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

March 2007


The Editorial Team

David Burton - Euan Stevenson - Sean Clarke - Jackie Maskall - Cynthia Davies - Maxine Palmer

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


Date for the Diary
Overton Annual Fete will be held on Saturday 23rd June

Overton says farewell to its Village Policeman

Constable Darren King

Dear Residents,
By the time you read this I will have already gone and will no longer be your community beat manager. I took up post here in March 2003, and although to me the time seems to have gone very quickly, in policing terms, four years in a post is a long time and the decision has been made that it is time for me to move on. A condition of service as a police officer is that you are prepared to work anywhere within the force, and I will now be working as part of the area response team from Rhos.

Also PC 2143 Martin Jones, the Ruabon CBM who has worked with me from Overton police station since November 2003 and has had many dealings with you in my absence, has also moved on to a posting in the force control room at St.Asaph.

I have really enjoyed my time here and whilst living here my family and I have made many new friends and have many fond memories, like seeing our son take his first steps. This is more evidence of how time flies, as he is now nearly five years old and was just a babe in arms when we moved here.
I wish you all the very best for the future and would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me in my efforts, with my special thanks going to the community council and to the Oracle team for allowing me to communicate with you via their magazine. I now join the long list of officers who have previously lived and worked in the village, including Pat Burns, Paul Wycherley and Wally Edwards to name but a few.
Thank you.
Darren King, Constable 1360.

by David Burton

So it’s goodbye to Darren and a big thank you from all the members of the community and the Community Council! An even bigger thank you from the team at the Oracle for the monthly column which has been entertaining and informative over the last four years. Darren will be working on the Area Car so we may see him from time to time - hopefully not chasing members of Overton’s community!

The next question is “What next?” Reports in the Evening Leader would have us believe that the reduction in Community Beat Officers is because they are needed to answer the phones. The reality is that yes we will be losing one Community Beat Manager on the Maelor. The whole area will now be covered by PC Luke Hughes, who has been covering Bangor-on-Dee. He will, however, only be alone in his task for a short period of time.

Neighbourhood Police Manager Sgt Darren Whibberley has told me that Luke will be assisted by two Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) who will be based at Overton Police Station from June. PCSO’s will be used extensively throughout North Wales and there are sufficient in training already or about to start, to meet the initial requirement. PCSO’s do not have the same powers of arrest as a traditional policeman, but in a relatively low crime area such as the Maelor their assistance will be invaluable.

PC Hughes will start coming to Overton Community Council Meetings from March and has promised to continue the Police column in the Oracle. When asked if he had anything he wished to contribute further to this article he said, “Tell everyone — have no fear Luke is here!” We love a sense of humour!

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear Friends,

In 1848 a rich old lady named Mrs Ann Pritchard Sergison died at the age of 85 at her home Cuckfield Park in Cuckfield Sussex. Mrs Sergison was not well liked; in fact her reputation was notorious. She had been involved in a bitter law suit in which she wrestled ownership of the estate from the woman commonly thought to be her niece by proving the latter was not really her brother’s daughter but had been bought by him as a baby in a Dublin pub to provide himself with an heir.

Mrs Sergison was also notable for her harsh treatment of her tenants and for a vindictive temper, which led her into feuds with her neighbours and relatives, even with her own son. She was locally nicknamed Wicked Dame Sergison. She had not been long dead when people claimed her ghost was walking, for she was too wicked to rest. In particular it was said she haunted the road that passed her home, causing horses to shy in terror. None dared go that way at night. Finally it was said the vicar and curate of Cuckfield held a service of exorcism in the village church at midnight and drowned the ghost in the font!

As we travel through this life how are we perceived and regarded? Do we have a positive effect on people around us or a negative one? Are we known for our forgiving compassionate natures or are we known for just the opposite. Can people see us as the people of God? The season of Lent asks us to take stock of our lives, both spiritually and materially. What are our values? Do we have a close walk with God day by day? If we do then we will have a positive effect on people through our attitude to life, as the light and the love of God shine through us.

As I sit writing this message I can think of people in my own life that through their love and goodness really allowed Christ to touch the hearts of those around them and myself in particular. Canon Collins, an 80 year old Catholic priest who would go around our local hospital at 7am every morning praying with and holding hands with everyone on the wards. Gordon who despite his condition of chronic Multiple Sclerosis, was a man of such shinning faith that he was an inspiration to all around him. I am sure you can think of such people in your own life.

I came across this Lenten prayer entitled something for Lent by Ellen Teague entitled ‘Something for Lent’.

If you’re going to give up something for Lent, what about giving up
Feeling hopeless about the debt of the poorest countries
Tolerating nuclear weapons and arms trading
Wasting water and other resources
Using the car for short journeys
Holding on to that grudge.

If you are going to do something positive for Lent why not
Spend time with God
Befriend asylum seekers and challenge racist remarks
Make a financial contribution to support third world projects
Buy locally produced organic food and fairly traded products
Spend time with your children
Forgive and simply love
Be a light in your community.

Are we lights in our communities?

Mrs Sergison left such a negative impression in life that a whole legend grew around her.
I pray the opposite will be true for us, and it will not be said about us that our spirits had to be drowned in a font at midnight because of our wickedness!

Every blessing

Thank you to everyone who has filled in a church questionnaire to tell us what you think of services and what you would like to see in the future. We are considering your responses and will respond in due course.

by the Overtinions and our mascot Lucy!

Hey everyone.

The beginning of spring is just around the corner and so the days will start to get longer again. It’s also Mother’s Day and St. David's Day this month. Why not treat your mum to something special?

Jen’s reviews

Hey guys. This month my review will be about “Miss Potter”. Based on the life on Beatrix Potter (author of ‘Peter Rabbit’ etc.) starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor this film is funny, romantic and sad. A great film for all the family, which leaves you feeling happy and forgetting all your troubles.
Highly recommended

Rating 9/10
Funny, Romantic, Sad

My next review is on the film “Music and Lyrics” starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Hugh plays a washed up singer from the 1980’s band called ‘Pop!’. When he is asked to write a song he starts to find the lyrics a tricky task. This is when Drew Barrymore (his helper who looks after his plants) gets caught up in his assignment. She explains to him how the lyrics are the depth to a song and so must be heartfelt.

Though the critics have been assuring you that this film is ‘nothing special’. I think that they have missed the point of the film. It is meant to be a bit of fun, which is exactly what it is. Some bits will make you laugh, others feel sad but most of all you will feel yourself rooting for the characters and being sucked into their situation. A good film that picks you up! With catchy songs and a good plot, I recommend this film

Rating: 8/10
A film that picks you up!

Agony Aunt

Hey, this months piece is all about friends.

Q. I have been arguing with my friend a lot lately and I am worried that we won't be mates anymore. What can I do to help our friendship?

A: Everyone argues with their friends, you can’t always agree on everything. Obviously you still want to be a person's friend, so stick at it and try to resolve these differences or problems. It is probably a good idea to talk to your friend and tell them that you are worried about the constant bickering, you never know they might have noticed it too.

Invite your friend round sometime and try and figure out why you like them and the things you don’t really like about them. Try to have more than one friend as this will stop you being quite as clingy and it will give each other space. Remember, friends are important to have, so don’t let them go!

Yr. 7 Review

Hi everyone. This month we will be talking about lessons. You have five lessons a day in year 7, which is probably more than you had in primary school. You usually get two home works a day, but don’t worry, these only last up to half an hour.

You also get to experience different subjects that you probably have never learnt before, for example woodwork, metal work, textiles and more advanced ICT. It’s great fun trying them all out!
From Rebeccs and Lucy

Overton Twinning Association
by Alan Farley

The Twinning Association is open to all residents of Overton - there is no joining fee and everyone who lives in the village is a member and welcome to visit La Murette as part of the exchange.

The next visit to our friends in La Murette takes place between 29th. July and the 4th. August (exact dates to be confirmed). We will probably be flying from Manchester Airport to Lyon although we are looking at the possibility of flying from Liverpool to Chambery. In either case we will be collected from the airport and transported onto La Murette - a journey of approx. 45 minutes. Places are limited to a maximum of 25. So if you would like the opportunity of a week in the sun enjoying the hospitality of our French friends read on. Your only cost should be the airfare (to be advised) and spending money! If you are interested and would like to reserve a place we require a non-refundable deposit of thirty pounds per person by the 1st. April. Cheques made payable to Overton Twinning Association please.

To encourage new members, the Association is offering a grant of up to £200 towards the airfares of children aged 16 and under - this money will be divided between the number of children going on the exchange. All children must be accompanied by a fare-paying adult. By going on the visit, there is no obligation to host any of our French visitors next year. But if you would like to speak to anyone who has previously visited La Murette before making up your mind please contact Alan Farley at 13, Bangor Road, Overton.

View from the Village Vets.

Pet Insurance.

Any insurance policy is expensive until you need to make a claim and pet insurance is no exception. With policies for dogs and cats costing up to £200 per year, the total cost for a pet living 12-15 years can be considerable.

If you are lucky and your pet has an accident and illness free life, the money saved on premiums goes a long way to paying for treatment or investigation when a problem arises later in life. However, if you are not so lucky and your pet develops a serious medical or surgical condition such as Diabetes, Hypothyroidism or Cushings disease – where successful treatments are now available, but at considerable cost – it is very reassuring to know that a policy is in place to cushion the impact of the necessary investigations and treatments.

A variety of companies provide pet insurance including famous name brands as well as supermarkets and specialist pet insurers. All policies carry an excess meaning that the owner has to pay the first portion (usually around £50) of each claim. Some policies will only pay for any one condition for 12 months, others will not cover for certain items such as prescription diets. As always the detail is in the small print and you should take time to read the policy carefully before signing up.

In contrast to illness insurance, many veterinary practices provide ‘wellness’ plans to cover routine vaccinations, worming and flea control and which allow you to spread the cost with monthly direct debits. Our practice has a VIP Plan which includes a free annual health check and booster vaccination, two doses of a combined wormer, 6 months of spot on flea treatment and allows substantial discounts on a wide range of other products and services. Whilst wellness plans do not pay out in the event of an illness, they do at least allow discount and extended payment terms for those large unexpected bills. Whatever the benefits of illness or wellness insurance, both are well worth considering – better safe than sorry!!
Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre. 01978 711975

part 2
by Alan Jones

The recent TV series and accompanying book on the history and recipients of the Victoria Cross reminds us of Overton’s connection to the only man to be awarded a Victoria Cross and bar in the First World War and one of 3 ever to achieve such a distinction. This was Noel Godfrey Chavasse who’s mother and grandmother Mary Fowler Maude, lived at Pendyffryn, Overton.

His grandmother Mary Fowler Maude was the wife of the Rev Joseph Maude, vicar of Chirk. After his death in 1874 she retired to Pendyffryn where she was closely involved in church activities. Mrs Maude wrote many hymns including “Thine Forever God of Love”. On her 90th birthday she was presented with an illuminated address & rose bowl by the people of Overton. There is also a plaque on the nave of St Mary’s Church recording her birth, death and that she worshipped there for 37 years. Mary Maude died in 1913 and is buried with her husband in Chirk.

Mrs Maude's youngest daughter Edith was married at Overton in 1881 to Francis James Chavasse, Clerk in Holy Orders at St Peter le Bailey, Oxford. The service was conducted by the Rev J S Howson, Dean of Chester and father of the Ven G J Howson who was later to become Archdeacon and Cannon Emeritus of Liverpool. Appointed Rector of Overton in 1879 George John Howson was the author of the book on the antiquities of the parish entitled “Overton in days gone by”. He served the community until 1888 and upon his death in 1943 was buried in St Mary's churchyard . His gravestone can be seen close to the railings facing High Street. The marriage Of Edith and Francis Chavasse was clearly of importance in village life as Overton school was closed and the pupils given a holiday to mark the occasion. In 1900 Chavasse was nominated to the See of Liverpool and spent 23 years as Bishop in that diocese.

There were seven children from the marriage including two sets of twins, one of boys and one of girls. The girls Marjorie and May celebrated their centenary in 1986. The boys, who both represented Great Britain in the 400 meters event at the Olympic games held in London were to distinguish themselves in the First World War, Christopher an army chaplain was awarded the Military Cross and Croix de Guerre. He was later to become Bishop of Rochester and during the 1950’s visited Overton as he wished to take the service at Knolton Bryn Mission Room where he had preached his first sermon. His twin brother was Noel.

The medals of Noel Godfrey Chavasse

For details of how Noel Chavasse was awarded two Victorian Crosses see the February Oracle

Not In My Back Yard
by Jacky Maskall

Obviously this is the sentiment of many dog owners/walkers who have taken to allowing their animals to foul the streets of Overton. For all animals “what goes in must come out” is normal. However, none of us like sharing your dog’s output. I have a suspicion that some of the mess made on the streets near the church, surgery and pharmacy is from animals being “emptied” before they visit the vets. I am sure the vet is grateful, but we also would be if you cleaned up after your dog.

Remember, this problem is not the fault of the animals; they are only doing what comes naturally. No, the trouble lies with the dog owners. It is your legal and moral duty to care about all aspects of your dog’s welfare and it does include clearing up their mess from all public places. There can be no excuse nowadays not to do it, as you have plastic gloves, bags, kitchen paper, old newspapers and posh pooper-scoopers to aid you keeping all areas clean.

Not only is it unpleasant and smelly to step in dog muck, it can carry Toxocara Canis Infection. There is no immediate risk from this infection so that cannot be used as an excuse to leave this muck lying around. However, in the correct conditions these eggs can lie dormant for three years and it is usually children who are most vulnerable. They can suffer from stomach infections, diarrhoea, asthma aggravation and occasionally blindness. Do you want any of these on your conscience? If this does not prompt you to clean up after your pet, councils can now fine you up to a £1000.00 for persistent offending and ban you from walking your dog in certain areas. Should you wish to report an offender then contact the Public Protection Department of WCBC on 01978 292040.
Please note the new Dog Fouling signs on Overton lamp posts. Ed.

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
I wonder if either you or your readers can help me in my quest. I recently came across a letter addressed to me from my grandmother, now deceased, in which she had written the address of her son, John Long (my uncle). The address given was Althrey Lodge, Bangor-on-Dee, Denbighshire. The letter, not dated, appears to date back to the mid seventies so I assume that my uncle must have been living at Althrey Lodge at that time.

I have been trying to re-establish contact with this branch of the Long family for many years now following the death of John's younger brother, Michael (my father) who died in Australia in the 1990s. The discovery of this letter in my attic is the only clue as to the possible whereabouts of John Long and his family (Daphne his wife and two children) and who I calculate would be around 78 years of age if still alive.

Any leads or suggestions would be gratefully received either to my email address: ca.long@tiscali.co.uk or to my home address:
Hillcrest, Chagford Cross, Moretonhampstead, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ13 8LS
Many thanks
Chris Long

Dear Editor,
We have relatives who lived in the Gas House in Overton in 1881 and 1891. The Gas House is still there in the 1901 census listed next but one to Pendyffryn and in the census it is usually near the Alms houses.
I would be most grateful if anyone knows which building this might be if it is still extant, or anything about it. We did look at Salop Road as it is today but we weren't sure if any building could have been the Gas House.
With thanks,
Jennie and Allan Jones
Contact the Oracle via editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk or the Corner Shop if you can help the Jones’s

Pets’ Corner

New arrivals in the village are Bob, a Whippet that has come to live with Helen + Zoë Fernee, Triog, a Blue Merle Collie that has moved in with Katharine + Brian Crockford and Titan a Great Dane cross, a new playmate for Ross and more exercise for their owners Dave + Wendy Williams.

A warm welcome to Ruff and Scruff. The two Jack Russells have been in the North Clwyd Animal Rescue kennels near Trelogan, for the last 6 months. Then Ken & Lin Jones found them and decided to give them both a kind and loving home.

The North Clwyd Animal Rescue help animals that have been abandoned or neglected. Every year they re-home around 1000 animals, ensure they have all the veterinary treatment needed and where possible help with any psychological problems caused by mistreatment. They have many fundraising events and details can be found on the website www.ncar.org.uk. Volunteers are needed in the NCAR charity shops and coffee mornings are always a successful way to raise funds. If you think you can help, please contact them 0870 8507151

Slimming World

Slimming World which meets in Overton Village Hall has a new consultant. Her name is Yvonne Urquhart
If you need to lose weight or need a healthier lifestyle then why not come along on Thursday Evenings 7pm - 8pm and see if Slimming World can help you.
Either call at the Hall on a Thursday Evening or ring Yvonne on 01948 710533

Climate Change versus Global warming
by Sean Clark

Locally, Overton is experiencing mixed weather. In the last eight weeks we’ve had gale force winds, (see picture of damage to Davina Pritchard’s garden), mild temperatures which are fooling the daffodils into early growth and six inches of snow. These days the media is full of articles about the environment and public awareness regarding environmental issues is heightening. Unfortunately, there are conflicting views about what is happening to our planet and it is difficult to know who or what to believe.

Davina’s garden after the gales

The argument generally falls between two camps. Optimists suggest that what is happening is normal and argue that climate change is a natural phenomenon. They cite what happened in the ice age as an example and explain that the Earth’s life cycle is meant to incorporate temperature fluctuations. The opposing side argue that Global warming has been heavily influenced by man. In the last century, the population has risen from 1.65 billion to 6.5 billion. The motor car and air travel have become accessible and the human race is now in a position to heavily influence the planet. We produce so much waste now that we are unable to dilute, bury or dump it without consequence.

Richard Branson has recently launched a competition offering a 13 million pound prize to anyone that can discover a way of reversing the effect that carbon monoxide is having on the atmosphere. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are confirmed artists appearing in a concert to raise environmental awareness this summer which is reminiscent of Live Aid/8.

It’s difficult for us to reverse the effects but we can start to ease the breaks on by taking small measures to reduce our own carbon footprint (or impact we personally make). Conserving energy by switching off lights and appliances can help. 85% of the power consumed by a microwave is used by the clock. We can reduce our water bills by flushing only when necessary, collecting it for the garden or even placing a brick in the cistern (though a little unorthodox – you can buy similar devices).

One of the tabloids ran an article recently predicting that by 2050 we will have only two seasons. Whether it is true or not doesn’t matter…..it’s enough to make us think a bit more now. For more information and practical tips log on to www.environment-agency.gov.uk/.

Two contrasting local views in February, taken just a week apart –snow & sunshine


New pictures from the Art Dept at Rhyn Park School are on display throughout the surgery. If there is a local painting club or individual who would like their work displayed it would be nice to hear from you.

The letter in the January edition of the Oracle gave the writer’s views on the Practice. We thank anyone for constructive criticism; it helps to lead us in the right direction for an improved service. Anyone can come along to the PPPG meetings and express their views or speak to a member of staff, perhaps use the Suggestion Box. Whilst we will always listen and discuss the problem it is not possible to cater for every suggestion, but we do appreciate patients taking the time to tell us what is good or not so good. The automatic booking-in system does apparently raise a degree of alarm in some patients. If you really cannot bear to use it, just ring the bell; a receptionist will always help and be glad to do so. If you seem to be waiting a long time please check with the receptionist that the system knows you are here.

Can we politely ask patients not to park on the road outside the surgery, this is extremely dangerous, being so close to the bend. Visibility is severely restricted by cars parked there for anyone trying to turn right out of the car park. Disabled bays are marked in the front car park but there is ample space to park in the council car park to the rear of the building. Access is very easy through the wooden gate to the right of the toilet block and round the outside of the building, to the front entrance.


The Spring social scene is getting underway, and an excellent evening’s entertainment will be had in aid of St Mary’s Church, ( if previous events are anything to go by ) at the quiz night to be held at the
Village Hall on Friday, 9th March The evening will start at 7.30 pm and cost per person will be £ 5
A generous glass of wine and a cheese buffet is included in the price, the best value evening around.
Numbers of person per team will be 4, although on a free and easy night, anyone wishing to come along shouldn’t worry if they are not a member of a team. On the night, many teams are one or two players short and everyone will be fixed up in a team.


Congratulations to Paul Thomas Goodwin and Claire Melissa Butler who are to be married on Saturday March 17th at 12pm. Our best wishes are with you both.
Congratulations to James Richard Wright and his family. James will be baptised during the Family Eucharist on Sunday March 25th.
Congratulations to Phil and Iris Edwards on their Golden Wedding Anniversary on the 9th March.

Belated February Birthdays: Mrs Lin Evans, Sandy Foster, Chilly Grindley, Patricia Roberts, Kay Lawrenson, Harry Davis 8yrs old and Georgie Davies 10yrs old.
March Birthdays: Cynthia Davies, Jack Edwards, Anne Clarke, Grace Haynes, Freda Thompson, Barbara Griffiths, John Austin, Gwynneth Austin, Roxanne Haynes, Elizabeth Glynne Jones, Janet Reid, Caroline Humphrys, Ivor Parkinson and a Very Happy 30th Birthday to Janene Davies.