Brilliant, absolutely fantastic, very professional, colourful, a wonderful performance. These were some of the comments made by those who were fortunate to get tickets for Overton's " Wok and Roll Pantomime" which took place on the 25th and 26th January in the Village Hall.
Produced and directed by Sue England, this year's pantomime was a truly "not to be missed" event. The quiet buzz of expectation minutes before the programme commenced, was soon transformed, as the audience was coached to shout at the top of their voices at the scheming Ebanazar played by Stephen Sorfleet. The colourful character of Widow Twanky, whose voice and mannerisms reminded me of "Mrs Riley" of years gone by, was superbly acted by Mike Done. The Emperor (David Hughes), who kept getting his clothes ripped off by Wishy Washy (Richard Done) to display some rather colourful items of underwear, had some brilliant lines, mainly for the benefit of the adults. However, some children also appreciated the innuendos, judging by the reaction of those in the row in front of me. There was another great performance from Alison Grant Ryder as the Genie. Did anyone except me see the resemblance to Dawn French?
But what was most impressive were the dazzling costumes and the non-stop interplay between the main story of Aladdin finding his Princess (pictured above) and the variety of popular songs performed by all the main characters, except of course the Gorilla played by Geoff Pritchard. The live band and the backing vocals added another perfect dimension. And last, but not least, was the performance of over 25 children who had been coached once a week since last September. Sue England said "The whole thing came together beautifully and everybody worked so hard at rehearsals, including all the children who have been really brilliant".
As one person commented, "I enjoyed the pantomime so much, I didn't want it to end"
On the morning of the 28th December, Overton awoke to find 75 mm (3 inches) of snow had fallen during the night. For many children in the village, this was their first experience of this funny white stuff. Out came the sledges, the woolly hats and mitts, and they were off to find the best slopes or to spend a whole morning rolling a huge ball of snow around the garden. Others decided to play snowballs, some taking the fun a bit too far, whilst several children were seen lying spread-eagled on the ground, which was quite bizarre. However, much of their fun was short-lived as it was not long before a thaw set in.
Angharad Futcher (9), Llewelyn Kember (11) and Thomas Futcher (11) on their way back from a sledging trip.
Joanne Rodenhurst (11), Miki Roberts (11) and Jamie Jones(8) with their snowman at the car park, Church Road.
Overton's Twinning Association is now looking ahead to July, when it will be taking part in another exchange visit with its sister village in La Murette, France.
This year it is Overton's turn to visit La Murette, near Voiron, and in the next few months the association will be asking who would like to take part. The size of the party is limited to 25 and is open to everyone, including families. The whole idea of the exchange is to foster friendship and understanding between the two communities. It is not necessary to be able to speak French, and neither is it compulsory to host at this end, though many do.
Alan Edwards, Chairman of the Association said: "When I first went to La Murette, I must admit I was a little apprehensive, as indeed anyone is for their first trip. I knew the village was similar to Overton both in size and in economic terms, but what if we didn't get on? I need not have worried. From the very start I was made to feel very welcome and I have made many true friends since the Charter was signed in 1994.
Regular social exchanges take place and some years ago, with help from their association, a party of children from St Mary's Primary School were invited to take part in an international skiing event in the French Alps. We have also been able to find a placement in Overton for a French agricultural student"
He added: "If anyone is interested in becoming a member of the association, or would like more information about the exchanges, please contact our Secretary, Dilys Parkinson."
Following last month's article entitled "Where's our Civic pride", the Oracle received a letter from Mr D Owen, who lives at 4 Parkside, Overton. Mr Owen said:
"Although I entirely agree with your comments, I am sure the problem lies with the education of the younger element of the community. If you look at areas where young people gather together, it is there you will find the most litter. The three places I have in mind are the car park, the telephone box and the worst of all being the playing fields. After reading the article, Mr Reg Jones and I went to these areas and collected more than a wheelbarrow full of beer cans and bottles, some of the bottles had contained vodka.
I still think there is a lot of civic pride left in Overton, come to Parkside and see how clean it is here, go to Springfield Park, you won't find litter lying around there, but perhaps we are lucky, we are not on the route of the younger element of the village. A lot of rubbish we picked up is not what our young people have thrown there, but what is being brought into the village by other young people, and thrown anywhere including resident's gardens.
Finally back to education, perhaps through the School, the youth club, and the Scouts, some time could be spent on a talk on not only keeping Overton tidy, but wherever they may find themselves".
We understand that in April, the Community Council will be appointing a Village Warden to keep our streets free of litter, wherever it comes from. (See advert on the back page)
Although most of the rubbish is alleged to have been deposited by the younger section of our society, I believe it is unfair to concentrate one's thoughts on this group within our community. There are many irresponsible adults who also need educating. For example, over the Xmas period a resident of Bangor-on-Dee deposited a bin bag at the playing fields containing all their Xmas rubbish, including the turkey carcass. Thankfully they are now facing prosecution. We have also received reports of adults depositing the contents of their car's ash tray on the pavement in the High Street. In addition, there are those irresponsible dog owners in Overton who, despite the many articles that have appeared in the Oracle and the former Community Council's newsletter, show open defiance by allowing their dogs to defecate all over the place. At the time of going to press, there were 7 fresh "dog dumps" along the short length of Dark Lane, with similar problems outside Poethlyn Terrace and along Bangor Road. How can we expect others to act responsibly, when such a bad example is being set by those who should know better.
So whilst we applaud, and thank Mr Owen and Mr Jones for tidying up our village, we believe that it is wrong to focus on one section of the community, when clearly others need educating too!
In January 1999, the Overton Oracle was launched to reflect life in and around Overton by inviting contributions covering all shades of opinion in the community. It was created to inform and report upon anything of public interest, unlike the Community Council's twice yearly Newsletter which dealt with a limited number of topics. By including photographs, readers' letters, advertisements, What's On and For Sale columns, it was hoped to make it a real village newspaper. We like to feel that we have achieved these aims.
The first edition, issued in January 1999, was called "Overton's Newspaper", a title quickly changed to "The Overton Oracle" following a competition to suggest a good name for the new venture. The name has stuck, now generally shortened to "The Oracle", with a format that seems to have met with universal approval. Here are some of the stories that appeared in 1999:-
Next month we will continue with a review of our stories for 2000.
This month we feature a young Tim Vincent with an even younger Peter Edwards (then aged 9) when Tim visited Overton some years ago as part of the BBC's Blue Peter team.
We wish to extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Margaret Pack who sadly passed away on 25th December 2000.
Would you like to take part in a 42 mile
Sponsored Cycle ride in May around the Maelor to raise
funds for St
The Oracle would like to take this
opportunity of thanking Maureen Evans, for making a
valuable contribution to the work of the team especially
during the first few months of the Oracle's launch in
1999. Maureen retired
Have you witnessed a crime? Have you seen something strange happening or some suspicious characters wandering about the village? Have you seen deliberate acts of vandalism taking place, etc? Our local community policeman, Pc Wycherley wants to hear from you. Only with your help can he help reduce potential crime or bring successful prosecutions. (see article - "A lot of rubbish" ). The number to ring is 01978 294770. If he is not there, your call will be transferred to North Wales Police Headquarters. If you wish to speak with him personally, the opening times of the Overton Police Station are now posted on the front window. Of course, if you need help urgently, always dial 999.
Ed: If we do not inform the Police in this way, how can we honestly demonstrate the need for a Police Station in Overton, or for that matter a local community bobby?
Charles Hughes, the last Overton blacksmith died in Cheltenham on the 2nd January, aged 80 years.
The following planning applications have recently been granted or refused by Wrexham County Borough Council in the Overton area.
The Overton Youth Advisory Committee has suffered some harsh words, criticism and negative comments recently, mainly about the Youth Discos.
Our Committee, parents and friends (friends, as in people who don't have young children themselves but who do have a level of tolerance and understanding) feel that the youth of our village, their peers and school friends deserve this form of supervised, social activity. Many current Welsh Assembly and Central Government Strategies and initiatives are aimed at diverting youth away from dangerous influences such as criminal activities and drug related problems.
We have tried to meet difficulties and related problems head on. We have tried to face up to our responsibilities as adults living in a rural community. Overton is not a retirement village. It has a vibrant and expanding school. It is home to some twenty or more organisations, many of whom admit and encourage youngsters to join in. I want nothing more than to encourage my family and their children to stay and enjoy life in the village.
We had ten adults and 222 youngsters at our disco on the 12th January. Does that not indicate that that is what they want? We invited all the members of the Village Hall Management Committee to come along and see for themselves. To those ten adults, thank you for giving up your Friday Evening after a long working week. Thank you to those dozens of parents for their support and gratitude.
To the Management Committee and Trustees of the Village Hall, please don't refuse our future bookings. Please don't become infected with the N.I.M.B.Y syndrome (Not in my backyard).
We raise funds to provide the youth aged 8-16 with a well-equipped youth club. The Community Council has agreed to fund the salary of a qualified youth leader for a further year and we are grateful for their vision and commitment. We are hoping to help part fund the cost of providing a five-a-side football pitch this year.
On a slightly different note, the rent paid for the use of the Scout Hut has regenerated their funds.
Our Village Hall has been used for social activities for all ages, for a wider community since it opened. I listen with great interest to anecdotes and reports of the widely acclaimed Overton dances. Surely in the year 2001 we are not going to start regulating and hand-picking who is and who is not eligible to hire the hall in the future.
Please don't refuse bookings for the Youth Discos Let's negotiate. Let's gather all the facts from all sides.