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

Feb 2007


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


Council: No Budget Increase & Traffic Calming


The most important information for 2007 / 08 is that the Council have proposed to keep the precept exactly the same as last year -this is £29,952. This is a big achievement given that most prices have risen considerably in the recent past. This money is spent on street light maintenance, street light electricity, playing field and cemetery maintenance and insurances, community chest, public conveniences, the Overton Oracle, Twinning, general administration and various other village activities. It will be voted on at the March meeting.

The major spend this year will be on Traffic Calming. The proposal is to place four flashing vehicle activated signs on each of the main roads into the village. These appear to have a good success rate in slowing traffic and are motorist and environmentally friendly. The Council have been actively investigating this problem for the past 2 years, and have explored several options in conjunction with the Highways department (Wrexham County Borough Council) and the Police. Proposals include improved access to and within the cemetery, to facilitate wheelchair access.

The Council are extremely concerned about proposed new housing developments within the village, because these will impact upon the existing sewage system. A number of surveys have been requested of the existing sewerage system by Welsh Water, and these should be conducted in the next few weeks. However, the Council would like to hear from anyone who has experienced problems with their sewage system and/or drains, land or storm water in the last few years. Please provide details, preferably in writing, of approximate date and type of problem by contacting the Community Council Clerk, Katharine Crockford, at Overton Village Hall, Penyllan Street, Overton, LL13 OEE, or leave a message on 01978 710055.

ANNOUNCEMENT - Flu Vaccine for poultry workers

The following is the summary updates received from the Nth Wales Local Medical Committee. Poultry workers are to be added to the “at risk” category for the provision of flu vaccines. The Health Protection Agency’s definition is as follows:
1) Workers employed at or regularly visiting registered poultry units who fall into one, or more, of the following categories:
a) routinely access enclosed poultry rearing or egg production areas;
b) perform initial sorting of poultry eggs if the sorting area is an integral part of the
production unit;
c) catch or cull poultry within enclosed poultry rearing or egg production areas;
d) perform final clean down of poultry sheds following depopulation of a poultry house.
2) Workers who collect and remove poultry manure or litter from within enclosed poultry rearing
or egg production areas of registered poultry units.
3) Workers in poultry processing units that:
a) catch and handle live birds
b) kill and eviscerate birds;
c) cleanse and disinfect areas and equipment contaminated by poultry faeces
4) Butchers who kill or eviscerate birds or cleanse and disinfect areas and equipment contaminated by poultry faeces.
5) Gamekeepers, or those involved in the hunting and shooting of game birds where they handle or eviscerate birds or cleanse and disinfect areas and equipment contaminated by poultry faeces.
Please contact the Surgery on 710666, to arrange an appointment with a Practice Nurse as soon as possible.

by Constable Darren King

Please help the police to help you.

Overton suffered a crime wave at the beginning of January. On Sat 6th a male was arrested after breaking into an unoccupied property on Willow Street. Overnight on Sun. 8th, 5 crimes occurred. Following the dumping of 2 stolen vehicles on Wrexham Rd, (a van stolen in Wrexham and a car stolen in Cross Lanes), a car on Parkside, a car on Old School Mews, and a car on Salop Rd were attempted to be stolen.

These were followed by an attempted shed break in and the theft of a van from Salop Rd. 3 males were seen on the High St at 3am looking into vehicles with torches; unfortunately the resident who saw them did not report this to the police till 8am the following morning. So far 1 male has been arrested and the van recovered.

Further to the above, overnight on Wed 10th 2 other vehicles, 1 on the High St and 1 on Springfield Park had items stolen from them. A vehicle was broken into on School Lane and an insecure vehicle searched on Maelor Court.

All the above crimes are currently under investigation and myself and my colleagues have been patrolling the village throughout the nights in an unmarked police car. If you have any information with regard to the above please contact the police.

I also respectfully ask that you lock your vehicles. As 50% of all Overton vehicles are parked on the street, please remove anything of value from your car. A CD may only cost £10.00, but the cost of the damage or your insurance excess will be far more. If for example, you leave your empty glove box open, there is nothing for the thief to steal and it will be pointless for him/ her to break into your car.

There are 3 elements to any crime, the victim, the offender, and the location. If you remove any one of these, then a crime cannot occur, and if we make it pointless for thieves to operate here they will have to go somewhere else.

Please report suspicious circumstances immediately. Please remove your valuables and lock your cars. (I recently knocked at one car owner’s house to inform her that her car was not locked. She replied, ‘I don’t care; they can nick it if they want’, and promptly went back to bed).

If you require more up to date crime information, send me your E-mail address.

Thank you.

Darren King, Constable 1360.

Overton Community Beat Manager.
The Police Station, Station Road,
Wrexham. LL13 0EF.
Telephone: 0845 607 1002.
E-mail: darren.king@north-wales.police.uk

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear Friends,

Tuesday 20th February will see Shrove Tuesday heralding the beginning of Lent.

In the past people had a holiday on Shrove Tuesday, with children allowed a day off school. Merrymaking went on in the streets as people took advantage of the fact that it was the last day before the six weeks of Lent, during which all fun and feasting would cease.

Children would go from door to door begging for sweets and other delicacies and there might be such sports as bear baiting and cock fighting going on. It was generally a riotous time, so that quieter people were quite glad when Lent did finally start!

Today a lot of these customs have disappeared; some customs such as animal fighting are not missed. But Lent continues to remind us of all the good things in life we have and so often take for granted. It reminds us of our loving God, who loved us so much that he sent his son Jesus to show us that love.

However you spend the Lenten Season, I pray that it will be a time of reflection on what truly is important in life and that each of us in our own way will be able to give thanks to God.

Your friend and Rector,

by the Overtinions and our mascot Lucy!

Hey guys! Happy Valentines day! If you have a serious crush on someone and want to shout it to the world, send their name and your name into the Corner Shop and we will try and fit it onto the page! Hope you find that special someone!

Jen’s reviews
Hi, This month I have two reviews.

My first review is on “Night at the Museum”. Ben Stiller plays a man with many dreams but sadly he is the only one who thinks that these dreams are possible. He is in desperate need of a proper job and so when a position comes available to be a night guard at the Museum of Natural History in London, he willingly accepts. This is before he realises that everything in the Museum comes alive after sun set! Very funny and exciting, all ages will enjoy this film!
Rating: 8/10
Funny, exciting

My next review is on “The Pursuit Of Happyness”. Will Smith plays a desperate man looking for a break in life which is always letting him down. His job is hard and is getting him in a lot of financial trouble. Follow his excruciating journey as he tries to pursue happiness. With Will Smith’s son playing along side him, this movie is quite sad in parts.
Rating 7/10
I do not think that younger viewers will enjoy this film as much as older viewers.

Hey everyone!
Hope you have a love filled valentines day!!!
This month we will be looking at break times. Everyday at Penley we have two break times
· 10.15—10.30
· 12.30—1.25 (lunch)
Break times are great fun because you can play outside or talk to your friends from your form or another (but no one from other forms is allowed in yours so you will have to go somewhere you all can go like the yard or playing fields).
Breaks are good times to relax and have a rest, go to the toilet, finish a little homework, think about your next lessons or just catch up on missed gossip!
See you next month.
Lucy and Becs!

Agony Aunt
Hey everyone! I hope last months Agony Aunt column was useful. This month is on the issue of pets.

Q. Hi I really want a dog! I am twelve years old and for ages I have wanted a dog but my parents wont let me! Why! I would look after it!

A. Well, many children want a dog and their parents usually have the same answer, ‘no, not yet’. But your parents actually have the right idea, dogs can be very expensive and take up a lot of the families time. They may be cute, but they need constant walks, baths and a tremendous amount of love and care. This does not seem that it would be a problem, when you have a dog, you love it immediately!
Sadly, pet food does not seem expensive but over the years, the money mounts up into quite a large bill! You have to remember that dogs live an average of 13 years, so by the time it becomes old, you will probably have a place of your own and will not have space for a dog. This means that your parents would have to look after the dog, which could stop them travelling, as you cannot take a pooch abroad. Also when you are at school, this dog would be all on its own and puppies especially demand a lot of attention so this would be an issue.
As you can see, dogs are a big responsibility and so maybe you could start with a smaller pet like a hamster or a guinea pig and prove to your parents that you are responsible and loving. Maybe you could get a cat first, as these animals are more independent and so would not demand as much attention. This means that you could travel easier without as much hassle with putting a dog in a kennel etc.
Have a think about getting a smaller pet, these are just as adorable and would want just as much love!

Award for dedication to pupils’ safety

Mary Gittens has been made an MBE for her service as a school crossing warden.

Local girl and Knolton born Mary Gittens nee Phillips has been awarded the MBE in the Queens New Years Honours List. Mary receives the award for her services to the children of Runcorn and Widnes, her dedication to the job has been commended after serving as a patrolwoman for schools across the borough since 1999.

Mary's sister, Josie Ralphs writes, “My sister Mary went to school in Overton and lived all her young days in Knolton. She became a policewoman in Chester in the 1950s and moved to Runcorn after her marriage. She left the police force after the birth of her son and when he went to school went into security work for various firms including Littlewoods. After retiring at 60 and after the death of our mother (Olive Hall of Knolton) she applied for the job of Lollipop lady and worked until she was forced to retire last year age 70.
The whole family is very pleased and proud for their sister.”

The Borough Council’s school crossing supervisor said “Mary worked in all weathers, and also had to deal with the behaviour of thoughtless drivers while keeping the children safe. Mary's cheerful nature, enthusiasm and dedication to her job will be very much missed by everyone”. Mary now spends her time baking cakes and delivering them to her former crossing patrol colleagues.

View from the Village Vets.

Furry Tales

Rabbits are now the third most popular British pet and it is estimated that there are over 2 million pet rabbits in the UK in nearly 5% of households. With an average life expectancy of around 8 years, they represent a long-term commitment and owners need to think carefully about the implications before taking on a 6 week old fluffy bundle.

As vets we see an increasing number of pet rabbits with a variety of conditions. Insurance companies now offer health insurance policies for rabbits meaning that sometimes quite expensive procedure and treatments are undertaken. One of the most common reasons for pet rabbits needing to visit the vet is for tooth problems. Unlike humans, dogs or cats, rabbits’ teeth continue to grow throughout their life and if the upper and lower jaws do not meet properly, the back molar teeth can develop sharp points. This causes pain and reduces the appetite of the rabbit. The tooth roots can also press on the tear ducts from the eye causing watery eyes and eye infections. Rasping of the teeth under anaesthetic is required to remove sharp points from teeth and alterations to the diet are sometimes needed to try to slow the recurrence of the problem.

Skin problems in the form of mites which cause hair loss, itching and scurf are also quite common in rabbits and can be treated with special spot on preparations. In the summer months rabbits are at risk from fly strike and special attention is needed to make sure that the rabbit is kept as clean as possible and that faecal matter does not build up on the tail as this is obviously attractive to blow flies which then lay their eggs on the fur.

One of the most distressing sights we still see on a frequently is Myxomatosis in pet rabbits. Originally introduced in Australia in the 1950’s to reduce the population of wild rabbits (‘A baby rabbit with eyes full of pus, is the work of scientific us’ – Spike Milligan), the disease is transmitted between rabbits by fleas and sadly there is no treatment. Pet rabbits can be infected by wild rabbits coming in to close contact with them in their runs or pens. The disease causes swelling of the head and blindness and a painful lingering death. Humane euthanasia is the only option. Fortunately a vaccine is available and we recommend that all pet rabbits receive an initial vaccination after 6 wks of age and then annual boosters. Another infectious disease of rabbits is Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. Whilst we see less of this than Myxomatosis, a vaccine is also available.

As with cats and dogs, worms can also be a problem in rabbits and routine worming is now also recommended. Finally, but perhaps most importantly if you are considering purchasing more than one rabbit, neutering should be a high priority unless you rapidly want to convert two rabbits into several large families!! Both male and female rabbits can be neutered.
Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre. 01978 711975

by Alan Jones

Noel Godfrey Chavasse

The recent television series and accompanying book detailing the history and recipients of the Victoria Cross reminds us of Overton’s connection to the only man to be awarded a Victoria Cross and bar in the First World War and one of three ever to achieve such a distinction. This was Noel Godfrey Chavasse who’s mother and grandmother Mary Fowler Maude, lived at Pendyffryn, Overton.

Noel Godfrey was a medical officer attached to the Liverpool Regiment having studied at the Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool where he became house surgeon to Sir Robert Jones the world famous orthopaedist who is associated with the Orthopaedic Hospital, Gobowen.

He was awarded his first VC for his actions on August 9, 1916 at Guillemont, France when he attended to the wounded all day under heavy fire, frequently in view of the enemy, and during the night he continued searching for wounded in front of the enemy's lines. Next day under heavy shellfire he carried an urgent case 500 yards to safety, being wounded himself during the journey. The same night, with 20 volunteers, he rescued three wounded men from a shell-hole 36 yards from enemy trenches and buried the bodies of two officers. Altogether he saved the lives of 20 wounded men.

Chavasses’s second VC was awarded during the period July 31 to August 2 1917 at Wieltje, Belgium. Chavasse although severely wounded early in the action while carrying a wounded officer to the dressing station, refused to leave his post and in addition to his normal duties, went out repeatedly under heavy fire to attend the wounded. During this time, although practically without food, worn with fatigue and faint from his wound, he helped to carry in badly wounded men, being instrumental in saving many who would otherwise have died in the bad weather. Chavasse died of his wounds in Brandhoek. He is buried at Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, Vlamertinge.
He is truly on of the brave heroes of the war. There are at least 12 memorials dedicated to his memory, more than any other VC holder in the world.
More about his family next month

“Good Night Mrs. Puffin” blows through Overton

by Sean Clarke

The Arthur Lovegrove comedy staged by Overton Am Dram marked Cynthia Davies’ solo directorial debut. Set in Christmas 1961 and aided by an authentic set, the plot surrounds the impending marriage between members of the Fordyce and Parker families. All is well until the arrival of the mysterious and seemingly psychic Amelia Puffin.

This enigmatic character manages to engage the audience to such a degree that each entrance was eagerly anticipated. Ann Kynaston deserves high praise for her performance as Lovegrove’s play would be translucent without this performer.
There were also creditable debut performances by Rachel Clacher as Pamela Fordyce and Mervyn Haynes as Stephen Parker.
As events unravelled Mrs Puffin’s predictions became both disturbing and entertaining for certain members of the families. With a slight twist of plot at the end the audience were kept in suspense, wondering what new strange predictions the clairvoyant would make.

Considering that this was an amateur production, the cast performed to a high standard and it is a shame that the hours of rehearsal and preparation are over after just a few shows.

Despite requests the Oracle has not able to obtain any photographs of the performance or cast. If you have any please send them to editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk for the next issue.

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
As a dog owner I am ashamed of all the dog mess that is left on the pavements of our village. I pick up any mess my dog leaves on a pavement - why can’t others? Are they just too lazy or arrogant, or both?

May be it would help to reduce the problem if the council put some dog mess bins around the village?
Dog owners, please have pride in your village and pick up any mess your dog leaves behind. People blame ‘dirty dogs’ but they are not to blame - it’s the dirty owners!
Name and address supplied

Dear Editor,
Please can we have speed bumps, restriction signs, anything - on Wrexham Road ???!!
During the 9 years I have lived here I have witnessed several road accidents and during the last 3 years they are happening more frequently. I have been prompted to write this letter to yourselves as my 7 month old kitten has been knocked down and left for dead. Tragically before my neighbour spotted him lying in the road he died, without a care in the world from the motorist! This is the 2nd cat I have lost in this way over the last 3 years!

My car has been involved in the 2nd hit and run in the last 15 months, parked outside my home; the most recent time was New Years Eve and has left considerable damage. This is a very expensive cost and emotional torment to myself and my two sons. My faith in Human Nature to report these incidents has been destroyed, what is this teaching our next generation!

My future worry is that I live across the road from the park and I wonder WILL IT BE A CHILD NEXT? IF THESE MOTORISTS DO NOT SLOW DOWN!
Dedicated to Dougie who sadly died Summer 2004 & and Ginge who tragically died January 2007
Lesley Shone

Dear Editor,
Could you please send me the address of the Overton Branch of the Royal British Legion. As an ex villager I would like to make myself known to the present membership. I still owe them a thank you for a gift I received in 1955 whilst serving in Egypt and it would be nice to get in touch with some of the older members of the community who were around in my day.
Ray Hinsley BEM
Secretary, Bristol Branch of the Royal Engineers Association
(Contact details for the Overton British Legion have been sent to Ray)

The SS Aguila Memorial? To answer last month’s letter to the Editor from Mr Bush, the railings were removed when the cherry tree (by the War Memorial) grew too big. The brass plaque was polished so well that eventually the inscription disappeared. Wren Cecily Monica Bruce Benjamin who died aboard the SS Aguila is remembered on the Overton War Memorial.

See March 2001 Oracle on web.


Last year a speed check took place on Station Road, Overton on Dee.
10 Motorists were prosecuted travelling in excess of 45MPH
A motor cycle was recorded at 54MPH
A school bus at 40MPH

Please don’t turn the light off
I’m frightened of the dark.

I know that I’m hurt badly
The pain is all around.
It’s been a creeping shadow
Since I first crashed to the ground.

I know my legs are broken,
I heard the awful snap
As your bumper smashed straight into me
And everything went black.

The doctor said,
“At 40 she stood little chance.
At 30 she could perhaps survive,
But now its just machines keeping her alive
Her spleen and liver’s shattered
Her skull is fractured too.
I’m really very sorry but there’s
Nothing else that we can do”.

And I can hear my mother crying.
And I wonder why you couldn’t keep to 30.
What was the pressing need
That made you risk my fragile life
by giving into speed?

Name and address supplied


Two years have now elapsed since we moved into the new building. We continually strive to improve our service and ALWAYS appreciate you giving your time to make the comments or suggestions. If there are issues you would like to bring to our attention, or if you are not happy with the nature of the service we provide, why not come along to the next Patient Participation Group meeting on Mon 22nd Jan, at 6pm or use the Suggestions box situated in the reception area.

We expect no staff changes in the foreseeable future apart from having Medical Students with us for training, and so we should have normal surgeries with doctors you know. The computer system used by the practice is very comprehensive so the information is easily accessible to all our doctors. This does help to give continuity of care from your notes in both Bangor and Overton.

We all know that coughs and sneezes are very prevalent at this time of the year. The pharmacy is able to advise you regarding medication for the colds etc and there is an abundance of advice on the surgery website. Have any of you used the new link called www.ukselfhelp.info if so was the information of help? We would like to hear your views.

There were 768 missed appointments in 2006, involving 617 patients who failed to turn up. That really is such a waste of resources. We continue to urge all patients to contact us if they no longer need the appointment slot, as we may be able to contact another patient to fill it. This would make such a positive contribution to the efficient running of your surgery. In addition, be aware that if you arrive over 10 minutes late, you run the risk that the Doctor may not be able to see you.

PLEASE REMEMBER - When you arrive for your appointment and use our automated arrivals screen, you complete your entry by pressing the prompt “Tell the Doctor I am here”. Without doing this last bit the system does not “know” you are here and you will miss your turn.

Overton Medical Practice is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance. All patients are entitled to have a chaperone, family member or friend present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. On occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present, i.e. a trained member of staff. Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with our chaperone policy. If you would like to see a copy of our Chaperone Policy or have any questions regarding this please contact the Practice Manager.

Don’t forget your appointment – Keep It Or Cancel It!

Representatives from The Community Health Council will be at
Overton Doctor's Surgery
on Tuesday 20th February at 10a.m.
to chat to patients regarding their views on the Surgery's service.
All are welcome to attend.


A Very Happy 21st Birthday to Jenna Williams and Lucy Edwards

Also Happy Birthday to Claire Cusworth, Raymond Austin, Rennie Foster, Daniel Hunter, Sylvia Ogden, Micki Blair, April Lee & Georgie Davies

Our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Mrs Evans of Maelor Court on their sad loss.