OVERTON ORACLE

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

July 2003

PREVIOUS EDITIONS

The Editorial Team

Alan Edwards - David Burton - Ken Farrell - Lesley Pugh - Christine Stead
Jackie Evans - Euan Stevenson

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.

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

Local man in 16 hour canoeing marathon

On 21 June, Timothy Rosselli paddled a canoe along the River Dee from Erbistock to Chester, a total of 35.8 kilometres, to raise funds for a new organ at St Mary's Church, Overton. Timothy has already raised 2,375, but believes this will be exceeded when all the promises are honoured.

It was a 6.00am start for Timothy who launched his own canoe from the banks of the Dee at The Mill, Erbistock, to see how far he could travel downstream in 16 hours. He admits to being no expert, and indeed until a few months ago he had never even sat in a canoe! But he set himself the challenge and, with the help of Shropshire Sailing Club, practised for 2-3 days per week for only two months before the event. He also regularly visited the gym to get fit and build some power into his shoulders, one of which had troubled him following an injury some years ago.

He said: "Following an easy section on my way to Bangor Bridge I met my first challenge and nearly capsized. Hitting rocks on some rapids the canoe twisted and turned out of control and it was some time before I managed to regain it." The practice sessions at the Shropshire Sailing Club had not prepared him for this, and it was not long before he met his second challenge, narrowly missing a tree in some fast flowing water. He thought: "At this rate I'll never survive getting to Bangor let alone Farndon". But the river became easier, and he was able to take in the scenery and the wildlife, at one stage being accompanied by several swans. His wife Claire was at Bangor Bridge to wave goodbye, as Euan Stevenson took over as "Minder", monitoring his progress by mobile phone every few hours. He arrived at Farndon picnic area at about 11.30am to be met by some friends and his father Peter, Claire, Euan and Ian Roberts who took over being "Minder" for the afternoon session to Chester.

The trip from Farndon to Chester was in sharp contrast to earlier sections, both scenically and in terms of the river. He said: "With no current, I had to paddle all the way, at one point feeling quite vulnerable as the Princess Diana pleasure boat, with a wedding party and steel band on board, dwarfed my every move". After avoiding the motor boats and other craft at Chester he turned around at the weir and paddled upstream as far as Eccleston Ferry where he had to admit defeat. Timothy said: "It was an exhilarating experience and I would like to thank all those who sponsored me and provided the prizes, and especially Claire for all her encouragement and support."

In search of the Incas by Jackie Evans

Between the 28th May and the 8th June, our Editor, Alan Edwards completed a challenging 65 mile trek over 5 days through the High Andes following the Inca trails to the Lost City of Machu Pichuu, in Peru, raising in excess of 2,500 for the Mental Health Charity MIND.

Alan said: "I chose this charity because most people can identify with it, either knowing someone who has at some time suffered from depression, or at sometime felt as though the world was about to crash in around them. "

"I would to take this opportunity of thanking all those who have given so generously towards this charity, including people I have not even met. There are too many of them to list, and I hope that they will forgive me for not mentioning them all personally." He added: "Fifty six people from all over the U.K. participated in "MIND Peru Challenge Trek 2003", raising over 120,000 which I know will go a long way to helping those in need."

Alan's Peru charity account is still open, and anyone wishing to support this worthwhile organisation is welcome to send a cheque to Alan, at 1 St Mary's Court, Overton, Wrexham, LL13 0FA, made out to "Alan Edwards Peru Trek".

(See later article)

The Gamble Story Goes On by Geoff Price

Maybe I could put Mr Farrell more in the picture of the "Overton and District Electricity Supply" (see June issue) having worked there for 40 years or more.

I first started work at the age of 16 in 1937 for the princely sum of 35 shillings/6 pence, (about 1.75) for a 50 hour week. No cars or buses to get to work. It was a hard grind on a bike for the 4 miles from Criftins. This continued until I joined the RAF, from 1940 to 1946 serving in Africa, Malta (where incidentally I met Eric Jones of School Lane who had worked for Mr Gamble), Sicily, Italy and Austria with 600 Squadron City of London, night fighters. On return and Demob, Mr Gamble offered me my old job back.

Over the years we had several local men working for the firm. Bill Gunn, Jim Lee, Godfrey Haynes, Grenville Lloyd, Alf Knight and a fellow from Birmingham. After MANWEB took over, our work consisted of supplying and fixing diesel plants to farmhouses all over North Wales and Mid-Wales, the furthest being Dartmoor. This farm belonged to the daughter of Overton Sawmill manager, Emlyn Philips.

During all this time the health of Mr Gamble began to deteriorate and the business began to suffer. Mr Bussey retired and went part-time. I soon became redundant, but as we had quite a lot of work still going on at Mr Latham's farm, I was immediately offered the job of working as an electrician for him, which lasted 10 years until I retired at 65 in 1986

Over the years much has changed in Overton of which have fond memories. When meter reading, I used to be plied with tea and cakes, and often had a good natter at most of the houses - Turning Street especially. The cost of electricity was, for lighting, 9 old pence a unit and for power 2 1/2 old pence. The supply for all this was 250 volt DC and consisted of 4 - 4 cylinder Lister diesel engines, and a 120 horse power Gardner, used mainly when load from the village became heavy and the saw mill was running full-time.

Water for the cooling tanks was pumped from a well behind Wason's Garage (Salop Road) This was all before the village had mains water. The best water for making tea came from the "Jubilee Pump" in Station Road.

The jaguar mentioned needed quite a lot of repair before Ingrid used it to go to work, but boy could it go!! With not much traffic then, 120mph was a regular speed.

Reading about the cinema reminded me of one night Mr Jenkins, the boss, asked me to hold the fort while he went downstairs to check the sound. One of the machines decided to "spew" the film out. When he returned all he could see was film everywhere. Rewinding it was no joke.

During my time in Overton, I met and married May Lunt who then lived at Little Cloy farm. We had two children, Mark and Doreen. My recreation has been billiards, snooker and now bowls. Quite a few of the Overton bowlers were taught to play on the Criftins green.

With fond memories of Overton, I will now retire in peace.

COUNTRY BEAT by Constable Darren King

The past month has shown a sharp decrease in crime throughout the area, with the most notorious offence being the theft of a motor vehicle and trailer from Salop Road in broad daylight. Thankfully the vehicle has been recovered and returned to its owner. However, this theft has made me aware of a situation in the village that I feel needs addressing.

Can you please be aware it is not safe to leave your vehicle unattended, unlocked, with the keys in the ignition, and with the engine running. This seems to be most prevalent outside the village shops whilst people just 'pop in'. I have personally witnessed this being done on two separate occasions. Not only does this make it very easy for someone to steal your vehicle, but it is also a criminal offence, referred to as 'quitting', for which you can be fined 30.00. I know that this is a 'lovely, beautiful village', where people think that 'nothing goes on', but please believe me, a large number of people travel through here every day, and it only takes seconds to steal your vehicle if it is insecure. So with regards to your vehicle, 'if you leave it, lock it'.

On a separate motoring matter, when I attended the last meeting of the Community Council, I was informed that a number of village residents were parking on pavements causing problems for the elderly, wheel chair users, and parents with pushchairs. I am fully aware that there is not sufficient parking on certain streets, this is why I have chosen to issue 'advice warnings' at this stage, as opposed to parking tickets. Can I ask that people do not park on the pavements, and possibly walk that little bit further, thank you.

On a final note, I would like to thank the people who have provided valuable information to police. Thanks to your efforts, property was returned to its owner following a theft, and an investigation into persons involved with the supply of drugs can now proceed.

DARREN KING, Constable 1360. COMMUNITY BEAT MANAGER for RUABON and MAELOR SECTION.

Two members of Overton Community Council regularly attend meetings of the Police and Community Consultancy Group, created to act as a forum for discussion between community groups and the Police. Clerk to the Council, Alan Edwards, said: "If anyone has any questions regarding community policing, they should initially write to me at 1 St Mary's Court, Overton, Wrexham , LL13 OFA.

Overton Community Church July programme

Thursday 3rd Parish Room 7.30pm Meeting after day of prayer and fasting

Thursday 10th Parish Room 7.30pm Black 'Whole' or What happened to the other six? Some teaching and discussion with Arnold Black.

Thursday 17th Foyer of Village Hall 7.00pm Walking Treasure Hunt with supper. Finish about 9.00pm.

Thursday 24th Full day out to the R.H.S. Show at Tatton Park. For details contact Eunice on 710341.

Thursday 31st NO MEETING THIS WEEK

STARGAZER

IS YOU HORSE A CHARWOMAN?

Do you fancy a French lesson? No? Well, tough, because you're about to get one. Passing a country property recently I spotted a notice outside, posted by the Local Authority and stating that the owners were seeking planning permission to erect a 'Menage'. What's a 'Menage', you may well ask? That's easy, say the horse-owning folk. It's a fenced-off area of meadowland with carefully designed drainage and topped with a material, usually made from ground up tyres. The result is an all-weather enclosure in which horses can be trained in 'Dressage' and similar skills.

Wrong, I'm afraid! Consulting the French Dictionary I find that 'menage' means housekeeping or housewifery. 'Faire le menage' is to do the housework and 'faire des menages' means to go out charring. A 'menage a trois' is an interesting domestic arrangement in which a housewife is romanced by both her husband and Roger the Lodger. All this cannot possibly be what the average horse owner is seeking for his animals.

Changing round the first two vowels in 'menage' produces 'manege' and for this the Dictionary gives, as the meaning, horsemanship or riding. A 'maitre de manege' is a riding-master. A 'manege de chevaux de bois' is a merry-go-round or roundabout. All this looks much more promising.

So if your horse sidles up to you with a bucket and mop and utters those immortal words from ITMA, "Can I do you now, sir?" you'll know that the Local Authority didn't get its notice right and that your horse, having had the wrong training, is not going to do too well at the next gymkhana.

What it really needs is a manege - not a menage!

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

This month we feature a photograph taken at Overton Carnival in 1931. No doubt there are a number of people who will either recognise themselves or remember being at the carnival on that day. The photograph was submitted by Evelyn Donaldson (now living in Chester). It shows Grace James as the Rose Queen, with attendants left to right Nes Onkelinx, Evelyn Haynes, Phyllis Edwards, Doris Morgan, Marie Haynes, Winnie Prangle, Joan Metcalf and Val Onkelinx. The Pages were Jimmy Jones and (?) Edwards. The Herald, Eric Jones. and the Guards, ( L-R ) Tom Haynes , (?) (?) Eddy Brookfield, Jack Pearson and John Cooper. Is the school teacher on the right of the picture Miss Pugh?

Ed: Can anyone fill the missing names?

Gardens open to the public

As part of the National Gardens Scheme, The Garden House, Erbistock, owned by Mr and Mrs S Wingett, will be open to the public on Sundays, 13 July and 7 September from 2 - 5.00 pm. Admission 2.

Our apologies to Dr and Mrs S J Sime of Park Cottage, Penley, for inadvertently referring to them in the last issue as Mr and Mrs Attenburrow. Mr and Mrs Attenburrow do of course open their garden, - but in Llangollen!

This month, Stephen Smith welcomes you to Knolton Villa, Knolton Bryn, a 1 acre garden with island beds, pool, summerhouse, and a small orchard. The area surrounding the bungalow specialises in bamboos, grasses and hemerocallis. The garden is open on Saturday 19th July from 10am - 6.00pm and Sunday 20 July from 2.00pm - 6.00pm. Admission 2.00, children free. Teas available.

The National Gardens Scheme, was set up in 1927 at the suggestion of Elsie Wagg, a member of the Queen's Nursing Institute and has continued and expanded ever since. In 2000 it raised more than 1,500,000 from over 3,500 gardens to help many deserving causes.

Local Council seeks new members

Two vacancies exist on the Overton Community Council following the recent resignation of Councillors Ken Farrell and Kath Price Jones. The Clerk to the Council, Alan Edwards said: "The Council can now co-opt new councillors without having a poll. If there is anyone within the community who would like to contribute to the work of the Council, they should write to me at 1 St Mary's Court, Overton, Wrexham,LL13 OFA. If they wish, they may telephone me on 01978 710422, when I would be happy to discuss the work of the Council in more detail."

The Community Council meets six times per year, although some sub-committees, particularly the Planning sub-committee meet more regularly to deal with more urgent issues.

A BIG THANKYOU

St Mary's Church wishes to thank everyone who supported the COFFEE MORNING held on the 7th June. The sum of 345 was raised towards the Senior Citizens Christmas Party.

A Marathon from Tina Williams

Earlier this year Tina Williams decided to undertake a sponsored run from Overton to Ellesmere in order to raise funds for St Mary's Church Aided School. This is a distance of 10 miles. Tina complete the run on Saturday 3rd May in 1 hour 45 minutes.

Tina is well known in the village of Overton and is regularly seen out jogging around the surrounding countryside. She had to train everyday for the 10 mile run, as this was a considerably further distance.

Tina would like to thank the people of Overton and nearby villages who generously supported her in this venture. She raised a total of 737.60. The money will be divided equally across all class years in St Mary's Primary School, Overton, so that everyone will benefit.

Ed: Well done Tina

A Trip to the 'Alien'

Overton Playgroup recently took a trip to Overton's Indian restaurant "The Ancient Raj", for lunch. They sampled two vegetable curries, rice, naan bread and onion bhajees. They all had a wonderful time and just about all 28 children enjoyed their first taste of Indian cuisine.

The Playgroup wishes to thank Mr Abdul Hussain for making the trip to the 'Alien' (as one child put it) such a success.

Bother and sister receive recognition from Mayor

Charlotte Cusworth, aged 12 and her brother Thomas, aged 10, of Salop Road, Overton, took part recently in a charity Triathlon as part of Carers Week. They ran for one mile, swam 400 metres and cycled 12 miles, raising a total of 97 between them.

On completion they were both presented with a certificate from the Mayor of Wrexham in recognition of their achievement.

Playgroup open day

Overton Playgroup would like to invite children approaching 21/2 years of age by September and their parents to an Open Afternoon at the Playcentre on Friday 4th July from 1.30pm.

You are welcome to sample some of the great activities on offer and make some new friends.

For more information e-mail info@overton-on-dee.co.uk

IN BRIEF

  • Next year will be the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Twinning Charter between Overton and La Murette, France. Plans are already being made to hold special celebrations in both villages, forging stronger links between the two communities.
  • Overton Village Hall Management Committee is looking for a Treasurer. Should you be interested in applying, please contact James Glover (Chairperson) on 01978 710413.
  • Our sincere condolences are extended to Gordon and Sheila Simms and their family following the recent tragic death of their daughter Louise, aged 29.
  • Planning Permission has been granted by Wrexham County Borough Council for the new Medical Centre to replace Overton Surgery. In addition, planning permission has been granted for a temporary surgery to be sited on the picnic area adjacent to the car park in Church Road, Overton, despite objections by the Community Council.

The challenge of a lifetime by Alan Edwards

Ever since I was a small boy, and before a certain bear was found on Paddington Station, I had always wanted to go to Peru. Somehow I was fascinated by the sound of the words "INCA", "LOST CIVILISATIONS" and "GOLD!" Books that I had read at the time gave one the impression that little was known about this once thriving Inca civilisation whose influence and control went far beyond the shores of South America. What happened to this great empire which emerged very quickly and disappeared equally as fast. Why did people leave these 'cities' high up in the mountains, leaving no records?

It took 50 years for that dream to come true, and then it was by chance. I happened to read in the Wrexham Leader that the Mental Health Charity MIND was organising a charity trek to Machu Pichuu, the 'lost' city of the Incas. The words 'Machu Pichuu' and 'Incas' were enough to make my heart miss a beat. And so I wrote to the Charity and was fortunate enough to be selected to join the trek, providing of course, I raised a minimum of 2,500 for MIND.

Training began in earnest both at the gym and in Snowdonia, and for 10 months I lifted weights, worked out on the Staircase (which is like walking up an escalator the wrong way!) and pounded many routes in around Snowdon itself, often walking sixteen miles per day over sometimes rough terrain. We were told that our peak fitness level would be achieved by walking 40 miles in two days. Towards the end of the training I met two other "Peru Trekkers" from Wrexham, and we trained together for a short while. But after all the hard training we all felt the same. Were we really fit enough? What if we couldn't make it on the first day? Would we be struggling to keep up with everybody else who was perhaps younger and fitter than our ageing bodies would ever be? Only time would tell.

We arrived in Lima, the capital of Peru at midnight (GMT) after a tiring 12 hour flight from Madrid. Because of the time difference in Peru, it was really only 6.00pm. We had been on the go from 4.00pm on Wednesday 28th May until midnight on the 29th May - with no proper sleep, and by the time we got to the hotel it was about 8.00pm Peru time (2.00am GMT). After a short briefing at about 3.00am or was it 9.00pm, I finally crawled into bed about 10.00pm (or was it 4.00am. I really couldn't get my head around what time it was and after a while gave up looking at my watch. All I know was that I hadn't slept or washed for 36 hours! Ughh! The relief was to be a short-lived for the alarm rang at 5.30am (Peru time). Just enough time for breakfast before an early flight to Cusco.

We then spent two more days acclimatising in Cusco, the original Inca capital of Peru until the Spanish Conquistadors, in search of Gold, invaded the country in the 16th Century. Not suspecting anything untoward, the Incas allowed the Spanish the freedom to roam their land. They had not seen visitors to their lands before, and certainly had no idea why they had arrived. The invaders asked the Inca king to assemble all the Gold that he could and when he refused, he was told his life would be spared if he did so. Naively he carried out their demands, only to be beheaded immediately afterwards. Thereafter the Incas were systematically slain, and the civilisation wiped out.

The challenging trek to Machu Pichuu took us through some magnificent country, from the lowlands to the glacial snows of the High Andes. It was challenging in the sense that we were trekking at altitude, where on some of the steeper sections, it was three paces forward and then stop, gasping at the thin air to fill our lungs. After a short rest, the whole process was repeated again many times until we reached our highest point, 15,500 feet, which is about five times the height of Snowdon and higher than Mont Blanc. Our pace throughout the 65 mile trek was deliberately very slow, maintaining a gentle rhythm, matched to one's breathing and with your mind set on the goal rather than the mountain ahead! We met many mountain people, whose life was very simple and although poor by our living standards, they were rich in contentment with their primitive lifestyle. When we stopped for a rest, children seem to emerge from nowhere, and after handing them some fruit or pencils, they would willingly pose for photographs. We were supported on the trek by porters drawn from local villages who loaded Llamas and donkeys with our gear and raced ahead to set up camp and prepare a meal for us. We heard later that they would receive only 60p per day for all their hard work. At camp five a collection was made and presented to them all by our trek leader.

I could not believe I was actually in Peru, standing in this magical place called Machu Pichuu. It was an emotional experience I will never forget, and my eyes became quite tearful as I watched the sunrise over this once thriving city of the Incas, and thought about the people who once lived there, worshipping the sun and going about their daily lives. A boyhood dream come true.

Where next you ask? Well it might be trekking in Nepal, or Scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef. Who knows?