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

February 2005


The Editorial Team

Maxine Palmer - Sean Clarke - Wally Wilton - David Burton - Lesley Pugh - Euan Stevenson

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


New Surgury Finally Open

Crazy Youth Policy Revealed….

For some time now there has been a thriving Youth Club in the village of Overton. Run by a Youth Advisory Committee, comprising parents and other interested adults, it has been meeting in the Scout Hut one night a week. The Youth Club is self sufficient in terms of the funds it has raised for equipment, and a contribution to the Scouts (Gas & Electricity); however, the youth leader is supplied and paid for by Wrexham Borough with half her salary contributed by Overton Community Council. The Youth Leader is on Wrexham’s payroll for the purposes of insurance, Criminal Records Bureau checking and training. There has been a regular membership of at least 20. The monthly Youth Disco’s are very successful and by all accounts very well controlled. They also make a good profit!

Suddenly and without warning in October last year Wrexham Borough Council decided to unilaterally change its policy and close rural youth clubs, replacing them with a “youth bus” and it was with a sense of incredulity that the Youth Advisory Committee heard second hand that this was happening. For those young people who saw what was on offer, they were very disappointed. There was only room for ten on the bus at any time and all that was on offer were a few computers and the opportunity to watch TV or a video (something that almost every child these days can do in the comfort of their own homes). Wrexham are aiming to reduce their staffing of rural youth leaders saving costs by £60,000, so we are told.

There was no appeal, no way could Wrexham be moved from their decision and the Youth Club was forced to close. The result of this is that the bus, which also goes to Penley and Hanmer on the same night is in Overton for approximately 20 – 30 minutes one evening a week. If all twenty members of the Youth Club attend, only half can be accommodated on the bus, the other half have to wait outside whatever the weather. With no leader, there is no access to the Scout Hut, therefore, no toilet facilities, nowhere to shelter and if the bus does not arrive, as has happened at least once, the youngsters are left standing in the playing fields car park. One wonders what Wrexham’s Child Protection Officer thinks of that?

The Community Council has written to Wrexham Youth Service, protesting that they were not informed, especially when they were contributing half of the Youth Leaders salary. At the time of writing there has been no reply, just a deafening silence. A group of parents are trying to kick start the Youth Club, but in order to do so they will need to find someone capable of running it and find enough funds to cover insurance and any salary costs. It is to be hoped they succeed.

As far as Wrexham Council is concerned, would this be happening on Queens Park or Plas Madoc? Just because Overton doesn’t have the same social problems as these two estates it is deprived of one of the few successful youth activities in the community and consequently the youth of Overton are the poorer. One hopes the consequence of this situation is not an increase in anti-social behaviour, but we will know where to point the finger of blame!

Out and About
Wrexham Transport Co-ordination

A number of concessionary travel schemes and services were mentioned by Mr. Wilkinson, Director of Highways WCBC, at the Community Council meeting of November 9 2004. These are probably not widely known and he kindly arranged for leaflets to be sent to the Clerk who has placed copies in the Overton Library.

Many people who live in an isolated area might like to use public transport but are unable to get to the transport route. Now, if you live within a defined area, you will be able to book a taxi to enable you to connect with the 146 Wrexham to Whitchurch bus service. In addition you will be able to use the service to make a journey to specified locations. You will be charged the equivalent of a bus fare and concessionary fares will apply. Wrexham Bus Line is 01978 266166; or to book a journey - 261377/262380. Mention is also made of ‘Chariotts’ Dial-a-ride, for anyone unable to use public transport, 01978 312888 for more details. There is a leaflet describing who is entitled to a concessionary travel pass.

Wrextreme 16-22 pass. If you live in the WCB and are aged 16-22, you will be eligible for a pass which will entitle you to at least 23% off the full fare that you would normally pay on ARRIVA bus services. Although the leaflets about the scheme say this is valid only until December 2003, I have checked with Bus Line and they assured me that the scheme is still ongoing and they are just using up old leaflets, which have full details and an application form.



By Constable Darren King

I would like to make you aware of the following ‘scam’. This information was passed to me from one of my very community spirited neighbours who had been warned whilst at work. Although to date there are no reports of it occurring near here, as you will become aware from reading the below, you should still be on your guard.

The ‘scam’ involves a respectable looking, well dressed female knocking on your door and asking to use your telephone to call her husband as her car as just broken down. You obviously take pity on her to use your phone, but as you have previously been warned about letting strangers into your home, you decide to stand with her in case she steals something. This makes you feel secure, even more so due to the fact she has offered to give you a pound to pay for the call. However, the ‘scam’ does not involve her or any associate stealing items.

About a week before she knocks on your door she has set up her own premium rate line with a telephone company at a cost of about £150.00, and she has dictated that any calls to that number will be charged at £50.00 per minute.

When she then uses your phone to allegedly call her husband, (this call will usually take up to 5 minutes as she states she has been told he is in a meeting and will have to hold), her conversation is actually fictitious as there is only a recorded message at the other end of the phone to give you the impression that she is speaking to another person. She then gives you your pound and leaves.

As a result of this you are happy because you think that the pound will cover the cost of the call, you’ve been on your guard and haven’t become the victim of a theft or distraction burglary, and you feel great because you have done someone a ‘good turn’. But in fact the price of that call has just cost you £250.00, most of which goes to her, and you will not even know about it until a month later when you get your bill.

And if that wasn’t enough, to make you feel even worse, she hasn’t even broken the law because you gave her permission to use your phone in the first place. Please be on your guard about this or similar offences, there is no set description for a criminal, some people can be very convincing. To combat the above, you can always dial the number yourself. At least that way you will know if it is genuine or not and you can hang up straight away.

Thank you.

Darren King, Constable 1360.The Police

Station, Overton,Wrexham LL13 0EF

Telephone: (01978) 290 222 Fax:(01978) 294771

E-mail: darren.king@north-wales.police.uk

Overton Health Centre Opens
by Lesley Pugh

At long last the new building is operational and the Medical Practice has been able to move from the portakabin into the right hand side of the Centre as you look at the front door. On Wednesday, January 12th an ‘open day’ was held giving everyone the opportunity to have a look around. This was well attended and guided tours of the upper floors were continuous and must have been exhausting for the hosts. The upper floor is designated for use by staff only but the ground floor has very spacious consulting rooms and treatment rooms. Concern was voiced by a wheelchair user who thought the access through the automatic door which opens from the side rather than the centre, was rather narrow. The next few days were taken up with the mammoth task of moving and anyone who has moved house can guess what a chore that must have been. The Practice re-opened on Monday 17th and when I popped in during the afternoon, Vonnie looked very much at home in the reception area.

The telephone number is as before 710666. Emergency out of hours numbers are Shropdoc 08450 20 21 31 and Wrexham GP Co-op 01978 751333.

The left hand side of the building is used by the NHS Trust and houses the nurses and clinics that have transferred from Penley. The School Nurse who looks after children from 4 – 16 years; Health Visitor and District Nurses. The nurses said that they were sad to leave Penley but there they only had one treatment room and it was rather nice to have purpose built facilities in the new building. Although the move would cause some disruption, they would soon be settled in.

The move has meant new telephone numbers and the Health Visitor is now on 01978 711919.

The District Nurses are on 01978 711920. Answer/phone machines operate when no one is available.

The portakabins will soon be removed and the picnic area restored. There is no information available presently regarding the new Pharmacy. The Overton Community Council had asked the developers to place the dragon stone plaque that had been incorporated in the old building, into the new front car park wall. However, it was found lying on the ground in rubble. Arrangements are in action for a more befitting display.

A pool of talent…...

Congratulations to the Overton Rec’ Club Pool Team Pictured below are the triumphant members (L to R)

Clay Theakston, Mark Whittall, Lee Gorton, Paul Edwards and Mark Williams. They are the Ellesmere Pool League Champions. In addition to this Lee Gorton and Mark Williams also won the League doubles

By Lela Palin

Remember this is your column kids and you have control over the content if you submit your material Lela will include it - Maxine

Brain Teaser

Last months answer

There were two possible answers to last months


Answer(1): You ask a door - "If I were to ask the other door which door leads to freedom, what would he say". And then you pick the opposite door of which he tells you.
Answer(2): Ask the door - "If I asked you which door leads to freedom before, which door would you have told me?" (negative and negative = positive, positive and positive = positive). and you choose the door that it directs you to.

These are really confusing, so you might need to read over them a few times if you don't understand them at first.

This months Brain Teaser

This is a real toughie! Take your time with it!

The paragraph below is quite unusual. How quickly can you find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so ordinary you'd think nothing was wrong with it - and in fact, nothing is wrong with it. It is unusual though. Why?

"Gatsby was walking back from a visit down in Branton Hill's manufacturing district on a Saturday night. A busy day's traffic had had its noisy run; and with not many folks in sight, His Honor got along without having to stop to grasp a hand, or talk; for a mayor out of City Hall is a shining mark for any politician. And so, coming to Broadway, a booming bass drum and sounds of singing, told of a small Salvation Army unit carrying on amidst Broadway's night shopping crowds. Gatsby, walking towards that group, saw a young girl, back toward him, just finishing a long, soulful oration ... "

Note: The above passage is taken from the book "Gatsby" written by Ernest Vincent Wright in the late 1930's

Just a little note

Happy Valentines day everyone!

Writing this months Kids Page has been difficult, as I have been ill for about two weeks with flu and tonsillitis. I would also like to apologise to Emma Done (age 5) and George Done (age 7) for the poor quality of their wonderful art printed in last months issue. I have been having some problems re-sizing images, since recently my computer wiped all its data and all its programmes, and I couldn't find my paint shop pro disk anywhere so was stuck using the default paint programme. I think I have fixed the error and I hope they have come out better now : )

Also I really don’t want to nag, but I am in desperate need of some stuff off you guys for the “Your word” And “Young at heart” sections of the page…



Huge congratulations to Laura-Katie Edwards for her recent appearance in the Wrexham Leader. She was competing at the Welsh Indoor Athletics Championships in Cardiff. Laura and her team-mate Hannah Thomas now share the high jump record and Laura now holds first place as the 60m hurdles champ! Laura has made many appearances in local papers, and we wish her the best of luck in the future...not that she needs it!

A quick valentines Poem

Today’s Valentines Day

I need some-one to love

An Angel

Delivered from above…

Be my valentine

Be my love

Be my angel from above?

You’re my valentine

By Maggie Pham

By Emma Done

By George Done

Tales from the Trade…….
By Sean Clarke

This months ‘Tales of’ features a local business, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. Two local businessmen, Harry Evison, and the late Cliff Andrews decided to venture into self-employment and form a partnership to establish Overton’s own Agricultural and Engineers merchants. The shack pictured below was a former undertakers in the 1930’s and although it has been replaced by the modern shop and warehouse, it still exists today at the rear of the development.

Picture above- original premises

Picture above-Springfield Supplies today

The partners applied their trade selling mainly fasteners and tools and had begun to develop when tragedy struck and Cliff Andrews sadly passed away. Harry’s son, Steven stepped into the breach and was joined two years later by brother Neil.

Dealing mainly with farmers and nearby factories the company began to expand its range in order to accommodate the growing home improvement market and this coincided with the building of shop and warehouse pictured above. Like any business Springfield Supplies is vulnerable to changes within the economy and the closure of important customers including Wrexham Lager, impacted adversely on the business. The family however, continued to overcome the challenges and went on to brave the outbreak of Foot & Mouth and the petrol crisis depredation.

With modern premises and a fair degree of fortitude, Springfield Supplies further diversified and now provides goods ranging from pet food to Italian hand-made spiral staircases.

June 2001 marked the retirement of Harry and the brothers work in partnership to maintain the business’ progress. Steven explained “We aim to supply whatever our customers need and are members of the British Hardware Federation which means we can purchase products at the same prices as the large chains and offer competitive rates to our clientele.”

The firm have usually recruited staff from within the village and fondly recall some of their previous employees. ‘We have some good people with us at the moment’ the partners add and their current colleagues are Alan Williams and Bill & Grant Rogers.

Springfield Supplies epitomises a family run business and as they have been resident since about 1890 it’s a fair bet that the company will continue for some time yet. All three Evison Sons have welcomed children into their expanding families in 2004 and time will tell as to whether the companys future will remain within the family.

News from St Mary’s School

Our Tsunami Thoughts
By Kay Lawrenson

I don’t think anyone could imagine anything quite as terrible as the events surrounding the Tsunami on Boxing Day. What I, as a parent and member of staff at St Mary’s School wasn’t prepared for was the way in which each and every child at our school had been affected in some way by events on the news or in newspapers.

On returning to school after Christmas, I was deeply moved by how concerned the children were by the disaster in South Asia. Immediately the older children were busy discussing the ways that we could help the families in the worst hit areas. During the week of the 10th of January, the children made cakes, fudges and biscuits to sell to their classmates in the playground; even sold the sweets that they had received in their Christmas stockings and selection boxes! The total so far is £400 ….and is still rising.

I also feel privileged to have been part of an amazing assembly that the children had put together themselves. A particularly poignant beginning, where the backdrop was a picture from an aid agency, of a man from Sri Lanka, surrounded by rubble and a few clutched belongings , with only a statue of Mary and Jesus (from a nativity scene) still recognisable. The children walked into the hall almost silently and were captivated by a globe placed on the Altar, onto which the sunshine was shining through the window.

The older children performed a play through the eyes of a Red Cross Aid-worker and spoke of the ways in which we can try to make a difference. They read a prayer that they had put together as a class, which asked God to patch up our world with our love. They chose the hymn with the words “Would you walk by…?” and sang how they would cross over the road to help.

Each class lit a candle on the Altar for each county that has been devastated by the Tsunami; the effect brought tears to my eyes and took my breath away. Our children, our future, produced it and it was as if they knew what to ask God for. They prayed for the people who lost their homes, their families and all hope. Reception children (aged 4 and 5) spoke of the “Naughty Wave” and others asked God to help us look after their earth.

I know I speak on behalf of al the staff at St Mary’s, when I say how proud we all are of the way your children (and grandchildren) showed love, compassion and hope to us all and did this so thoughtfully and easily. They are truly amazing!

Watch out next month for “La Foulee Blanche” skiing trip! Did we retain our title? Or did we have the most fantastic time trying??

Overton Rambling Club

By Ken Farrell

Overton’s Secret Bunker built during the Cold War of the 1960’s. In these photographs a sprightly Kath Hamlington, watched by John Williams, emerges from the trapdoor and ladder which lead 20 feet down where I am sitting reading old notices, still there after some 20 years ago. As can be seen the group attracted walkers of all ages, including my grandson Tom, then 7 years old.

Overton Then and Now….
By Ken Farrell

Here’s another pair of photographs of a familiar corner of Overton with some 80 years between them and which appear to show little change over that time. The churchyard yews seem to have grown a bit over the years but the same shrub grows up the front of Church Cottage in both pictures. Only the roof is different – straw thatch in the old photo has been replaced by attractive tiling following a fire some years ago.

The group of motorcyclists in the old photo suggest that things have not altered that much in Overton, except that these early veterans are wearing straw boaters instead of helmets. I’d like to bet, too, that they didn’t make as much noise as their modern counterparts roaring through the village.


Seventies night proves to be a hit!

Oh what a night late December back in 1963 goes the song…well this was mid January and Oh What a night indeed! The music from the seventies combined with the fancy dress made the night a success. Those who attended included The Jacksons, Stevie Wonder, Elvis, Abba, Baycity Rollers, Elvis, Alvin Stardust, Gary Glitter, Elvis, Dave Hill, Angus Young and did I mention Elvis (well there were four of them – he must have been a popular guy) There were others as well, hippies, Boy George and teenagers all out just to have a good time. They even knew all of the songs and quickly remembered the dances, everyone learning from every one else. The idea of “Bring you Own “ food and drink meant that sharing was inevitable and there was plenty for everyone.

Over £400 was raised for Nightingale House, and there is another night planned for October. Oh what a night ….you ain’t seen nuthin yet!!


In Memoriam – The Grey Cat By Francis Glynne-Jones

On the morning of Monday December 27th I found a Grey Cat lying dead by the War Memorial. It appeared that he had been hit by a car and died instantly. I carried him back to St Mary’s House and buried him on the bank. While burying him I contemplated the years he had visited the garden and hunted without opposition a territory he considered his own. He was a cat who enjoyed his own privacy and refused contact except for the briefest acknowledgements. But he is missed as we enter a new year and the only tangible memory is a collar – black on the outside and white inside. Maybe I will now meet the owner of the collar, but I believe nobody could have owned the grey cat himself.

Tsunami Fundraiser
By the one of the Oracles mystery freelance reporters…..

Clay at the White Horse and quickly had the support of many within the village.

Three local bands, Tequila, Breakeven and Strangebrew joined with Yozzer Hughes to put on an evening of music enjoyed by all who attended.

Yozzer (kicked the evening off with a mix of dance tunes, followed by Tequila with new (old) bass player Phil who played superbly. Yozzer then followed up with a harder mix of house music playing through what must have be a DJ’s most annoying time…which is when a band tunes and warms up, a mighty fine set from him.

Breakeven powered through their set of metal covers which numbed the brain as the ears were battered by the power of their PA system (poor concentration levels have been reported by the Domino players in the club as a result!) They really got it together as they played into what they called the “Dance” part of their set.

Strangebrew then played a more “refined” set covering some mighty tunes by Gary Moore, Cream and Steve Earle amongst others. Ending the night with a virtuoso guitar lesson from Andy.

A fast furious raffle draw was crammed into the short period of time between Breakeven and Strangebrew. Prizes were donated by local people and businesses. Altogether this was a most enjoyable night which raised over £1500. Thanks to all involved.

Tsunami Coffee Morning
By G Austin

On behalf of the Methodist Church I would like to give a very big thank you to all who supported the Coffee Morning on Tuesday 11th of January in aid of the Tsunami Appeal. Thanks to everyone who gave, bought and sold, coffeemakers, doorkeeper, and also those who gave donations. A grand sum of over £500 was raised Thank you all again G Austin (Senior Steward)

Letter from the Web…...

Hello, from an avid reader in Canada, who is looking forward to reading the next edition of the Oracle. Perhaps in a future edition you could publish details of the current population. I lived in the village until, at 18, (do you have population statistics for 1950 too) I joined the RAF and never returned, apart from visiting my now deceased parents. My home was the house now occupied by a Hairdresser in Church Road, opposite the car park. Sincerely,

Gordon Richards Does anyone remember Gordon or his family?