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

December 2006


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


“Prestigious Award For Community - Minded Village” !

On 31st October Overton won the Business Category of the Calor Village of the Year competition. The Chair of the Community Council Josie Ralphs and the Clerk Katharine Crockford attended the Awards Ceremony at St David's Hotel, overlooking Cardiff Bay and the Welsh Assembly Building. The judges were impressed with Overton, the varied businesses that are in the village, and the support that was received on the judging day. Overton was a very close second for the North Wales “Village of the Year”. The village received a certificate, which will be displayed in the foyer of the Village Hall, and a cheque for £500.

Katharine writes “After a champagne reception, we were seated for a three-course lunch, after which the time came for the awards. The lights were lowered, the television cameras were poised for action, and there was a deafening drum roll…..I’m sure even the Oscar ceremonies aren’t as tense as this was! After lunch, we were kindly given a “backstage” tour around the Assembly building by our AM member Karen Sinclair’s assistant, which was really interesting.”

“We are definitely entering the competition next year, and after talking to this year’s other winners, we have even more ideas of how to improve on this year’s great success. If we win the actual overall village of the year, the prize money is much more – £1,500 plus £500 for any separate categories won.“

“Once again, thank you so much for everyone who took part, in ALL of the six categories – It was a fabulous day at the Village Hall in September, and we’re already looking forward to wowing the judges even more next year.”

Josie Ralphs & Katharine Crockfprd with Garry Stamp, Calors’s regional sales manager

Vibrant villages deserve pat on the back

Congratulations must go to two Wrexham villages, Overton-on-Dee and Brynteg, following the strong showing in the 2006 Village of the Year competition. Although the villages just missed out on winning the overall prize, the judges voted Overton as the winner in the ‘Business’ category for the role local business community plays in the life of the village and its interaction with local people. Brynteg was also a winner in the ‘young people’ section. The awards recognise that these are two of the most vibrant local villages in North Wales and I am sure I speak for everyone in the area when I say well done to everyone who worked so hard to make this possible. A united community can achieve so much for the local residents and this award is recognition of that effort
Karen Sinclair
Assembly Member for Clwyd South

Ideas for £500 Prize ?

The prize is a cheque for £500, and the Community Council would like to invite all of you to suggest how you would like to spend it.
We would like to buy something for the village, and all suggestions will be listed and voted for by everyone at a later date (probably an early evening “do” with tea and coffee at the Village Hall, about 6.30pm, so that as many representatives from our businesses can attend as possible).
All suggestions can be passed to Katharine Crockford, either by phone (710 055) or by passing a note into the Village Hall anytime. Please get them in before the New Year.
It’s YOUR money, YOU won it, and we’d like YOU to choose how you would like to spend it.

by Constable Darren King

As I have previously mentioned, having the opportunity to inform residents of police issues via the Oracle is a tremendous help, and long may it continue. As you will already be aware, thankfully Overton is a low crime area, and long may that continue as well. However, when out on patrol I am asked such things like, ‘Why were the police at so and so?’ or, ‘Is it true that such and such has happened?’ Usually explaining the situation makes the person feels much better as they then know the facts and nothing is left to the imagination. It has been my experience that where the police are involved, people fear the worse. On several occasions I have been approached by persons sick with worry, only to find out later that I was only in their street to carry out a shotgun enquiry etc. This highlights the difference between actual crime, and the fear of crime.
With this in mind, it being very impractical to ‘phone round people’, if you were to provide me with your E-mail address I can simply include you when having to inform other agencies of what has occurred, (and hopefully those with a home computer can inform their neighbours who do not). This may help in reducing the fear of crime as you will have a much clearer picture of what has ACTUALLY HAPPENED. All you have to do is send me a quick message to darren.king@north-wales.police.uk
With the Christmas season nearly upon us, I think it relevant to point out that thieves are aware that most people will be storing presents, and that it is the time for parties etc where homes may be left unoccupied. I think you will agree that to have your house burgled is a terrible crime to suffer, but imagine if it happened right before Christmas, and even more so if you have young children. Please, please, please make sure your property is secure and report any suspicious activity to the police AT THE TIME IT IS HAPPENING.
On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas, but please remember that if you are going out drinking, book a taxi. Don’t drink and drive, it DOES wreck lives. Trust me; I’ve seen it happen on many occasions.
Thank you.
Darren King, Constable 1360.
Overton Community Beat Manager.
Telephone: 0845 607 1002.
E-mail: darren.king@north-wales.police.uk

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear Friends,

Back in Christmas 1883 a Ben Starch reported this custom:

On Christmas Eve, a number of Oswestry men got a hand barrow of their own making, on which they laid a bed of clay about an inch in thickness.
In this clay they made a number of holes for the reception of candles in the form of a star. The ‘Star of Bethlehem’ as they called it was then carried by two of the men from house to house; a third man carrying a light in a lantern, for their’ star’ was only illuminated while they were exhibiting it. Sometimes they sang a carol and having collected their Christmas boxes, moved onto their next house of call.

This custom was also seen in St Martins where a J. Jones of Wootton reported in 1874 that colliers would carry lighted candles called ‘The Star’. When the men arrived at a house, they would kneel around their star and say a carol.

To me these customs sums up the magic of Christmas. At the darkest time of the year we think of the birth of a tiny baby who was to bring the light of hope and love into people’s lives. Jesus came to show us the marvellous love of God and he asks us to pass that light of hope onto others.

It is my prayer this Christmas that the light of hope and love that Jesus brings will touch all of our lives.

May I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.
Your Friend and Rector

Christmas Prayer
May our lives and our prayers
Be like lights shinning in dark places.
And may The Blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Fill our hearts and homes
With light this Christmas
And in The New Year to Come.

The Council wish to produce a directory listing businesses and organisations in Overton with contact name and telephone number.
If you do not want to be listed please contact Jacky Maskall 710328 to ensure your details are not printed.

by the overtinions and our mascot Lucy!

Hi Guys, hope you had a great Bonfire night and are looking forward to Christmas! We hope you have a great Christmas and get loadz of prezzies!

Jen’s reviews

Hey everyone! My next review is on The Guardian! At first I wasn’t very enthusiastic about going to see The Guardian but as I was watching it, I did enjoy it. Honouring the work of the coast guard, Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher brave the rough seas, helping the stranded. I thought it was a very heart warming film and did the Coast guard proud.
Rating out of 10: 8
Heartwarming, quite emotional

Agony Aunt

Hey! Thank you for all your questions, unfortunately we only have room for 1.
Q. I am finding Yr. 7 really hard and I wish I could go back to my primary school. Can you help?
A: Of course! Many children are feeling the same way as you at the moment, you are not alone. Maybe it was nice at your old school but everyone needs to grow up and move on, you never know, you may come to love your new school. Try to keep a smile on your face and remember a bigger school means more friends.

You can also check at Lucy and Rebecca’s Yr 7 column for tips and advice.
Good luck!

Remember if you want to send your worries to Catherine or your high school dreads to Lucy and Rebeccs just drop them in at the Corner Shop.

Yr. 7 Column

One of the first problems we faced as new pupils at high school was that we had no idea where we were and how to get to different rooms! We were given a map with the names of the rooms where our classes were, but we had no idea which direction they were in! Do not worry about this when you move to high school because after a few days, we knew our way round easily and after a few weeks, we knew what subjects we had and how to find them.
Another problem we faced was the canteen, our main concerns were, what if I didn’t get a seat or what if I lost my money.
Don’t worry about the seating arrangements, as there is a first bell and a second bell, which splits the school in to two so that not all of you are crammed in at the same time. And if you keep your money safely in your bag, then no one will take it as they have their own money. If you want to keep it even safer, then the school shirts have a breast pocket where you can keep your money if you want to.
Remember our advice and everything will turn out great!!!
From Lucy and Rebeccs

My Christmas ‘Turkish Delight’
by Margaret Owen

It was early Summer 1947, London was trying very hard to get back to some sort of normality - I was a Staff Nurse at St Mary’s Hospital where I had trained on the Lindo (Private) Wing responsible for Room 1 Floor 1.

One afternoon I admitted a gentleman who had flown in from Turkey, a very important person in his own country. I will call him ‘Colonel’. He came for surgery, a patient of Mr Dickson Wright.

In spite of language difficulties we got on very well, he was a perfect gentleman. His treatment went according to plan and all was well. During one of our chats, I told him that I was due to return to the Main Hospital to take charge of the children's Lewis Carroll Ward while Sister was off sick. He became most interested at this news, telling me that treatment for sick children was very poor in Turkey and that he wanted to build a Children's Hospital. Would it be possible to see the Ward?

This was arranged and the day before his discharge I took him over to the Ward. He was met by Matron and Colonel Parkes, our House Governor. He was most interested and asked many questions.

On returning to his room. He said he would like to give the children a present, which would we prefer? ‘Caviar or Raisins?’ !! Well, I couldn’t see my little Paddington children taking caviar, so I graciously accepted Raisins.

Time passed and one afternoon the porter from Main Lodge rang me, would I please go down and tell him what I wanted him to do with two bales of raisins! I found them beautifully wrapped in hessian, measuring roughly 30” x 15” (75cm x 37.5 cm for you young and metric thinking people) solid blocks of raisins!!

Now Christmas would soon be upon us and to cut a long story short, they found their way to the main kitchens. That Christmas, still in the days rationing, patients and staff at St Mary’s had the best Christmas cakes, puddings and mince pies in the whole of London.

All thanks to The Colonel. The children did get their share.

Sports News

Congratulations to Overton football team for staying at the top of Division One in the Nizam-Druid Welsh National League.

Ellesmere Carnival Winter Pool League Week 3

Overton A
Market A
Red Lion
Ellesmere Hotel
Horse & Jockey
Market B
Greenhill WMC
Overton B

Two budding athletes are doing Overton & Nth Wales proud in the form of two sisters, Lisa Marie and Laura Edwards. Here are just a few of their successes. Lisa Marie has won 100m & 200m in the North Wales championships. Not only was Lisa picked to run for Wales in June and July, she was picked to run for Nth Wales Schools in the under 23’s International, also for Nth Wales in the Welsh International and also for Wales at Abbington.
Laura's first outing was in Welsh Junior League where she broke the triple jump record and also broke the Wrexham record, jumping 10.29. Laura also broke the pole vault record, jumping 2.70m. Laura was also picked to represent Nth Wales at Cardiff in the Welsh International.
Laura and Lisa Marie’s mother, Pauline says that the girls achieved all this without doing any training during the winter months owing to the sad and sudden loss of their very proud Dad Les, which makes what they have achieved even more remarkable. Surely this begs the question how far can these girls go? With the love and support from their Mum, with hard work and dedication from the girls, it is sure we will be hearing a lot more about them.
Good luck and keep up the good work.

Answers to questions posed to the Community Council

The flags flying on St Mary’s for Remembrance Day was a British Legion Flag - not as some wag suggested, to show the Rector is in residence.

The three pieces of “Accommodation Land” that were for sale on Salop Road has caused some confusion. The Chair of the OCC has looked into the exact meaning of this and had clarified that “Accommodation Land” simply means use to which the land has been accommodated; in this case agricultural. It does NOT mean that the land will be used for, or developed for, dwellings or accommodation.

1st Bangor-on-Dee Guides meet at Overton Scout Hut. We have suspended our meetings until January 10th.
If you are between 10 and 14 years of age please come and join us to see if you enjoy it, Wednesday Jan. 10th and each following Wednesday .

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
I have read with interest The newsletter, I grew up in Overton in 50s and 60s it seems the village has grown considerably , but has kept alive a community spirit.
I am now retired and living in the Costa del Sol, time to reflect on life, and the friends I grew up with, remembering Overton before street lights, Saturday night dances in the village hall, my first drink in the White Horse, and many other happy memories.
It would be good to contact old friends after all these years, and I will follow with interest your website. My regards to anyone who may remember me,
Regards and best wishes. Bryan Jones

Dear Editor,
Please could I express my thanks for the support everyone gave me in raising £600 for Clwyd Special Riding centre. It is something very dear to the heart of an ex Overton lady. That is Madge Stokes. She worked really hard for the centre and was thrilled when I told her how I was welcomed around Overton. We have a Whist Drive in Penley every 4th Thursday and everyone is welcome.
Once again thank you all very much. Elizabeth Crump

The Legend of the Overton Dragon

Outside the new Medical Centre is a stone dragon and many visitors to the Centre have been wondering why it’s there. For those who were in the village before the new centre was built will remember it was on the wall of the old building, but why?

In 1974 the county of Clwyd was created, incorporating Denbighshire and Flintshire, including the area of North East Wales known as Flintshire Detached. In addition to the County reorganisation, the District Councils were also reorganised and the Maelor Rural District Council, whose offices were the premises in High Street, was swallowed up by Wrexham Maelor Borough Council.

The only clue to the origins of the Overton Dragon was spotted in a copy of the Whitchurch Herald by an eagle eyed reader which ran a small snippet relating to June 1956 - “A Welsh Dragon carved in stone is to be placed on the gable end of the new offices of Maelor Rural in Overton, the cost is £75. Originally it was intended that the design should include the words ‘Maelor RDC’ but Saturday’s meeting of the council decided against this. Mr F Freeman said that, if any inscription was included, it should be a motto. He wondered whether some people would know what Maelor RDC meant”!

Tales from the Trade

Ego Xcentric is situated in our beautiful village of Overton on Dee, located in the Old Police Station with high vaulted ceiling and an abundance of natural light.

The salon is the only prestigious five star hair and beauty salon in the Wrexham area as rated by the Good Salon Guide, owing to the innovative, luxurious and altogether pampering experience you will encounter on visiting this village getaway.

Robin Langley, the owner has created a well awaited Spa style hair and beauty retreat to embrace the area’s needs. To aid him in his journey Sian Griffith has joined him from “Waterfall Spa” in Leeds, a U.K renowned spa. Sian has created a menu of holistic treatments to indulge mind, body and soul.

The Beauty Cell provides visitors with an array of face, body and hand treatments which are geared to the client’s specific requirements. Indulging oneself in a holistic Swedish massage which will help alleviate the stresses of daily life or recline back on a leather armchair and enjoy a luxury manicure or pedicure.
They invite you to enjoy their delights.


It is 12 months since we launched our website. The doctors are especially pleased at the interest shown and can highly recommend the quality of information given via the Patient Advice option . Try www.overtonsurgery.co.uk In January we may Pilot Test a small group of patients for booking appointments online but still will always have the option to book at reception or over the phone!

There has been a slight improvement in the number of appointments missed and we are drawing up a policy which is highlighting repeat offenders. You know it only takes a telephone call to cancel your appointment – remember the motto “keep it or cancel it”.

Thank you to all who so willingly completed the Patient Feedback questionnaire, your feedback is invaluable and gives us the chance to compare how we rate with rest of the surgeries in the area. There will be another Patient Access questionnaire this month so we thank you in advance for helping with this one as well. The suggestion box is extremely forlorn and feels very left out since it is never used. Don’t sit there grumbling to the person sitting next to you, use the box and let us know if there is any way we can improve our service to you! Is our service comprehensive enough for those of you with a disability, are we providing the correct facilities for those who may be hard of hearing, visually impaired, wheelchair bound, using a stick etc. Again this is very vital information and we do need to know.

The practice has been appointed a teaching practice for undergraduate medical students from Cardiff University. We are looking forward to welcoming three students a year who will be based in the practice for 6 weeks, but attending some teaching sessions elsewhere in Wrexham. These are the doctors of tomorrow! Sometimes they will be sitting in with us – at other times we may ask patients if they would be prepared to meet and talk about their health problem with the student first before seeing the doctor. As always we will ask your permission first and you do not have to say yes. Our first Cardiff student is Jenna Smith and she started on October 31st.

We had two new additions to the last Practice Patient Participation Group meeting, what a success after asking for such a long time. Are you available on Monday 22nd January 2007 at 6pm, if so come along and see what we get up to – you might be surprised!

View from the Village Vets.

The first 12 months of our branch surgery in Overton have flown by and we have been pleased to see a large number of new faces and pets during the year. We hope that the presence of a veterinary surgery in the village has been of benefit to the community and we are grateful to the large number of residents who have chosen to use our services. However, we are aware that only opening between 1pm and 3pm each weekday prevents those at work from being able to use us. We are therefore pleased to announce that we have just received permission from Wrexham CBC to extend our opening hours and that we hope to offer some evening surgeries – probably twice a week from 5pm-6pm in the New Year.

We have seen a good number of new puppies and kittens during the year and it may be that you are considering taking on a new pet for Christmas. Please remember the now familiar saying: ‘A Dog is for life not just for Christmas’.

That cute bundle of fur on Christmas day might become a large mass of hair which might live for 10-15 years so please consider carefully whether you are prepared for all the hard work – and a great deal of fun and love of course.
If you are considering purchasing a puppy always ask to visit the breeders home and insist on seeing the mother to check on the temperament and living conditions of the dogs. Be very suspicious if the breeder makes an excuse to stop you seeing the other dogs. If you are purchasing a pedigree puppy particularly of the larger or working dog breeds, always ask about Hip Scores and Eye Tests. Responsible breeders will have had the dog and bitch hip scored and eye tested before breeding and should be able to show you certificates. Hip scores should be low – zero is perfect – if the total score for the 2 hips is more than 15, consult a vet before purchasing the puppy. The eye certificate should show the dog and bitch to be free of signs of cataract and other hereditary eye conditions.
Merry Christmas from us all.


Congratulations to Matthew Pritchard and his partner Heather on the birth of their baby son, Drew Matthew; a new brother for Alex and
Teague (Sorry for missing out Alex last month).

Congratulations to Michael Thomas and Laura Steele on their recent marriage.
Congratulations to Donna Bush and Martin McDonald on their recent marriage.

Congratulations to Ruth Overthrow for passing her BSc Hons in Applied Community Nursing with District Nurse Qualification. Well done Ruth, we all knew you could do it Steve, Gareth, Rebecca and all the family

Our heartfelt sympathy to Jill and David Burton, James & Chris, on the loss of Jill's dad, Fred Weedman,
And to Joan Stant and family on the death of husband, Bob.


Jill & David Burton wish to thank everyone for their sympathy, kindness and donations.

Thank you to those who supported the Coffee Morning for Animal Rescue . It made £220.