where the crime took place. Using a police artist's sketch and her grand-daughter's descriptions, she finally tracked down the two men, one of whom had a previous conviction for rape, took a photo of them for her grand-daughter to identify and then returned to the hotel where the men lived. Ava was not about to leave justice to the politically correct law that had let a man out to rape again.

This time she had a 9-mm pistol with her and when one man opened the door, she shot him between the legs causing total amputation of his manhood. The second man was cornered and she shot him too. The Police said doctors had managed to save his mangled manhood but he won't be using it the way he used to, which was Ava's intention.

Ava then took a taxi to the nearest Police Station and turned herself in. Now baffled lawmen are trying to figure out exactly how to deal with the vigilante granny. What she did was wrong and she broke the law, but it is difficult to throw an 81 year old woman into prison especially when 3 million people in the City want to nominate her for sainthood and a medal.

No doubt many people tired of political correctness working on the side of the offender, would think the punishment fitted the crime.

Looking Back
By a reporter old enough to be able to!

In last month's Oracle, we asked if anyone had any old photographs under the heading of Looking Back - a new series. This month we feature a souvenir photograph kindly loaned by Mrs Ruth Reeves, depicting a group photograph of an Overton W.I. outing to the Josiah Wedgwood factory at a time when there were over 100 members.

Many of you will be able either to recognise yourself, or other members. So what we need to know is when was the picture taken and how many people can you recognise. Just drop a note to the editor, 1 St Mary's Court, Overton and we will print the details in the next issue.

Ed: We would be pleased to receive your "Looking Back" photograph for future issues.

Overton's Ancient Roads
By Ken Farrell

News that Wrexham Maelor Borough Council's Highways Department at last proposes to do something about traffic hazards at the junction of Argoed Lane and the Wrexham Road prompts the thought that things might have been a bit easier for today's speed merchants if the original Wrexham Road which preceded the building of Overton Bridge was still in place.

From alongside the Peel Cemetery this road avoided the bend at the top of the hill and instead ran between the two hawthorn trees at the junction of Argoed Lane. It then continued in a straight line past Home Farm down to Maesgwaelod where it did a right turn to join Asney Lane. After another virtually straight stretch it met the Dee just below Asney Cottages and crossed the river diagonally to the present green lane at Dutford, finally emerging on the Wrexham Road at Manor Farm, Eyton. Well, at least the ford would have slowed the racers down a bit ! For anyone who cares to look this road can still be clearly seen, cut into the left hand bank in the field half way up the hill on the Wrexham Road a couple of hundred yards before Argoed Lane.

The Romans, too, built one of their famous straight roads from their tile works at Holt to their fortress at Penrhos near Corwen.

An existing stretch of this road runs today as a Public Footpath from Watery Lane Cottages at Royton on the B5426 (Eyton to Bangor-on-Dee road) to the Footpath sign on the Wrexham Road near Manor Farm, Eyton. It then crosses the main road and continues up the drive of Old Hall Farm, over Park Eyton and through the grounds of Wynnstay to cross the Dee by a ford at Pentre, near Newbridge. In Eytonhall wood near the farm of the same name it fords a stream in which stones from the original road can still be seen.

Planning Applications

Wrexham County Borough Council has granted planning permission for the demolition of an existing and erection of a replacement single storey dwelling on land at Corner Bungalow, Musley Lane, Lightwood Green. Permission has also been granted for a two storey extension to 22 Springfield Park, Overton, a satellite dish at Bryn-y-Pys Lodge, Wrexham Road and the erection of a livestock building at Carreg-y-Franc Farm, Bangor Road.

ARCHERY - Another first for Overton.
By Ken Farrell

Readers will recall that as part of our Charter celebrations in 1992, when Queen Elizabeth II visited Overton, we were entertained on the Sports Field by a group from the North Wales Archery Society.

What the Archers were also celebrating was the founding, 40 years previously in 1952, of the first Archery Club in North Wales - Overton Archers.

In September 1951 a Canadian visitor to Overton introduced Dr. Walter Caspar and David Haynes to a Swedish bow and from their ensuing enthusiasm Overton Archers was established in May 1952. The Club began very much on self-help lines, with members reading all available books on the subject and even making their own target from straw and canvas. With Dr. Caspar's tireless encouragement and with training in the finer points of the sport from six experienced Archers from Shrewsbury, the Overton Club met regularly on the Sports Field and shared facilities with the Cricket Club. Their fame soon spread and before long other Archery Clubs were formed culminating in 1954 in the formation of the North Wales Archery Society.

More information on this 'Overton First' can be found on the Internet website www.undeb.bangor.ac.uklarchery/nwas.htm and who knows - perhaps someone reading this might like to re-establish Overton Archers, the Club that began it all.

New noise levels for Wood Chip factory?

Armstrongs, who recently occupied premises on the Lightwood Green Industrial Estate, has applied to Wrexham County Borough Council to relax a restriction of the noise levels imposed upon the company under a previous grant of planning permission. The company claims the noise limitations imposed are far too restrictive. Residents in Lightwood Green have been concerned about the noise from the premises since the company began its operations earlier this year, and it is understood the Council's Public Protection Department has been monitoring the noise levels over recent months.

Cytun Harvest Supper a huge success

Fifty six people attended the first Cytun Harvest Supper which took place on 27th September. This was such a success that with continued support, it is likely to become an annual event.

Although not a fund raising event, the sale of tickets and donations after expenses, realised £130. A donation of £100 was made to Nightingale House and the remaining £30 was presented to St Mary's School.

Overton and District Cytun would like to thank St Mary's School, their staff, and Mrs Sue Williams (Sundorne) for their magnificent entertainment at the Supper, and also the many helpers and Church representatives for making the first Cytun Harvest Supper such a success. Many food contributions were given, including a sack of potatoes from John Davis, the local milkman.


The Club has recently purchased some new Crafting equipment and a TV and Video Combi with an outside aerial. The reception is a lot better, so members will be able to take along some of their Videos during the wet/miserable nights of autumn/winter.

The Club's activities between now and Christmas will include an evening at Chester's Mega Bowl, glass painting, games in the pool league, face painting, Christmas Card making and a Prize Bingo.

Plans are being made to make a base board for the Scalextric circuit, which will hopefully include some scenery building. It is also hoped to attend a taster session at The Pulse Gym, Wrexham, a late night shopping evening and possibly another trip to Quad Biking.

Ed: If you haven't already tried out Club Night - it's Tuesday evenings at the Scout Headquarters between 7.00 p.m. - 9.30 p.m. Gaynor and Russell will make you very welcome!

In brief

  • It is with deep regret we announce that Thomas James Griffiths of 11 Clerc-y-Mendy, Overton, has passed away. Our sincere condolences are extended to his family and relatives.
  • The Jubilee Committee has agreed to use part of the residue of funds from the Jubilee festivities last summer, to plant a tree in the High Street and erect a plaque on the Village Pump, Station Road.
  • As a result of representations made by Overton Community Council and North Wales Police following a number of serious road accidents along Wrexham Road, Wrexham County Borough Council is to erect Chevron signs at the junction of Argoed Lane and Wrexham Road, and improve the approach signs to the bend.
  • Mr James Glover, High Street, will be arranging a public meeting to inform and debate the wider issues relating to sex offending. It will not deal with the specific case reported in previous issues of the Oracle.


Its Panto Time again.....Oh yes it is!!

Yes it's Pantomime time again. Overton kicks off the year with a rip roaring pantomime - "Jack and the Beanstalk", set to a rock and roll theme. Produced and directed by Sue England, there will be some great performances from both familiar and new faces, with a mixed adult cast and over 35 children aged 6 to 13 years. This promises to be another "not to be missed event" with lots of audience participation and will take place in the Village Hall on Thursday 30th January, Friday 31st January, and Saturday 1st February, when there will also be a matinee performance. Tickets will be on sale in January.

Raft Race promoters select charities
by Christine Stead

Formal accounts of the Great Erbistock Raft Race held last September have yet to be published. However, the promoters have agreed to distribute the proceeds from the event in the following way.

Erbistock Church £1100 Erbistock Village Hall £100 Overton Playgroup £1000 St Mary's School Overton {Drug awareness books] £225 The Venture Scouts £200 The Atlantic Salmon Fund £200 St Johns Ambulance and the sub aqua team with thanks for their help on the day £100 and £300 respectively Nightingale House £1200

Finally through the Frank Wingett Cancer Fund and the Shooting Star Appeals, a bed is to be purchased for the Maelor Hospital Cancer Ward together with 3 cancer operations to be paid for using the new techniques. It goes without saying that everyone concerned on the day can be very proud of their efforts.

Celebratory Coffee morning raises over £1,000
By Christine Stead

On 22 October a well known and familiar figure, Miss Barbara Watkin, of Bangor Road, Overton, became 70 years young. Friends were invited to a coffee morning in the Village Hall to mark the event. Barbara requested no gifts, however guests were invited to make donations to charity. This was typical of Barbara, as pointed out in a speech given by John Guyett. Over the years Barbara has been a major player in helping to raise funds which have benefited the village. These have included £101,997 a grant from the National Lottery, obtained after a lot of hard work and dedication. Among other donations, she collected £12,500 from functions with massive support from the local community to pay for the Hall roof. John concluded by saying how Barbara was a model neighbour and friend to so many in the village, and that we should be honoured to know her. Finally all the many friends who had gathered, drank a Champagne Toast to her future health and happiness. The event raised a total of £1002.75 and donations were made to Nightingale House £453.00, St Mary's Church £342.00, and the balance going to the W.I, the Football Club and the Youth Club, all of whom had stalls on the day. Individual bequests were honoured.

Your Legion needs you

Overton Royal British Legion is looking for new members. Although the Legion is one of the U.K.'s largest membership organisations, there has been a steady decline in numbers over the years. With a large percentage of its members aged over 60, this is inevitable. Many people join because they admire the Legion's cause, but there are many other reasons for becoming a member. If you would like to join, or would like more details please contact Gerry Owen, 01978 710792

"The person I would like to have met"
by Jackie Evans

Vera Brittain (1896 - 1970) one of the largely forgotten Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses of the First World War, she left the safety of university life at Oxford for the horrors of the front-line hospitals. The conflict was to claim the lives of her brother and fiancé and her experiences during this time are described in her best known work, Testament of Youth. However, it was the reactions she encountered on her return to Oxford that I found interesting and at the same time rather shocking. While allowances were made for young men returning from the fighting, women found that they were regarded as having wasted their time getting in the way at the 'front'. They were expected to just return to normality and behave as though nothing had happened and received little credit for the role that they had played in the war. There is a strong sense of disillusionment in her writing, as though she is asking 'what was it all for?' I would like the opportunity to say to her that women are accepted both as nurses in war and as university students and this would not have been possible without the contributions made by women like herself.