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

June 2003


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

Praises for Overton Pre-School Playgroup

Overton Pre-School Playgroup received glowing remarks following a recent formal inspection. The Inspector spent a whole day at the Playgroup, and in the subsequent report praised the way in which it is run, and the high standard of care and interaction with the children.

The Inspector found that the Playgroup Committee had, during the past twelve months, raised a substantial amount of money in order to re-roof the premises, and commented upon the very high maintenance of the building both internally and externally. The Inspector was also impressed with the amount of time and money invested into creating a garden area, which is developing the concept of wildlife and includes areas for wild flowers to grow and a feeding area for birds.

The report said: "Overton-on-Dee Playgroup is being organised and run in an efficient manner and is offering a stimulating, caring and secure environment for play and learning. The Supervisor and assistant demonstrated that they are meeting the needs of the children attending the Playgroup, and the children were observed to be treated with warmth, patience and understanding. The Supervisor and assistant were obviously enjoying their caring role, and positive relationships with the children were observed throughout the inspection."

The report went further by saying that the use of language within the Playgroup was excellent, the Playgroup supervisors and rota parents were constantly developing children's imagination, and there was some correlation between home and the Playgroup in these discussions. It added that the children are secure and confident within the environment, and staff provided children with good routines and structures that aided this process.

It was evident during the inspection that good practice is very much in evidence within the Playgroup, and the planning and provision of play and learning opportunities were excellent.

The Inspector also found that the children were relaxed and happy in their play activities and there was good and caring interaction between the staff and children in the group.

The inspector said: "In conclusion, on the day of inspection, Overton-on-Dee Pre-School Playgroup was found to be offering a good standard of Full Day Care. The activities provided were varied and stimulating, and the environment was conducive to children developing new skills and confidence, whilst having an enjoyable time. The group is providing care to a good standard and offers a valuable service to parents."

Julie Done, Playgroup Secretary said:- "The Inspector stayed with us a whole day and we were all highly delighted that no adverse comments were made. All we need to do is to update a few documents to reflect a change in the Inspection body and extend one or two policies - all paperwork"

A fun day out at "Wonderland"

The Nursery and Reception class of Overton St Mary's Primary School had a marvellous day out before the Easter break. Teachers and helpers accompanied the children to "Wonderland" at Telford. Despite a chilly wind the children were transported into a Fairytale world and were entranced by such figures as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Alice in Wonderland and even Shropshire's very own giant.

A picnic lunch was enjoyed at the Dragon's Castle - a very friendly castle with an exciting play area.

All too soon they returned back to the bus in the little train. (below)

Pictured above are some of the pupils from Overton St Mary's Nursery and Reception Class.

The bright eyes and the excited chatter showed that it had indeed been a day in "Wonderland".

The Innocence of Eve
by Lesley Pugh

The Overton Amateur Dramatic Society again found an interesting and thought provoking play. Performed on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th May, "Innocent Eve", by Christopher Kelly and produced by Mike Redworth, was not referring to Eve's criminal record, but to her naivety. Eve's (Joanne Kember) marriage to Gerald (Stephen Sorfleet) was somewhat strained, and as a man faced with a large house draining his finances he decided to sell a small plot of land, sizeable enough to attract a big developer.

Unfortunately it had attracted a new age traveller called Rowan (Linda Done) who had built her home there. She was about 20 years of age, pregnant and alone in the world. The father was a fellow traveller called Miles (Nick Harrison), who was not prepared to shoulder any responsibility. Gerald was not at all happy with the situation and ordered Rowan off his land. He had blinkered ideas about the type of people who are travellers and was surprised to discover that Miles was extremely intelligent. Gerald also had a momentary relapse when he considered the freedom of selling up and travelling the road, reminiscing about his biker days. "I bet you had a Harley Davidson", said Miles - "No, it was a Lambretta 125" admitted Gerald. To add to their troubles Michael (Alan Edwards), a rather camp but well meaning neighbour, was hunting for his cat Dido, and became involved in the discussions.

Gerald and Eve, unable to have children, were in the process of divorcing, and Eve had become friendly and maternal towards Rowan. Eve asked to have the piece of land where Rowan lives kept free from development. Unfortunately the developers insisted on purchasing the whole plot and Gavin (David Hughes), the hilarious site foreman, was working on a bonus to get the job done.

Gerald and Eve asked Rowan to move in with them. For all of her outwardly independent manner, she desperately longed for parents and agreed. So we were then transported to the house where furniture and fittings were labelled for division in a divorce, which neither partner really wanted. What they needed was to talk to each other. Suddenly there was the cry of a cat and it was Dido trapped in the cavity wall. Gerald wanted to leave it to fate, but Michael called upon the travellers demonstrating nearby to take up the cause of the cat, bringing Miles back on the scene. The Press harassed poor Gerald and Gavin was only too willing to help knock great holes in the very impressive walls of the house to save the cat. Finally, Gerald, a changed man, knelt down in front of Eve. Could there be a reconciliation?

by Constable Darren King

Firstly, on behalf of myself and my family, thank you for the warm welcome you have shown to us upon our arrival in the village.

I have found 'friendly faces' at almost every corner, everywhere it seems except outside the school, where my presence did not seem so welcome by some of the parents on the afternoon that I attended, parents who I believe had to park a little further away from the entrance than they would have preferred. The majority of you seem to remember the warning given by my predecessor PC Burns, about parking on the yellow lines and the potential danger to 'our' children. Please can 'the immoral minority' not park on these lines during school time, as anyone seen doing so will be prosecuted. Thank you.

As you will be aware there has been a number of crimes in the village and surrounding area recently. These have included the thefts of motor vehicles which on some occasions have been used in other offences. Please can I remind you to call the Police if you see or hear anything unusual, and not to think that what you report may be trivial. The details that you could provide may be the 'missing piece' of the jigsaw we need in solving the crime and catching the offenders. This problem only came to light when, on two separate occasions, I was informed that a suspicious vehicle had been seen driving around the area at slow speed in the early hours of the morning. This occurred on the same night that a car was stolen from the village. Unfortunately this was not divulged until three days later and therefore hindered the investigation. If you see something, please report it. If you do not wish to provide your details to the police, then you can always call CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111. This is a free phone number and an excellent way to pass information confidentially. If we keep our eyes and ears open, and report what's going on, this will make it more difficult for criminals to target our village. Done correctly, the criminals will realise that this is a 'no-go area'.

On a closing note, I would like to congratulate the organisers and supporters of the youth disco which I attended for the first time this month. Having worked in Wrexham for the past two years, attending regular incidents outside Liquid nightclub, I am used to dealing with high spirited youths. In my view the clubs in Wrexham should take a leaf out of your book, as the security, organising and general atmosphere was first class.


I was recently most interested to read extracts from Bill Bryson's book about the Big Bang. Whilst I'm sure many of you may not be too interested in the theory of how the Universe started it contained a very remarkable strand of thinking. It was about how we had got here from the birth of the universe. The incredible coincidences, the amazing chances that took place for even our Earth to come into being and then how life started and developed and how you might have got this far to the 21st century.

Not only have you been lucky enough to be attached since time immemorial to a favoured evolutionary line, but you have also been miraculously fortunate in your personal ancestry. For 3.8 billion years every one of your forbears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so.

Not one of your direct ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, untimely wounded, shot or otherwise deflected from its life quest to find the right partner at the right moment to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result - eventually, and astoundingly - in you!

But the really sobering thought is that this also applies to that idiot who cut you up on the by-pass the other day, or the neighbour from hell who plays the stereo at full blast at all hours of the day or night, or on a wider front that Saddam Hussein fellow, who even now might be camped in a secret bunker somewhere in Overton.


Timothy Rosselli has set himself a challenge to raise 500 towards the Overton St. Mary's Church Organ Fund by canoeing down the River Dee. He is seeking sponsorship for the event, which will take place on 21 June, commencing 6.00am till dusk, starting from The Mill, Erbistock. Timothy, who has received training from the Chester Canoe Club and support from Shropshire Sailing Club, has already raised 300. Sponsorship forms for this unique event can be obtained from the Corner Shop, High Street.

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

This month we feature a photograph taken on the 3 June 1970, when the Overton Mother's Union visited Liverpool Docks. After lunch at the Seaman's Mission, they were taken on a guided tour of the Ulster Prince. Those attending included Mr and Mrs R Thompson, Mr and Mrs J Roberts, Mrs C Phillips, Mrs Whitefield, Miss Wilson (Hooters Hall) Mrs L Evans, Mrs C Hughes, Mrs Peg Griffiths, Mrs V Austin, Mrs G Austin, Rev'd and Mrs P Jones, Nurse Hughes, Mrs B Haynes, Miss Jones, Mrs Woodfine, Mrs Clayton, Mrs Maurice Jones, Mr and Mrs H Owen, Mrs F Bailey, Mrs and Mrs Moreton, Mrs G Price, Mrs Kath Price-Jones, Mrs V Edge, and Mrs Boffey.

Argoed Cottage Garden Open Day
a blooming success.

On Sunday 18 May, Anne and Chris Billington opened their garden to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme. Chris said: "The sun shone for us on the day, when 184 people came to see the garden, buy plants and have tea. We raised 968 for the National Garden Scheme charities which included the Macmillan and Marie Curie Nurses. Teas were supplied by the ladies from the N.S.P.C.C. committee and they raised a further 124. Thank you to everyone who came and supported us"

As part of the National Garden Scheme, The Garden House, Erbistock will be open to the public on Sundays 1, 15, 29 June, 13 July and 7 September from 2-5.00 pm. Admission 2.00

Mr and Mrs R B Attenburrow, will also be opening their garden at Park Cottage, Penley, a new and developing garden on a site of 5 acres on Sunday 15 June from 2.00 - 5.00 pm. Admission 2.00

In addition, Andrew and Angela Wilson welcome you to Penley Hall Stables, a 1 acre walled garden with shrubs and herbaceous plants, pools and a bog garden on Sunday 29 June from 2-5.00 pm. Admission 2.00

Resignations create two vacancies within Overton Community Council.

Two vacancies have been created on the Overton Community Council following the submission of letters of resignation from both Councillor Ken Farrell and Councillor Kath Price Jones. These were submitted to the Council on the 13th May, which expressed its sadness at the loss of two very dedicated Councillors who had made a significant contribution to the work of the Council over the years.

The vacancies have now been formally advertised. The Clerk to the Council, Alan Edwards said: "If no poll is claimed, the Council may fill the vacancies by co-option. 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.

How Overton "Gambled" with Electricity
- A Success Story! (Part two)
by Ken Farrell

With the diesel-driven generators installed at Electricity House and with power lines and many property installations completed, production of electricity began. However, within one week a High Court injunction was served on the Company on behalf of the unnamed dignitary mentioned in the previous part of this story.

The grounds for complaint were noise and pollution concerns. There was no alternative but for the supply to be halted, much to the anger of the residents who were enjoying the benefits of electric light. The villagers took it upon themselves to protest in no uncertain terms and a street demonstration culminated with bricks being thrown through the windows of the opposition. As a result, the injunction was lifted and the electricity supply was re-established.

In 1948 the Electricity Supply Industry was nationalised. However, Mr. Gamble fought the might of Government and continued to generate power until 1953. Following nationalisation he concentrated mainly on supplying generating plants to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries.

Over the fifty years spanned by the business a number of villagers were employed, particularly during the wartime years. Two outstanding employees were Bill Bussey who lived in "Ivanhoe", Willow Street, who worked for Mr. Gamble for 45 years and Geoff Price, who still lives in Dudleston Heath and who worked in the Company for 40 years.

Mr. Gamble, together with his wife Rose is also remembered for their running of the cinema at the Village Hall and for his love of Jaguar cars, of which he owned, at various times, 34 different models. One of his favourites was a white XKI2O sports car that he bought from Diana Dors.

He was quite a character and he certainly shed a lot of light on Overton!

Community Council funds youth leader for another year

Overton Community Council has agreed to fund the provision of a qualified Youth Leader for Overton Youth Club for another year. This follows an agreement with Wrexham County Borough Youth Service, whereby the Borough Council provides a fully qualified youth leader to run the Club. The cost for the year 2003/2004 is 2750.

The day to day running of the Club is overseen by a local Youth Advisory Committee, which includes representation from the Community Council and funds raised from the local youth discos help to contribute towards the cost of purchasing equipment for the Club and arrange trips.

The Youth Club also has access to the Wrexham Youth Service Minibus for special outings.

New waste recovery application at the site of the former BICC factory

Wrexham County Borough Council has received a revised planning application by HLC (Wrexham) Ltd for a Waste Resource Recovery Centre at the former BICC factory, Wrexham Industrial Estate. It is understood that the revised application replaces the combustion plant with a pyrolysis/gasification plant to generate energy from the residual waste. Following a review of emerging alternative technologies to incineration as a means of converting waste to energy, the applicant formed a collaboration with Compact Power plc for the use of its advanced thermal conversion technology which utilises pyrolysis and gasification to convert waste to a gas and an inert residue; the gas is then combusted to recover energy rather than direct combustion of waste. This technology, it is said, has a lower environmental profile with greatly reduced emissions compared to the latest emission limits set within the U.K. and has become commercially available in recent months having achieved the requisite period of successful operation at the first commercial plant in Avonmouth.

There is extensive documentation accompanying the application which can be inspected at Wrexham Council's planning office at Lambpit Street, Wrexham and at the Redwither Tower on the Wrexham Industrial Estate during normal office hours.

The Planning Inspectorate has agreed to the Public Inquiry into the original application to be deferred while the new application progresses. The Public Inquiry into the original application set for the 10 June has therefore been cancelled.


Our sincere condolences are extended to Dr Myers and Dr McNeill and their family following the recent tragic death of their only daughter Catriona. Catriona, aged 17, was studying four AS levels at Yale College and was one of their brightest students. Drs. Paul Myers and Jane McNeill will not be available for consultation in the surgery for the foreseeable future. Your help and consideration at this sad time would be very much appreciated.

Youth Club News

Overton Youth Club's recent activities included another successful Quad Biking visit to the Border Quad Trekking Centre. Some of the lads attended a taster session at PULSE GYM based at Wrexham Rugby Club, and six members went to Bryn Offa Pool in association with WREXHAM SEALS for a sub-aqua diving experience. They also attended the same school venue for a 5-a-side football match.

On Tuesday 3rd June the Club will be holding a FUN EVENING and BBQ at the Playing field, Wrexham Road. The evening will include French Boules, Tug-of-War, 5-a-side football and French Cricket. Kick-off for the events will be 7.00pm. The Club is also hoping to arrange an outing to ALTON TOWERS by Wrexham County Mini-bus, but this will be booked on a first come first served basis and will take place during the Summer break from School.

The Youth Club is open to anyone attending the local primary schools, Year 6, i.e. going up to the Maelor School in September 2003. Both Gaynor Spencer and Paul Spencer, the Youth Workers, are intending to hold a couple of year 6 Introductory Nights at the Club before the Summer term closure - watch this space for details!

Church Organ Fund gathers momentum.

Overton St Mary's Church folk are working hard to raise funds to replace the Church organ which is getting worse for wear. The plan is to replace the organ, built in 1911 and installed in St Mary's in 1970, with a new instrument which is currently located in a chapel in Penygroes.

Other demands for fund raising (e.g. 250 recently raised for Christian Aid), make raising 20,000 for a new church organ quite a challenge. However, the enthusiasm for the project and the determination to see it through remains undiminished. Recent efforts, including a cake stall at the Royal British Legion coffee morning and a "Cheese and Wine" Quiz evening in the village hall, have helped raise the "organ fund" to over 4,000. Tim Rosselli's canoeing exploits (reported elsewhere in this edition of the Oracle) will give the fund a further boost.

The new organ will provide not only a focal point for the worship of Christians at Overton St Mary's, but will benefit the village community who use the Church for so many important events in their lives - baptisms, weddings, wedding blessings and funerals.

Times of services

Overton St Mary's (Anglican Church in Wales)

The congregation of Overton St Mary's welcome you to join them in worship:- 1st Sunday in the month - Holy Eucharist at 11.15am 2nd Sunday in the month - Holy Eucharist at 9.00am Evening Service at 6.30pm 3rd Sunday in the month - Holy Eucharist at 11.15am 4th Sunday in the month - Family Eucharist at 11.15am 5th Sunday in the month - 10.30am (combined service Overton/Penley/Erbistock, taking it in turn to worship at each church)

WSPCC Coffee Morning

A Coffee Morning is to be held on Wednesday 25 June at Willow Bank, Station Road, Overton, by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Benyon, from 10.30 am to 12.00 noon. 1 donation.

Ed: We are pleased to be able to devote permanent space for Church services in Overton, and welcome details from the Methodist Church and Our Lady of the Welsh Marches.