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

December 2008


The Editorial Team

David Burton - Euan Stevenson - Sean Clarke - Cynthia Davies

Please remember that the Oracle has no reporters. We rely on individuals or representatives of our village’s many organisations to write contributions and e-mail them to editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk or leave them at the Corner Shop. So if you think there is something that should be in the Oracle or your organisation is not mentioned - do something about it! Write something for the Oracle!


Happy Christmas to all our Oracle Readers

Please note that because of the Christmas and New Year holidays, the January Oracle will not be published till January 7th and that contributions for the January edition should be sent in EARLY, by December 17th at the latest to editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk


At the end of October the Wrexham Mayor Councillor David Griffiths, came to visit Parkside. The event was the official opening of the Day Room that has been built to give the residents of the Warden controlled bungalows a communal place to meet, spend time together and participate in all types of events.

The building was started in May 2007 and completed in October of the same year. The Day Room serves the 22 warden-controlled bungalows on Parkside. The room has been the long held dream of warden Pat Edwards and it is due to her hard work that it has been built. Events held there include a luncheon club, weekly bingo and clothes parties, which are also open to other residents on Parkside and the clothes parties are open to everyone in the village, although the room can get a little crowded!

So far about half of the residents have taken part in events although Pat hopes to with time, build up the numbers. In the summer there is a pleasant sitting out area at the rear, covering about 180 square feet. The Day Room also has disabled toilets and a new fully fitted kitchen for the preparation of meals.

Warden Pat Edwards shares her duties with Sandra Rogers of Hanmer and vice versa. Wrexham Mayor, Councillor David Griffiths, hotfoot from opening Eagles Meadow, did the honours of cutting the tape and Alice Foster gave the vote of thanks and presented the Mayor with a plant for the Lady Mayoress, who was unable to attend. The Mayor then joined residents in a celebration buffet.

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear Friends,

I have a book of folk lore called Bygones by Richard Holland and in this book he quotes a Dr Sylvan Evans who on April 22nd 1885 reported this Welsh custom that occurred in some parts of the Principality.
In the Christmas Holidays it was the custom of young men to visit the abodes of such couples as had been married within the year. The order of the night was as follows.

Having caught a wren, they placed it on a miniature bier and carried it in procession towards the house which they intended to visit.
Having arrived they serenaded the master and mistress of the house under their bedroom window.
The husband then would hopefully open the door, admit the party and regale them with plenty of Christmas ale. The company then departed in a very merry mood.
However if the party were not admitted to the house, in parting they would sing the following festive ditty:
‘Come raging wind, in fury frown,
And turn the house all upside down’.
Other houses would be visited on subsequent nights until Epiphany which was called in Welsh ‘Distyll y Gynliau’or the ebb of the holidays, when all festivities connected with Christmas ceased.

There are many Christmas customs throughout Europe of people travelling to houses to spread cheer and receive hospitality and gifts. As a Christian I like the idea of at the darkest moment of the year reaching out to touch the lives of people with the light and hope and joy of Christ. Though I am not sure what to make of the above parting verse!
Last year as Churches Together in Overton, we spent one December evening visiting the houses in our village to sing carols and give out Christmas cards with greetings from the churches. And people seemed genuinely touched that we would care about them.

This Christmas amid all the festivities and pressure, May we remember the light of the Christ child for ourselves and may we by our love reach out to others, and so be reminders of Bethlehem’s bright sign, The Christ Child.
Happy Christmas

by Constable Luke Hughes

I start this update with some good news, over the notoriously busy period of Halloween and Bonfire Night, (25th Oct - 10th Nov) the Wrexham Maelor area had no incidents of Antisocial Behaviour reported. This is a fantastic result and the first time that this has happened since I have worked in the area. I believe it was achieved as result of the hard work and commitment provided by the Wrexham Community Safety Partnership, Wrexham Council, your local community councils as well as the local shops and businesses that supported the scheme. I offer my thanks to you all and I am most grateful for your hard work and support.

Walking at night.
As the nights draw in, everyone is more vulnerable as you are less visible to motorists. We need to wear something bright and take extra care when out and about near roads.
The key messages are:
• Make sure you can be easily seen at all times, but especially at night, on dark days and in bad weather.
• Bright or fluorescent clothes show up best by day, especially in dull or misty weather.
• By night, reflective material is best and shows up in car headlights – fluorescent clothing doesn’t work after dark. Reflective tape can be put on clothing, school bags and equipment.
• Cross the road at the safest place possible. e.g. zebra, pelican, puffin and patrolled crossings.
• Use the Green Cross Code: Stop, Look, Listen.
• If you are out at night, choose routes that are well lit by streetlights and cross at well-lit places.

Cycling at night.
The advice given to pedestrians about being seen applies equally to cyclists. In addition, bikes need to be equipped with good lights. It is an offence to cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back.

Driving at night.
• Make sure all lights are clean, working and adjusted properly.
• Make sure the windscreen is clean inside and out.
• Use headlights whenever visibility is reduced – for example, early morning, at dusk, when it’s raining or in any gloomy conditions. It’ll help others to see you.
• Increase your following distance so you don’t blind the driver ahead of you.
• Don’t dazzle others with your main beam.
• Reduce your speed. You should be able to stop within the distance you can see.
• If your vehicle breaks down, pull off the road as far as possible and switch on the
hazard warning lights.
• Older drivers face greater difficulties. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to be able to see as well as a 30-year-old.

Tip of the Month.
For Christmas please don’t send cash or valuables in the post, standard post is not secure or guaranteed, seek advice from the post office before posting.


Overton Methodist Church was born out of the ashes of the 2 previous Methodists Chapels in this village. In the late 1930s it was decided by the ‘powers that be’ that the Primitive Methodist Church, Wesleyan Methodists and the Free Church should amalgamate. The ‘Prims’ as it was called affectionately was opposite the Almshouses in Salop Road (now 3 cottages) and the Free Church at the Bangor Rd end of School Lane (now called Chapel House 1 & 2).

Mr Tommy Thompson, builder, smallholder cum-entrepreneur of the Free Church, negotiated to buy both Chapels and also acquired the corner plot of land on the crossroads of Salop Road, which had previously been the village ‘pound’, was where the new church was to be built. Mr Thompson got the contract to build the present church which was erected in 1938 with the help of donations from various other churches and chapels in the locality, local dignitaries and business people, and of course the money from the sale of the two previous chapels. Some of those names can be seen in the foundation stones around the chapel.

Methodism has been practised in the village since the late 18thC & the date 1816 on the Chapel in Salop Road can still be seen. As a girl of 7, I clearly remember the celebrations we had in the summer before the official opening, which was on the first Sunday in December 1938. We had a Rose Queen Fete and a float with lots of black & white photos taken. Perhaps some people still have photos & memorabilia of that time and since, we’d love to see them. The schoolroom used to have a stage and in my early teens we had a small Youth Group that put on plays. We always had a good choir and my grandfather, Edward Haynes taught us to read the Tonic Sofa Music. He was our organist & choir master up to his 80th year. My family were founder members & we all had great times in the chapel through the years.

We are celebrating our 70th birthday on 6th December, when we hold our Christmas Fayre at 2pm, and on Sunday 7th December we are holding a songs of praise service at 3pm followed by a celebration tea at 4.30 pm. At 6pm the evening service will be led by our minister Una McClean and guest preacher Roger Baker. Please join us! By Josie Ralphs

Kids Kolumn
By Alice Foster, Lydia Biggs and Lottie Blake

Hi everybody we’re really excited about Christmas, how about you!

Q. Hello I have got a little bit of a problem my parents have recently separated and it’s affecting me with my schoolwork and other things. I’m living with my mum and I don’t get to see my dad. I hope you can help me. From Rochelle.

A. Hi Rochelle, of course its going to be hard for you. Try talking to your friends or family to see if they can help you get through this and ask your mum if you can see your dad at weekends or holidays. We hope we have helped in some way.

What does Jack Frost eat for breakfast? Frosties

Why don't reindeer like penguins? Because they can’t get the wrappers off.

What game do cows like to play at Christmas parties? Moo-sical chairs

What are the best things to put in a Christmas cake? Your teeth

Lottie’s Pet of the Month

Animal: Rabbit
Breed: New Zealand Rabbit
Did you know that the New Zealand white rabbit is the fastest breeder in the rabbit world. A doe (a female rabbit) may have 5 litters a year, with 10 kits (babies) in each litter

Music Review
Single Hero
Artist X Factor Finalists
All 12 of this year's finalists - including those who've already been eliminated - have teamed up to record a Mariah Carey cover in aid of Help For Heroes, a charity that supports wounded servicemen and women, and the Poppy Appeal. The finalists give a fantastic performance and I would recommend the single to anyone, whether you watch the X Factor or not.


Congratulations to Leah Hughes, year 5 at St Mary’s School, who has just won an exciting competition run by the school’s Eco-Council to design a logo for their new environmental bags. These bags will be available for sale at the farmers markets and also within the village.

The Eco-Council are represented by elected pupils from each class as follows: Nicholas Bateman, Beth Harrison, James Martin, Emily Whitfield, Frazer Kokic, Sophie Vibhishanan, Jack Harrison, Scott Lawrenson, George Done and Chloe Hewitt. George Done and Chloe Hewitt, year 6 representatives on the Eco Council, put together the views of the Eco-Council as follows: “We want to reduce our waste and re-use our Eco bag for life. This will help make Overton plastic bag free. We would like less waste for the World. We have found out that due to plastic bags not being recycled or re-used they can end up in the sea. Whales and turtles suffer, for example turtles think they are jellyfish, they swallow them and die. Julia Hailes in the New Green Consumer Guide said ‘A mink whale found on a Scottish beach had 800kg of plastic bags in its stomach’. Please buy our new Eco bags for life and help save the world!”

It is hoped that people will buy the bags and get into remembering to bring the bags shopping rather than resorting to the plastic bags. Mick Pinder from the Corner Shop said “This is a fantastic idea. The Welsh Government has a proposal to introduce a 20p per bag levy on plastic carriers. A reusable environmentally friendly bag is a superb addition to the recycling schemes that the school has introduced.” Any funds raised from selling the bags will go into developing projects by the Eco Council such as recycling, water harvesting etc. Maybe one day Overton will follow the example of places like the village of Modbury in Devon, and become plastic bag free ... For more information please contact St Mary’s on 01978 710 370

Camels and Kings … in January!
by Rev Una McClean

If you see the notices around the village talking about ‘Camels and Kings’ you may be thinking that the local churches have gone mad. Surely the kings (and their camels) are part of the Christmas story and not New Year.

Right --- and wrong! It is highly unlikely that the three kings (or Magi or wise men) visited the manger in Bethlehem. It is far more likely that they arrived at a later date to worship the baby Jesus. In the Christian calendar we have set this as the 6th January or Epiphany.

This year the churches together in Overton are offering children of all ages (from babes in arms to great grandparents) an opportunity to come together and have some fun.

On Saturday 10th January from 10am until noon in the Methodist Schoolroom you are offered the chance to be part of ‘Messy Church’ – cutting, sticking, colouring, stories, songs and refreshments and all of them shared through all generations and abilities.

It will not be church as you think of it and will not be Sunday School as you perhaps remember in fact it is ‘exactly what it says on the tin’ – messy, fun, light and bright. (There is no charge but a small donation to cover materials and refreshments would be appreciated if you can give it – even if you can’t, still come along!)

So, if you have a yearning for glitter after the tinsel has been packed away or a desire to cut and stick long after others may feel you should have stopped – why not come and explore Camels and Kings with us! You would be very welcome indeed.

For more details contact the Rector David Lewis on 710229 or Rev Una McLean on 860877. See you there!


At Overton we are an accredited teaching practice and we will be having another medical student, Abby Parrish, with us from 4th Nov for 6 weeks. This time of year very often sees an increase in the number of people who have colds and chills. Antibiotics are not prescribed for colds and you should allow at least one week to 10 days for the symptoms to pass. Many patients worry that the cold has gone to their chest as they develop a cough. This is usually nature’s way of making sure you keep the phlegm you develop from settling on your lungs. The coughing keeps the whole bronchial system clearer to help the healing process. The pharmacist can very often give excellent advice thereby making a trip to the doctor unnecessary. If you are really ill then obviously you do need to be seen by a doctor but otherwise there is very little that can be done.
If you need to bring a specimen to the surgery please ask for one of our plastic containers, there is no charge

Rhys is the 100th Baby

Congratulations to Darren Morris, Year 6 teacher at St Mary’s School, Overton and his wife Helen on the birth of their new son Rhys, a brother for Harry.
Rhys made history as he is the 100th baby to be born at the midwide-led maternity unit in the RJ & AH District Hospital in Gobowen since the unit reopened last November.


In the June 2008 Oracle we heard about Overton’s Vicky Glover’s plans to spend a year in Georgia USA as part of the Erddig Rotary Club sponsored schemes with Georgia Student Rotary Programme. Former Maelor High School pupil Vicky is one of 13 former pupils who have in recent years gained Rotary sponsored one year scholarships to study in Georgia and stay with Rotary families. Vicky is studying criminal justice and has been befriended by the local police department in Statesboro and has spent weeks with the investigation division.

Vicky says “I had been interested in joining the police in the UK and when the local police chief heard this he offered me an internship at Statesboro I go off with the officers on all kinds of cases, from shootings, drug busting to fraud. Whatever they do I do. I even have to wear a bullet proof vest, I am really loving the experience”. Vicky is introducing her host family to Welsh traditions and has cooked them a roast dinner, some Welsh rarebit and Welsh cakes.

Overton Play Group News

The Play Group is again opening for a child minding day on Saturday 13th December. CRB qualified staff can look after your children from 8.45am to 4pm and entertain them with crafts, games and lots of fun while you complete your Christmas shopping etc. Call the Centre on 01978 710688 to book them in. The cost is £15 per child for the day or £7.50 for half a day (8.45am to 12.15pm or 12.30pm to 4pm). Please provide them with a packed lunch should they be staying.

We are putting on a Christmas play with the Play Group and toddler children on Saturday 6th December at 10.30am. The play is called “Bobby Bluegum helps out!”, and all are very welcome Tickets are £2 per adult (free for children) and this includes refreshments. Please purchase tickets from the Play Centre as places are limited.


Overton Playgroup is now registered with the following websites to raise funds for the Play Centre
Easyfundraising.org.uk If you buy through this website with shops such as Marks and Spencer, Next, Currys, Argos, WH Smith, Woolworths, Comet, HMV, Pets at Home, B & Q, Screwfix, Woolworths, John Lewis, The Body Shop, Boden, HMV plus many many more – then The Play Centre will directly benefit. You will find us under ‘Overton Pre-School Play Centre’.
Yellowmoon.org.uk Our reference is WOV03996 & find us from our postcode: LL13 0ES

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
A letter arrived on my doormat this week, it looked friendly, had a nice Spanish stamp on it and was postmarked Malaga (not your usual mailshot stuff). Opening it was a revelation, the Spanish Sweepstake Lottery then proceeded to tell me I had won a princely sum but I had to fill in the attached form to claim the handsome prize by 15th December. This attached form needed to know everything about one, even one's next of kin.. !! That's apart from all one's Bank Details. This had me concerned for the vulnerable in our society.. its the age old trick.. appeal to human greed and for every 100 letters despatched there will no doubt be 3 or more who will succumb. So I decided to ring Trading Standards.. they assure me they have no resources and can do nothing because it occurs in Spain .. so take heed all Overtonians, young ,old or regardless don't fall for the Spanish Thieves.
Shirley O'Connor

Reminder: It is the policy of the Oracle and all newspapers, that they will not publish anonymous letters. Writers of letters to the Oracle must give their name & address, but may request their letter concludes with the words “name & address supplied”.


Sam Pinder wishes to thank everybody who sponsored him for the Lakelands School sponsored walk. He raised a total of £386.36 for the school fund. Thank you

The Royal British Legion would like to thank Eastwick Garden Centre and Owen Glyn Jones for the plants around the Cenotaph and thanks to all the poppy sellers for all their hard work.

Thanks to those who supported the Play Centre New 2U sale which raised £392 & the Recycling Scheme which raised £279. The next collection is in June but we will be collecting from now so if you would like goods collected please call on 710246 to arrange a convenient time Thanks also to Sam and Andy at the White Horse for raising money for the Play Centre during the events they have put on this year.


Congratulations to Michael Thomas and his wife on the birth of their baby son, Joseph Andrew, a new grandson for Rod and Sharman Parry.

Congratulations to Bethan and Rob Hughes on the birth of their baby daughter, Millie Beth, a new granddaughter for Alan and Shane Stubberts and making Tara and Dave Pugh an Auntie and Uncle and Courtney and Kyle, cousins.

Happy December Birthdays Dani Jones, Iris Edwards, Howard Jones, Jenny Maskall, Walter Roberts, Carol Morrison & Lisa Edwards (21!)

Sincere condolences go to Family and Friends of Floyd Ogden who passed away in November.

Congratulations to Mark Whittall on passing his driving test, to the local family who won £66,000 on the Lottery and to the White Horse for being CAMRA pub of the season for the Chester & Sth Clwyd area.

Graham and I would like to wish all my Family and friends who we miss, all the Very Best for Christmas and the New Year. Regards, Sandra Jones