OVERTON ORACLE

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

Jan 2003
HAPPY NEW YEAR

PREVIOUS EDITIONS

The Editorial Team

Alan Edwards - David Burton - Ken Farrell - Lesley Pugh - Christine Stead

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.

If you have a story contact any team member or ring 01978 710422

Local children meet Santa

On Thursday 12th December, a very special person visited Overton. Santa Claus was seen walking around the village, calling upon a number of young children to make sure he had the correct address for his deliveries. This was a particularly busy time for Santa, and Overton was one of the many places he had to visit before Christmas.

As in previous years, Santa was helped this year by members of the Ellesmere Round Table, who were making a collection for those in need. Many children braved the cold weather to wave to Santa, and some even had the chance to talk to him about the sort of presents they wanted this Christmas.

The Ellesmere Round Table wishes to thank all those who contributed to their collection.

Senior Citizens Christmas Party

On the afternoon of Tuesday 3rd December, eighty three of Overton's Senior Citizens sat down to a lovely meal served in the Village Hall by members of St Mary's Church Stewardship Committee. This was followed by a delightful programme of familiar songs given by veteran entertainers Charles Harris and Ceris Hughes-Taylor, both of whom were in fine form. On behalf of everyone attending, the 'Oracle' says thank you to St Mary's Church and all who worked so hard to make it a success.

It's Pantomime time again!!

Yes Folks, it's time to put on your dancing shoes and get ready to rock 'n' roll again with the OADS latest Pantomime - JACK AND THE BEANSTALK - a fast action, highly colourful pantomime, with plenty of opportunity for audience participation. Come and cheer for Jack as he tries to win the hand of Jill before Fleshcreep and the Giant beat him to it. "Helped" by a fab fairy and his Mum - Dame Dotty, will Jack succeed ?? Packed with super 60's songs, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK with its brilliant cast of adults and over 35 children will be the ideal NEW YEAR CELEBRATION.

Don't miss it.

Overton Village Hall Thursday 30th Friday 31st January & Saturday 1st February (Matinee and evening performance Sat)

Tickets will be on sale in January - please check local posters for details.

White Horse Inn re-opens

The White Horse Inn has re-opened its doors again after being closed for almost two years. This follows a complete transformation of the ground floor bar to provide a large room for those wishing to have a quiet drink in comfort, whilst three rooms have been converted on the first floor to provide facilities for pool and darts for the young people of the village. Bryony Fisher, Licencee and Manager, who runs the pub with her partner Mathew Lewis said: "We extend a very warm welcome to everyone, particularly families with young children. In the New Year we will be running various events such as Quiz Nights and Theme Nights to support local charities and village organisations, and will be setting up darts, dominoes and pool teams.

From left to right: Bar Assistant Jenna Evans with Licencee and Manager Bryony Fisher

In the longer term it is hoped to make further improvements to offer more facilities to our visitors, including transforming the yard area into an attractive outdoor facility."

Stargazer beware?

Everyone loves a heroine or hero. We all admire those who speak out against injustice or abuse of authority, while we hesitate to stand out from the crowd. Figures I have admired are Edith Cavell, the nurse executed in WWI for helping soldiers to escape, and although fictional, 'The Gadfly'. In exposing state corruption he became a persistent irritation, as the gadfly is to cattle, and was finally betrayed by the Church and executed. Whoever Stargazer is, I would not like to think that the same fate would befall him, or is it her?

Have you been getting it lately?

We know that some households have not been receiving copies of the Oracle. Please let us know by dropping a line to the Editor, at 1 St Mary's Court, Overton, if you are being missed out.

The Oracle is distributed by a large team of volunteers and we realise that sometimes the continuity is broken, e.g. through ill health. Actually this is a good time to thank all of those good people who do a splendid job, often delivering in horrible weather over quite wide areas. Unfortunately there are a few properties where location is a problem for delivery to the door, and in this case we would ask you to discuss arrangements with us. Some people already collect their copy from the village where delivery is difficult and we can always arrange for a copy to be posted to you.

Please remember that we are here to report your news, so don't keep it to yourself, drop a line to the Oracle at the above address.

Overton Royal British Legion needs you

Overton Royal British Legion is looking for new members. Although the Legion is one of the U.K.'s largest membership organisations, there has been a steady decline in numbers over the years. With a large percentage of its members aged over 60, this is inevitable. Many people join because they admire the Legion's cause, but there are many other reasons for becoming a member. If you would like to join, or would like more details please contact Gerry Owen, 01978 710792

Places still available on Twinning Visit to France

Overton Twinning Association is now making arrangements for the exchange visit to La Murette from the 19th - 26th July 2003. Up to 25 people from Overton can take part in the exchange and Chairman, Alan Edwards said:- "If anyone wishes to take part in this year's exchange visit and who has not been before, I would be very happy to talk to them about it. It is an ideal opportunity to see France and enjoy the French way of life with like-minded friends." Please contact Alan on 710422 if you would like further details or wish to put your name forward.

COUNTRY BEAT
by Constable Pat Burns

I would have liked to bring you "Glad Tidings of Great Joy" over the Christmas period, but alas, woe is me, on Thursday 12th December whilst many people from the village attended St Mary's Church to see the school nativity play, I was on foot patrol around the village seeing a lot of people going into Church for 6.00pm.

I spent quite a lot of time in the village that day, as my police car was in for a service. I nipped back to the Station at about 6.30pm for a brew - after all, it was a cold night. By 7.00pm, I received two reports of cars being broken into on the Surgery car park. I could not believe it! Who was watching I wonder?

Our senior citizens seem to be easy prey again for tricksters leading up to Christmas. One lady was kept talking on her front doorstep in Bangor on Dee, whilst his accomplice was busy climbing through her bedroom window and robbing her of her handbag and its contents.

The one doing the talking is described as 5 ft 8 inches tall, white, male, short dark hair, tidy dress with navy coloured overcoat, well built 17- 18 years old. There was a sighting of this man as early as 2.00pm that day (13/12/2002). Did you see him? Did he call at your house? Please let me know.

On a brighter note, a farmer friend told me he had tried to ring me from a telephone box the other night, but in the dark pushed his donor card in instead of his B.T. phonecard. I asked him what had happened? He said the call cost him "an arm and a leg!!"

Please could I ask you to try and be a good neighbour over the Christmas period, especially if you have someone "senior" or living alone next door to you, please keep an eye on them.

And remember if you are having a drink this Christmas, leave the car at home.

FROM EVERYONE AT THE POLICE STATION WE WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND OUR VERY BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR TO ALL THE "ORACLE" READERS.

Pat Burns .Constable 15 Community Beat Manager, Maelor Section. Police Station, Overton

STARGAZER

Everybody has a dog they call "Rover" or "Boy". I called my dog "Sex". Some years ago when I went to the Post Office (not in Overton I might add) to renew his dog licence, I told the clerk that I would like to have a licence for Sex. He said: "I would like to have one too." Then I said: "But this is a dog". He said he didn't care what she looked like! Then I said: "You don't understand, I've had Sex since I was nine years old". He said I must have been quite a kid.

When I got married and went on my honeymoon, I took the dog with me. I told the motel clerk that I wanted a room for my wife and me and a special room for Sex. He said that every room in the place was for sex. I said: "You don't understand, Sex keeps me awake at night" The clerk said: "Me too!"

One day I entered Sex in a contest, but before the competition began, the dog ran off. Another contestant asked me why I was just standing there looking around. I told him I planned to have Sex in the contest. He told me I should have sold my own tickets. "But you don't understand", I said: "I had hoped to have Sex on T.V." He called me a show off.

When my wife and I separated, we went to court to fight for the custody of the dog. I said: "Your Honour, I had Sex before we were married." He said: "Me too." Then I told him that after I married, Sex left me. He said: "Me too."

That night Sex ran off again. I spent hours looking around the town for him. A policeman came over to me and asked, "What are you doing in this alley at 4 o'clock in the morning?" I said, "I'm looking for Sex." My case comes up at the end of the month.

Looking Back
By a reporter old enough to be able to!

This month we feature a photograph submitted by Edith Williams of Lightwood Green, taken at Overton Carnival in 1930. The spectators include Ethel Stuart, Mr Cotgreave, Mrs Bloxham, Gwen Griffiths, Dennis Metcalfe and Mrs Metcalfe. Pushing the pram is Mr George Reeves.

Thanks to Betty Keen of Musley Lane for coming up with the following names of those who attended the W.I trip to the potteries featured last month. Betty organised the trip in the 1960's which visited a number of factories and places of interest, ending up at the Wedgewood factory.

These attending included: Mrs Pritchard, Mrs Price, Mrs Philips, Mrs Clayton, Mrs Woodfine, Mrs Roland Williams, Mrs Russell, Mrs Megan Wright, Mrs Kath Hamlington, Mrs Kath Wason, Mrs Kath Price Jones, Mrs P J Reeves, Mrs Thompson, Mrs M Roberts, Mrs Betty Williams, Mrs B Haynes and sister, Miss Edwards and sister, Mrs N Edwards, Mrs J Owen, Nurse Hughes, Mrs Griffiths (Knolton), Mrs R Thompson, Mrs V Edge, Mrs Peg Griffiths, Mrs Whitefield, and Mrs Williams (Penley Road).

Maelor Music Society News
By Francis Glynne-Jones

The Society's Christmas supper evening on December 6th was enjoyed by 90 members and their guests. The musical entertainment was ably given by young musicians from Penley School. It is pleasant to know there is such talent around.

The next Society concert will be on Wednesday 5th February at 7.30pm at Penley School. The concert will be given by students from Cheetham's School of Music in Manchester and is an evening not to be missed, as all the members present last year will confirm.

Non-members are welcome. Tickets on the door 6. Any Society enquiries to Carol Peters on 01978 780246.

Telephone scam revealed

We have been passed an e-mail which originated from the Chamber of Commerce concerning the following scam, which is targeting females in particular. They receive a phone call from the Post Office asking them to confirm their postcode. When this is given they are told they become eligible for some gift vouchers for their co-operation and are asked to provide their home address and postcode in order to receive vouchers. So far 90% of the women who have provided this information have been burgled, as it is assumed that their homes are empty during office hours. The local police are aware of this scam and the Post Office has confirmed that it is NOT conducting any postcode survey.

Also, if you receive a telephone call from an individual who identifies him/herself as being an AT & T service technician who is conducting a test on your telephone line, or if anyone else asks you to do the following - DO NOT RESPOND TO THEIR REQUEST.

They will say that to complete the test you should press nine zero (90), then the hash key (#) and then hang up. If you do, this will give them full access to your phone lines, which allows them to place long distance, international or chat-line calls. These calls are then billed to YOUR account.

It is understood that many of these calls are emanating from local prisons. The information has been checked out by the Police and is correct. DO NOT PRESS 90 FOR ANYONE.

Ed: Please pass this information to your friends and colleagues. It could save them a lot of money.

Plan refused

Residents in Lightwood Green are delighted to hear the news that Wrexham Council has refused the recent planning application by Armstrongs to increase noise levels at its factory on the nearby industrial estate. Wrexham planners said: "The relaxation of noise levels would have had a serious impact on the residential amenity of nearby dwellings and contrary to the policies contained in the Wrexham Maelor Local Plan."

Tim Henman coaches young tennis player
by Euan Stevenson

Local youngster, Georgina Caiger, aged 9, of Knolton, will look back on 2002 with pride. Georgina is an enthusiastic and promising young tennis player. Back in May she won a North Wales "under 10" tennis tournament, sponsored by Robinsons (of barley water fame).

Georgina's prize for winning the tournament was a trip to Wimbledon, where she was actually coached by one of her tennis heroes - Tim Henman.

Georgina, along with other regional winners from across the U.K., was shown around Wimbledon and the famous Centre Court.

Georgina Caiger with Tim Henman

The coaching took place on an outside court, not on the hallowed turf of Centre Court, which is reserved for the annual 2 weeks of Wimbledon.

Perhaps one day, Georgina will get to play on Centre Court, and who knows, in 10 years time she may be playing in the Wimbledon championships.

Choir raises funds for church organ

On Monday 16th December, a choir composed of members of St Mary's Church, their families and friends gathered together to not only bring Christmas cheer to Overton by singing a selection of Carols throughout the village, but to also raise funds for St Mary's Church Organ.

Ian Roberts, one of the organisers said: "We raised a total 106 and would like to thank all those who contributed to the fund." The choir was given a welcome glass of sherry by the licensee of the White Horse Inn.

IN BRIEF

  • Mel and Nancy Andrews of 41 Parkside were very proud to learn that their Grandson, Sam, was picked to play football for England in the under 16 squad in an International against Scotland. The match was played at the McAlpine Stadium at Huddersfield to a gate of 7,000, where they won 2-1. Sam has been on the Notts Forest books for the last three years.
  • A Coffee Morning organised by Sue Glover of Bank House, High Street, raised 70 towards the skiing trip by children of St Mary's Primary School.
  • The Oracle team sends its very best wishes to Miss Ruth Reeves, Salop Road. Early in December, Ruth was taken seriously ill, but we understand from the family that by Christmas she had made some encouraging progress towards recovery
  • Whoops! We reported that the Youth Club had received a donation from Barbara Watkin's recent celebratory coffee morning. This should have read, Overton Methodist Church.

YOUTH CLUB NEWS

Overton Youth Club members were very active during December, visiting Chester's Megabowl, followed by a gaze around 'Toys R Us' and a supper at McDonalds. This was a hugely popular event, but unfortunately the mini-bus couldn't take everyone. Everyone was busy making Christmas Cards and presents which included glass painting and engraving and some of the girls/young ladies enjoyed Nail Art and nail care with Gaynor Spencer, the Club's Leader. In addition several members went Carol Singing at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, when a collection for Nightingale House was made.

A full programme of events is being organised for the New Year to include a Pool tournament, one-stroke painting/drawing competitions and a Pop Quiz. Towards the end of January it is hoped to visit Wrexham Vic. Youth Club and a film night is being organised for the 15's and over which will probably include a 'Fish and Chip' supper. The Youth Club recently donated 200 to Overton Primary School to help with the cost of the skiing trip to Autrans.

Good turn out for Community Carol Singing

Over 60 people attended the Community Carol Singing which took place around the Christmas Tree outside the Doctors' Surgery on Monday 16th December.

Many families attended the event, the music for which was provided by the Maelor School Band, who played a superb range of carols.

Pictured: In full voice, Sophie Williams and Natalie Shaw

Overton Tennis Club - Winners Again!
by Euan Stevenson

The year 2002 was a very successful year for Overton tennis Club. The Ladies team finished a respectable mid-table position in their league, while the two mixed doubles teams, competing in the Chester and District league came 1st and 2nd in Division 2, both teams winning promotion to the prestigious First Division. This is quite an achievement for a small village club that has to compete against large clubs in Chester and surrounding district with memberships of up to 100 players.

Overton has always produced teams which perform well in the area tennis leagues. Perhaps the most satisfying feature of the year was the junior coaching sponsored by the club and organised by Sally Caiger. Next year the club intends to resurface the tennis courts, have more social events and encourage more people to take up tennis.

War Time Memories
By Euan Stevenson

World War 2 was the greatest conflict ever to be suffered by mankind. The effects of such traumatic events on a small village like Overton and on the people of Overton who were involved must have been profound.

In 2003, the "Oracle" will be running a series of articles with the "War Time Memories" theme. This is not an attempt to glorify war - far from it. It does seem important however that we record for posterity the war-time experiences of our local people.

This month we start with some of the memories of Den and Gerry Owen who were growing up in Overton as young lads when war broke out.

"The 1930's, from the point of view of a youngster growing up in Overton, were sheer bliss. The sun seemed to shine endlessly in the summer and the winters were cold with lots of snow. Life rolled peacefully on without the interruptions of television or traffic or even telephones (for most people).When war broke out the effects on this idyllic life - even to us as young lads - was traumatic. We looked at the Daily Express every day, which published maps showing the line dividing the German and British positions. Each day the British line seemed to recede until it hit the coast and all was lost - that was Dunkirk"

"Shortly after that there began to be major changes to the population of the village. The village's male population seemed to dwindle as men were called up, some tragically, never to return.

The second difference was a huge increase in the numbers of uniformed people we began to see around the village - there was an RAOC depot at Lightwood Green, Royal Artillery soldiers were billeted at Gwernhaylod House in Argoed Lane and their officers, with their horses, were in the "White Horse" which of course had the stables".

"We can remember filling sandbags to barricade the police station windows. All the kids were allocated this task and we went on Frank Lloyd's lorry down to the sand-hole at Home Farm to fill the bags. A few bombs dropped locally. Mother took us and baby in the middle of the night to the farm situated where the school now is, since there was a cellar there. The farmer couldn't understand the panic but when a bomb exploded in Cloy Lane, the shock waves made him drop his pipe"

(To be continued next month.)