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

June 2008


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.



As 2008 dawned a group of middle aged dads, all with kids at St Mary’s school, decided New Year's resolutions were a must. To be fair they were only a bit overweight but also unfit but when all put together it was a sorry sight indeed…!

Then to add insult to injury the Welsh Assembly released another new initiative "Health Challenges Wales" promoting awareness to persuade us to eat the right foods and make physical activity a greater part of our everyday lives. It could have been addressed to dads Gary Aplin, John Barton and Andy Dodwell. As Dads we desperately want to do the right thing by our children, setting the right example about food and keeping fit. But time is precious what with work, family … and the Friends of the School.

So here was the challenge: - To kick start a brand new appeal for an all-weather area so that the children of St Mary’s can always have access to a playing field even in the wettest of Wales winters. True, it is a great challenge if a bit daunting but oddly everyone that we spoke to said yes.

The dads cycled from the Welsh Assembly buildings in Cardiff to St Mary's School in Overton on Dee using only the Welsh coastal and mountain roads…!!

Covering over 300 miles from Friday 23rd until Tuesday 27th May with an intrepid and professional back up team (that’s Richard and Sian Hollingsworth in their camper van) ensuring plentiful supplies of Vaseline and plasters…!

But we desperately wanted the children involved; so on Thursday afternoon (22nd) they also had a sponsored ride and big toddle around the grounds of school with each child raising money for their class. And you can help too, if you can spare a few pounds to add to their fundraising knowing that it will be going directly to help the children of our community.

You can donate on line at www.fatbottomboys.com or by sending your pledge to the school. We may not feel so Fat Bottomed anymore but we are very chuffed and proud of our efforts!

The Overton Fat Bottomed Boys


Wrexham County Borough Council’s rural TaxiBus scheme is designed to provide flexible public transport connections for the more isolated communities that are not located along conventional public transport routes.

If you live in an isolated rural location, you may not have easy access to the bus. Residents who live within the qualifying area of operation, are now able to book a TaxiBus journey, to enable them to travel to Wrexham, Whitchurch or other neighbouring villages. Transport is provided using a local Taxi company, operating on behalf of Wrexham C.B.C.

You will need to book your journey in advance, no less than 1 hour before you wish to travel. Return bookings and repeat block bookings can also be made. Fares are: Single journey £2.50, Return Journey £4.00.

The TaxiBus scheme operates Monday to Friday 9.00am to 2.30pm, 4.00pm to 6.00pm and on Saturdays 8.00am to 6.00pm. excluding Bank Holidays. Concessionary travel pass holders travel free of charge.

Bookings for journeys can be made Monday to Sunday 8.00am to 6.00pm Ring 01978 357777.

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear Friends,
It is hard to believe that we will celebrate mid summer’s day this month. The year seems to be slipping away!

Midsummer has been the focus of many strange traditions in the past. A pagan tradition was to light bonfires in many parts of the country. People saw that the power of the sun noticeably decreased at this time of the year and so they lit big fires in an attempt to boost it a little.

This custom was strictly observed in Cornwall until 19th century. Midsummer’s Eve was regarded as a time of enchantment, when witches, warlocks, fairies and evil spirits were at hand. Cornish people would light a chain of bonfires, placing them on all the headlands and cliffs. The idea was to keep away all these evil influences and the fires would blaze all through the night giving them protection. Young and old would hold hands and dance around the fires and when at last the fire grew low, newlyweds would jump through the dying flames together as a sign of good luck for their marriage.

Fire and light have always been important symbols for humans. And as a Christian they remind me of the light of Jesus touching every corner of our lives, bringing hope and joy and strength. There is so much in our modern world that can appear threatening and frightening. So often evil influences seem to win. But Christians believe that in Jesus, love and life and joy have the final say. We need no longer fear death, because on the cross Jesus has opened the gates of heaven to us all, if we just have faith in him.
Someone once wrote this
‘Lead me from the unreal to the real,
Lead me from darkness to light
Lead me from death to immortality’.
And that is my prayer this midsummer that Jesus will lead us all from darkness to light, from death to immortality.
Your Friend and Rector,


We are to have for an IT Upgrade at the Overton Medical Centre. This means that our computer system will be shut down all day Monday 30th June and Tuesday 1st July. If things don’t go smoothly it may be slightly longer.

The surgery will be open but we won’t be able to issue prescriptions. If patients could work with us to try and avoid these dates to request routine medication it would be greatly appreciated. Plan to order what you need before those dates please.

Remember you can sign up at any time for the Online Access to Doctor’s appointments. Plans are progressing well to introduce online access to Repeat Prescriptions by the end of June. Whilst we address issues of confidentiality, there is a minimum age of 16 for this service.

The warmer weather means check your inhalers in case you are a hayfever/asthma sufferer and discard old, out of date medicines. Pollen counts are given with the weather forecasts as will the sun strength factors – there is a huge range of information via the media so there is no reason for not being prepared. This surgery does provide Travel Clinics, patients are requested to contact the Practice at least 8 to 10 weeks prior to the date of travelling. A Travel Form will need to be completed indicating the destination, accommodation type and length of stay. An appointment is made with a clinician who will use the information provided on the Travel Form, in conjunction with the patient’s medical record, to offer advice and any immunization or medication required.

Remember the ‘Out of Hours Service’ is now NEWDOC –telephone number 01244 834999.


Joanne Kember (Chair) Springfield Park
Jacky Maskall (Vice Chair) Knolton Bryn
David Burton Maelor Court
Lesley Pugh Lightwood Green
Alan Foulkes Knolton
Howard Jones High Street
Martin Lewis Pen-y-llan Street
Rob Lawrenson Deva Terrace
Josie Ralphs Salop Road
Sue Glover High Street


Notice is given that Overton Community Council has adopted a revised Members Code of Conduct. Such document is available for inspection by members of the public at the Clerk’s office in the village hall. Please contact the Clerk to arrange an appointment on 01978 710055
Overton Community Council, Overton Village Hall, 5 Penyllan Street, Overton, Wrexham LL13 0EE

by the Overtinions and our mascot Lucy

Hey everybody! It’s June and in our opinion one of the best months of the year! This might be our last Kid’s Page in the Oracle so hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading!

Jen’s Reviews
The EYE - certificate 15.
My last review is on the new horror film ‘The Eye’. Sydney Wells has been blind since the age of five and has finally had a cornea transplant (to make her able to see). But is it worth it when what she can see, no one else can?

This horror grabs you from the very start and keeps you on the edge of your seat for the duration of the film. However, this film does have a few jumpy scenes in it so my advice is to definitely do with a friend so you have someone to hold on to. A recommended film, very original and spine chilling
Rating: 8 / 10 Original, spine chilling

I dig out tiny caves and store gold and silver in them. I also build bridges of silver and make crowns of gold. They are the smallest you could imagine. Sooner or later everybody needs ny help, yet many people are afraid to let me help them. Who am I?
Answer: I am a Dentist
5th June 1783 - Test flight of unmanned hot air balloon over Paris.
11th June 1982 - E.T. movie was released
15th June 1752 - Benjamin Franklin proved that lightening contained electricity
20th June 1936 - Jesse Owens set 100 metre record at 10.2 seconds

Agony Aunt

Q: Hi! I have just started going out with this boy and am really worried that it won’t last over the summer. I really like him and don’t know what to do; please help!
A: Just get out of the house! Why don’t you arrange to meet up with him and your friends. You could go to town, the cinema’ or anywhere. The summer holidays will only be as hard as you make them, so don’t worry, just go for it!

June Birthdays
June 3rd - Tony Curtis June 13th - Ashley & Mary-Kate Olsen
June 20th - Lionel Richie June 25th - Carly Simon

SUNDAY 15th JUNE 2pm - 5.30pm
Admission £1.50 Chd Free

Home Made Teas, Cake stall, Garden quiz, Music in the garden (Guitar & flute)

Natural formed gardens, sunken garden, herbs, newly established heritage Welsh Orchard, Green oak garden & furniture workshop, Panoramic Views.

All proceeds to Penley Rainbow Centre By kind permission of the Rev & Mrs David Butterworth

From Overton To Georgia
by Vicky Glover

My name is Victoria Glover and I live in Overton, currently studying for my A-Levels at the Maelor School in Penley. In the summer of last year 2007, fellow student Chelsea Dickenson of Bangor-on-Dee and I were nominated by the Erddig Rotary Club to help represent Wales in Georgia, America as part of the
Georgia Rotary Student Program see www.grsp.org.

Every year students from all over the world are accepted onto this scheme and are sent to study in Georgia, America for a year, most expenses paid, food, accommodation, all paid for. All we have to pay for is the insurance, the flights to and from America and the spending money, not a lot when you consider the money and time they spend on you while you’re there!

I have now been accepted at the Georgia Southern University a truly beautiful University situated in the “deep-southern” town of Statesboro situated on the south-eastern coast of Georgia, close to the city of Savannah and also close to the Georgia-Florida border. I will be leaving in late July of this year before returning home next summer. Sorry mum but I have decided to stay for the full year so I can make the most of this incredible opportunity and experience a true American Christmas.

While in Georgia I will have my very own “host family” who will look after me throughout my stay in America and with whom I will be spending much of my time including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Every year such families put an incredible amount of effort into making their new member feel welcome, taking them to various places from Rotary Club functions to sight-seeing trips, many families even take their students on holidays with them and really do everything they can to make us feel part of the family, even welcoming relatives from back home to come and stay. And they ask for very little (if anything!) in return for their great hospitality!

The G.R.S.P. offers a fantastic opportunity to students from all over the world and puts in a lot of time, money and effort to ensure we have a fantastic time while we’re there expecting little of us in return other than to be good ambassadors for our countries and to enjoy ourselves. However I would like to do as much as I can to show my gratitude.

In talking to past G.R.S.P. students, I have found that the host families love to find out anything and everything they can about the countries and towns their students come from and I would like to find as much as I can about not only Wales but Overton too. I am therefore asking if anybody has any information or books or photos or even Overton souvenirs if such things exist! Anything at all that might be of use and I could perhaps take to Georgia to show my host family. This is but a small way of saying thank you to my family and if I have anything to do with it I will hopefully be returning the hospitality if they should ever venture across to “sunny” Welsh shores. I will no doubt keep you posted as time goes on and let you know how everything goes. In the meantime, however, I would be very much grateful of any contributions people could make to my research. Many thanks!

If anyone can help Vicky contact the Oracle and we will pass your offers on to her.

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
I am carrying out research into the life of the late Major William Davidson Bissett, VC who lived at Queensbridge, Overton from the early 1960s until his death in 1971. I would be very grateful if anyone who has any recollections or photographs of Major Bissett would get in touch with me to discuss a remarkable man who gained one of the last VCs to be awarded during the First World War whilst serving in France with the Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders.
W Alister Williams, 61 Park Avenue, Wrexham, LL12 7AW

by Ken Farrell

A friend lent me some copies of the Overton St Mary’s Parish Magazine for 1890 and in one I read this account by the then Rector, the Rev J.W. Unwin of the Choir’s trip to Eaton Hall and Chester. How different life was 118 years ago compared to today’s hustle and bustle. (A wagonette, incidentally, was a four-wheeled carriage with inward facing seats - a sort of Victorian horse-drawn minibus)

“On Thursday, August 21st, the Choir had their annual trip. Starting about 9 am in wagonettes, we drove though Wrexham, Gresford and Rossett to Eaton Hall, where we spent two hours most pleasantly, and, it id hoped, profitably, in looking through the very extensive conservatories and magnificent grounds surrounding the hall; we then made our way to Eccleston Ferry, where we enjoyed a well-served dinner in a pretty garden house. This meal over, we found Mr. Collinge, Kinnerton Lodge, waiting with his steam launch and a large boat, to take us down the river to Chester. This was a delightful trip, and added greatly to the day’s pleasure. In Chester a great disappointment awaited us: we were looking forward to hearing the Cathedral Choir at the Afternoon Service, but alas! they too were away for their holidays, and there was no singing at all; however we enjoyed seeing the magnificent Cathedral, and gratefully recalled the fact that it was through to the indefatigable zeal of the father of our late Rector that it was restored to its present beauty. In spite of a few heavy showers the return journey up the river was enjoyed, and made us quite ready for our tea at the Ferry; after this we steamed on to the iron bridge, where we quitted our boats, and having given three cheers for Mr. Collinge for hi great kindness we started for Alford village, where we joined our wagonettes and started for home, which we reached as the church struck nine. It was generally admitted to be one of the pleasantest trips the Choir has had. Mrs. Unwin will be glad to receive subscriptions towards the expenses, which amount to £8.”


Do not forget the Village fete will be held on the playing and football fields SATURDAY 28th JUNE. The grand opening will be at 2.00pm. Anyone requiring space for a stall, activity or just to advertise your organisation please contact Joanne Kember on 01978 710624 as soon as possible.

Old School Photos

Gordon Whitfield writes to correct the names suggested for the old Overton school photo in the March edition of the Oracle.

“The teacher was Mrs Wreight not Wright her first name I'm sure was Elvera she was a supply teacher who took over the class when Mr Jones left to take up another post. I think most will remember being firm but fair but if you stepped out of line he had a cane which he would administer (only to the lads) (1 - 5 times) in front of the class (Yes it happened to me once). He was a very practical man and was always making projects for the class usually a puzzle that lit up when the correct answer was selected - they always fascinated me as I shared his interest in electronics.

I only arrived in Overton (from Hanmer) at the start of that school year and was placed in Mr Jones's class. We were all disappointed when he left to take up either a deputy or headship. I knew Mrs Wreight from Hanmer School she had been a supply teacher there for a while that's why I have her firmly fixed in my memory. She was the daughter of the Phillips's who owned the timber yard on the edge of the village in Station Road. Mrs Hamlyn was before my time.

Back Row: Alan Pugh, Gareth Edwards (Plas Yn Coed Farm), myself, Colin Brereton, Rob Latham, Jeremy Budd (Althrey Lodge Bangor) , Dave Edwards, Gary Rogers.
Middle Row: Martin Soden, Steve Andrews, Sharon Stant, Denise Evans, Carol Owen, Lynn Ogden, Alison Evans, Liz Latham, Ken Hampson, Iory Evans
Front Row: Pete Colley, Shane Evans, Yvonne Capper, Helen Taylor (Policemans daughter) Ceri Thomas , Bobby Osborne, and Robert Riddle (James was his elder brother - and heaven forbid if his mum heard you call him Jimmy)
Overall not a bad effort from your readers we'll have to see how well they do with the others.........

Songs of Praise

Last year Churches together ran a Village Songs of Praise for Father’s Day in St Mary’s Church. We are repeating the service this year on Father’s Day, June 15th in the Methodist chapel at 6:30PM.We are asking you to pick your own favourite hymn and the reason why.

Please write on piece of paper
• Your Name
• Your Favourite Hymn
• And the Reason Why
Please return the slip to the Rector by Sunday 8th June. Please do join us for our Songs of Praise!

Support your local producers!

St Mary's School will be holding another of their popular Farmers Markets in the village hall from 2-5 pm on Thursday the 12th of June.

Local producers will be selling a wide range of products including cheese, meat, vegetables and ice-cream. Refreshments will be available. Anybody wishing to book a stall for the market can still do so by ringing Darren Morris at school on 710370.

On Saturday 21st June the White Horse will be holding a Table Top sale in their Function Room. All proceeds are for St Mary's Church roof repairs. 2pm, £10 a table. Enquiries and bookings to 01978 710111

by Henry

I just love these gaffs! Seen in the Wrexham Evening Leader “Sony camcorder Hi8 still boxed, with accessories, immaculate condition, perfect for the bedroom”! Mum bought it!– wuf, wuf!

I was so sorry to hear that St Mary’s had lost the lead from the vestry roof, but the story keeps getting exaggerated from “rain pouring through the roof” to “we’re installing a diving board in the vestry!”

At an Oracle meeting this year, feedback was that the school didn’t get enough mentions and an indirect attack was made on our Editor for always putting in articles about the Scouts (he’s also Group Scout Leader). So I went back through every single copy of the Oracle and did some counting and the school got a only 24 mentions (a strike rate of 21%). So come on school you should be in every month! And the Scouts? A mere 20 times. No evidence of bias there!


Congratulations to Russell and Gaenor Watts on the birth of their daughter Angharad Mai the 20th April 2008. She was 8lb 40z and mummy and baby are well. Granny Watts is very proud.

Congratulations to Oliver Womack and Lorraine Matthias on their wedding in St Mary’s Church at 3pm Saturday June 14th.
Congratulations on their Silver Wedding to Edward & Lesley Pugh and on their Ruby Wedding to Euan & Val Stevenson.

Happy June Birthdays
Marlene Williams, Katharine Crockford, Jill Burton, Sandra Jones, Jenny England, Ken Roberts, Bob Davies, Andrew Brookfield and to Millie Davis who is 7 years old.

Belated birthday wishes from last month to Peter Grindley and John Dodd

Welsh Education Inspectors, Estyn, awarded the Maelor High School grade one for teaching, training and assessment and praised pupils for the courtesy they show to one another and to adults, “it is a major strength of the school”

Keith and Joan on behalf of St Mary’s Church wish to thank every one who supported the coffee morning held at 11 Sundorne on Saturday May 3rd. The sum of £545.44 was raise towards the Senior Citizens Christmas Party.
Ed: Keith is a unsung hero. He puts an enormous amount of work into organising the Senior Citizens party!

I would like to thank all the people who supported my stall at the Playgroup’s table top sale, “New 2 U” on 10th May. My total profit was £118. I am splitting this between The Hope Hospice and Nightingale House. Thank you again.
‘Chilly’ Grindley