OVERTON ORACLE

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

June 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 Committee finalises its plans

The Golden Jubilee Committee has put the finishing touches to its bumper programme for what promises to be a great opportunity for all the family to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II by taking part in this unique event on Monday 3rd June at Wrexham Road Playing Fields.

In the lead up to the Bank Holiday, the Golden Jubilee Committee has been meeting weekly to put the programme together for the June 3 celebrations. At the time of going to press, programmes were on sale in the Corner Shop, and to householders throughout the village. The programme for the day starts at 4.00pm with a Children's Fancy Dress Parade, the theme appropriately being "Kings and Queens". This is to be followed at 4.15pm with Children's Sports, catering for all ages from Toddlers through to Years 10 and 11. For grown-ups (who after all, musn't be left out), the Sports will finish with the men's sack race and the women's skipping race. Throughout the afternoon there will be much to do and see, with a variety of stalls being run by local organisations, and for the hungry there will be a Hog Roast, Burgers and Hot Dogs, and Ice Creams, as well as teas and cakes. At 5.00pm there will be Tug o' War and Penalty Shoot Out competitions. The Disco commences at 7.00pm, alternating hourly with a live band, Sonburn, featuring lead guitarist/singer Dai Evison, singers Shelly Nichols and Becki Rex, bass /singer Ady Burns and drummer Les Hughes.

At 10.00pm there will be a firework display followed by the band at 10.30pm for a half-hour, and closing with a disco until 11.30pm.

The Jubilee Committee has worked tirelessly to stage this unique event and wishes to thank all those who have helped and supported them to make this a truly memorable occasion.

Ed: The Oracle team congratulates the Jubilee Committee. Having seen the minutes of all the meetings, we have been amazed at the work that has gone on behind the scenes to create an event for the whole community to enjoy. Well done!

DRAMA GROUP EXCELS

Members of Overton Amateur Dramatic Society recently gave an excellent performance of the Alan Bennet play, Habeas Corpus, a satirical merry-go-round of mistaken identities, sexual encounters and lust.

Set in Brighton's Hove, at the birth of the permissive society in the 1970's, this farcical comedy took place in the surgery of Dr Wicksteed, (Jim Glover) a G.P. who at fifty three years of age lusted after young girls and was threatened not only with being turfed out of the house by his wife Muriel (Sheila Miller) but with being struck off by Sir Percy Shorter, President of the British Medical Association, (Mike Redworth) who also had an eye for the ladies and was later proclaimed to be the father of Felicity, (Zoe Kenworthy)the daughter of Lady Rumpus (Ruth Overthrow) after a brief moment of passion in Liverpool during the War. Dr Wicksteed's son Dennis, (Nick Harrison) or was it Trevor, had Bretts Palsy and having only three months to live, fell in love with Felicity, a bright young girl who was already pregnant. The Wicksteed's daughter Connie (Linda Done) was preoccupied with improving her bust, much to the delight of Sir Percy Shorter and Canon Throbbing, (Alan Farley) the lustful young vicar who liked looking up girl's skirts.

Mr Shanks, the breast enhancer salesman from Leatherhead (David Hughes) kept getting confused as to who was wearing his firm's appliance, whilst Mr Purdue (Alan Edwards) a patient, kept on trying to commit suicide. Mrs Swabb, (Glynis Farley) the cleaner who represented the working class, and was the only one not to be influenced by the permissive society, offered her words of wisdom throughout. A brilliant performance.

Recycling site binned

Plans to consider part of the car park at Wrexham Road Playing Fields as a Neighbourhood Bring Site have been overruled by Trustees to the Bryn-y-Pys Estate from whom the Community Council leases the land. Fearful that Wrexham County Borough Council might reconsider the first option of using part of the Car Park at Church Lane, the Community Council agreed at its meeting on the 14 May to ask the Director of Community Services to confirm that this site is no longer being considered an option in view of the Council's previous condemnation of the site and of the very strong objections from local residents.

Stargazer

The thought came to me the other day "How would we feel as a community if a centre for asylum seekers was proposed close to our village?". I am sure we would react in much the same way as those communities living close to the proposed sites of so-called reception centres being put forward by the Government. No doubt there would be cries of "NIMBYISM" and we would be similarly accused of having racist views. Privately we can talk to each other about the whole asylum question, saying what the government should or should not be doing, and expressing how we really feel. But ironically, as soon as we talk openly in public, it's a different story altogether. We then expose ourselves to all forms of verbal abuse from those too quick to call us racist. As an old timer, I cannot help but ask the question: "What happened to freedom of speech?"

I see the lanterns in the churchyard have been damaged yet again, and I will never be able to understand such mindless acts of vandalism. No doubt there will be those too eager to point the finger at the young people of Overton. But I say it would be unwise to accuse anybody at this stage, young or old, and we should leave it to the police to carry out their investigations.

The other day I had occasion to ring the "Litter Clearance" telephone number printed on the back page of the Oracle. Within the hour, Wrexham's mobile litter team were in the village, clearing large amounts of windblown litter and emptying all the litter-bins. So the system does work.

Racing pigeon rests in Overton...
......for 5 months!

by Sue Glover

Sometime last November after some very windy and stormy weather a young racing pigeon joined my white doves at feeding time. Throughout the winter he has slept on my bathroom window sill. I considered trying to contact someone with knowledge of racing birds only to be told that when birds return to a loft late, the owners "dispose of them".

One evening recently there was a news item about the welcome given to a pigeon that returned home after five years. This really made me think about making contact with the Racing Pigeon Association. Towards the end of April, the bird flew into my bathroom and I was able to catch him and read his ID number. I then made use of the Internet to find a link to let the owner know where the bird was. Within 2 days the owner contacted me and we made arrangements to re-catch him and return him to Romford in Essex, only when I was satisfied that Mr Brian Willingham was not going to "neck him".

I was assured that it was only a young bird and rather valuable. Brian made arrangements for AMTRACK, a specialist delivery company, to collect the bird and he was delivered safe and well the following day.

It was interesting to be told that lots of racing pigeons get lost in bad weather but if they can be caught and released somewhere a few miles from where they landed, 75% of young birds actually fly back to their lofts. It has never been explained how these intelligent birds are able to fly for hundreds of miles and find their way home.

In Brief

  • The plant sale in aid of repairs to St Mary's Church and held at St Mary's House, High Street, Overton on Saturday 11th May raised 950.
  • Overton Youth Club meets on Tuesday evenings in the Scout Hut between 7.00 pm and 9.30 pm. Subs are just 50p per night and young persons who are 11 and upwards are welcomed including those who are going up to The Maelor School in September. Parents are welcome to visit the Club anytime to see the excellent way in which it is run.
  • After continuous pressure from the Community Council, Wrexham County Borough Council has finally agreed to resurface Turning Street this summer.
  • On Friday 17th May, the lanterns on the gate posts of St Mary's Church were again attacked by vandals who also uprooted the protective wire cages from three of the churchyard floodlights, damaging one of them in the process. A spokesperson for St Mary's Church said the incident occurred sometime between 7.00pm and when it was first reported the following morning. The Police have been informed.
  • A Garden of Remembrance, delineated by York stone paving, is being constructed in the churchyard of St Mary's Church as an extension to the existing area for the burial of ashes.
  • Erbistock Women's Institute, which is one of the older branches of the W.I. in the area, was visited on May 9th by Mary Hough, the County Advisor for the W.I., who presented members with certificates from National and County W.I. in celebration of the Branch's 75 years of existence.

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR RAFT RACE
By Christine Stead

The Great Erbistock Raft Race will take place again this year on the 8th September

This is always a favourite event in the Overton Calendar, and up to 100 craft are expected take to the water. The race will start at 1.00 pm from the beautiful Boat Inn, and the collection of weird and wonderful craft will then head two miles down the river, over the daunting Erbistock Weir, to finish downstream of the Cross Foxes Inn.

Each entry is expected to obtain sponsorship, and the proceeds will go to the Wrexham Maelor Shooting Star Appeal, Frank Wingett Cancer Appeal, local Scouts and Guides and Erbistock Church.


The last raft race took place in September 1999, when over 2000 people lined the banks of the River Dee, to watch all 45 craft complete the course. One of the highlights of the race is not how well the craft compete with their rivals, but with the Erbistock Weir, which last time saw many craft disintegrate amid cheers and laughter from the crowds. One of the highlights of the previous race was "Nessie", captained by Mike Evans from Twining Hill, whose crew took a well deserved first prize in the crazy section. The last race raised over 7000 for various charities.

This year there will be prizes for the Fastest Raft, the Highest Sponsored Raft and the Best Crazy Raft. Entrants will require a minimum of 100 sponsorship to enter. Entry forms for this prestigious event can be obtained from both the Boat Inn and the Cross Foxes Inn, and are to be returned to Mrs L.Brereton, The Old School House, Erbistock, Wrexham, LL13 0DW.

Ed: So there's the challenge folks. Start thinking now about sponsorship and designing that award winning craft. It would be good to see some entries from Overton.

Overton Venture Scouts carry the Standards at Windsor.

Over the last 20 years Overton Venture Scouts have done some pretty amazing things - producing 23 Queens Scouts is no mean achievement, but the latest two, Aled Watson and Phil Grice, have gone one better than any of their predecessors.

At the Queen's Scout Parade at Windsor on Sunday April 21st it was Wales's turn to carry the Standards and the selection process started last autumn. Aled and Phil, who have both been on Scouting exchanges to Hungary and last summer completed their Explorer Belt Expedition in the Gambia no less, really impressed the selection panel with their smartness and all round skills, and were therefore an automatic choice for two of the six places in the Colour Party.

From January this year they had intensive training on how to drill, including a spell with the Irish Guards, and on the day that training shone through with a perfect performance in front of Her Majesty the Queen. This was her first public occasion following the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and also her birthday. The Queen clearly enjoyed the day, as did Aled and Phil who will never forget it!

Watched by proud parents and family (including Tony Grice, Overton's Scout Leader) Aled and Phil were the escort for the first part of the parade onto the parade ground in the Castle and were Standard bearers in the second part from St George's Chapel back to the barracks. The Queen inspected the Colour Party and asked Aled and Phil where they were from - we don't know if she remembered Overton or not!

Countrybeat

by Pc Burns

I thought I would use this month's issue to update you on current crime in the Overton area in order that you can all be aware of what is going on around you.

Over the last few weeks, we seem to have had a spate of thefts of petrol from vehicles, particularly in the Parkside and School Lane areas. And over the weekend of the 11th and 12th May, a report was received of a car stolen from Willow Street, which was later found abandoned and burnt out in the Rhostyllen area. So it does seem that vehicle crime on the 'Patch' is on the increase again.

Vehicle crime is something that all vehicle owners should be aware of and should constantly bear this in mind when leaving the vehicle on a public road at night. Anyone requiring information on crime prevention can collect it from Overton Police Station.

And it's not just cars that are targets. Towards the end of last month, two trailers and a caravan were stolen. So if you value your property use tow hitch locks or wheel clamps. This is the time of year when people get their caravans out to be used for the summer - and it's the best time to have one stolen!!

COUNTRYSIDE WATCH.

Membership has been slow in Overton and I could really do with some more people joining from the centre of the village, Station Road, School Lane and Bangor Road areas. Can you fit the bill.

NEW TELEPHONE NUMBERS

Please note that the new telephone number for Overton and Wrexham Police Station is 0845 607 1002.

For future reference:-

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE REQUESTED NOT TO LEAVE MESSAGES FOR ME ON THE ANSWERPHONE SERVICE AT OVERTON POLICE STATION.

BUT BY DIALLING THE ABOVE TELEPHONE NUMBER AN OPERATOR WILL LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR ME IF REQUESTED.

This has come about after members of the public were leaving messages on my answer-service which were actually related to incidents requiring a Police response, and because the office is not staffed 24 hours a day, it was some time before these messages were received.

Community Council approves its end of year Accounts

At the meeting of the Community Council on 14th May, the accounts for the year 2001/2002 were adopted as a true record, and will now be subject to formal audit. Copies of the accounts are available for inspection at Overton Library during normal opening hours. These show a total expenditure of 24,057, a decrease of 2,243 from the previous year and with income reaching 27,197, this gave the Council's reserves a boost of 3140.

During the year, grants totalling 3510 were paid to various local organisations within the Community under the Millennium Grant and the Community Chest. Schemes. This included a grant of 1900 to St Mary's PCC towards the cost of the Millennium Window in St Mary's Church.

The Community Council is responsible for the upkeep of the Cemetery in Church Road and receives an income from fees charged for interments. During the year 2001/2002 maintenance costs of 950 were exceeded by a fee income 1,113.

The expenditure costs of maintaining the playing fields at Wrexham Road amounted to 3253 during the year of which 1,331 was spent on the new infant swings, and 352 on the removal of the dangerous senior swings to make way for the five-a-side pitch suggested by Andrew Walker of School Mews. Overton Youth Club donated 550 towards the cost of the infant swings.

The Community Council is also responsible for the cost of maintaining certain streetlights, and were charged 1770 for repairs and electricity supply costs by Alstom during the year.

Expenditure on the Millennium Meadow accounted for 4,922, which included a programmed regime of cutting and weed control of 3757 prior to seeding. Other costs included a tree survey, rent and the construction of new entrance gates to be installed at Argoed Lane.

Overton Children take part in Blue Peter Bikeathon

Two young people from Overton took part in the Blue Peter "Bikeathon" held in the Alan Waters Country Park on 5th May. Joining 268 "bikers", Charlotte (11) and Thomas (9) Cusworth from Salop Road cycled through the Country Park and raised 75 for Leukaemia Research.

Dee Borders Waste Action Group seeks Fighting Fund

As reported in the Oracle, a planning application by HLC Ltd to construct a recycling plant and incinerator on the Wrexham Industrial Estate has been called-in for decision by the Welsh Assembly.

The Dee Borders Waste Action Group has been formed to obtain alternative technical appraisals of the application, to raise awareness and most importantly to be represented at a forthcoming public inquiry. Technical experts and legal representation are thought likely to cost in the region of 100,000.

According to the Action Group, whilst the plant may be one of the most up-to-date, it appears that experts and scientific opinion is divided over the question of safety of the emissions. The effects of airborne pollutants can be far reaching and neighbouring communities are overwhelmingly against incineration.

The Action group is asking for your help by making a financial contribution to its fighting fund.
Donations to be made to Mr N Lamb, 5 Ffordd Elwy, Acton Park, Wrexham, LL12 7RE.

Community Chest Grants Scheme

Applications for the award of grants to local organisations from the Community Chest Scheme are now being invited by the Community Council. The Scheme was set up a number of years ago with the sole purpose of helping local groups and organisations, and in so doing enabling them, if necessary, to obtain further grant aid from other grant making bodies. This year the Council has set aside a sum of 500.

Application forms can be obtained in writing from the Clerk to the Council, 1 St Mary's Court, Overton, Wrexham.

A Big Thankyou

  • Gwynneth and Haydon Austin of Bangor Road, Overton would like to thank relatives and friends for their donations in lieu of presents on the occasion of their joint Birthday Party. Nightingale House and the P.D.S.A. have each been sent 250.
  • Joan and Keith Overthrow wish to thank everyone who supported St Mary's Church's Coffee Morning held at 11 Sundorne on Saturday 20th April. The sum of 307 was raised in aid of the Senior Citizens Party.

Youth Club News

Overton Community Council continues to give its support to the Youth Club and has just signed an Agreement with Wrexham Council to cover the annual cost of 2650 to employ two Youth Leaders over the next twelve months.

Following a recent visit by the Youth Leaders to St Mary's School, Overton, 19 potential members attended an Introductory Meeting of the Club on 23 May to see for themselves how well the club is run and what it could offer them.

All the Club members are giving Lisa Edwards lots of encouragement as she prepares for her forthcoming athletic events in the Welsh Track and Field Competition which takes place in Newport, South Wales on the 8th/9th June.

National Lottery closes file on the Village Hall

The Overton Village Hall Management Committee was pleased to learn from the grant-giving branch of the National Lottery that the application /award file has now been closed.

This means that the monitoring procedures of accounts, Hall usage and numbers involved need no longer take place. However, the Community Fund may continue to monitor the existence of "their assets" for a further seven years. Barbara Watkin said: "I would like to convey my grateful thanks to all users who have conscientiously registered their attendances, a function which made my task much easier. Thank you all."

My Coronation Day
by Ruth Reeves

I have very fond memories of Coronation Day spent in London with my dear sister Jane and our friend Irene Lewis. The Sunday prior to the Coronation, a service was being held in St Paul's Cathedral, - "To make ready a People - Preparation for the Coronation." The service was broadcast on the Radio. Crowds of people went to the service, and we were lucky enough to find excellent seats. We found the address given by the Archbishop of Canterbury very moving.

The following day the weather was so cold we went to the Army & Navy stores and bought blankets and stools. Then at 2.00pm we took up our positions in The Mall, which was already beginning to get crowded. We were well supplied with sandwiches etc., and prepared ourselves for the long wait. Anyone who passed by, from cleaners preparing the route to policemen, were all cheered and the camaraderie amongst the crowd will always be remembered.

It was six o'clock the following morning when the Police came along asking us all to stand to make room for people trying to get in behind us. We hadn't slept at all during the night, but it did not matter - everyone was in such great spirits all along the route. A huge cheer went up when it was announced over the loudspeakers that Sir Edmund Hillary had conquered Everest.

The first of the processions began at approx. 8.45a.m so that everyone could get to the Abbey on time. The Service was broadcast to the crowds who cheered and cheered at every moment.

The returning procession was even longer. Queen Salote of Tonga made a great impression on everyone. She was a very flamboyant lady, but despite the pouring rain she was the only one to have the cover of her carriage down. Sir Winston Churchill was also clearly visible, waving from his carriage window. After the procession passed, the police allowed everyone, a section at a time, to walk down The Mall. The flower beds in front of The Palace were full of red tulips, and amazingly they were not trampled upon and remained intact!

I shall always remember the Fly Past and the Royal Family appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. From where we stood, we could see them all so clearly.

At the end of the day were so tired we could not make it to the fireworks. Instead we went to the pictures and all promptly fell asleep.

BBQ and BOULES

On Sunday 23 June, Overton Twinning Association is holding a BBQ and friendly Boules matches at Wrexham Road Playing Fields commencing 2.00pm. Everybody is welcome to attend this fun afternoon and to have a go at this fascinating game of French bowls. The Association is looking for a number of teams of four people from organisations in the village to take part in the competitions. Entries by phone no later than 21st June to Alan Edwards. Tel: 01978 710422