Foot and Mouth Disease

Overton Community Council requests that members of the Community give regard to the plight of farmers during the present outbreak of foot and mouth disease by avoiding agricultural land whilst the crisis lasts.
The Millennium Meadow will remain open for dog walking.
Thank you for your consideration.
David Burton, Chairman



Do You Believe in Angels?

It was Friday afternoon two weeks before Christmas when Jayne Sorfleet received a telephone call from the Kilroy programme. Would she appear on Kilroy to take part in a studio discussion about Angels?

"Yes." She said. "But when is it and can my husband come too?" "Monday morning" came the reply. "And does he share your views about Angels?" "No." "Good, bring him along." Clearly there was the possibility of a domestic disagreement on air and as we all know, that makes very good TV.

Stephen wasn't too keen but the offer of a free night in London and a day out of the office were too tempting to resist.

On Saturday morning Kilroy's assistant rang to find out exactly what they were going to say and, so it appeared, to assess the chances of provoking an argument on screen.
The next day they took a train from Crewe to Euston - first class, courtesy of Kilroy. The only problem being that they could not get on the train for 15 minutes, as the guard had locked it up and gone off for a cup of tea! On arriving at Euston, it was then a quick taxi to their hotel. The following morning they made their way to the studio at Elstree.

They were ushered into a large room rather like the Village Hall, but not as smart, and had a cup of tea with the other participants while waiting for the programme to begin. There was no sign of Kilroy. They sat at a table with a number of psychic types. A thin man with a pony-tail, a black velvet jacket and a large medallion, leaned forward and asked Stephen, who was in panto-mode as Abanazer, "Are you a wizard?" Was he serious? "Yes," he was and "No" he wasn't. A lady in a large cloak was sure she had seen him before - "not here, on the astral plain"! By this time Jayne had had enough and spotted someone else who looked more "interesting". She made her excuses in true News of the World fashion and left.

A short while later they were ushered into the studio, told where to sit and what would happen. Kilroy appeared and the recording began. There were no serious arguments, but they both had their say, as some of you no doubt saw. Kilroy was his charming self. After the programme photographs were duly taken, and then it was a taxi back to Euston and the train home (This time it was second class when the guard saw the tickets!!).

Stephen, who sent us this story, said: "It was an interesting and enjoyable experience".

Smoke Detector saves

Mother and young Son

A young mother and her 8 year old son were saved from a blazing home in Overton by a smoke detector and the quick actions of neighbour Phil Bygate, and Derek Edwards and Phil Malam.

The drama began at about 6.30pm on Sunday 18th February as Carol Jones was bathing her young son in the downstairs bathroom in their home at the Stableyard, Penyllan Street. Shortly after hearing a bang, the smoke detector went off, and on opening the bathroom door she was met with a blazing lounge and thick pungent black smoke everywhere. Her son Jamie ran through the room to alert neighbour Phil Bygate, who heroically went back into the house to help Carol out and then attack the blaze with bowls of water.

Meanwhile villagers Derek Edwards and Phil Malam had spotted the drama unfolding, and were quickly on the scene with fire extinguishers taken from the Overton Recreational Club. By the time the Fire service arrived the fire had been put out.

A North Wales Fire Service spokesman said: "It seems as though a light bulb in a table lamp exploded setting fire to the lamp shade, which then set fire to the curtains, the hi-fi and the television. Had it not been for the smoke detector and the swift actions of these men, we could have had a real tragedy on our hands"

Carol said: "It was the smoke detector that saved us."

Reflexology - a relaxing healing therapy

Reflexology is an ancient healing art dating back to about 2500BC, and is fast becoming one of the most popular complementary therapies available. A relaxing healing therapy, reflexology is an holistic therapy which treats the whole person and not just the symptoms. It is safe, gentle and thoroughly enjoyable.

It is based upon 10 energy channels in the feet which when manipulated can release energy blockages and helps to make the body work better and activate self-healing. Its principles are similar to acupuncture, but the treatment is only to the feet and sometimes the hands.

Sue Williams, who became interested in Reflexology over a year ago, has been awarded diplomas in both Reflexology, and Anatomy and Physiology following an intensive course at the Cheshire Academy in Nantwich. She is an Associate Member of the Association of Reflexologists, and has recently set up business in her home in Sundorne, Overton.

Sue said: " A Reflexologist uses her hands, using gentle but firm pressure and massage techniques to the feet, usually inducing a deep sense of relaxation. With doctors now estimating that 75% of illnesses are stress related, Reflexology is the perfect antidote. It can help balance the bodily systems, relaxing mind and body leaving the patient with a sense of well-being. It stimulates our own natural healing mechanisms, and helps to ease tension and everyday stresses. It can also help those suffering from Depression, Digestive disorders, Headaches and Migraines, Backaches, Arthritis and Asthma. People of any age or sex can derive positive benefits from Reflexology, leading to a better physical and mental state of health. It is also interesting to note that Reflexology is very powerful as a preventative treatment."

If you would like to know more or would like to check whether Reflexology is right for you, feel free to e-mail Sue at She is also available for talks and demonstrations and has gift vouchers available for sale which make an ideal and unusual gift. (Don't forget Mother's Day on 25th March! - Ed.)


A Review of the Oracle-2000

Continuing our review of previous issues of the "Oracle", here are some of the items we featured in the year 2000.

January..... St. Mary's School new extension officially opened - community carol singing round the Christmas Tree.

February....Overton's Millennium celebrations described - Overton's web-site ( goes on-line.

March ...... Local Press and Radio report that two local MP's join the fight to keep open Knolton Bryn Mission. Appeals made to the newly appointed Bishop to restore harmony to the village.

April........ Youth Drama Group gives a professional performance of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" - the Church Authorities lock out the Knolton Bryn congregation to prevent them
worshipping in their Mission and the story is featured in local Press and on BBC TV.

May........ Wedding of Timothy Rosselli and Claire Williams - W.I. 75th Anniversary Dinner - Salop Road post-box disappears - Bowling Green vandalised.

June....... Teddy bears parachute from Church tower to raise funds for memorial window and PTA funds - Millennium Banquet reported a great success.

July........ Margaret Samson's epic 128-mile cycle ride - the three Churches Flower Festival - appeal against speeding motorists in the village.

August...Village hosts visiting Netherlands Youth Choir - new Chairman and Vice-Chair for Community Council - Chris Lipson's adventure in the Antarctic and Patagonia.

September...22 visitors from La Murette have a great holiday in Overton - the Celtic theme wedding of David Evison and Laura Sidwell - start of the 3-part history of Overton's War Memorial by Alan Jones.

October.... St. Mary's Church floodlights switched on - another successful Village Produce Show.

November.....Overton ADS presents "Shakers" in the Village Hall - Wrexham Council reinstates gardens behind old people's bungalows in Parkside - detailed list of Overton War Heroes from two World Wars.

December.....St. Mary's School Millennium project, the sensory garden - Steve Davis interviews Tim Vincent - Overton Scouts "Operation Nighthawk" adventure.

These are just some of the many items of news featured in the Overton Oracle during the year 2000. But there were many other news items which failed to hit the press because we did not get to hear about them. If you have any news, e-mail the editor at or speak to any editorial team member.

Photo with the famous

This month we feature a young Harold Wilson MP for Huyton in the 1960's (with pipe) attending as President of the Lancashire County Tennis Club and an even younger Barbara Watkin at a Lancashire Tennis Final. Another finalist was Alan Acourt who played football for Liverpool and represented England.

Harold Wilson MP. Extreme left second row, Barbara Watkin extreme left front row and Alan Acourt 5th from left back row.


S.S. Aguila sinks in 90 seconds with a loss of 145 lives
by Alan Jones

This is the story of Cecily Monica Bruce Benjamin of the Womens Royal Naval Service who lost her life on the 19th August 1941 while aboard the S.S. Aguila off the S.W. coast of Ireland. Originally from Pinner, Middlesex, she lived at Pendyffryn, Salop Road, Overton, but during the War was based at H.M.S. President 11, a shore base for accounting purposes at Lower Regent Street, London. She was one of twenty two members of W.R.N.S. (Womens Royal Naval Service) who had volunteered for cipher and wireless duties in Gibraltar.

They embarked from Liverpool en route to Gibraltar on 12th August 1941 on board the S.S. "Aguila", Commodore ship of Convoy OG-71. Also on board were many servicemen, all naval personnel, taking the "Aguila's" complement to 161.

Consisting of 23 merchant ships and escorted by 6 Corvettes and 2 Destroyers the Convoy was attacked by German Submarines on 19th August, while off the South Western Coast of Ireland. Soon after midnight a torpedo hit the "Aguila" amidships sending her to the bottom in ninety seconds. There were only sixteen survivors, leaving a death toll of 145. The dreadful truth, was that not one of the twenty two Wrens survived. Before the convoy reached its destination, eight of its merchant ships had been sunk together with two escort vessels with a loss of nearly four hundred lives.

On 28th June 1952 Edward Benjamin, father of Cecily Benjamin and co-trustee of the "Aguila Wrens Memorial Fund", presented a Motor Lifeboat to the Royal Naval Lifeboat Institution. The lifeboat, named in their honour "Aguila Wren", was launched at and saw service from Aberystwyth until February 1965 when she was transferred to Redcar operating from there until May 1973. During service she was launched fifty two times and saved thirty six lives. On 20th May 1973 she was handed over to the Sea Cadet Corps at Keadby Lock, Scunthorpe where she completed her useful life. Normally when Lifeboats reach the end of their active service they are sold without name or livery. In this case the "Aguila Wren" retained her R.N.L.I colours as well as her name in order to preserve the memorial to the Wrens who lost their lives.

Mr Benjamin also had planted in her honour one of the four flowering cherry trees adjacent to the Overton War Memorial. This was enclosed by railings with a brass memorial plaque (both now removed). She is further remembered on Plymouth Naval Memorial situated on The Hoe, which directly overlooks Plymouth Sound.


Community Council to discuss Meadow Plan

The Community Council has received almost 40 completed questionnaires included as part of the centre pages of last month's Oracle. We understand these will be analysed and a report made to the Community Council at its next meeting, which is to be held in the Parish Rooms on Tuesday 13th March commencing 7.30pm. Arwel Griffith, the consultant landscape architect will be present to provide further information relating to the schemes

The Clerk to the Council, Alan Edwards said: "Although members of the public can attend the meeting, they cannot take part in the debate, nor of course, take part in any voting procedure. However, in the interests of democracy, the Council has adopted a discretionary policy of allowing members of the public to address the meeting for a few minutes to express their point of view. Members of the public are therefore welcome to attend, and it would be helpful to myself and the Chairman to know before hand if anybody wished to address the Council".

It is understood that the consultant landscape architect will present a brief schedule of the works and a cost estimate for the implementation of each item. This will then be discussed by the Council.


Former Overton girl selected for Himalayan expedition

Briar Lipson , who lived in Overton a few years ago before moving with her family to Treflach, Nr Oswestry , has been selected to take part in a challenging expedition to the Himalayas. Briar, a sixth form student at Shrewsbury High School has been selected from over 400 young people throughout the country to take part in an expedition that will carry out a number of scientific, environmental and anthropological projects in a this remote part of the world.

Briar, aged 17, who said she is really excited about the trip and is looking forward to it enormously, has been working hard to find ways of raising the 2,500 needed for the trip. She has already saved 400 and has just completed a sponsored walk along the Offas Dyke Long Distance Path during half-term, walking 28 miles on some days.

She has also written to a number of local trusts and businesses to ask for their support.

She is one of 60 students who have been specially selected for the expedition that will be based in the south east of the country near the Chinese border. Briar said: "I hope to be in a group living with some Ladalhi nomads and recording oral history"



Dear Editor,

It appears that the Community Council is intent on wasting yet more money on a project that is in my humble opinion ill conceived and badly executed. I refer to the supposed wild flower meadow in the Avenue.

A wild flower meadow takes approximately five years and a great deal of attention to create, the area having to be scarified prior to any sowing taking place. Most successful wild flower meadows are then seeded every year. Can the council justify this expense against an amenity that is used primarily by the villagers to exercise their dogs? I have visited the Avenue almost every day for the last four years and have seen only a handful of people without dogs. This dog-walking area is well used and in the main is not abused by the dog owners, so why a wild flower meadow. I can understand the need in a town or city but not in a rural village where most people have a garden and hedgerows abound, containing many wild flowers in their natural habitat. The inconvenience caused to the cricket club can easily be solved by erecting nets at their expense or by the cricket club undertaking the cutting of the meadow thus saving the community an expense. We also have another folly in the shape of a cycle obstacle course in the Avenue that is rarely if ever used.

The provision of benches in the Avenue will only serve as an added attraction to undesirable behaviour in an unlit secluded area. The Community Council should think long and hard before spending our money on a whim. Bearing in mind that they are unable to find funding for traffic calming measures in the village what are the proposed costs of this latest scheme, both initially and recurring? Councillors must remember that they have their hand in the back pocket of all Overton's residents and be prudent in the extreme.

The provision of this latest "Master plan" seems to seek to justify the expense by highlighting benefits that already exist in the village; such as recreational grassed areas, communal barbecue and a plethora of keep-fit areas. The work on the holly trees at the entrance to the Avenue has enhanced the appearance of this village feature, what a pity it is used primarily as a car park. On a final note is the Council pursuing the previous contractor in regard to the poor quality of the work?

Mr A Richardson, Overton.


Overton WI

Thursday 15th March
Parish Rooms, Overton

Commencing 7.30pm
"Growing of Herbs"
Mrs Molesworth
Non-members admission 1

St Mary's Church

Bell Ringers Coffee Morning
Keith and Joan Overthrow's
11 Sundorne, Overton

31st March
Commencing 10.00am

Raffle + Cakes
Tickets 50p

Sponsored Cycle Ride

42 miles around The Maelor
To raise funds for St Mary's Church Millennium Window

MAY 2001

Watch this space for details for more information