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

Jan 2006



Christmas Switch on grows in stature
By Sean Clarke

Regular readers may recall that this time last year, we ran an article describing the grand switch on in Maelor court Overton on the 1st December. This year Alice Jones continued the tradition and once again a gaggle of villagers braved sub-zero temperatures (well maybe not that cold) by hosting the most incongruent Barbeque of the year. As usual, the food was excellent and she was assisted by a number of admirable helpers who ensured that the adults ate well and the children drank plenty ( or may be that should read the other way around)……. Many thanks Alice & co.

This year Overton and Penley do seem to be upping the ante’, festively speaking as we are still trying to brush away the memories of last years Christmas tree opposite the G.P. surgery. It looked like an example of drive-by decorating. I understand that the contractor responsible for fitting the lights has since been referred to his Occupational Health Dept. As soon as his guide dog learns how to read he’ll pop along.

Penley’s lights seem to be growing year by year and I understand that a decent sum of money has been raised for charity through the local collections- well done to those concerned. There are rumours that the recent road works there are for a proposed tram system which will be known as the “Golden Quarter Mile” ; so far reports are unsubstantiated although the Pleasure Beach Management Committee is said to be seeking legal advice.

By contrast Overton responded with a colour co-ordinated frontage (matching white lights along the whole of the High Street) , except for one unnamed individual who let the side down with pale blue fairy lights. Our editor’s decision to buck the trend was apparently down to a mix up at the suppliers as opposed to an episode of village anarchy: I for one was disappointed to find out.

Taking investigative village journalism to new heights / peddling cleansed local rumour mongering (select you preference), we undertook a rigorous, scientific, readers straw poll, by asking someone we know, what they thought of this years Christmas trees. The feedback was generally positive and fair play to the person who managed to gain permission from the dwellers to erect the trees. The village did look particularly festive and drew plenty of positive comments.

As the year is over and we have probably already broken our New Years resolutions, here’s to the next one. Best Wishes from all at The Oracle.

By Constable Darren King

Your opportunity to have a say in how Overton should be policed….

At 7.20 pm on Tuesday 10th January 2006 the Overton Community Council will be holding their next meeting in the Parish Rooms.

As part of the Neighbourhood Policing Plan which was implemented last year, residents are again invited to attend and discuss with me and the Council any issues they have with local policing, and also to receive an update with regards to issues previously highlighted as problems in the village, (speeding, parking, youth club).

This is your opportunity to be heard if you think that the police should be concentrating on something that we’re not. We will naturally continue dealing with thefts, disorder and motoring offences, but the Neighbourhood Policing Plan gives us the opportunity to draw upon the services of other organisations such as highways and the youth service to help us achieve our aims.

If you are unable to attend but wish to raise a point, please feel free to deliver a message to me at the police station and I will ensure it is raised at the meeting.
Whilst on the theme of local policing, it has been agreed that a second CBM will be appointed to the Maelor Section. This officer will primarily take over responsibility for the Bronington County Council Ward, (The villages of Bangor on Dee, Worthenbury, Tallarn Green, and Bronington), leaving me able to concentrate on the Overton County Council Ward, (The villages of Overton, Penley, Hanmer and Bettisfield).

Both Martin, (The Ruabon CBM), and myself look forward to having another officer work with us from Overton Police Station, and I look forward to introducing him/ her to you in a future article.

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,

January 25th is St Paul’s day. This was once an important day in the old countryman’s year.

It was on this day that farmers and country people took stock of the weather. A long-range weather forecast was devised for the year to come and everyone took this very seriously and planned their farming year accordingly.

There is an old rhyme concerning St Paul’s day, forgive the old English spelling!

If the day of St Paul be cleare
There shall betide a happie year.
If it do chance to snow or rain,
Then shall be deare all kinde of graine,
But if the winde then bee alofte,
Warres shall vex this realm full oft,
And if the cloudes make dark the skie
Both neate and fowle this yeare shall die.

We can only hope that it doesn’t rain or be windy or overcast on the 25th January!

At the beginning of a new year, we all look forward with anticipation and maybe some unease to the coming months. What will the next twelve months bring? None of us can know with any certainty. For us as a family we will have our first grand child, due any day now as I write this in mid December.

But what we can be sure of is, that whatever the next twelve months bring, God will be there alongside of us, to share in the good and bad times alike. We just have to have the faith to feel his presence alongside of us as we travel through the year. We can rely on him, whatever we face in the future!

May I wish you all the very best for 2006.

Your Friend and Rector

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

A United Service will take place in St Mary’s Church at 1900hrs on Tuesday 24th of January . Everyone is welcome

A Few Winter Gardening Tips
By Stan Wright

Now in the dark dismal cold days of December and January, what is there to do in the garden? The answer as far as I am concerned is keep off it. You’ll do no good trampling on wet soil, let nature take over for a month or two. So unless you have to trim a hedge or remove a tree or some big job of that nature, KEEP OFF IT.
Now there are such things as greenhouses and conservatories, so if your fingers itch to do some form of gardening let it be inside.
The first essential if you are going to over winter tender plants is to keep the temperature above freezing. I have found that an electrical heater controlled by a thermostat is the best answer to this. Paraffin is messy and unreliable and the difference that an electric heater makes to you MANWEB bill is very little.
Having made sure about the temperature the other two important points to remember are good ventilation and very little watering. Most plants in winter are dormant just biding their time until warmer days tell them its time to start growing again.
So my gardening tips for December and January are:
Outside: Leave well alone
Inside: Frost free, good ventilation and very little watering.

By Lela Palin

Just a little note ...First I’ d like to introduce (and thank) Jenny, who has written a review on the new Harry Potter film and has promised to write more reviews in the coming months. She is a very talented writer and I am sure you will enjoy reading her reviews as much as I do. Remember if you have anything you would like me to print, please put it through my door at 20 Bangor Road (it’s the one with the funny mail box) or email me at:info@overton-on-dee.co.uk

I hope you all had a good Christmas + a Happy New Year. I know I did!! We anyway I think I am going to run out of space if I don't story typing soon! Until next month
Lela x

Christmas Quiz Answers:
1 We Three Kings
2 Little Donkey
3 Away in a manger
4 O Little Town of Bethlehem
5 Santa Baby
6 Sleigh Bells
7 In the bleak mid winter
8 Once in Royal David's City
9 Hark the Herald Angels Sing
10 Deck the Halls
11 O come all ye faithful
12 Somewhere over the rainbow the odd one out!!)
12 The holly and the Ivy
13 Coventry Carol
14 Rocking around the Christmas Tree
15 Oh Christmas Tree
16 I wish it could be Christmas every day
17 Walking in a winter wonderland
18 I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
19 Mistletoe and wine
20 Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
21 Santa Claus is coming to town
22 Jingle Bells
23 Unto us a child is born
24 Hark the herald angels sing
25 I saw three ships come sailing in
26 The Twelve Days of Christmas
1 On the first day of Christmas
2 Merry Christmas
3 Snow Man
4 Nativity
5 Santa
6 Reindeer

By Jenny England

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (12a)
If you have read the fourth book in the Harry Potter series you already know what happens, but if you haven't this film will be an enjoyable experience. Though darker than the previous films, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

For those who have read the book this will also be a gripping experience! With shocking effects and amazing new characters you will enjoy this film as much as the others. Sadly, you might be a bit disappointed as the director has edited some essential parts from the book, like the humorous Ludo Bagman and the challenging maze creatures. But don't worry, as Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson manage to mask the poor editing. Despite the editorial mistakes, I still think this movie was excellent and I would rate it 81/2 out of 10.

Community Council News
Village Hall Caretaker Retires

Cynthia Davies has retired as caretaker of Overton Village Hall after six years of sterling service.

Cynthia, who is a popular local figure, has served the trustees and management committee with unswerving loyalty and dedication. Paul Galloway, speaking on behalf of the trustees and Jim Glover for the management committee would like to extend their thanks, publicly, to Cynthia for all that she has done. Without her the hall would not have run so smoothly and efficiently. Her cheerful good humour will be missed.

Cynthia has expressed her regrets at leaving. She has enjoyed working at the village hall and will be continuing to serve on the management committee.

The committee are also grateful to Diane Bell and Katherine Crockford who have stepped in to fill the vacancy and keep the hall on course. The new contact number is 01978 710 055

Overton Illuminations
By Katharine Crockford. Clerk, OCC.

As mentioned in the last edition of the Oracle, this year Overton Community Council decided to buy some Christmas Lights for the Village. Wrexham County Borough Council were invaluable in helping to light up the village, at a particularly busy time of the year for them. All work of this type must be done by qualified electricians, to ensure that the lights are safe to be displayed in public areas, and they were all fitted by various engineers and electricians “loaned” to us from WCBC. I would like to thank them for their professional work in wiring and fixing all the lights. I would also like to say a very big thank you, on behalf of the Councillors and indeed the whole Village, to the various residents and businesses on the High Street, for allowing us to fix the brackets for the Christmas Trees to the walls of their properties. I think that you will agree that the village looked fantastic for Christmas.

Overton Club’s “Turkey Trots” dominated by Two Champions
By Euan Stevenson

Doesn’t time fly – by the time you are reading this, Christmas will have come and gone.
One of the village’s seasonal events which fill up the long dark evenings, add a touch of interest and excitement, and helps shorten the winter are the “Christmas Knockouts”, sponsored by Overton Recreational Club.
These are competitions for those who enjoy our traditional indoor sports and games.
The competitors test their brains and co-ordination in efforts to reach the final. The games are friendly, but they also have that competitive edge – after all, there are good prizes to be won. Every competition winner, and also the beaten finalists, wins a fresh turkey for Christmas.
The competitions start in late October and reach their climax at “Finals night”, one of Overton Club’s big annual evenings. This year’s finals night was held on Friday, 9th December, when many dramas unfolded as the semi-finals and finals were played out.

This year, finals night was dominated by two true champions.
Congratulations firstly to Mike Dorey – Overton’s “master cueman” who won, not only the Snooker championship, but also the Billiards and Pool knockouts. This was tough luck for beaten finalists John Dinelow (Snooker), Lee Gorton (Billiards) and Pat Loughlin (Pool). Unless Steve Davies moves to the village, Mike’s Christmas turkey supply seems assured.
The second champion was “Dai Coal”, better known as barman Dave Jones. He won the Darts men’s singles after a tight game with Derek Edwards, and also the mixed doubles with partner Natalie Fowles, against Laura Burell and Will Thelwell.
Congratulations also to Sandy Foster, who repeated last year’s win in the ladies’ Darts singles final against Angela Rogers.
There was, however a new champion in the Chess knockout - Sally Taylor, who dispensed with last year’s winner, Euan Stevenson, easily, in the final.
Dominoes is a great favorite with club regulars, and this year the Domino titles went to some of the club’s foremost league players.
John Dodd beat his regular buddy and partner, Peter Williams, in a tense singles final and Doreen Hamlington and Ivor Parkinson overcame Graham and Sue Chetwood in the doubles finals.
With such great finalists, we have to question why the league form is so poor this year for the Overton Rec. club’s team – this is probably a sore point.

Congratulation to all winners and finalists and commiserations to the beaten semi-finalists, who missed out on the turkeys.

Big thanks to the Overton Rec. Club committee and competition organisers for another successful event.
Special thanks to club Chairman Brian Hamlington and his wife Doreen for a super presentation night on Saturday, 17th December, where the winners received their trophies and prizes. Thanks for all your hard work, which made this, such an enjoyable evening.

Overton Medical Practice News

A very happy and healthy new year to everyone.

Many people admired the Christmas tree standing in the atrium that was donated by Stan’s Shop in St. Martins. We thank them most sincerely for their kind and generous gesture.

Peter and Helen Turkie paid a quick visit to the surgery in November. Dr. Turkie was looking very well and asked if we could thank everyone who sent them ‘good wishes’ during his treatment.

Something ‘new’ at the surgery is a piece of equipment standing resplendent in the waiting room. We have installed an automatic booking in machine. Patients will just have to follow the very simple instruction using a tough screen and they will be able to book themselves into the doctor’s without waiting at the reception desk. We will, of course, still be on hand in reception if anyone has any doubts or queries but, hopefully, it will be quick and simple.

The Practice has been extremely fortunate over the years in having a Manager who is not only highly efficient but a very nice person. Sadly Mary Hamilton is to retire at the end of January. There are probably some people who have never met her but all have benefited from her management and she will be greatly missed and a hard act to follow. Good luck and a happy retirement Mary, from everyone in Overton.

Account of Santiago trail November 2005
by Margaret Samson

24/25 November (Thursday)
Richard and I set off from St. Marti by car to Grenulles where we left the car to catch the train to Barcelona and so on by night sleeper to Pamplona. (I was rather worried about leaving Silvia with 4 dogs,4 cats, a working day and the 2 children. However all this quickly faded with the more pressing concerns of getting on the right train, trying to sleep (in vain) and not oversleeping our station as 5.30am – Pamphlona.)
All went unexpectedly well and we found ourselves on the platform where nothing was happening: everyone was still asleep. Finally we go a taxi the 1 hour drive up to the French border (about 40KM) a place called Roncalles where there is a large monastery mainly hostel accommodation for pilgrims. We could see nothing as it was still dark but we seemed to be climbing up and up; (this was verified on the map later).

We finally found someone who opened up the office for us in order to register us as “pilgrims”. So we set forth into the slushy snow – the only pilgrims to be found. The trees were very Christmas-y outlined in snow but as it snowed and rained alternately we got extremely wet. The last think I had packed in my rucksack was some sun-block cream! And I had neglected to line my sac with a plastic back (having only experienced sunny Spain in the past) for which I paid a penalty later. We walked through alpine meadows with cows complete with bells and woods, but no views on account of the weather.

Finally up and down a second hill when we came to a village and looked for accommodation for the night. The first place did not answer the door bell but when Richard telephoned the advertised number he was told they were “full” (i.e. shut). However at the other end of the village there was another hostel. There a diminutive Basque woman opened up for us telling us that we were sole guests. I shall always be grateful to her as she also could have claimed to be “full”. I called her the gnome which Richard told me was disrespectful. This was not the case as I could have hugged her! I had a bath (lovely hot water) and after a modest supper, I spend the evening drying the shoes and clothes by the open fire; all the clothes in the rucksack and the rucksack itself had to be similarly dried. Richard meanwhile had a bath before supper (and promptly fell asleep) and again after supper. He produced his computer from his rucksack and spent a happy time working! There are only a few requirements for comfort, the ability to dry out, a warm room, a modest meal and a flat bed. All these were ours for E26 with meals extra (total bill was E53). The distance we had walked in appalling conditions was 11.58KM (7.7 miles). We both finally fell into bed and didn’t wake until 9am the next morning.

26th November (Saturday)
This day was much the same. Richard intent on walking on the route again and we rejoined this after some road walking. Snow was only falling lightly by this time, so we set out on the route again. At first there were other footprints in the snow but after about ½ KM they had all turned round to go back to the road, so we were alone again. We had a lovely walk (downhill) through oak and conifer woods, the trees all outlined with snow, to the next village Zubiro.

We eventually found a very comfortable hostel (which opened up especially for us-the sole pilgrims; after trying other places all firmly shut. Hot baths again and a good meal in the (fairly) local bistro an excellent meal washed down with rose wine. Light snow falling so to bed. Distance walked about 7KM and still no broken leg!

27th November (Sunday)
We made our own breakfast and with food from the local supermarket, paid our lodging (E24) and called a taxi to Arre where we arrived just in time to join in the Eucharist in the lovely Norman Church. We signed the pilgrim book and then admired the medieval bridge over the river. The river is finally a tributary of the R. Ebro which goes right across N Spain and enters the Mediterranean.

We walked along the riverbank into Pamplona 3 + KM – a magnificent walled city. We walked up and down and round about these ramparts (the mechanism for pulling up the drawbridge still in place). After an abortive attempt to look at the Cathedral (locked Sunday afternoon) we took a taxi to the station. We had 2 hours to kill so out came the computer again. The train was very comfortable which was just as well as the journey back to Barcelona took 6 hours, arriving about 11:30pm. Temperature here 13 degrees (2 degrees in Pamplona)
Arrived home safely about 1AM tired, happy and fulfilled. We had “done” nearly 20 miles, about 3% of the Compostela Route!

Picture Below..some will remember Richard in the old Primary School in the 60’s. I was 29 when we arrived in Overton. Both of us unrecognisable from those days….

Just Desserts
by Maxine

“Pass me the trifle Maxine” I smile, a simple request at the dinner table, but one that evokes a memory or two. Some weeks ago my manager announced the department that I work in was to temporarily close down for two weeks to ensure that all in the Technical team could assist in making Christmas a success! (a bold statement!) I work for a company that produces desserts for a number of retailers from top tier highly indulgent desserts to the humble strawberry trifle! (Oh we also produce cottage cheese & pro-biotic yogurt to maximise on the January diet season!)

I am a member of the Technical Services team my role is one of inputting data, recipes, and processes into a large database, which facilitates product to be produced and delivered to store. I call my self a “data monkey” tapping away at a key board all day ….I am not sure if anyone really has a career plan when they begin a working life, I spent 3 years studying furniture design and then many years in a more commercial role, selling products and services. Before undertaking this role, which to my surprise I enjoy, but if I am honest never would describe as a career…

We had our Xmas rota given to use a gruelling programme of 12 hour shifts, some days and some night shifts. I have always described myself as “night owl” so I was not too concerned about undertaking the night shift; in fact I was looking forward to it, how hard could it be? Little did I know that by only the 4th shift as I clocked on, clutching the boxed set of “Waking the Dead”, (I had promised to pass on to my colleague for a little light hearted festive viewing), I would resemble an awoken corpse!

Ones body is a strange thing; I have discovered that it is not food that we really need, its sleep and the people around us whom we care about. The night shift means that you do not see any one, you live to work. The “killer zone” for me was 3AM; the only thing that would get me through the night was my colleagues. For example the lion share of the people in the factory undertake these hours, working a 4 on 4 off rota. The majority of which fully embrace their roles. Standing on a line that produces 700 Trifles an hour and placing a sponge in each vessel as it passes you is not as easy as it sounds, physically demanding, and not without pressure (if you slip up the whole line stops, which impacts on a number of people) I did this for 4 hours and as a result, learnt about guinea pigs, trials bikes, mixing ones own music and his sisters cat (well no one said you couldn’t talk!)

Everyday was different, cutting sponges, placing lids on large desserts and cursing at the speed in which I had to do this, filling out forms for “pot breakages” , checking the position of chocolate snowmen, cleaning cream heads, some of the events that took place are unprintable if not highly amusing….On a couple of occasions we had visits from some of our customers, it was fantastic to see how every one pulled together to ensure these visits went smoothly, a personal challenge for me then on was to make everyday have a sense of achievement, for all involved. If we could get it right on the day of a visit why not all the time?. I think the answer lies in the people that do the job all of the time, whom I admire and would work alongside any time.

Now back to that career…finally at the age of 35 I know what I want to do, make a difference. I am dreading going back to my desk. I want a career, I am not sure how this will develop, initially I intend to spend every spare hour in that factory, I suddenly understand what makes me tick! All the data, every piece of packaging, ingredient, machine run rate that I input on a daily basis has been brought to life on such a scale, its truly thrilling (you should see how much cream we get through!!) Sometimes you just need to leave your desk! It may only be a trifle but for me it represents making a difference….even if it is only in the world of trifles!

We are pleased to include another People in profile , thanks to Lesley for tracing down this elusive character……What is that commotion in the field? Good gracious, surely not!! Oh but it is….. “Er, hello there.” “Hello, ho, ho, ho, just watering the lads at your trough, don’t mind do you?” “No of course not. I have to interview a stranger for the Oracle, would you mind answering a few questions?” “Be glad to, I often read the Oracle, look it up on the website, very handy.”
People in Profile
What was the last book you read?
Around the World in Eighty Days by Michael Palin. Good job I don’t take that long but he did get to enjoy rather more of the World than I have time for, which I envy. I do mine by magic, sort of time warp to do it in one night.

What was the last Album/piece of music you purchased?
Have to confess that I listen to the presents, just to check they are in good order you understand, so I never buy any. The lads and I are totally in love with that Katherine Jenkins so we play her latest all the time; it certainly gets Rudolph nose all of a glow I can tell you!

What was the last film you went to see/watched at home?
Again, I do a try out so I have seen all of the latest nice films, we don’t watch those that are full of violence or the ‘F’ word, although we did find the latest Harry Potter a bit scary.

Describe your last ‘eating out experience’.
I’m afraid I have stuffed myself with sherry and mince pies, goes with the job, ho ho ho.

Where was your last holiday?
Every year, about the third week in January, we all head off to the Elf Resort because we are worn out and I need to lose a lot of ‘good cheer’ from around the waist.

What was the last sporting event you participated in/ watched?
A cracking Five-a-Side football match between Santa’s Little Helpers.

What was the last thing that made you laugh/you enjoyed?
This evening I was standing in your village with my sack over my shoulder, admiring your new Christmas lights. A Policeman and a blue flashing light spoil the whole effect. He tugs my beard, I hate it when people do that, “ Suppose you’re going to tell me that you’re Santa Clause, ho, ho ho.”. He says he is a King but the Kings at Christmas followed a bright, shining star, not a blue flashing light. Anyway I down loaded him in my mind and saw what he was getting for his Christmas present and I did have to smile. Oh yes, ho ho ho, indeed I did ho ho ho, I bet he did too ho ho ho. Then I did a bit of magic so he wouldn’t remember the meeting.

“Must go, still some deliveries to do, Merry Christmas, ho ho ho.” Rudolph gives me a nuzzle and a lick and then they are off for another year.