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

March 2004


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

Venture Scouts end with a Re-union

The Bryn-y-Pys Venture Scout Unit, part of Overton Scout Group, celebrated the demise of Venture Scouting with a re-union at the Buck Hotel in Bangor-on-Dee on Saturday 7th February attended by about a dozen former Venture Scouts who met up with former Venture Scout Leader, Alan Jones and Group Scout Leader, David Burton.

This year marks the end of Venture Scouting for the Scout Association as the new sections come into effect. Scouts covers ages 10½ to 14, Explorer Scouts 14 to 18 year olds and Scout Network 18 to 25 year olds.

As David Burton said: "When one looks back at what we have achieved in Overton over the last 18 years the record is impressive; 35 Bronze, 3 Silver and 20 Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards; 23 Queens Scout Awards; 17 Explorer Belt Awards gained in Canada, Hungary and the Gambia: and visits to world Jamborees by 23 Venture Scouts to New Mexico, Banff, Cairns in Australia, South Korea and Holland. The Group also sponsored two leaders who acted as Assistant Troop Leaders to the Welsh Contingent for the Korean and Chile Jamborees. It is an unrivalled record; no other Unit in Wales has achieved as much and very few Units in Britain can match it!"

Group Scout Leader, David Burton has committed the Group to developing Explorer Scouts and hopes to continue building upon the excellent record achieved to date. “Scouting has changed the parameters to enable 16 – 25 year olds to continue Scouting in line with other youth groups. Most of our Venture Scouts achieved their goals by the time they were 18 and before they went off to University, Army careers or other occupations and we think we can still do it with Explorer Scouts.”

Scouts in Overton is still going strong and the Group hopes to celebrate 100 years of Scouting in 2009. David Burton has been involved with the Group in one position or another for 22 years, almost a quarter of the life of the Group! There is still room for more young people to join and more leaders are required. The Group is still looking for a Cub Scout Leader to restart Cubs (8-10 year olds) in Overton. Anyone wanting to join or help, Scouts meet from 7 – 9pm on Fridays or phone David Burton on 01978 710631.

Oracle Team loses
a valuable contributor

By Lesley Pugh

Christine and Tony Stead have now moved from Overton and we wish them well in their new home at Cross Lanes. Christine has been a valuable member of the Oracle Team and we shall miss her. We wish to thank her on behalf of Overton for her time and contributions to the Oracle, especially in her coverage of sport.

The Oracle Editorial Team, comprising Alan Edwards, David Burton, Euan Stevenson and Lesley Pugh, meets monthly to prepare the next Oracle. Prior to the meeting articles have to be identified and stories chased/researched and written. The final copy for printing can take our Editor, Alan, anything up to four full evenings to prepare. After printing, the copies are sorted by Euan for distribution by a valuable team of volunteers without whom we could not operate.

Our aim is to provide you with a fresh and stimulating newspaper, but we still look to you to supply us with material. There are lots of stories to be told, items of news, events; it doesn’t matter about spelling or grammar which is often given as a worry - we can sort that out.

However, we would be very grateful for somebody to take over from Christine who contributed many articles, concentrating mainly on Overton sports news. You do not need to attend every event, but would need to contact the various sporting clubs and report upon their activities. As a team member you will find it interesting and rewarding. If you feel that you could find two or three hours a month to help out, and would like to become part of the team, we would like to hear from you.

Contact Alan Edwards by telephone on 01978 710422 or write to him at 1 St. Mary’s Court, Overton, Wrexham LL13 0FA. You may also e-mail him at editor@.overton-on-dee.co.uk

Cytun - Churches Together in Overton and District


CYTUN invite you to attend their Lenten Study Sessions. They begin on Tuesday, 2nd March at 7.00 for 7.30 p.m.

The Session Venues are as follows:-

02.03.04 Parish Room
09.03.04 Methodist Chapel Schoolroom
16.03.04 Catholic Church - Gwyn Hall
23.03.04 Methodist Chapel Schoolroom
30.03.04 Parish Room

Tea/Coffee will be provided before each Study commences. Meetings will finish around 8.30 p.m.

We will be following the York Course booklet entitled ‘Tough Talk’. These are available from St. Mary’s Church, Methodist Chapel and the Catholic Church, priced at £1 .95 for the 5 part course.

You will be made very welcome at ALL or ANY of the Lenten Groups.


The Oracle welcomes Fred Weedman to the village. Fred is the father of Jill Burton and at 85 and with failing sight embarked on the stressful journey from the West Midlands, leaving many friends behind to move closer to his family. Fred is used to stressful travel like many of his generation. At the outbreak of World War II he joined the Worcester’s and was posted with 2 Div to the BEF in France. He missed Dunkirk, it was already cut off and he was behind enemy lines. He made his way Southwest and got out on the last ship out of Cherbourg. In 1942 2 Div were posted overseas and became part of the 14th, The Forgotten Army.

In India and Burma 2 Div were in the front line at the battles of Kohima and Imphal and Fred as Quartermaster Sergeant of “C” Company had his fair share of narrow escapes. At Kohima whilst taking hot stew up to the Company on the front line by mules he was ambushed by a Jap patrol and only managed to escape because the mules bolted and sprayed the Japanese with hot stew whereupon they rapidly retreated.

The battle of Kohima was won two days before D Day in Europe and got little publicity but it was the crucial victory on the far east front and the first time the Japanese army had been beaten. At the end of the war in Europe, a memo was sent round the Company informing them and telling them to fight on. When the atom bomb fell on Hiroshima Fred didn’t know whether it would signify the end of the war and it took some time for it to sink in that he would be going home.

Fred got back home in 1946. He had married his wife Joan in November 1939 and when he had embarked for the Far East he had not known that it would be 3 years before he would see her again. Fred and Joan celebrated their diamond-wedding anniversary in 1999, but sadly Joan passed away in January 2000.

Fred is looking forward to meeting members of the Wrexham branch of the Burma Star. Many locals will have served with Fred as the Welsh Fusiliers were also members of 2 Div.

by Constable Darren King

As you will be aware there have been numerous stories in the press lately on the issue of drugs, from the re-classification of cannabis, to the debate opened by my boss Richard Brunstrum on the legalisation of heroin. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to air my views on the subject. As a police constable, I have to be content with enforcing the law, not changing it, but I would be interested to hear your views, from the perspective of a rural community.

No doubt, if you have lived in this area for a while, you will be aware that there is drug supply/usage here, as there is everywhere these days, but I hasten to add, obviously nowhere near the scale of the large towns, where the users have to resort to car breaks, and burglaries on a daily basis in order to fund their habit. Down here, usually the users have enough ‘spare cash’ without having to resort to such measures. As I have reported to you in the past, this area has very low reported crime, (at the time of going to press, only 4 crimes during February for the whole of the Maelor). However these figures can never incorporate ‘victimless’ crime, such as drink driving and drug use, where they are only brought to the attention of the police following information received, whether that be from members of the public, observations, or other police agencies. We, the police, are fully aware of the situation and continue to combat it, and I would like to thank again those people who provide details to enable us to do our job.

As a reminder, you can always give information anonymously by using CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111, and earn yourself a cash reward. By giving valuable information to the police, you can do ‘your bit’ in ensuring this remains a lovely area in which to live.

Also, as stated in the Oracle previously, the North Wales Police website ECOMMS provides excellent information about crime in your area. Just log onto www.ecommcnwp.co.uk for an instant update.

Now onto a separate issue, but still involving help for the police. There is currently a new nationwide recruitment drive for the special constabulary, and you may have seen the advertisements on television. Being a special constable can be an excellent ‘stepping stone’ into joining the regulars, and should be considered by anyone wishing to be a police officer. But for people who already have a career and wish to be a special in their spare time, it is a great way to help out in your community for anyone over 18 years of age. Full training and uniform are provided. The Wrexham South area currently has 10 special constables ‘on its books’, 7 of these residing in the Maelor section, most notably Dean and Marie Hewitt from Bronington, who have provided a great deal of their time and effort over the past 7 years in helping to police this sector. If you wish any details regarding the above, please give me a call and collect an information booklet, or alternatively you can ring Colwyn Bay Police Headquarters on 01745 455 973. 

Finally, if anyone wishes to speak to me in person ON ANY ISSUE, as stated previously, please come and see me.

Thank you.

Darren King, Constable 1360.
The Police Station,
Station Road,
Overton, Wrexham. LL13 OEF.
Telephone: (01978) 290 222. Fax: (01978) 294 771.
E-mail: darren.king@north-wales.police.uk



I’ve had a mobile phone for some time now and I have to admit that I use it so rarely that I can hardly say I am making a vast contribution to the phone Company’s profits. Nevertheless, it has been extremely useful on occasions, especially when I have found myself stranded in the middle of nowhere and need to contact someone for a lift home.

However, recently I have been persuaded by friends and younger members of my family to venture into what they call “texting”. I’m not very good at it just yet but I’m having a go. The problem is you have to learn a brand new language and that doesn’t come too easy at my age. The basic idea is to forget all about spelling and abbreviate everything.

I started with phrases like “How R U ?“ and have slowly advanced to things like “C U 2nite at the Y tors B4 10”. Not bad, eh, for six months’ effort? Suddenly everything’s much easier - even Shakespeare. How about this? - “2B or not 2B that is the ?“

So I have found myself looking back to Primary (or I should say Elementary) School days. All those hours we spent learning about “Analysing and Parsing”, sorting out the “Subject” from the “Predicate”, learning how to spell, correctly - “i before e, except after c”, and above all how to distinguish “its” from “it’s”.

Later, at Secondary School, we slogged away at studying correct Grammar and Syntax, Parts of Speech and such delights as Hyperbole, Oxymoron, Litotes, Assonance. Dissonance and, my favourite, Onomatopoeia.

What a waste of time it all was. Just think - all I needed to know was how to say “Textins gr8.”


The Oracle editorial team has received an e-mail from Mildred Trayer (nee Hinsley) formerly of School Lane, Overton. She enjoys reading the news from her home village and would like to hear from anyone who remembers her. She may be contacted by e-mail, at Mtrayer6@aol.com or by contacting the Editor at 1 St Mary's Court, Overton.

Overton St.Mary’s –
World Ski Champions ??

By Euan Stevenson

Overton St Mary's returned home victorious after recently competing against teams from 14 other countries in a gruelling 2 kilometre cross-country ski-ing competition in Autrans, France.

Just what is this amazing story? At face value it seems as unlikely as Jamaica winning the World bobsleigh championship.

Overton St. Mary’s sent a team of 15 children to compete in the Autrans 2004 Cross country Skiing competition in France (named after Autrans, a village situated between Grenoble and Lyons, which hosts the event, and is also home to an old “Olympic Village” ). Amazingly, when you consider that 12 of the 15 children had never ski-ed previously, Overton won the event for International schools, in which 14 teams from countries including Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Japan, took part.

The event was a 2 kilometre cross-country ski race requiring loads of stamina and good balance. Each competitor was electronically tagged so that the time taken would be accurately recorded when they started and when they crossed the finishing line. The time for every team member was then added to give the team time – so every team member’s performance was important to the result obtained by the team.

Headteacher Pat Clarke said that the first they knew about it was at the grand medal presentation ceremony when she thought she heard “Overton” being mentioned by the master of ceremonies and were required on the presentation stage. Indeed, Overton had won the event for International children’s teams !

This was a fantastic accomplishment by the children, since most of the teams were experienced skiers. Every member of the winning team, and the teaching staff who accompanied them, are to be congratulated– what a performance ! (Perhaps a special mention should be made of Stephen Scott who actually finished 10th out of 2000 competitors!) The size of the event is surprising, with competitions for French schools, for International schools, for international adults and for international veterans. As well as a large number of competitors, there are thousands of spectators and the event is covered by television and radio. Autrans and surrounding villages are absolutely packed with people for the event, for which the community prepares all year.

Pat Clarke said; "The benefits to the children are enormous. The trip gave them a wider appreciation of other countries and languages – a “knock-on” effect is that St.Mary’s are starting language classes - French initially. Communication didn’t however seem to be a problem for the children – they really got on well with the other children and made friendships – for example, they spent some time doing Origami with the Japanese children who were staying nearby.

The experience of working in a team is also something that they have learned. All in all, this was the trip of a lifetime – and the good news is, that as reigning champions, Overton St.Mary’s have been invited to compete in Autrans 2005.


  • Overton Toddlers and Playgroup are holding "A Bit of a Do" on Saturday 13 March in the Village Hall at 7.30pm - until late! The evening promises to be a good one with live music and good food. Everyone is welcome to join us. Tickets are £10 - on sale at playgroup and Rowlands The Chemist.
  • Once again the Overton Amateur Dramatic Society is joining with Overton Playgroup to co-host the Caribbean Caper in the village hall on Saturday 15th May. Tickets will be on sale on Saturday 24th April from 9.00am - 12.00pm at the Playcentre, School Lane, Overton at a cost of £12.50 per person. A three-course meal, interspersed with entertainment, provides a superb evening out. Anyone is welcome to take part, so if you have a burning ambition to sing, dance or act, the society is looking for performers to take part. The act must be no longer than 5 minutes and own music must be provided. Please contact Ruth on 01978 710561.

A Brief History


There may have been a small Christian Church of wattle and daub on the site of the present Church as far back as the seventh century. The first Stone Church, of which no trace remains was probably built in the late 12th century. The only evidence we have are some coffin lids of that period and built into a pillar on the western side, a portion of a Cross within a circle which is Norman in character. There are also of course some of the famous Yew trees which must be as old as this.

In the late 14th century a larger church was built consisting of tower and nave but in the late 15th century the nave was demolished and a larger one with narrow aisles was built. The chancel was added in 1710 and contains some fine 18th century monuments. The North aisle was widened in 1819 and a vestry built on the south side of the tower. The South aisle was added in 1855.

In 1870 Overton suffered along with so many other Churches from the Victorian zeal for alteration. No doubt there was a need for repair and restoration but we must regret the removal of so many of the historic features. An early organ had been in a gallery above the tower entrance to the nave. The box pews were removed and the chancel had almost all its Hanoverian features removed. The present organ was bought in 1969 from a Presbyterian Church in Mold.

The three windows of the south aisle are by Kemp though his Wheatsheaf signature seems to be only in the most easterly one. The Communion plate is a Silver gilt and the inscription on the two patens, two chalices and flagon reads ‘Overton Chappel plate exchanged by the desire and at the expense of Mrs Elizabeth Hanmer. Maesgwaylod 1783’. There are a few pieces of an earlier date, probably 1740. There is a sundial on the south wall of the tower dated 1803.

In the chancel is a beautiful brass candelabra inscribed ‘The gift of Cath Humphries 1746’.

On the pillar by the pulpit is an unusual brass processional cross. On it is incised the Crucifixion and other figures. It was brought from Abyssinia and there are similar ones in Westminster Abbey, Lancaster Priory and the Victoria and Albert Museum. It seems that a number of these crosses which date from the 6th century were thrown on a scrap heap and later rescued by members of Queen Victoria’s Army campaigning in Abyssinia.

Mrs. Maude, who wrote the hymn ‘Thine for Ever! God of Love’, lived in the parish and a brass tablet on the pillar near the pew where she used to sit commemorates her. The screen surrounding the Lady Chapel contains some 15th Century panelling. The pulpit is dated 1637. The choir stalls were carved by a parishioner, Miss Evelyn Wybergh who died in 1961 aged 91. The War Memorial is also her work as is the statue of the Virgin and Child in the Lady Chapel. In the South aisle is an oak dug-out chest with heavy ironwork which probably dates from the 15th century.

Overton and District
Bowling Club news

By Reg Jones - Chairman.

An open invitation is extended to all residents of Overton and surrounding areas to join Overton & District Bowling Club at our new facility in St. Mary’s Avenue.

Built at the new site is a 35 metre x 3l metre bowling green with a ten inch Crown. It is equipped with an automatic pop-up sprinkler watering system and floodlights. Also on site is a new pavilion with toilet and kitchen facilities, a large equipment store, and a visitor's shelter which has been dismantled and brought from our old site. The whole site has been landscaped with shrubs , flower beds and grassed areas.

A warm welcome awaits anyone interested in “Crown Green” bowling and I’m sure that when you see the facilities that have been provided, you will want to join the growing number of members taking part in either social bowling, or team bowling in any age group including veterans. League teams can be seen in action on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons. Tea, Coffee and soft drinks are available on match days.

For anyone who has not played the game and would like to learn, Woods are available in the club-house, and there are always experienced players on hand to give tuition if required. The Green will open on Sunday March 28th. at 2pm, and new faces, young and old can join us any time during the season.

Are you the parent of a teenager?

Would you be interested in taking part in a self-help course to enable you to improve parenting skills. Based on a video and exercises, the course is designed by 'Family Caring Trust' and needs 8 -10 people to run. If you would like to find out more, please ring Lesley on 01978 710110

Fancy a swim?

Private swimming lessons are being held at The Maelor School Penley. A ten-week course will cost £30.

Lessons will be held on Friday evenings from 27 Feb from 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm, and on Saturday Mornings from 28 Feb between 9.00 am and 11.00 am. Lessons are for all levels. Telephone Angela on 01829 271 514 for more details

Overton Medical Practice News

Dr. Mukunda has joined the Practice as GP Registrar. He is an experienced surgeon who has been working in the Midlands, but is now diversifying to become a GP.

The surgery does not have any means to dispose of unused medication, therefore would you please return medicines to the Chemist for safe disposal.

In the new building it would be possible to play piped music/radio in the waiting room. However, before committing to anything specific, it would be helpful to know whether patients would welcome the facility or feel it would be too intrusive.

Doctors and staff at the Surgery wish to express their sincere thanks to Mary and family for the kind donation of £400 towards the Medical Centre which was raised in memory of John Arrowsmith who passed away recently.

A working
Vacation in Kenya

Carol Dykes of 3 Rose Cottage, Bangor Road, Overton is set to accomplish the trip of a lifetime, and has taken up the challenge of a working vacation in Kenya with the charity Equipe (No 1075156). Equipe is involved in building and equipping training centres and schools. It aims also to help in practical ways: developing education: assisting local business as well as caring for any other needs that they are able to.

Carol needs to raise £1200 in sponsorship and is looking for your help by sponsoring her to visit Kenya between the 8th - 23rd July 2004. Sponsor forms are available in Rowlands’ Chemist, the Corner Shop and the Villager Restaurant. If you wish to make a donation to assist Carol, cheques should be made payable to Equipe.

Should you require further details or information to support Carol, you may telephone Equipe on 01978 291282, by Email: info@equipeglobal.org or by looking at their web site on www.equipeglobal.org/projects/kenya

Do you want Broadband
in Overton?

Broadband is the common term for a high bandwidth internet connection – one that can transmit or download information to your computer up to 40 times as fast as a standard telephone and modem. You can do everything you need to do online more quickly and more easily with broadband. And you can still use the telephone while someone is on-line. There is of course a fixed monthly charge for the service. However, in order for BT to introduce Broadband in Overton, there need to be at least 200 "registrations of interest" . Currently only 46 registrations have been made. It is understood that registering does not fully commit you to the service - as you are merely "expressing an interest ."

So if you have access to the Internet, you can register your interest by logging onto www.BT.com/btbroadband


Congratulations are extended to Nancy and Mel Andrews on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary on 26th February. Nancy and Mel have been together since they were 16 years old and must be one of the oldest married couples in Overton. Their son Steve relates the story of when, during the war, his father had some leave after fighting in Italy with the Royal Marines who were preparing to go into Europe. As he was stationed down south, Nancy took the train to London to see him. Mel went absent without leave so that they could see each other and Nancy was arrested and heavily fined for being in a restricted area. And they are still together after all that time.

Congratulations from Steve and Linda