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

July 2008


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


by Sean Clarke

Like predictive text messages which foresee the word you are composing, we fogeys at the Oracle Team are jumping on the bandwagon and attempting to write a predictive article where the reader chooses their preferred version of events.

Because of printing deadlines this year’s article was actually written before the event and rest assured, this experimental reporting style is unlikely to be repeated often.

The day began in classic summer style, (please delete as necessary) the sky was cloudless or it lashed down miserably. Within the first few minutes (please delete as necessary) huge crowds gathered and set up on the field or people gradually drifted in and milled about. A few stalls attracted particular attention, the Twinner’s twist on tombola for example, seemed very good value to me. I dipped my hand in and pulled out a random choice from the numerous sets of keys, - leaving with the same partner but having exchanged my car for a newer model. I think I understood the rules…

Likewise, the Army’s presence caused a stir. A number of confused souls suspected that their attendance was due to suspected civil unrest, as opposed to their generous and public minded participation.

The raffle was notable this year, but clarity regarding the actual prize was required. Some say that it was (please delete as necessary) an all expenses trip to Florida or a day clay pigeon shooting or an unwanted Christmas gift set received in 1986. The recipient was also somewhat of a mystery as the lucky winner was (please delete as necessary) an elderly lady from Erbistock or a local family or the raffle drawer’s next of kin.

The Scout’s had kindly agreed to serve the Tea’s and a number of pleased customers (please delete as necessary) enjoyed their beverages or were seen wandering the field looking dazed and confused or were seen returning to the hut asking for more cake and complaining of voracious appetites. The day drew to a happy conclusion (please delete as necessary) at about seven p.m. or the last ravers left at 4a.m. with fewer arrests than previous years.

One thing that we can predict with certainty is that it was the generosity of those
manning the stalls and the diligence and hard work of the organisers that made
the day so enjoyable for everyone.

Howzat for fantastic fundraising !

A huge thank you (or merci beaucoup) to every single person who helped make our Promise Auction for Overton on Dee Cricket Club and Twinning Association on Friday 13th June, such an amazing success! On the night we raised over £1600 to share between the two organisations and this would not have been possible without the generosity of our community and beyond.

Thank you to everyone who donated in any way (no matter how small) to the evening, which was enjoyed by all who attended – we even had bids via satellite! The hall looked fabulous decked out in the Ddraig Goch and Tricolore and tables groaned under the weight of the sumptuous nibbles, wonderful cheeses and wine too.

If you were one of the unfortunate people who missed out on the superb auctioneering skills of Mr John McCusker…..you also missed out on many, many bargains too!
Here’s hoping that these funds boost the next half of the cricket season and make our visitors stay from La Murette even more enjoyable!

With thanks from the Cricket Club members and Twinning Association committee.


If you are aged 60 or over or have a disability and live in Wrexham County Borough Council you are entitled to free travel on the County’s bus services, for travel throughout the County and the whole of Wales! You can even use it for travel across the border into England as long as your journey starts within the County boundary. You can apply on-line at www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/travel/bus/concessionary_travel.htm or from the Council offices at Lambpit Street. You will need a passport size photo, your birth certificate or passport, plus a utility or council tax bill. So apply now and get travelling and forget those high petrol costs!


It is now a year since Dr Bloom and Dr Bowdler joined the practice. During that year over 100 patients have signed up for online access to appointments via the internet. From the 7th July it should be possible to order your repeat prescription on line as well. This may well be a real incentive for more patients to join the scheme. There is a minimum age of 16 is required for the scheme.

The whole computer system is being updated from Monday 30th June to Wednesday 2d July. During this time we cannot issue any prescriptions other than in an emergency. We will not be able to make any appointments or give results. If you are seeing the doctor he or she will not be able to see your computer notes so you may have to rebook at a later date if a medication review or test results are the reason for the visit.

There have been a number of minor accidents in the parking area in front of the surgery. This is rather a restricted space with a limited ‘turning circle’. Don’t forget that there is plenty of parking in the main car park behind the surgery and the back gate (to the right of the public conveniences) is a public pathway giving access to the front to the surgery.

There was an excellent turn-out for the last Practice Patient Participation group meeting and we hope the new faces found the experience enlightening. The next meeting will be held on Monday 18th August at 6.00pm at the surgery.
Chirk Hospital
Don’t forget that if you have had an accident and need strapping or stitching, Chirk Hospital has a minor injury unit which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Notice is given that Erbistock Community Council has adopted a revised Members Code of Conduct. Such document is available for inspection by members of the public.
Please contact the Clerk to arrange an appointment on 01978 780116
Jim Wild, Clerk, Erbistock Community Council, Haddon Bank, Erbistock, Wrexham LL13 0DW

WANTED A computer enthusiast prepared to help the fossils of our community! This will be achieved by maintaining and updating information on our existing website on a weekly basis. If you can help please contact Jacky on either 710328 or jackymaskall@tiscali.co.uk


This term Miss Molyneux’s class spent a day at Chirk Castle learning about life in Tudor times. They worked as servants polishing the armour, preparing Tudor food, playing with Tudor toys, identifying the leeches and finding ways to keep away the plague.


St Mary’s School is to become a Forest School. It is about exploring and experience the natural world through practical activities. Children go out in all weathers, all the year round, exploring & learning from the seasons and environmental changes. It enables children to become independent, self-motivated & considerate, which sets them up for lifelong learning. It builds on a child’s innate motivation & positive attitude to learning, offering them opportunities to take risks, make choices & initiate learning for themselves. The activities include: identification of wildlife, trees & plants; pond & woodland study; seasonal knowledge & understanding; team building; making habitat boxes & using natural materials to make crafts! The sessions will be led by Jo Richards & Kay Lawrenson who are currently studying with the Forest School Training Company Ltd.


• Have you got half an hour to spend every now and then?
• Do you like Gardening and Children?
• Do you believe like we do that children learning to grow their own food to eat is fun, rewarding and a lifelong skill they will never forget?
Then come and join our growing rota taking small groups of St Mary's School children out into the school garden to tend the vegetable plot. We aim to have at least two of us their once a week to water, weed, plant out and hopefully eventually harvest and eat the produce!! You will have to be CRB checked of course. Interested?? We'd love to hear from you!
For further information contact Mrs Richards or Mrs Lawrenson at St Mary's School, Overton or ring Rachel Harris on 01978 710041.

by Henry

What makes Overton special? The fact that we can get our dry cleaning done, stock up the food cupboard, go to the Chemists, pay our bills and post a parcel, in fact do all those day to day things we need to without going out of the village.

In these days of rising petrol prices

But it will only stay like that if we support our local businesses. The Federation of Small Businesses is running a campaign and sending a petition to the Prime Minister to secure the future of small shops across the UK and safeguard the choice and competition that people expect in the market place.

Small shops are struggling to survive because of local, regional and national policies together with the failure of the competition authorities to deal with the aggressive policy of supermarkets. Unfair pricing advantages, such as below cost selling, should be prohibited.

Show your appreciation for Overton’s small businesses and your support for the campaign by signing the petition in the Corner Shop as soon as possible.

by Constable Luke Hughes

Cycling Proficiency
Section Officer 423 Maria Hewitt of the North Wales Police Special Constabulary has recently started this years Cycling Proficiency syllabus in the junior Schools in Overton, Penley, Bangor on Dee and Hanmer. This scheme is now in its twelfth year and after success full completion all children will receive free cycle coding and their own "Bike Passport" I believe this is a fantastic scheme and teaches valuable skills, I am extremely grateful to Maria for her continued support in this area.

Safeguarding your mobile phone
As many as 10,000 mobile phones are stolen every month in the u.k.. Two thirds of the victims are aged between 13 and 16. Many phones are also stolen from unattended cars. Here are some practical measures you can take to keep your mobile phone safe. Remember to...
to register your mobile phone at www.immobilise.com
keep your phone out of sight in your pocket or handbag when not in use
use your phone's security lock code, if it has one
record details of your electronic serial number (ESN) and consider separate insurance
All phones have an IMEI number which is a unique identifier for the phone; you can obtain this number by typing *#06# (star hash 06 hash) into your mobile phone and it will display a 15 digit number, make a note of this number and keep it safe.
properly mark your phone with your postcode and door number to help police identify stolen ones
report a lost or stolen phone to the police immediately
inform your service provider if your phone is stolen or lost
DON’T attract attention to your phone when you are carrying or using it in the street, park in isolated or dark areas or leave your phone in an unattended car - if you must, lock it out of sight. It only takes seconds for a thief to smash a window and steal your phone, or any other property left on display.

Due to the large area that we cover it hasn’t always been practical to run a physical Neighbourhood Policing meeting and as such I have relied on the feedback given at many council meetings that we attend on a monthly basis and the feedback provided in response to my regular e-mail updates, however I do feel the need to try and run a physical meeting and all dates and times will be published as and when they have been confirmed.

PC 1842 Luke HUGHES (Community Beat Manager) Luke.Hughes@nthwales.pnn.police.uk

View from the Village Vets.

Old Vets and New Vets

It is 20 years in July since I qualified as a vet and I recently attended a reunion at the Royal Veterinary College in London where I studied. More than half of the 72 students in the year attended and we were greeted by the Principal of the College who gave us an update on some of the changes that have taken place since we qualified. Whilst the 72 students in my year were evenly divided between male and female, the current final year has over 200 students and of these 85% are female. Nationally, over 700 vets qualify each year from the 7 vet schools, but competition for places is still strong. As with human medicine and dentistry, the number of girls applying to vet school far exceeds the number of boys.

For anyone thinking of choosing veterinary medicine as a career a good set of GCSE results including sciences and maths is a must and then three A levels including Biology and Chemistry and one other are needed probably at AAA or AAB level. In addition, all applicants must demonstrate that they have spent time working on farms and with animals and also that they have spent some time working with vets.

We receive over 20 applications for work experience each year and have to restrict the number of students that we take on placement. We encourage them to be involved with all aspects of our day to day work including all the dirty and sad bits in an effort to make them see all the sides of life as a vet. It can be a very satisfying and rewarding career as well as highly frustrating at times.

With 20 years practice behind me I am no longer the young vet in the practice. Whilst I won the prize for the male who had kept the most hair at our reunion, clients no longer ask to speak to the ‘young vet’ when they ring, but instead ask to speak to the vet ‘who used to be the young one, but isn’t anymore’!!

I shall feel older still when our new full time assistant joins us in August. Lauren Hoare also studied at the Royal Vet College although her home is not too far away in Bwlchgwyn. We look forward to welcoming her as a full time member of the team at our practice.
Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre. 01978 711975

Overton Play Centre News

May and June proved to be fantastic months for the Play Centre. A big thank you to all those who supported our ‘New 2U’ sale and to everybody who volunteered their time. I’m delighted to say that we raised £450.12 on the day. The toddler group that meets on a Tuesday morning also enjoyed an outing to the village library, where we were treated to the reading of some wonderful books by Rebecca. Both adults and children had a really fun time. In June the Play Centre raised a further £75 through the cake stall organised at the school’s Farmers Market. Again may I say a big thank your to all those involved, particularly those who donated cakes.

Last week the Play centre organised a wonderful trip to Chester Zoo as part of the Barnardos Big Toddle. This visit proved a great success and the children certainly enjoyed themselves. In July we have the following events lined up:

Monday 7th July. Play Group Open Day. Everyone is invited to see how the Play Group operates and to look at activities the children enjoy when they attend. The staff and some members of the committee will be available on the day to answer any questions you may have. Refreshments will be provided and the Centre will be open from 9.30am to 11.30am, so please do come and see what the Overton Play Centre can offer. Everyone is very welcome.

Thursday 10th July. The Play Group will be open while the Nursery class at St Mary’s School is closed for all current attendees. This is so that next year’s intake can be introduced to the department. Places for all day are limited so please do speak to Margaret to book your child in.

Summer holidays.
We are planning Coffee Mornings on different days throughout the Summer holidays from 10am to 12pm. All parents and carers with babies and children up to 8 years old will be very welcome to attend. We are hoping to arrange these on alternate Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the holidays. Once confirmed, the dates will be posted on the noticeboard at the bottom of the drive. Please do take the opportunity to join us for a chat and refreshments whilst your children can enjoy the facilities.

Where on earth do you read the Oracle?

We lived in Overton for 25 years and left in 2003 to retire to Spain. We now live in Andalucia in a small village about 20 mins from Cadiz.
We read The Oracle online every month. It’s lovely to be able to keep in touch with what’s going on in the village.
Regards Carol and Julian Glantz


Don’t forget that Overton Library is open
Monday 2pm to 5pm
Wednesday 2pm to 5pm
Friday 3pm to 7pm
Parents and carers are invited to bring along babies, toddlers and young children to Storytime at the library on Monday 30th June, 28th July & 18th August at 1pm. We are also having a Zoolab event on 6th August, will have more information nearer the time but basically there will be some creepy crawlies for children to touch and hold, parents have to come along too. Most of the adults may not have as much enthusiasm as the children!!

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
How comforting it was to see our local police officer and a CSPO take a stroll around the village to glance at the windscreen of every stationary vehicle, and I wholeheartedly support a campaign against dogs fouling the public highway, but where are they when drivers are treating School Lane like Brands Hatch at 5am??

I am told that these are probably people going to work on the Trading Estate. Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect the police to bother at this time of the day. However the same careless, selfish and ignorant behaviour occurs all day and every day, I cannot be the only person to notice!!

I sympathise with the writer mourning the loss of her pet cat on Salop Road, I have lost three, all killed by cars. Do we have to wait till a child is injured or killed ??????

Will somebody PLEASE tell me why we cannot have traffic calming humps or speed cameras??
M E Rogers, School Lane

Dear Editor,
I was very sorry to hear that Dr Cooper is leaving Overton Medical Practice in August after 1 year. I hope that they know what a wonderful Doctor they are letting go. He is very highly thought of and will be missed. I would like to wish him well in his new job, but hope that one day soon he will come back. Margaret Meyel


Mrs Gwyneth Austin and Cynthia Davies would like to thank those that supported and helped at the Blue Cross Dog's Tea Party on May 27th in Overton Village Hall the sum of £150 was raised.

Mr D Morris would like to thank all those that turned out to support the Farmers market in the Village Hall on Thursday 12th June. Year 6 were thrilled to of raised £100.00 which will be put to good use.

Overton Cricket Club and Twinning Association would like to thank everyone who supported the 'Promise Auction' on Friday June 13th, either by donating promises or bidding for them. Our thanks also to John McCusker for acting as Auctioneer for the evening. We raised over £1500 to be divided equally between the organisations. Thank you once again.

Despite the awful weather the White Horse Table Top sale valiantly raised £150 in aid of the Church roof, with no small thanks to Jordan (aged 7) who sold goods and raffle tickets for as long as she could.


Please note that we have received a request from the person who empties the playing field bins. When disposing of dog waste in these bins please ensure that the waste is double bagged and sealed securely.


Happy July Birthdays
to Alice Foster 10yrs old, Philippa Whitley 5yrs old, Jasmine Grindley 13yrs old, Dave (coal) Jones, Miranda Austin, Matthew Lawrenson, Colin Davies and Davina Pritchard. Belated 40th birthday wishes to Heugo Heard

Belated congratulations to Tom and Beryl Williams on their Golden Wedding Anniversary last month.

Deepest condolences to Gwyn Owen and family on the sad death of his mother Mrs Phyllis Owen.