Bears hurt in fall from Church roof.

On Saturday 13th May, 103 bears took part in a fund-raising jump from St Mary's Church tower, raising over 240 towards the costs of the Millennium Window, and the St Mary's School PTA Millennium project.

Every bear had to receive a rigorous pre-flight medical from Dr Helen Pack, who then discussed any health problems with the bears’ owners. Considering the ages of some of the bears, it was quite remarkable that every bear passed the pre-flight medical. Even more remarkable was the number of bears that were entered by the "young at heart", some of whom confided that their bears had never before been subjected to such a terrifying ordeal.

Each bear was then attached to an appropriate parachute, and safety checks carried out, before being hoisted to the top of the tower where Keith Overthrow, Phil Humphreys and Ian Roberts were responsible for advising them how to jump, and to go through the pre-flight weather report.

Katie Lewis, aged 5, with "Dickie" receiving his pre-flight medical check from Dr Helen Pack.

A number of bears sustained serious injuries and had to be rushed to the recovery table where nurse Pam Palin and student nurse Lela Palin,aged 7, were in attendance. Bob Palin, with fingers poised on the stopwatch, was the Flight Recorder for the day. David Hughes, Gerry Owen, Joanne Kember and the Rector's husband were kept busy with flight preparation.

The main prize of the event was for the bear who achieved the slowest descent. This was awarded to Jessica, owned and trained by the Reverend Valerie Jones. The winner of the "High-Fliers Award" was presented by the Rector to Ben Turkie, aged 8, who subjected his bear to no less than 8 jumps. Every bear was awarded a flight certificate.

The idea for this very successful event came from Joanne Kember, who then shared it with the Nurture Group of the Stewardship Committee. As Joanne said: "It was based on an idea I heard on the radio, and we developed it from there. What we are now hoping is that as many of the bears as possible will attend a special service for the children this month, when they can all share their experiences."

Millennium Banquet - a great success

The Millennium Banquet, held in the Village Hall on the 13th May, is another Overton success story. Over 150 people, the majority of whom attended wearing fancy dress, sat down to a superb 4 course dinner and were entertained well until midnight with some very special acts, including Abba and Elvis impersonations, a comedian, singers, a sketch from the ‘Allo Allo’ TV series, and a highly amusing interpretation of "Let’s do it" by Alan Farley and Mike Redworth. The joint organisers, the Overton Playgroup and the OADS, are to be congratulated for staging yet another great value for money event.

A special thankyou

The Banquet Committee wish to say a big, big, thankyou to all those who contributed and helped to make the banquet so successful in raising money for both the Overton Playgroup and the Drama group. A special thankyou to all the acts, and all people who helped on the night and who also donated their time both previously and on the evening, and the next day when all the cleaning up had to be done!! We were overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone concerned.

From: Diane Bell, Linda Done, Glynis Farley, Kay Lawrenson, Ruth Overthrow and Jane Quinn.

Brownies litter campaign

The 1st Overton on Dee Brownies are to carry out a sponsored litter campaign in Overton during July. The idea originated from the Brownies themselves, who decided that it would be a worthwhile project towards their Conservation Badge. The idea has been welcomed by the Community Council who will be supporting the project. The Clerk to the Community Council has already been to visit the Brownies and was very impressed to find how they were approaching their campaign.

A Trip to the Battlefields

I had for a number of years been interested in paying a visit to the battlefields of the 1914-1918 World War in France and Belgium. My father as a young volunteer saw action at Ypres and on the Somme. This is where he had the misfortune to lose his leg shortly before the conflict ceased on the 11/11/1918. He was 19 years of age at the time. My uncle, who we shared a house with, also saw action out in France. He lost an arm and also survived a bullet crease alongside his head. They both considered themselves fortunate because many of their pals did not return.

Our journey commenced in France when we visited the first of many cemeteries and museums. I found five minutes to look at the book in Plug Street cemetery and found the name of my father's best friend, Stanley Adams from Halghton. He was only 22 when he died. His name was among more than 11,000 names of young men who did not return. I photographed his name in the book and also on the cemetery wall.

PHOTOGRAPH OF HARRY EVISON

Memories of the trip include the various people on the coach, many of them anxious to trace relatives. My friend and I were particularly moved by the ceremony at the Menin Gate which took place each evening at 8 o'clock, when three trumpeters sounded the last Post watched by hundreds of people. We visited the large mine crater which was created by tunnelling under the German front lines leaving a hole more than 100 metres across by 30 metres deep. A trip to Vimy Ridge revealed the loss of many gallant young men from Canada who lost their lives. It was amazing to see the stuffed corpses of huge rats that had infested the trenches, still on view after more than 82 years. The museums were full of the most incredible objects. I also found the memorial of my father's regiment, the 51st Highland Division at Beaumont Hamel.

It was indeed a most memorable trip, and one which we will long remember.

Harry Evison

Photographic display planned

The Millennium Committee will be holding a display of photographs of local interest in the Village Hall on Saturday the 17th and Sunday 18th June, between 2.00pm and 4.00pm, coinciding with the Flower Festival. This coinciding with the Flower Festival. If you have any photographs or articles of interest that you think would be suitable for display, please contact Margaret Evison at Springfields, 11 Bangor Road, or hand them in at the library. All exhibits will be returned in good condition.

Don't stamp out our Post Offices.

In April, the Government felt the full force of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters lobby. At issue is the Government's plans to scrap the post office system for the payment of pensions and other benefits, in favour of paying these direct into claimants bank accounts by automated credit transfer. Crucially about 40 per cent of 19,000 small post offices rely on benefits agency business to stay economically viable, amounting to over 400 million worth of business.

The bottom line is that post offices have until 2005 to replace this loss, which many people fear cannot be done. The problem also is that 70 per cent of benefits claimants don't have a bank account. Furthermore, with banks closing their rural branches, claimants will have no access to their cash. Other members of the Community will also suffer, for there are those who also use the Post Office for TV stamps, paying bills, collecting parcels, vehicle Licensing, etc. But apart from these functions, the rural post offices provide an important focus for social interaction, and can often act as a safety net for vulnerable groups by, for example, checking up on elderly people if they fail to collect their pension. Campaigns against the Government's plans have been launched by the National Federation of sub-postmasters, Help the Aged, Age Concern and the Women's Institute.

The Overton Women's Institute, at the request of the National Association, are therefore seeking your help by asking you to sign a petition against the proposals. Forms are available at Londis and the Corner Shop. For further information on the campaign, contact Jean Hughes, Secretary to the Overton WI.

Official opening of youth club

On Tuesday 23rd may, the Overton Youth Club was officially opened by Joey Jones, Wrexham F.C.’s 1st team coach, with 1st team players Wayne Philips and Deryn Brace, and the Youth Team Coach Brian Prandle, seen here enjoying a game of pool.

Twinning exchange

Overton Twinning Association is busily preparing for 24 visitors from La Murette, its twinned village, in the Isere region of France. This exchange will take place between 22nd July and 29th July and an itinerary for the visit is currently being prepared. This will include a trip to Lake Vyrnwy with walks and other events organised throughout the week, including barbecues and informal get-togethers and the possibility of a day walk in the Welsh mountains. Several trips will be organised so that other members of the community who are not members of the Twinning Association, can join in.

The Association members are currently organising a list of host families, in order to accommodate 13 young people from seven to 17 years of age, and 11 adults. As Dilys Parkinson said: "This year we are having to find more families who would be kind enough to provide accommodation for our French visitors. If there is anyone in Overton who feels that they may be able to help, even if they are not members of the Twinning Association, I would be pleased to hear from them" Dilys may be contacted on 01978 710376.

POSTBAG

Dear Editor,

My name is Chris, and I am 10 years old and one of the children who have made a den in the Avenue. I cannot see why the Den must be destroyed. We can't think of what damage we are doing to other people. We are only being children, I'm sure that when you were a young boy, you and some of your friends must have made a den somewhere.

That is only what we are doing, acting as children. The cans, plastic cups and crisp packets were not ours, but were left by the older children on the ramps, so we used them to make a roof. We are sorry if we have caused upset but we never damaged anything and didn't harm any wildlife.

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Wycherley,

2 Station Road, Overton on Dee.

NEWS IN BRIEF

  • Despite a poor start to the day, the sun shone for the opening of the Garden at Argoed Cottage as part of the National Garden Scheme. 148 people visited the garden, raising 296 on the gate. Plant sales raised 555 also for the NGS and the Teas made 90 for the NSPCC - that’s a lot of washing up! Lesley Pugh said: " Grateful thanks go to all who helped in so many ways and also those who visited the garden, which everyone agreed looked a treat."

  • Congratulations to Clare Edwards and Mick on the birth of their baby son, Samuel Alexander, who was born on the 15th May.

  • It is with deep regret we announce that Kenneth Edward Hampson has passed away. Our sincere condolences are extended to his family and relatives.

  • The Art and Needlecrafts Exhibition which was held on 4th May - 10th May at the Methodist Church, was a successful event raising nearly 200 towards the proposed extension which will provide toilet accommodation for the disabled. Josie Ralphs, wishes to thank everyone for their support including all those who helped with the planning, exhibiting and stewarding of the event.

WHAT’S ON

NATIONAL GARDEN SCHEME

Garden Open

The Garden House

Erbistock

4th June

2.00pm - 6.00pm

St MARY’S SCHOOL PTA

Balloon Race

13th June

2.45pm onwards

at

St Mary’s School

Playing fields.

Ruabon, Erbistock and Overton NSPCC

Coffee Morning

Wednesday 14th June 2000

10.30 - 12.00

at The Brow, Wrexham Road, Overton

(by kind permission of Col. and Mrs Fitzhugh)

Many stalls incl. cakes, bring and buy, etc

Admission 1.00.

MILLENNIUM FLOWER FESTIVAL

A Celebration of Christian Faith

June 16th, 17th,18th

at

St Mary’s Church

Methodist Church

Roman Catholic Church

All welcome