OVERTON ORACLE

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

July 2002

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

Jubilee celebration spectacular!

The Golden Jubilee celebrations held at the playing fields on June 3rd were a spectacular success. Torrential rain in the morning threatened to wipe out all the field events, but by 3.00 pm the sun shone much to the relief of the organising committee and the entire community who then proceeded to enjoy one of the most memorable days in the history of the village.

Events began with the children's sports, a hugely enjoyable occasion for competitors, parents and spectators alike. The balloon race was a more leisurely affair with balloons being wafted away on the breeze. So far, the furthest balloon has reached Grimsby!

The fancy dress was won by Sophie Vibhishanan for the girls and Stephan Willis for the boys. There was a lot of competition and the judges had a difficult job.

The Tug-of War just sort of happened! There didn't appear to be any interest before the day but a rope was provided just in case. The rest is history - there were twelve pulls altogether which generated a lot of friendly rivalry and some big thirsts. No one can recall who won, which says it all really.

The football shootout created a lot of interest with some considerable skill being displayed. The winner of the junior section was Josh Williams and the senior section was won by John Williams. The skittles was won in great style by Hayley Edwards.

All the stalls had a bumper day. The food stalls did a roaring trade once it became apparent that there was no Hog-roast. The cricket club provided the afternoon teas, and quickly sold out!

The evening's events were very well attended. The bar continued to do a roaring trade as people developed their thirst dancing the night away to the live group and the disco. The Grand Finale to the whole occasion was the most fantastic fireworks display the village has ever witnessed. Mike "Rocket Man" Lawrenson excelled himself and gave us a breathtaking demonstration which lasted about twenty minutes and increased in spectacle, sound and majesty. Everyone was thrilled.

Paul Galloway, Chairman of the Jubilee Committee, said: "I would like to thank all those who worked so hard behind the scenes to make the event happen, the committee for their commitment, foresight and determination, local businesses who gave so generously to our fund and to the many private individuals who donated. We managed to raise around two thousand pounds and will show a profit of well over six hundred pounds. It would be nice to create a permanent reminder of the Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee. One or more park benches have been suggested but I would very much like to hear further suggestions for the committee to consider. You can let me know on 01978 780895 or let your Community Councillor know and it will feed through to me. People came from Newport, Oswestry, Chirk, Whitchurch and beyond because their communities could not be bothered or could not match what we in Overton can do. We did it before in our Charter Year and we did it again this year - we should stop and consider that and enjoy a moment of pride. "

Youth Disco not to blame, but?

At the Annual General Meeting of the Overton Youth Advisory Committee, Rev'd Canon Valerie Jones, having commended the way in which the junior discos are being run, said:- "I would like you to please acknowledge that there is damage being done in this community which is not acceptable," and made reference to the recent damage to the church lanterns and spotlights at St Mary's Church. She added: "I am not saying this time that it was anything to do with the children at the disco, but it happened to be disco night, so you can understand the community saying - What the hell went on here last night.".... "This isn't a one off, this has happened time and again and I know we have been criticised for actually believing it could be anything to do with the disco"

One of the young persons present said: "We have always been taught to respect our elders, but we don't seem to be receiving their support and respect. We are often being criticised for things totally unconnected with us." Another added: "Why do we always get the blame especially when I know that the recent damage to the lanterns was caused by someone not even living in Overton."

The Rev'd Canon Jones welcomed the invitation to attend a future junior disco, but when asked to join the Advisory Committee said she didn't have the time. The meeting became very emotive at one point, but everyone recognised that the Advisory Committee had a role to play and the youth leader, Gaynor Spencer offered to meet The Rev'd Canon Jones privately to discuss matters further at a professional level.

Playgroup in Crisis - Closure threatens

Unless additional funds can be found to add to the 9,000 already raised to replace the roof of the Playgroup, there is a chance that it could close.

Julie Done, Secretary to the Playgroup said: "The roof is in a terrible condition. Daylight can be seen in places and it is unlikely to survive another winter. Over the last 12 months the committee, parents, staff and friends have been frantically fundraising, through a Ladies Pamper Evening, a musical evening with St David's School, coffee mornings, grants and many more events, and have so far raised over 9,000. However, to enable the work to go ahead in the summer holidays (only a few weeks away) we are still 1,500 short."

She added:- "We have a thriving Playgroup and Mother and Toddler Group, with the Playgroup almost up to capacity. For the sake of a relatively small amount of money, it would be terrible for such a great community resource to be lost. It's quite simple really, no money, no roof, no playgroup.

Anyone who thinks they can help in terms of fundraising or a donation (however small) we would be very grateful"

Ed: If you can help, please contact Julie on 01978 780442.

Wildlife Garden Opened

A wildlife garden at the Overton Playcentre was officially opened on Friday 31st May. Wasteland which used to be overgrown with nettles has now been transformed into a paved area with three raised beds and a wildlife area to attract insects and birds.

The scheme cost just over 2,000 and the playgroup wishes to thank Wrexham County Borough Council who awarded a grant of 1600 towards the project. They also wish express their thanks to the Toddler's Mums and families who raised a further 160 and to the Community Council who awarded a grant of 180 from its Community Chest.

POSTBAG

Dear Editor

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Overton Youth Advisory Committee on behalf of Overton Playcentre who agreed to help out and share the profits from the last two Junior Discos to help with essential refurbishments. I must admit I felt somewhat daunted by the sheer height of some of the young men (and ladies in their extra high heels!), but my fears were not justified. They were all courteous, polite, used their manners readily and were generally grateful for being given the opportunity to express themselves and have a good time. The doormen now know most of the young people by sight if not by name, and I must admit that I was in awe of such a tightly run ship! So contrary to some public opinion.

Well done our youth for impeccable behaviour and use of manners, and congratulations to the Youth Advisory Committee for a superb opportunity to raise money for the future of our village.

Kay Lawrenson Deva Terrace, Overton

Dear Editor,

I was recently asked to help out at the Youth Club disco on Friday 17th May. As a parent of a teenage son and knowing what teenagers are like, I went along with mixed feelings. I was pleasantly surprised. All the young people were courteous and polite. The disco is very well organised - each young person having a number with their telephone number attached. The queue to get in was orderly and there was no pushing or any hurry. There was no animosity, arguing or any other disturbance, and the young people enjoyed themselves. Other parents of young children there were also very impressed with the young people's behaviour.

We are in this day and age very quick to judge young people and always believe the worst of them, but this event proved that our judgements sometimes are incorrect. Well done.

Ruth Overthrow. Salop Road, Overton

Dear Editor,

A few weeks ago, my 15 year old daughter was walking our golden Labrador down the concrete lane towards the Meadows, letting him off the lead for a run. She noticed an older couple putting their dog on the lead, so she called him back and after putting his lead on, carried on walking. As they got closer to the other couple, both dogs leapt forward at each other. My daughter lost her footing and let go of the lead. The older couple also let go of their dog and they both ran off playing with each other. My daughter then called our dog back. As both dogs came running up the hill they knocked the gentleman over by accident, and once my daughter had got hold of our dog she went to assist the gentleman to his feet. This man then repeatedly hit our dog with a long umbrella. As my distraught daughter shouted at him to stop, he raised his arm to hit her! My daughter then walked away. Sadly my dog sustained an injury to his shoulder and my daughter left, shocked at the behaviour of some of the older generation. Happily both the Police and the RSPCA are investigating this case. If the couple would like to put their side of the story, please contact PC Burns at Overton Police Station or by telephoning 0845 607 1002 .

Name and address supplied

ORACLE EDITOR IN TRAINING FOR THE TREK OF A LIFETIME

Our very own Editor is embarking on the challenge of a lifetime. In May 2003 Alan Edwards of St Mary's Court, Overton will be taking part in a challenging 94 kilometre trek through the Peruvian High Andes, along ancient and rarely explored Inca tracks to the lost city of Machu Picchu. Alan, a keen mountain walker, is doing this to raise vital funds for people with mental health problems.

He will join a group of 80 trekkers who will hike together through the Peruvian Andes taking in stunning views of snow-capped mountains, emerald glacial lakes, and the spectacular Urubamba River, a direct tributary of the Amazon. On the final day they will join the 'Commercial' Inca Trail for a trek through the jungle to Machu Picchu.

Alan is now getting fit for the trek and 'works out' at Fitness First in Wrexham two or three times a week. He is also getting in some long distance mountain walks, and recently completed a demanding 15 mile hill walk in Shropshire. With a target of a minimum sponsorship of 2,500, fundraising will also be a significant part of the challenge. Over the coming months he will be out and about in the area organising several fund raising events. Alan said: "I have chosen the charity MIND, the leading mental health charity, to help with their vital work with the 1 in 4 people who experience mental health problems and because it can offer a lifeline to thousands of people in crisis who might have nowhere else to turn"

He added: "If anybody has a Paddington Bear they would like to donate, I will take him back to Peru for a short holiday, and before you say it - no I'm not out of my mind!"

If you would like to sponsor or support Alan in any way, please contact him on 01978 710422.

YOUTH CLUB DONATES 100

On Tuesday 11th May, Overton Youth Club presented a cheque for 100 to Sue Glover, Chairperson of Overton Community Council to assist with the purchase and installation of the 5 a-side goal posts on the Playing field.

Above: Councillor Sue Glover and several members of the Youth Club involved in the presentation by Tom Smith.

COUNTRY BEAT by Constable Pat Burns

This month I would like to highlight a problem which is happening at the end of every school term. I am of course referring to the "End of School Bash".

I have worked the Maelor section on and off for over 16 years, and for as long as I can remember it has always been the tradition of senior school leavers to have an all night party on the banks of the River Dee at Bangor on Dee. Over the years this has become a popular event and on 17th May this year over 200 youngsters gathered together in the area, much to the distress of local residents.

Now I can say from the outset that nobody enjoys a good party more than I do, but this one in Bangor always puts the fear of God in me. I believe it is time parents, and especially those of future school leavers, should be aware of a few facts:-

1. The venue, held on the banks of the river , is on private property. The landowner has never given permission for such an event, so all those attending are committing trespass.

2. There is always evidence of under-age drinking. This year there were more broken bottles and empty cans than ever littering the field where livestock graze.

3. Police intelligence suggests there is also the taking of illegal substances being provided by known dealers attending the event - yet parents actually take their children to this location year after year!!

I am not suggesting that all who attend partake in drinking alcohol and drug abuse, but I have seen many youngsters "spaced out" and so drunk they don't even know that they are walking within inches of the edge of the bank of the river, which has been in full flow in the past.

This is a fatality waiting to happen.

I would like parents of future school leavers to be aware of what is going on here.

I do believe there should be an official end of term, properly organised leaving ceremony to give these youngsters a "send off", but not the kind that is arranged by a funeral director.

I am sorry if this article hits home a bit hard to some of you, and it must look as though I am a killjoy, but the truth often hurts.

In Brief

  • A very successful Coffee Morning was held at the home of Hugh and Kath Price Jones on Saturday 8th June, when the sum of 466 was raised for St Mary's Church.
  • The Thursday Club members would like to say how much they appreciated the efforts of the Jubilee Committee in organising the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations. However, as the members are rather elderly, it has been decided to make a donation to Nightingale House, instead of the jubilee fund.
  • In the process of converting the old stables and groom's quarters at Min-yr-Afon, Erbistock, Keith and Celia Nicholson came across some rather interesting finds. Two bricks were found with names etched into them. One reads "John Allen, Bricklayer, Overton-on-Dee, 1912", and the other carried the name "E. Boyall." Keith wonders whether there are any relatives of these two gentlemen still living in Overton, or if anyone can throw any light on the finds. Please contact him on 01978 780335

"Angers" team bowls everyone over

Named after the village in France, the Angers team streaked ahead at the recent Boules Challenge organised by Overton Twinning Association. Seven teams of four persons each played in a knockout competition held on Sunday 23rd June at the Boules pitch, Wrexham Road Playing fields. The teams had bizarre names such as The Unshaven, The Boney Knees, Drama Queens and the Rat Pack - a young team representing the Youth Club. But there was no stopping the "Angers", who streaked to the final and won with flying colours.

Over forty people turned out for the event, savouring the culinary delights prepared by the chefs for the day, Alan Farley and Stephen Sorfleet, whose team was knocked out early on in the competition

Those who were not playing were able to compare some good quality wines, made all the better for the company of like minded friends.

Dilys Parkinson said: "The next major event is the Barn Dance on Friday 26th July in the Village Hall from 8.00 pm - 12.00 pm. Live music will be provided by Foxes Bark and the tickets only cost 5.00 each which includes supper. Tickets for under 18's are 2.00 each. "

Tickets may be obtained by telephoning Dilys on 710376 or Alan on 710422

Stargazer

AND NOW BACK TO NORMAL.............

What a fantastic week-end the Jubilee celebrations turned out to be! Earlier in the year it looked as if Overton was the only place where some sort of preparations were being made - the rest of the country seemed to be shrouded in indifference. However, the Prom at the Palace on Saturday quickly set the tone for the whole of Britain to join in the festivities. No-one who saw this programme will forget the magical performance by the 12 year old clarinet prodigy Julian Bliss. Despite Sunday's fire at Buckingham Palace Tuesday's newspapers happily recorded the previous evening's pop show with headlines like "A million rock to the Jubilee", though I must admit that for my taste it hardly compared with the Saturday Prom concert and only confirmed what I have long suspected, that without the massive support of electronic gadgetry, the average pop star merely sounds like any pub Karaoke singer. I'm afraid Ozzy Osbourne's much heralded rendition of "Paranoid" left me rather untouched and I greatly preferred the Royal Fireworks that followed the concert.

Overton's own festivities on the Monday were a credit to the organisers who had planned it all so carefully over the preceding weeks and who miraculously seemed to have had direct contact with the weather prophets as they were able to deliver a late afternoon and evening of grand sunshine after a depressing morning of steady rain. All credit, too, to Mike Lawrenson for an outstanding fireworks display.

With the weather still holding, Tuesday's T.V. brought us the incredible spectacle of a million cheering people in the Mall watching a fantastic parade which seemed to go on and on. I don't ever recall sitting watching the television from 9.30 a.m. to 5.p.m. on any previous occasion!

And then came Wednesday! Rain returned with a vengeance and the newspaper headlines read "India plans war within two weeks" and showed a picture of a jubilant Indian before a placard declaring "We want War." While we had all been enjoying ourselves, shares on the American stockmarket had plunged and, of course, were now affecting British shares. A suicide bomber in Israel killed 16 commuters and, we were told, the Samaritans were braced for a rush of calls if England were to lose against Argentina.

Well, happily for us, it's only Les Samaritains who are now under pressure following France's defeat by Denmark.

Still, somewhere near here there is a very happy hog running round the fields. Well, I hope he is because Overton certainly didn't eat him on Jubilee Monday!!

MY VISIT TO WINDSOR CASTLE By D.F.Moraghan

Eighty years ago (12th June, 1922) The Standards of five Irish Regiments were presented for safe keeping to George V at St. Georges Hall, Windsor Castle - the same Hall which suffered so much damage in the fire at the Castle, but which has now been restored to its former glory.

One of those Regiments, the famous Connaught Rangers had their colours presented by R.S.M. J. Moraghan, M.C., M.S.M. on that day in a lavish ceremony. So, on 12th June 2002, another Moraghan, myself, was invited to Windsor Castle to take part in a similar event commemorating that day.

The Queen had given special permission, and her son Prince Andrew was there, together with The Irish Ambassador, General Sir George Wheeler and many top-brass of the British Army. Altogether about 500 people were present, and I was asked to place my hand on The Connaught Ranger Standard, which my father had placed there 80 years previously.

It was the culmination of a very proud day for me, and afterwards I met with all the dignitaries at a champagne reception, where all the waiters were young present day Irish Soldiers serving in the British Army.

General Wheeler, in his address, commented on the number of Southern Irishmen who had served this country as soldiers since the 1700's, even before the time of the Irish born Duke of Wellington. My own family had served 167 years, and that's not counting the 8 years I was in the Army.

It is a little known fact, and one that should be more widely known, that in the Great War alone, there were 400,000 Southern Irishmen fighting for England in Irish Regiments, plus a further 200,000 in Non-Irish Regiments, and 51,000 of those gave their lives for this country.

I am proud to be Irish, and I'm proud of my family's achievements in the Army, including all the medals won, MC., M.S.M., D.C.M. and The Rumanian Gold Cross awarded to my father for service in Mesopotamia by King Ferdinand I.

Councillor retires after 18 years

Councillor Maureen Evans, has resigned from the Overton Community Council after 18 years service to the Community. In a letter to the Clerk to the Council, she expressed her disappointment that work commitments were now preventing her from contributing to the work of the Council in a constructive way. Sadly she felt she had no option but to stand down.

This now leaves a vacancy which the Council can fill by co-option by the 17th August 2002, unless ten or more electors demand that a poll be carried out, in which case they must write to the Chief Executive, Wrexham County Borough, Guildhall, Wrexham, by the 13th August.

Anyone interested in becoming a local councillor should write to Alan Edwards, Clerk to the Council, 1 St Mary's Court, Overton, Wrexham, LL13 0FA.. Unless a poll is to be carried out, it is likely that the Council will consider "expressions of interest" at its meeting on the 10th September.

Jubilee Mugs still available.

Did you forget to order your Jubilee Mug? A number of Commemorative Golden Jubilee Mugs, specially commissioned by Overton Community Council to celebrate Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee can still be obtained from the Clerk to the Council - telephone 01978 710422. At 3.95 each they are excellent value.

Summer Bonfires

Now that summer is here at last, there is always the task of trimming hedges, cutting the dead wood from trees, and generally keeping the garden neat and tidy. If you are one of those who likes to have a nice bonfire going to get rid of all the rubbish, please spare a thought for your neighbours. Often the best time to have a bonfire coincides with the time your neighbours are also enjoying the summer air, which is often mixed with the fragrances of the many flowers they have nurtured throughout the Spring. The last thing they want is to be forced into the house when they have so much looked forward to being in the garden.

With so many ways to get rid of rubbish, the days of the smouldering bonfire at the end of the garden should be long gone. So when you stand armed with the match, think what is a better way of disposing of your rubbish. After all, no-one needs a visit from Wrexham Council's Public Protection Department.

Announcements

It is with deep regret we announce that Anthony William Evans, formerly of Overton and Alice Francis Ellis of Parkside, Overton, have passed away. Our sincere condolences are extended to their families and relatives.

A father's day present

At a recent meeting of the Overton Youth Club, some members had a great time trying their hand at glass engraving, which is not as easy as one might think.

Seen here is Allyce Starkey preparing a special Father's Day present.