School's Millennium Project takes shape

St Mary's Primary School has been busy creating a sensory garden, an outdoor classroom and a sculpture area as part of its Millennium Project.  The idea originated from the children themselves and the project has been co-ordinated by a landscape architect from Groundwork Wrexham.


Painting the tyres in the recycled play area

The project has three phases. The first phase of the project was to create a sculpture area, which comprises a number of tree trunks fixed solidly into an area surrounded by bark. The timber was supplied by Richard Roberts and the bark was donated by Flintshire Woodlands. Andy Hancock, resident artist with Groundwork, and famed for creating the animal wood carvings and sculptures at Lake Vyrnwy and Chirk, was then granted a three day commission to work on the sculpture area, carving a beautiful Kestrel, Badger and Squirrel.


Ian Witticase, aged 11 (with saw) and Riccardo DeRosa, aged 11, constructing the seating around the sensory garden

During the summer, children and parents constructed a boarded seating area. Then, this autumn, the idea was extended to create raised sensory habitats edged with seating for the children, with each class being given responsibility for their maintenance.  An outdoor classroom area has also been constructed using a mild steel frame, with peripheral planting of willow and dogwoods.  The third phase will be carried out next Spring with more groundwork and planting.

Sharon Bielby, the Landscape Architect for the project said: "This is the most rewarding project I have ever been involved in, and working with the children has been a wonderful experience. They came up with the ideas and we took it on from there. We have had phenomenal support from the parents and the teachers, and also from local firms who donated a lot of the materials, to whom I should like to say a big thankyou".

Olympic Wrestling Coach offers course in Overton.

Balvinder Matharu, who runs the White Horse Inn, is keen to find out if there is any interest in the village from youngsters wishing to take up boxing, Olympic wrestling or physical fitness.

Balvinder ( Bal to his friends) is a qualified national and international Olympic wrestling coach, and took up the sport when he was only 13 years old. Until then he was a very keen Boxer and was West Midlands Schoolboy champion in 1976. He then decided to take up Olympic wrestling because it was more competitive, and during his 25 years in the sport, won the Midlands and English Open Championship eleven times, the Irish Open 5 times and the British Open 3 times. He was also a Gold medallist in the British Challenge Cup which attracts entrants from 32 countries. He has represented England in the Commonwealth Games and participated in the Moscow Olympics in 1980. He was the All African Champion in 1991 and the international coach to the Kenyan Olympic Wrestling Team.

Bal, who came to Overton twelve months ago with his wife Sindy and their five children, is looking for any interest from children of 5 years of age and over. If you, or your children, would like to take up boxing, Olympic wrestling or a course in physical fitness, give Bal a call. He can be reached on 01978 710111.

Ed. Sounds like a great idea

Crime Reports

At a recent meeting of the Community Council, P C Wycherley presented a report on a number of crime related incidents in the village that had occurred over the last few months. Although Overton could hardly qualify as a major crime centre councillors heard details of an extraordinary catalogue of petty crime ranging from over-exuberance on Hallowe'en night to more serious matters such as incidents of car break-ins, domestic incidents and burglary.

The most striking part of the report, however, was the high rate of success achieved by our local police in resolving and dealing with these incidents and the Oracle team, on behalf of the community, wishes to express its appreciation and thanks to the police for their dedication to duty on our behalf.

Most people are more than ready to give what assistance they can to the police and, as Christmas approaches and the long, dark nights take over, what better help can we give in helping to reduce their burden than to heed the following advice.

As PC Wycherley said:- "At this time of year, opportunist thieves are on the lookout for easy pickings, and by taking simple precautions, we can all prevent the unnecessary heartbreak of criminal activity".

  • Never leave your valuables in a parked vehicle.
  • If attending a function leaving your house empty, inform a neighbour and ask them to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
  • If you're going away over the holiday period, in addition to informing neighbours, please let me know so that your property can be checked on a regular basis.
  • Make sure that ground floor windows are closed and preferably locked during periods of absence.
  • Close your garage door... Simple but effective!
  • Please report any suspicious activity to the Police. You will never be criticised for so doing and you may help detect, or better still, prevent theft.

May I please take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry, crime free, Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Paul Wycherley. Overton Police Station.

Now We Know More!

Last December, David Burton asked who were the people we were remembering when we stand opposite the War Memorial each year and asked if there was anyone prepared to research it for us. Congratulations to Alan Jones of Maelor Court who took up the challenge, and we have enjoyed his three articles, including details of the fallen and where they fell.  

Alan travelled far and wide to uncover all the facts. He contacted the Imperial War Museum to see if they could help. They replied by saying: “Well actually, you can help us!” Apparently nobody had sent in a return for the parish of Overton, all those years ago!

The list shows up several family tragedies including three casualties who didn’t succumb until after the Armistice was declared. Harry Morgan, who was badly wounded in 1917 and lingered on until 19 days before the Armistice. Richard and Walter Edwards both of the Asney, were obviously closely related. They were killed 14 months apart. And there was Edward and Stanley Haynes, who died just 3 days short of a year apart. They had both lived at Lilac Cottage on Bangor Road. In particular let us remember Cecily Bruce Benjamin who served aboard HMS President II in the Second World War as a Chief Wren, which shows women in the front line is no modern phenomenon.

The carnage touched all ranks – there were 3 Lieutenants, a 2nd Lieutenant, Flight Lieutenant, an Acting Captain, a Company Sergeant Major, Sergeant, Corporal, Bombardier, Fusilier, Trumpeter, 1st Class Stoker, Leading Aircraftman, Guardsman, Chief Wren, 2 Sappers, 2 Lance Corporals, two Gunners and last but not least 15 Privates!

Thank you Alan. Because of your work we now know whom we are remembering.

An interview with Tim Vincent

by S. Davies

When a work colleague of Jill Pugh's was attending a wedding in Yorkshire, at which Tim Vincent was also a guest, Jill could not resist in forwarding our regards from Overton, and asked whether he would permit a very short interview for the Oracle.

Steve Davis from Rhostyllen, very kindly took on the challenging task with, in his words "abject terror!". This is what he wrote:

I have known Tim for many years, and regard him as a true and loyal friend. When I asked his permission to conduct a small interview, he willingly obliged.

Firstly, I took some time to observe him. It had never occurred to me, ( as a fella), just how good looking he was! As I have known him for many years, I just saw him as "Tim". All women of all ages stared in total admiration, everywhere we went! (A scene I personally have never witnessed.) The next apparent thing was that he did not get a minute’s peace. However, this didn't seem to upset him, and he willingly signed autographs, posed for photographs and answered any questions. He is polite, courteous and gracious to everyone. I asked him how he felt about this to which he replied: "Although sometimes I need space and yes, it can be intrusive, most of the time I feel extremely lucky. Knowing that people enjoy my performances, and want to say 'Hello' makes me feel very proud."

When asked about Emmerdale, he said that it is very busy and he gets tired from the amount of travelling between his home in London and the Emmerdale set in Leeds. I also asked him about any new projects in the pipeline, for which he replied: "A film which I have a small part in called "Sorted" which has just gone on general release and when I eventually finish in Emmerdale I would like to do some more presenting and acting."

We then talked about Overton for which he spoke with pride. One of the biggest things he missed was the beautiful countryside. I asked him whether he would like to be remembered to anyone? Very quickly he replied with a twinkle in his eyes: "Anyone that remembers me with fond memories. I hope that's most people - ha! ha! I would like to wish everyone in Overton well."

Having interviewed Tim, I wanted to remain totally unbiased and dispassionate. However, I would like to say a couple of things. As a friend, Tim is one of the most generous, kind and loyal people you could ever wish to meet. He was only 20 when he got his first big break on Blue Peter, and hasn't been out of the limelight since.

He hasn't lost his sense of stability and has remained modest throughout. I speak of him with due respect, and thank him sincerely for taking the time to chat to me for this totally "exclusive" interview for the Overton Oracle

Scouts Use Nighthawk to Remember

Over the last few years Overton Scouts have received praise from the British Legion for a good turnout. Leaders admitted to our reporter that they use subterfuge to achieve this. For some years now leaders have organised a night exercise called Operation Nighthawk. In the first few years it comprised one patrol of scouts defending Dinas Bran castle whilst others attacked it. Last year it was a late orienteering competition at West Felton. This year it took place at the Scouts District Campsite at Cox’s Wood near Rossett. The scouts arrived at 2pm and split into two groups. One group spent the next hour abseiling off the 30 foot high purpose built abseil tower whilst the other group started clearing brambles and bushes to create what will be a permanent campsite for Overton Scouts. After swapping over the groups split into patrols and each patrol had to build a fire and the object of the exercise was to put each other’s fire out. This was achieved by the scouts using supersoaker water pistols. Leaders, also armed with supersoakers, ensured that everyone played fair and got equally wet.  After changing into dry clothing the Scouts spent the night camping in the scout hut ready to be in their smart uniforms (not soaked the night before!) to participate in the Remembrance Day service.

During the service Canon Jones had the scouts spellbound with his experiences of D-Day and its aftermath, one of the best anti-war sermons we have ever heard!

Overton and District Bowling Club

The chairman Mr Reg Jones welcomed members and friends to the annual dinner and presentation evening held at the Llwyn Onn Hall Hotel on October 13th.

The club once again has had a successful season in the Oswestry League. The A-team were runners-up in Division 1, the B team coming third in Division 2 and the Veterans runners-up in their league.

Club competition winners were presented with the following trophies:-

John Cooper Cup Dave Edwards
Col Fitzhugh Cup Dave Edwards
Spring Shield Gareth Jones
Non-winners John Edwards
Doubles Salver Dave Edwards, John Edwards
Floodlight Triples Marjery Lambert, Gerry Owen Geoff Hodgson.
Merits: A Team Derek Edwards
  B Team Terry Martin
  C Team Jack Edwards
  D Team Chris Probert
Veterans Gerry Owen  

WHAT’S ON

Overton W.I.

14 December

Parish Rooms

7.30pm

“Wroxeter Roman Vineyard Wine Company”

Cheese and wine evening

Non Members 1 admission

Overton Playgroup

Christmas Musical

Saturday 16th December

Commencing 10.30am

Overton Playcentre

1 admission inclusive

Tickets available at the playcentre

Millennium New Years Eve Party

Sunday 31st Dec

8.00pm until late

Disco/Food/Bar

Tickets 8.00 adults

3.00 children

Available from Style Salon

WHITE HORSE INN

Xmas Eve

Michelle Tate

9.00pm - 11.30pm

Boxing Day Night

Kareoke 8.00pm - 11.30pm

New Years Eve

live band featuring Celtic Groove

All Singers and Musicians welcome

8.00pm - 12.30pm