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

Feb 2006



Overton - The Darwin Connection!
By Jill Burton

Did you realise that when you walk along the High Street in Overton that this is a street and village that the great Charles Darwin knew well?

His connection was through his sister who married and lived here and Charles spent many happy holidays with her here in Overton.

The eldest of the Darwin children was Marianne, born to her mother Emma Wedgwood and father Robert Darwin the famous Shrewsbury doctor and financier in 1798. Their home was The Mount in Shrewsbury. Marianne was 11 when her youngest brother Charles was born. The Darwin and Wedgwood cousins spent much time together and Marianne travelled on holidays with them including staying in the fashionable towns of Bath and Scarborough.

Mrs Darwin did not enjoy good health and the responsibility of looking after the youngest children including Charles fell to the eldest sisters, Marianne and Caroline. This continued, when in 1817 their mother died. Charles was only 8 years old. In 1824 Marianne married Henry Parker, a doctor and pupil of her father’s. Dr. Parker then decided to begin a country practise of his own and he and Marianne set up home in Overton, They lived at The Brow, Wrexham Road, and here he and Marianne were to have 5 children, 4 boys and a girl.

Catherine and Sarah, the two other Darwin sisters, were regular visitors to Overton, although they were not impressed with Welsh weather, “horrid rainy weather as is always the case there I think”. The three youngest children, Erasmus, Emily and Charles were also to holiday here. Despite the weather Marianne writes of the flower garden she created here.

When the young Charles left Shrewsbury to go to Edinburgh University, Marianne took his favourite dog Spark to Overton “as we need a watch dog and there is a profusion of rats and mice to kill.” Dr Parker was very fond of Spark, “she is privileged to go into any room in the house that she pleases” and letters to Charles usually gave reassurances about the dog even before mention of their new baby, Charles’s new nephew Robert, who was born at Overton in 1825. But there was sad news next spring. Spark had run away after she had first come to Overton. A guinea reward was offered and great many little black and white dogs were brought for inspection to The Brow. After two weeks she was discovered being looked after by the Rector, Dr Wynne. But after this excursion she was found to be having puppies, and their birth killed her. Very apologetic letters were sent to Charles.
In 1829 in the first week of August Charles was staying in Overton to be godfather to his two eldest nephews, Robert aged 4 and Henry aged 2. By 1831 there were 4 boys, the fourth named after his Uncle Charles who was about to set sail on his famous voyage on the ship “The Beagle”.
Next month “News of Overton sent to the Beagle”

By Constable Darren King

I’m sure I’m right in saying that when people apply to join the fire service, they must envisage saving people from burning buildings. They don’t so much envisage having to dowse down some hay bails which have stupidly been set alight by mindless yobs.

I’m sure the same can be said of people applying to work as a paramedic, they envisage helping people who are in need of emergency medical attention. They don’t so much envisage having to deal with people who have deliberately gotten themselves so drunk they cannot stand up.

The police are no different. I’m sure that all people applying to be a police officer envisage catching criminals and putting them behind bars. They don’t so much envisage having to deal with the somewhat minor incidents we get called to assist with, like someone parking over a neighbour’s driveway, or a person playing their music too loud, youths congregating and causing minor damage, or a vehicle not displaying a valid tax disc. However, all members of all 3 services accept that these things are part of the job and need to be dealt with.
So the next time either myself or one of my colleagues has to knock on your door, please accept it that we are there for a reason, to investigate an offence, and the only way to we can carryout that investigation is by asking you questions. This is also for your benefit, without questioning you, we cannot ascertain if you are innocent or not.

You may not think that the examples I have listed above, or similar incidents, are serious enough for the police to be involved, but they are all against the law, so therefore the police have to act and the results of the investigation will naturally dictate whether or not a person is prosecuted.

So when you next class yourself as a law abiding citizen, (a phrase that gets said to me on a daily basis), remember, this statement applies to ALL laws, whether you deem them serious or not, and it certainly applies to speeding. If I had a pound for every time someone said, ‘I’m sure you would rather be dealing with something more serious than this’, I’d be able to retire tomorrow and still have enough left over to put the children through university. But if we only dealt with the serious offences, what sort of society would we have then? And if the police didn’t deal with these incidents, who would?

Thank you.

Darren King Constable 1360.
Community Beat Manager for The Maelor Section.
The Police Station, Station Road, Overton, Wrexham.LL13 OEF. Telephone: 0845 607 1002 ex 35420.
. Fax: (01978) 294 771.
E-mail: darren.king@north-wales.police.uk

Ramblings From the Rectory
By David Lewis

Dear Friends,

On February 14th we celebrate St Valentine’s Day.

Valentine himself was a priest who lived in Rome around the Third
Century AD. He was beheaded for giving shelter to some Christians who were in danger of being persecuted for their faith.

His death came at the same time of year as the Romans celebrated an old pagan festival of love feasts and lotteries. At this festival it was the custom for all the unmarried women and men to draw lots from an urn, and the name they drew out would be the name of the person they would keep company with for the year ahead.

This lottery was very popular and in later years the Christian church tried to do away with it. But this proved impossible, and so they compromised and instead dedicated the feasts and lotteries to a Christian saint. St Valentine was chosen simply because his martyrdom coincided most conveniently with the lovers and feasts festival.

Thus St Valentine’s Day became forever associated with lovers.

Today St Valentine’s Day is big business as cards and presents and flowers are sent to sweethearts all over the world. But as we remember the special people in our life, let us not forget the original St Valentine and his example of sacrifice in standing up for the persecuted and dispossessed of his society and in doing so making his world a better more loving and just place to be. And may we too always stand up for justice and love in our world.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all
Your Friend and Rector

A reflection of 24 years
by Mary Hamilton...

Looking back, the past 24 years have gone so quickly – I hope the next 24 don’t rush! I never imagined when I arrived for my interview with Dr Samson, Dr Turkie and Dr Margaret that I would still be here all these years later. I remember thinking that day what a pleasant drive it was from Wrexham to Overton – it still is – especially the journey home!! The changes have been many, culminating with the move into the new building last year. I have been fortunate to work with so many caring and lovely people. We are very lucky that we have such pleasant and courteous patients in this practice. Although I will miss everyone, I am excited about retiring and moving back to Scotland.

A stitch in time...Maelor Tapestry Project

Are there any needlewomen or men out there willing to volunteer to help with this exciting project? It is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Maelor School in 1957. The tapestry will hang in the main hall. Local villages and organisations in the Maelor are each creating a tapestry panel illustrating aspects and activities in their own area. This will be more than just a tapestry; it will be a delightful visual chronicle of Maelor life in the last 50years.

We need volunteers who enjoy tapestry work to help us complete this ambitious project. For further information please contact 01978 710695 or 01948 770394

By Lela Palin

Just a little note ...Hey! I’m watching VH1 and I suddenly realised two things. 1: I am really sick of hearing the new eminem song (when I’m gone) and 2: this whole 8181 thing is a total rip off! Most of you will have heard of £Mobile Torch” program which costs two or three ponds to download, when all it is a blank white screen. It cost programmers nothing to make and it isn't worth the money. Then there are the phone tone scams. £3 for three ring tones sounds like a good deal right? Wrong! If any one ever read the fine print, they would see it’s a subscription service. You have to pay £3 a week from then on. That really mounts up—£156 Year

So now you are thinking “it’s ok I will just cancel the subscription when I get the tones!” It’s only after you have bought the tones that you realise it cost £2.50 a minute for the 3 Minute call to cancel, causing a nasty surprise if you are on a contract phone.

Ok well that’s my ramble over, just please avoid mobile services Lela X

By Jenny England

Narnia The lion the witch ...)
Hi It’s Jen again and what can I say about Narnia? In one word, outstanding! As we follow Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy through their magical adventure, we meet fantastic characters, amazing effects and unbelievably tense moments on their way to meet King Aslan. This is a fantastic film for all the family and I strongly recommend it. C.S.Lewis, they’ve done you proud

Five Stars - With out a doubt!!

Sadly if you enjoyed Narnia as much as I did then you will probably find King Kong boring and slow! It starts off slowly and doesn't recover from there. This film is a perfect example showing that special effects aren’t everything. If I had one thing to say to them it would be to stick to the original. A pathetic 2/ 10 Sorry folks!! This film is a new low!!

We decided to interview Overton’s Millenium Baby Izzy for our Village in Profile feature, thank you Alison (Izzy’z Mum) for interviewing her on the Oracles behalf…

People in Profile-

What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was "Angelina Ballerina". I love reading about Angelina and all her friends and have got lots of her books. My reading book at school is about Kipper, Biff and Chip.

What was the last Album/piece of you listened to?
Pop Party 3, which was a birthday present. It was played at my birthday party and we had a disco dancing competition.

What was the last film you went to see/watched at home?
I saw "The Wizard of Oz" at Christmas and liked it very much. Another film which I've watched several times on DVD is "Scooby Doo

Describe your last ‘eating out experience’.
My last eating out experience was "Nandos" at Cheshire Oaks a couple of weeks ago. It’s great because you get a huge plate of chicken and chips which you share with all your family. My brother Charlie and I especially liked the fact you can top up your drink as many times as you want. I had lemonade.

Where was your last holiday?
I went with my family to a caravan near Chichester last August. It was great because it was by the sea and we explored lots of rock pools. There was also a lovely swimming pool at the campsite and shows in the evening. I also enjoyed it because I visited my cousin Cicely and her family in Portsmouth while we were there.

What was the last sporting event you participated in/ watched?
I love dancing and go to Ballet and Jazz classes every week at the Village Hall. My teacher is called Lorren and she's very nice. My little sister Belinda, who's 2, loves to watch and tries to copy all the steps. At home we like dressing up as ballerinas. I also enjoy riding my bike and going swimming.

What was the last thing that made you laugh/you enjoyed?
My 6th birthday party. I invited all the girls in my class and we had a great time. We all had our nails painted and make-up done and played lots of party games.
What was the last sporting event you participated in/ watched?
I love dancing and go to Ballet and Jazz classes every week at the Village Hall. My teacher is called Lorren and
she's very nice. My little sister Belinda, who's 2, loves to watch and tries to copy all the steps. At home we like dressing up as ballerinas. I also enjoy riding my bike and going swimming.

What was the last thing that made you laugh/you enjoyed?
My 6th birthday party. I invited all the girls in my class and we had a great time. We all had our nails painted and make-up done and played lots of party games.

Veterinary Centre Opens in Overton……….

A new service for Overton and surrounding villages started on 14th December with the opening of Maelor Veterinary Centre, a part time veterinary clinic. Occupying refurbished premises in the old Doctors Surgery (Opposite the library and with a direct footpath access from the main village car park), the centre will provide small animal consultations each weekday between 1pm and 3pm.
In addition to routine health checks and vaccinations, the centre is equipped for the diagnosis and treatment of most illnesses in dogs, cats and small pets and other services such as microchipping and weighing are available together with a wide range of flea and worm treatments, pet accessories and Royal Canin diets for dogs and cats.

The centre operates as a branch of BLAKEMERE VETERINARY CENTRE in Ellesmere and animals requiring further investigations such as X-Ray, Ultrasound, endoscopy, surgery or hospitalisation will be taken to the modern fully equipped premises in Talbot Street (next door to TG Builders Merchants on the way to the Texaco Petrol Station).

Blakemere Veterinary Centre has been trading in Ellesmere since 1998 and from 1990 as The Loop Veterinary Centre. The practice now employs 3 full time and 2 part-time veterinary surgeons, a fully qualified veterinary nurse and a number of other reception and office staff. In addition to small animals, the practice also provides a full farm and horse service dealing with Dairy, Beef and Sheep farmers and a large number of horse owners within a fifteen mile radius of Ellesmere.

It is hoped that the new branch in Overton will provide a CONVENIENT, LOCAL service for the residents of Overton and surrounding villages.

Appointments can be made by telephoning 01978 711975. The surgery is open Mon-Fri between 1pm and 3pm for appointments as well as for the collection of prescriptions, wormers, flea treatments and food and other pet accessories.

The practice provides a full 24 hour emergency service and when the branch surgery is closed your telephone call will divert automatically to our main surgery in Ellesmere or to our out of hours emergency answering service who will pass on your message to the duty vet.

Contact for further information: Mark Spurdens or Sue Allen.
Maelor Veterinary Centre,
The Old Surgery,9, Pen-y-Llan Street,Overton on Dee,Wrexham LL13 0EE.

The “Super” alternative...
By Maxine

12 months ago I decided to see if I could avoid shopping at the “big 4” (Supermarkets) and shop locally, I have been relatively successful in sourcing locally produced produce at reasonable prices; with only the odd occasion succumbing to the call of the supermarket, usually for cat food or a large quantity of lager! If you too feel that you would like to move away from supermarket shopping and support a local outlet, source reasonably priced ethically farmed fresh produce, there may be a solution. If the idea of visiting a farm shop bursting with fresh meats and veg grabs you, you could do a lot worse than pay the recently extended Lewis’s Farm Shop a visit.

Located at Brook Cottage Eyton (just follow the signs to Plassey), approx’ 3 miles out of Overton. There have been 4 generations of Lewis family farming on the land; many of the fresh goodies on offer come straight from the fields outside.
The Lamb and the Beef is home reared on the family farm. Roger Bowden of Higher Wych Farm supplies the pork, bacon and sausages. Marks wife Jayne makes all of the cakes and pies on the premises. Mark confirmed that they are to begin building a new in-house kitchen. The animals are slaughtered 4 miles away at a small family abattoir, they then return to the farm where the meat is cut up on the premises in the newly built meat preparation kitchen.

Mark Lewis explained that “Nearly every product in the shop has a story, you won’t find banana’s here! We are trying to sell locally grown produce, so all of the fruit and vegetables on sale are seasonal. The shop does stock a range of frozen food, to compliment the fresh produce available, summer fruits, croissants and Yorkshire puddings to name but three. The shop also sells a range of sweet and savoury preserves and fresh sauces to facilitate a curry to be made at home, the curry sauces come from a company in Hampshire, that adhere the Lewis ethos of keep it fresh . “The vast majority of product in the shop is home produced. Jayne uses top quality ingredients with no added preservatives in the pies and ready meals that we sell.” He added. Further credence can be given to this by their recent successes.

Organised by the Meat and Livestock commission the Lewis’s walked away three Gold’s and two Silvers for their home cooked fare. They competed against butchers in the North West and North Wales. “It’s the first time that we have entered and we where delighted with the results, Jayne’s Steak & Kidney Pie received 97 out of 100” Mark proudly confirmed. Gold’s prizes where awarded for their Steak & Kidney Pie, Shepherds Pie and Beef & Red Wine Pie. The Silvers awards where given to their Cottage Pie and Lasagne.

So if you fancy a change and the opportunity to contribute to the local economy, I suggest you take advantage of this Farm shop and pay them a visit , I am sure you will not be disappointed

Memories of George Thomas Mysal
by Myra Worthington

I n the early eighties, my cousin Charles Hughes and his wife Dorothy decide to up sticks and move to Cheltenham to be near their daughter. This was the end of an era for me because the Smithy had been in my family for over 200 years. Vince and I were anxious about who we would be having as new neighbours.

Our concern was soon over, when George, his wife Joy and his mother Nora arrived next door. We could not have asked for better neighbours. Thy all had a wonderful sense of humour and just as well, living next door to us.

One morning when George hit his 65th birthday, we crept up the Smithy and pinned a huge white sheet on his garage door with Happy Birthday George, 65 Today with balloons attached also, so the first thing they saw when they lifted the blind was this birthday wish. At the same time our eldest son was very ill in Birmingham General Hospital and Joy was so touched that we had taken the time to do this for George.

Then it was our turn to be surprised when we decided to go on our first trip abroad and we chose Tenerife, George, Joy and Norah were all out waving the taxi goodbye. On our return early in the morning after a night flight, we arrived home to find a tray laid our on our coffee table with everything ready to make ourselves a cuppa, plus a welcome home message, courtesy of George and Joy. These are a couple of happy memories. I could go on forever with the fun times but there have been one or two sad times too.

It was a sad day in February 1990 when Joy passed away and it took a long time for George to come to terms with losing Joy.

George was a perfectionist in every project he tackled, from his picture framing to laying cobble footpaths and landscaping his garden and a few weeks ago when he was in the hospice he still had great plans for building his own kitchen cupboards.

He loved a party and was usually one of the last to leave. Children were always welcome and we heard lots of screams of laughter coming over the hedge in the past especially when two children visited their grandmother, and they had water pistols and George ended up soaked through.

George was so kind and such a gentleman. He always thought of others and he never moaned or complained about his illness. He was not just a neighbour he was a very special friend and all his close friends that have cared for him though his illness ove the last three years are going to miss him so very much.

He couldn’t wait for visits from San his daughter and this Christmas was so special when George was able to spend Christmas day with his daughter in his own home before returning to the hospice. George will be in our thoughts for a very long time.

Have your say…..

You have the chance to make the traditional convenience store an official British icon. According to a website identifying the most powerful symbols of life in, the corner shop has a recognisable and representative role to play in the country’s heritage a future. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport, along with the National Heritage Lottery Fund. is asking people to nominate and vote for the symbols that come to mind when they lie back and think of Britain.

The project hopes to paint a virtual picture of the Britain through exploring all the things we cherish in this green and pleasant land.
The nomination calls for support of your local corner shop now. As much a meeting place for good gossip as a place to buy your pint of milk the corner shop is a greatly loved institution. Cramming often just one of every conceivable item onto their shelves they are a haven of the bizarre. Open long hours; the corner shop is there whenever you need it. But not for much longer! The corner shop has been in decline for decades, ever since the advent of the supermarket. Support your local corner shop now, if you don’t “Coronation Street” will soon be the only place you see them!
You too can go online to do your bit – we are fortunate to have two corner shops in Overton (yes I know Londis isn’t strictly on a corner, but it does provide an excellent service and should not be overlooked) To make sure that you vote for the corner shop, visit www.icons..org.uk with in enough votes the convenience store will reach the top 10 list.

Happy Valentines Day to all our readers xx