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

February 2008


The Editorial Team

David Burton - Euan Stevenson - Sean Clarke - Jacky Maskall - Cynthia Davies

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


2008 is a Leap Year!
by Jacky Maskall

Leap Year has been the traditional time that women can propose marriage. In many of today's cultures, it is okay for a woman to propose marriage to a man. Society doesn't look down on such women. However, that hasn't always been the case. When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to pop the question on one day every four years. That day was February 29th.

It is believed this tradition was started in 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. According to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the leap year.

The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. They also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a leap year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves, some say the gloves must be of the finest kid leather.

So, have we any female Overton Leap Year proposers out there who are prepared to share their story? If so, please do not hesitate to contact us at The Oracle.


In the December edition of the Oracle we asked you to make suggestions for spending the £1500 prize money for Overton winning the North Wales Calor Village of the Year.
Overton Community Council has received the following suggestions of how to spend our prize money:
1. To replace the seat on Parkside
2. To provide other outdoor seats with shelters for the older members of our
3. Cushions for the seating in the Village Hall
4. Padded seating for the Village Hall
5. New seating by the car park
6. To produce Christmas Cards with pictures depicting various village views
with all profits used for or on the community.
7. CCTV in areas where there are complaints about youth behaviour.
8. New brighter lighting in the Village Hall.

Please state your choice to:
The Clerk of The Council - Katrina Chalk,
either by telephone 01978 710055
by e-mailing clerk@overton-on-dee.co.uk
or by passing a note into the Village Hall at any time.

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear friends,

The Church Wardens caught a glimpse of the Vicar in the vestry, rehearsing his sermon in front of a full length mirror. The gestures, voice inflections, dramatic pauses were all there. To avoid embarrassment, they tip toed away, but as soon as they were out of ear shot, one said: ‘Thank goodness we’ve seen that, for in future we shall be able to answer the critics and say that he really does practice what he preaches!’
When I first started in ministry I always used to worry about preaching. Would I be any good? How could I preach to others, when I myself was very far from perfect! Was I setting myself high on a pedestal, from which there would be a very long fall. Now I find that I do often preach at myself. Because I have come to the realisation that none of us are perfect. We all fall short of ideals we set ourselves. But the marvellous thing about God is that he doesn’t mind as long as we keep trying. He loves us for who we are, faults and all! We just have ask his forgiveness and keep on trying in life. And God will be there alongside of us to support and help us.
Alexander Pope once wrote: ‘To err is human, to forgive is divine.’ So when we go wrong in life, let us remember that to err is very human and we just have to seek out God’s forgiveness and love.
Your Friend and Rector.


Congratulations to Dr Richard Cooper, our registrar and his wife Elinor who had a baby son, Aled on Wednesday 19th December. Richard is a very proud Dad and hasn’t stopped smiling since.

We have had a complaint from a patient concerning the music in the waiting room. This was implemented after asking patients whether or not they would like to have background music. The large majority said ‘yes’ and Radio 2 had the biggest vote. This helps with confidentiality as conversations aren’t quite so obvious with Terry Wogan or Ken Bruce in the background! Let us know your views.

Our automated booking in system is now ‘part of the furniture’ and well used by most of you. There is a small number of patients who still steer clear but we can help, providing you let us know. It is not sufficient to think that we may have seen you and therefore registered you for your appointment. If at all in doubt please ring the bell/buzzer and double check. It is unpleasant for you to have to sit and wait whilst those around you are seen and we can’t always see who is left in the waiting room.

It hardly seems possible that we have been in the new building for three years. Don’t forget the suggestion box is there if you have any ideas which may contribute to the efficient running of the surgery.

by the Overtinions and our mascot Lucy!

Hey readers!
Hope you are enjoying the new year and have all kept your new years resolutions!!!

Jen’s Reviews
Hey everyone! Happy Valentines Day!

This month my review will be on the book “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd.

After 10 years of bearing the guilt of her mother’s murder when she was just 4 years old, Lily longs for forgiveness. She runs away from home with her friend (and fugitive) Rosaleen. Based in America when the racial battle was still ongoing, the pair seek refuge with three sisters.

Follow the two as they search for the mystery around Lily’s Mother!

I thought this was a wonderful book with lots of emotions. I fell in love with the characters and found it hard to put it down!

Rating: 8/10
Other praise for this book:
“Charming, funny, moving” The Times
“Uplifting and warm-hearted, this is moving novel” Literary Review

Agony Aunt
Hi guys! Remember if you have problems end it in, I’m here to help!

Q: Every week I play badminton with my friend, I have a great time but I would really like to take it further and play more professional games with more professional people. I feel she’s holding me back because she is not as good as me. How can I tell her that I would prefer to play with someone please?

A: I can understand where you’re coming from, but remember she is there to play a good game with her friend and to have fun. So maybe you could carry on playing with her just for the enjoyment of playing with a friend but join a club as well for more serious matches.

Important events that happened in February!
February 7th 1812 - Charles Dickens was born
February 16th 1956 - Britain abolished the death penalty
February 21st 1878—The worlds first telephone directory was published
February 28th 1912 - The first parachute jump took place

Rebeccs and Lucy’s column

Joke: Why did a child study on an aeroplane?
Joke: Which is the best hand to write with?
1. He wanted a higher education!
2. Neither, it is best to write with a pen!
Amazing Facts
1. Your skeleton keeps growing until you are about 35, then you start to shrink!
2. Male monkeys lose their hair on their heads in the same way men do!
3. February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon!

Twinning Exchange August 3rd - 10th 2008
by Glynis Farley

Overton is playing host to our friends from La Murette this summer and we are once again looking for people to act as 'host families' as this years group consists of 17 adults and 8 children. If you think you may be interested but would like to find out more before making a commitment, please contact Glynis Farley on 01978 710455 for a chat.

Even if you don't have a spare bed there are many ways to join in. We're always grateful to have people on board who can help us get ready for the visit; as you can imagine preparing the itinerary for the week takes a lot of thought and imagination! Perhaps you've had a wonderful day out with your family at a particular venue and could recommend it, or do you know of a local event during those dates that's unmissable?

Do you have time to spare that week just to join in and help make our guests welcome or would you be willing to drive a mini bus for a day? These are just some of the ways you could be involved and help out.

We would particularly like families to join us during the visit as it's a wonderful opportunity for youngsters to meet and make friends. Those of us active in the Twinning Association have made lasting friendships over the years and so could you. WATCH OUT for the full itinerary of the weeks events in a future edition of the Oracle.


Presentation night saw two new Trophies being presented this year one for Chess in memory of Kelvin Davies which was presented by Iola Williams, Kelvin's partner to winner, Tony Arrowsmith. Iola tells us Tony was taught by Kelvin . A Snooker trophy in memory of Tom Haynes was won by Derek Edwards and was presented by Noreen his wife and Wayne his grandson who has returned from America after doing Football coaching with the American youth. Thanks must go to Iola, Noreen and Wayne for presenting these Trophies.

What do you do at the Weekend?

Pictured are Diane and Mervyn Rodenhurst of Church Road with their Morris Z Van derived from the Morris 8 series E car. They bought it in Builth Wells in 2006 at a private sale. Diane acquired it for Mervyn’s 50th birthday and has “been paying for it ever since!”

It was built in 1952, the last model of a series that stretched back to 1942, and was in service until 1963. It has pre-war technology—a 918cc side valve engine with a three speed gearbox which only has synchromesh on top gear. Spares are no longer available and even service items are hard to come by. It is only one of five left in its original red and black livery of a Royal Mail van. It is signwritten with the logo of King George VI, just two weeks before his death and never changed. Even the lights and leather door straps are stamped GPO and the van still has its original first aid kit including contents. It also has the original postman’s torch and roof rack.

It was acquired for Mervyn on May 7th and they showed it for the first time at Prestatyn on 29th May gaining second prize. Since then awards have followed thick and fast, including one ‘Champion of Champions’ prize; seven 1st prizes and a host of other prizes and certificates. They bought it for the joy of ownership (Mervyn loves old technology). Showing it is a bonus and going to the shows they meet lots of wonderful like-minded people.

The van is nicknamed Rosey, but it is not the only vehicle in their possession, they also own a 1955 Standard Vanguard, a 1941 BSA 500 WM20 motorcycle and a 1966 Raleigh runabout motorcycle.

Mervyn & Diane with some of the trophies their van has won.

What do you do at a weekend? Tell us about your unusual interest or hobby.

Your Letters

Dear Editor,
A further comment to the letter in the January Oracle about missed appointments at the Overton Surgery -


And is it true, and is it true,
That most surprising tale of all?
A baby’s unexpected call:
The Doctor was not there at all.

And is it true, for if it is
Don’t call on Friday or weekend,
And night’s no good, let’s not pretend.
No times OK by night or day.
Don’t come at all, unless you be
Booked in at the Maternity.

Good wishes and congratulations to a resourceful Mum, and welcome to the little one. Anon


Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC) administers the “Community Chest” grants and loan scheme for voluntary and community groups operating within the former County of Clwyd.
Grants of up to £250 and loans of up to £2,000 are made to organisations and groups (who are registered charities or undertake charitable objectives) who work with -
Older people
People with physical disabilities
People with learning disabilities
People with mental health problems
Children with a disadvantage
Play and recreation facilities for children
Unemployed people who undertake voluntary work
Village Hall maintenance
Environmental activities
Cultural activities
Grants of up to £200 are available for purchase of capital items and/or running costs
Loans of up to £2,000 are available. Further details available by contacting the Finance Manager at DVSC.
The Grants/Loans Committee meets at least 3 times a year, thus ensuring that groups/organisations do not have to wait too long to hear whether or not their application has been successful.
If you need any further advice on submitting an application for funding please contact; Clwyd Community Chest, c/o Denbigh Voluntary Services Council (DVSC), Naylor Leyland Centre, Well Street, Denbighshire, LL15 1AF. Tel No: 01824 702441 Fax: 01824 705412, E-mail office@dvsc.co.uk Website: www.dvsc.co.uk


Back Row from L: Linda Done, David Clacher, Nick Harrison, Alan Farley, Mervyn Haynes, Richard Done, Andy Dodwell.
3rd Row from L: Glynis Farley, Mary Evans, Melissa Haynes.
2nd Row from L: Catherine Chalk, Jenny England, Christian Dickinson, Nicola Jones, Peter Rogers, Christian Chalk, Rebecca Overthrow, Lucy Chalk.
Front Row from L: Scott Lawrenson, Jack Harrison, Lydia Biggs, Emma Jones, Matthew Lawrenson, Luke Haynes.

From the Left: Linda Done as Rat Tuck, David Clacher as Alderman, Nick Harrison as Dame Sarah, Nicola Jones as Dick Whittington, Alan Farley as King Rat, Andy Dodwell as Ring-o-bells, & Glynis Farley as Rat Nip. Directors - Sue & Jim Glover assisted by Sue England & Kay Lawrenson. Stage Managers Geoff Pritchard & Jo Kember. Technicals, Llewelyn Kember Set Rob Lawrenson

99 years of Scouting in Overton
by David Burton

2007 saw the Scouts Association celebrate 100 years of Scouting in Britain. Next year, 2009, Overton Scouts celebrate their centenary. In July 1909 Mr Harry Richards, who worked for the Bryn-y-Pys Estate, became the first scoutmaster. The Scouts had formed themselves into three patrols, each with a Patrol Leader and a Corporal (later to become Assistant Patrol Leader). In August 1909 uniforms arrived and on the 27th, Mr Richards took his three Patrol Leaders and three Corporals to tea at Mr Wright’s Shop, a Baker & Confectioner on the High Street. All of this is detailed in Simon Edwards’ excellent book, ‘Blood Sweat & Badges’ written for his Queens Scout and Duke of Edinburgh Gold awards in 1984, to celebrate 75 years of Scouting in Overton.

It is now less than a year to this important milestone for Overton and the Group is starting to make preparations. One of the ideas is to put on an exhibition of ‘Scouting in Overton’ and we are making a request for memorabilia and photographs, especially from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. If you have anything you believe might be appropriate, please bring it to the Scout Hut on a Friday evening between 7.00 and 9.00 pm, . All items will be carefully logged and returned to donors at the end of the exhibition. Or contact me at the Oracle with stories or memories.

by Andrea Buttress

A big thank you to everyone who supported our Christmas events, and our sponsored walk around the village, which took place on the 12th January.
Our forthcoming events are as follows:
A.G.M. This is to be held by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Fitzhugh on Sunday 24th February at The Brow, Wrexham Road, Overton at 6.30pm. The meeting will be followed by refreshments.

Children’s Easter Crafts Session: This will be held at the Play Centre on Saturday 15th March from 10am to 12 noon. Come along with your children and enjoy taking part in crafts such as card making, bonnet making, cake decorating and much more. Included in the morning events will be an Easter Egg hunt. The cost will be £3.50 per child with refreshments included.
It would help us greatly for both these events if you could let us know if you would like to attend. The Centre telephone number is 710688 and my number is 710246. However, you are very welcome to just turn up on the day if you wish.
We have a great line up of events during 2008 and I will be letting you know of these nearer the time.

Congratulations to Paul Croke, Principal, who accepted the Best Newcomer Prize at the Wales Quality Awards on behalf of Yale College and the Pat Clarke, Headteacher, who accepted the Innovation Award of behalf of St Mary's School, Overton.


Happy February Birthdays To Sandy Foster, Chilly Grindley, Mrs Lyn (Welsh) Evans, Brian Manley, Stella Austin, Miss Owen, Doreen Howells, and Olive Roberts. A very special Leap Year Happy Birthday to Georgie Davies, 12yrs old.
Deepest sympathy to the family of Elizabeth Glynne Jones.


Peter & Lynne Blackford of Grange Cottage, Salop Road, would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in and around the Overton area who kindly offered their help and support to us.

This ensured a successful outcome to our recent court case involving us taking Wrexham County Borough Council to court to have a noise abatement notice quashed, that had been served on us in October ‘07, following complaints about crowing from our cockerels causing a noise nuisance. Once again our sincere thanks.

Pat Lynch would like to thank all those that donated to his Christmas Lights appeal which reached £1,360 for the Air Ambulance.

Be careful what you ask for!

Three members of the Women's Institute in Herstmonceux, East Sussex successfully campaigned for a speed camera.
In the following weeks, all three ladies were snapped and fined £60.

Where on earth do you read the Oracle?
We know many ex-Overton residents read the Oracle via the internet. We would love to know how far our readership stretches! Let us know which part of the world you read the Oracle in! Send an e-mail to