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

May 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


On Thursday 10th June, all registered electors will have the opportunity to vote in the European, County Borough Council and Community Council elections.

yone wishing to stand for election to the Community Council must obtain a Candidate's Pack from the Electoral Officer at the Guildhall, Wrexham and return it completed no later than 4.00pm on Thursday 13 May. Any nominations received after this date will be rendered invalid.

To be eligible, candidates must be 21 years of age or above and be on the electoral register for Overton, or in the last 12 months have worked or owned land or premises in Overton, or resided either within the community or 3 miles thereof. Not only is this a real opportunity to cast your vote, but a time for reflection to ask whether one might wish to stand for election to the Community Council. If you would like to see some changes, or just have the desire to contribute perhaps this is the time to make your decision to do something about it.

Amorous goings-on in the village hall?

Overton Amateur Dramatic Society apologises to its supporters who no doubt turned up to see the Spring play last month, only to find the village hall closed and in darkness. The play, which was to have been performed on the 15,16,17th April, was unavoidably postponed due to one of the principal characters being forced to drop out at the last minute following an operation on his knee. However, although a replacement was found, it was impossible for him to learn his lines in a matter of days and so the Society had no option but to reschedule the performances. These will now take place on the 3, 4, 5th of June, commencing 7.30pm.

The Society is presenting another farce entitled "Move Over Mrs Markham", which is a hilarious two-act play by Roy Cooney and John Chapman, set in the London flat of the principal characters, Philip and Joanna Markham.

Philip Markham, a publisher of children's books, is asked by his business partner, Henry Lodge, if he can borrow the flat for the evening to gallivant with his latest girlfriend. As Philip and his wife will be out to dinner, he reluctantly agrees. At the same time, Joanna Markham is being persuaded by Henry's wife Linda to let her borrow the empty flat in order to entertain her lover. With some misgivings, Joanna agrees.

What nobody knows is that the interior designer who has been decorating the flat for the past three months has decided that this is the night that he and the au-pair girl will try out the new bed. When the Markhams' evening out is cancelled, it is too late to let any of the parties know and three sets of hopeful lovers all converge on the bedroom at the same time.

The comic tension only increases with the arrival of a very important, if somewhat unusual, business client, Miss Olive Harriet-Smythe, a straight-laced authoress of children's books. The characters band together to impress her, which involves exchanges of identity, quick thinking and entertaining misunderstandings to hide the amorous goings-on and, at the same time sign up Miss Smythe.

Smooth interaction among the actors creates realistic and believable scenes that will have the audience thinking they are peeking in through the apartment windows rather than sitting in the village hall. The dialogue, full of innuendoes and private jokes, is delivered with style and finesse, as well as a great deal of tongue-in-cheek humour.

The play is being directed by Alan Edwards to create a show thoroughly enjoyable to any audience.

Tickets will be available at Rowlands Chemist, Overton.


Dear Editor,

I recently talked to you re: obtaining a copy of the booklet "Overton in Times Past", a brief history of Overton-on-Dee. I understand it is not possible to purchase one now and only a few were printed about 10 years ago. I was born in Overton in 1931. My name was Freeman then, and my father was the schoolmaster. Perhaps a few elderly residents remember him?

He was a church warden and member of the Parish and Rural District Councils for many years. I was wondering if you could put an adv. in the Oracle to see if someone would be willing to sell their copy? If so could they contact me by e-mail?

I would be happy to hear from anyone who remembers my father and mother. My sisters were Jeanne and Daphne and my mother's name was Olive Freeman. She was very active in the Women's Institute.

I have been living in California for 46 years. Any help would be appreciated.

Hilary McGrath, California.
Email: hilarymcgrath@earthlink.net


God has been good again all through April. Although, God is good - all the time; all the time - God is good!

A very good social evening was spent at the Aqueduct in Trevor where some folk walked across the towpath, and later we all came together to enjoy the excellent food served at the Telford Inn. Good food, good company and plenty of good conversation.

Our programme for this month is:

Tuesday 4 May at Carol's - Sue Black leading Bible Study and discussion .

Tuesday 11 May at Eunice's - Praise & worship - Sue Black leading.

Tuesday 18 May - Social get-together .

Wednesday 19 May - Town Prayer - corporate prayer session at the Salvation Army Worship Centre, Wrexham at 8.00pm. We will join together and pray for Overton.

PRAYER WEEK starts 15th - 23 May 24/7 prayer at Salvation Army Worship Centre, Wrexham. Everyone is welcome to go along.

Saturday 22 May - "God is Here" - featuring 100 Carrier Tribe Indians and Godfrey Birtill. Night out to Llandudno.

Tuesday 25 May - Arnold Black speaking.

Did you go and see the Passion of Christ? Were you moved or repelled? If this film or any other issues upset or convict you then please come and talk things through with us.

As usual, if you want any more information or prayer for anything, please call Arnold or Sue Black on 01978 755909 or Eunice on 01978 710341

by Constable Darren King

Thankfully there were only a handful of incidents involving nuisance and damage throughout the village during the Easter break. These were caused by a very small minority who had 'nothing better to do'. I would however like to offer my sincere thanks to the majority of the village youths, and their parents, who used the school holidays to do something constructive, and obviously offer my condemnation to those youths who think it acceptable to act outside the law.

On a separate issue, April saw the launch of the Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline. This is a national free phone helpline, run by Welsh Women's Aid, who provide a confidential information and support service to all those experiencing domestic abuse. This type of crime has for years been vastly under reported. As you will be aware, this can be for a variety of reasons, children, financial, security, love, and it must not be automatically assumed that it is always the male who is the offender. Victims are of both sexes, in heterosexual or same sex relationships. But there are people and organisations here to help. No one should have to suffer either mental or physical abuse at the hands of another, especially from someone who is supposed to love you. If you are suffering from this type of abuse, and do not feel, for whatever reason, strong enough to approach the police, please consider telephoning the following number, which is open every day of the year between 8.00 am until 2.00 pm, and 8.00 pm until 2.00 am. The number is-0808 80 10 800.

Finally, as the good weather should be with us this month, please remember to follow the security advice I offered last summer regarding securing your home. If you are going out for the day, please lock all windows and doors, especially on the bank holidays as criminals are fully aware that many of us will be out. Also, even if you are just out in the back garden, make sure that you have taken enough precautions to ensure that no one can enter your home. It only takes an opportunist thief seconds to walk into your house and pick up your wallet, purse or car keys. I know it may seem extreme, but even if the weather is sweltering, doors and windows should not be left open if they leave your property at risk.

Thank you.

Darren King, Constable 1360.
The Police Station,
Station Road,
Overton, Wrexham. LL13 OEF.

Witnesses sought

Some time during the evening/night of Wednesday 20th April, three Georgian-wired windows in the gable end of the football pavilion, at the Wrexham Road playing fields, were completely vandalised.

The windows were glazed in toughened glass and would have taken great force to break. Most certainly this mindless act of vandalism would have created some considerable noise. If anyone has any information concerning the incident, please inform the Police by telephoning 01978 290222 or contacting PC Darren King at Overton Police Station.



It's election year again! The highest profile is Bush v Kerry in November. Will Bush shake off the accusation that he took us into an unnecessary war? Can Kerry shake off the problems of his wife's multi-million pound tax return? Do we really care? We should, you know. OK, I know we don't get to vote in the US Presidential election, but heck, it's the most powerful nation on Earth and it matters to us.

Closer to home we are to be faced with a veritable barrage of elections over the next two years. Firstly on June 10th we have Community Council, County Borough, and European Elections. Next year we could well have a General Election and now a referendum on the EU Constitution!

Well more of us voted for Will Young as Pop Idol than in the last European Election, and as for local elections we don't seem to care who switches on our street lights or scrapes up the dog poo! More people did not vote for Blair and New Labour than did and Bush only got in 'cos brother Jeb organised the State of Florida for his little bro'.

So what are our great leaders doing to reverse the trend of us not voting? They're lowering the age of voting to 16. Is this a bad idea? Well we thought all the old-fogeys hadn't got a clue and we could do it better when we were young - then we grew up! So if you want to know what's going on in the world go down to your local school.

As for me I'm an old-fogey now, so I'll be in the Recreational Club on Election Day downing another pint if it's not taxed to Mars and back again!

Gardens open for charity in 2004

Gardens in the Overton area are opening for the National Gardens Scheme again this year. It is difficult to believe that it is a year since Chris and Anne Billington opened their garden at Argoed Cottage, Argoed Lane. They will be open on 23 May from 2.00pm until 5.30pm., and home-made teas will be available in aid of the NSPCC.

The Garden House, Erbistock, is open on several dates for the NGS between 2.00-5.00pm on Sundays 30 May, 13 and 27 June, 5 July and 5 September .

Park Cottage, Penley, is open on 13 June, 2.00pm - 5.30pm and Penley Hall Stables, Penley, on 27 June between 2.00pm -6.00pm. Both gardens are serving home-made teas with money going to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Penley.

Overton Medical Practice News

Progress on the new building is very encouraging and we dare to think that we might make that November deadline!

Following a review of the use of our surgery appointments, we found that there is a greater demand for our services in Overton on a Monday. We consider that it will be of greater benefit to the majority of our patients to offer an extra surgery at Overton on a Monday morning. In order to do this we will cease to hold a surgery at Marchwiel on a Monday and that surgery will be closed on Mondays from 3 May 2004 and Dr Breeze will be consulting in Overton. Surgeries will continue to be held in Marchwiel on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Our surgery had been called forward for the Breast Screening over the past few weeks. If anyone who is eligible, (50 to 64 years of age), has not received their appointment or is over 64 and would like to be seen, then telephone 01492 860666.

You may be aware from the media recently that there are changes in the way general Practice will be funded in the future. There are no immediate changes to the way you can see your doctor or nurse, or the care you will receive. Wrexham Co-op and Shropdoc will continue to provide the Out of Hours service.


  • That to safeguard your mobile phone, type: *#06# (asterisk, hash, 0, 6, hash), a unique 15-digit security number will be displayed. Take a note of the number because if your mobile is lost or stolen, your mobile phone operator can use it to bar the handset.
  • You can have the latest news about crime in the area relayed to you automatically by logging onto the North Wales Police website at www.ecommsnwp.co.uk.
  • Here's the latest information from this site:-
  • "We have received information from Wrexham Trading Standards, concerning the doorstep selling of overpriced battery and smoke alarms. We should ask you to consider whether to buy these products or not as battery alarms (i.e. for doors and windows) are available at a low cost from DIY stores and Neighbourhood Watch.
  • Fire alarms can be fitted free by the North Wales Fire service.
  • Householders who want further advice or are concerned about a visit they have received should contact Lise Mitchell at Trading Standards on 01978 296064 "
  • The telephone number for Home Fire Safety checks is - 0808 100 2863.
Overton in Times Past
A Brief History
The present Methodist Church was built on the corner of Station and Salop Road in 1938 on what was then known as the Bowling Green field and near the site of the old toll gate. Earlier Methodist Societies were established, first in Salop Road, opposite the almshouses, known locally as the 'Bottom Chapel'. It was probably here where Primitive Methodism was first established in Overton early in the nineteenth century. The other Chapel, in Bangor Road was built somewhat later in 1858.
Both these buildings are now dwelling houses. The Cloy Chapel in Cloy Lane was built in 1832 and closed in 1957 and was also converted into a house. Knolton Chapel, built in 1868 is still in use today. But before these places of worship were built Methodism was established in the village and meetings were held either in houses or the open air, usually on Lightwood Green. In fact the Lightwood Green Camp meetings continued well into this century.

During and after the Reformation in the 16th Century, Overton was one of many places where Catholics worshipped in secret although the only remains of a Catholic Chapel and priest hole of that time is at Althrey Hall a few miles away. A number must have existed in the parish, however as records of the persecution of Catholics can be found until well into the 18th Century and a number like Richard Gwyn died for their faith.

Roman Catholics had their first Church in the Village early in this Century when Lord Southwell of Knolton Hall converted a building at his home into a small Chapel. Following this, Roman Catholics celebrated Mass in a caravan in the grounds of Pendyffryn on the Ellesmere Road out of the Village.

The present Catholic Church opposite the 'Old Smithy' in Wrexham Road was opened in October, 1958 by the Rev. John E. Petit, Bishop of Menevia and dedicated to Our Lady and the Welsh Martyrs, particularly Richard Gwyn, of whom I have written elsewhere.

A spacious Church Hall to the rear of the Church has recently been added.

Next month: Richard Gwyn, Schoolmaster, Poet and Martyr


Do you enjoy reading the Oracle? Do you look forward to reading it every month? Do you find the articles interesting? Do you think it has a value in the life of the community of Overton? And lastly, if the current volunteers who put the Oracle together and write the articles found they were unable to do so for some reason, would you step forward and save the day?
If the answer is YES to all these questions then the Oracle team would like to hear from you. The team finds it most discouraging that from a population of 1200 persons in Overton, not one person has come forward to offer their services, despite asking over several months for a new team member to replace Christine Stead. Is it the old syndrome of: "We'd love to get involved but we're so busy"? Well, we on the Oracle team are all volunteers, working hard on your behalf to bring you the latest news and provide a service to those who wish to advertise their event. And we have busy lives too!

So come on, save the Oracle and join us on the team. Just call Alan Edwards on 01978 710422 or speak to any team member whose name appears at the top of this page. Don't leave it to someone else!


Tennis courts get new lease of life
Overton Tennis club have just re-surfaced their tennis courts. The courts look really smart and together with the adjacent new bowling green give the village a summer sports facility to be proud of. The old courts were first put down in 1989 after much hard work by the founder members, particularly Stuart and Jenny Horton. After 15 years the surface was showing signs of deterioration. A year or so was spent looking for grants to help with the project, but the club was unable to source any funding.
The result was that the total bill of £ 16,000 had to be borne by tennis club funds. These funds had been gathered from club fees and social activities over the years and had been carefully managed by club treasurer, Dave Bellis.

"It seems a bit cavalier to be blowing all our funds on the re-surfacing" said Dave, "But that's what the money has been saved for, and it will ensure that the Tennis club keeps going for another 10 to 15 years, hopefully"
There was only enough money to re-surface two of the courts, but the third court will be left open for non-members who wish to play tennis. The club itself welcomes new members - club night will be Friday night. The club also has three teams - two mixed teams and one ladies team - that compete in the Cheshire league.
Sally Caiger is in the process of organising junior coaching. Sally says that this will be on Friday nights ( from May onwards )from 5.30 to 6.30 and will cost £ 1.
If anyone is interested in joining the Tennis Club, please contact club secretary Carol Belsten ( 710687 ) or club treasurer Dave Bellis ( 710567 )

The question is.......?
"To be, or not to be, that is the question" - trouble is, Shakespeare was never very good at giving answers. Questions and answers are now part of our staple entertainment diet, with "Millionaire", "Weakest Link" and other shows.
At a local level, in the village of Overton, quizzes are also popular. At the "club", there are enjoyable quiz evenings on Sundays, and Cynthia Austin's social quiz on Tuesday evenings has quite a following.
At the more serious end of the scale, the Overton quiz team, also based at the social club, competes in the "Wrexham Leader" Quiz league, which consists of around 50 teams, in 5 divisions, coming from areas within roughly a 10 mile radius around Wrexham. This league involves teams of 4 coming up with a collective answer to a series of 60 pretty tough questions.
Some people might think "Why do people want to be subjected to questions on General Knowledge - it's like being back at school and sitting exams".
Quizzers, however, do get hooked on "trivia". The competitive spirit takes over and beating the opposition gives the same satisfaction that people taking part in other games and sports get.
Overton quiz team has done rather well this year. After being relegated last season, they have just finished second in Division 2 and will be promoted back to the "premier league" ( a bit like West Bromwich Albion"). In addition they won the knockout cup for the whole 5 divisions ( The "Elwyn Jones Trophy") - quite an achievement.
The "clever clogs" who make up the team squad are Keith and Jean Morris ( who come all the way from Cross-Lanes), Euan and Val Stevenson, Jenny Bellis and Geoff Owen.
Well done team and let's hope that they don't do a "yo-yo" and drop back down from the premier league next season.
Just to finish with, here is a quiz question for readers to mull over ( answer in next month's issue ) :- "Which fruit has no rhyming words" ???

Computer News
By Alan Edwards

One of the most alarming viruses received over the last week was from a site which to all intents and purposes looked like it had been sent from Symantec, the Norton Anti-virus Corporation. Thankfully my anti-virus program picked up the virus and quarantined it safely. But checking out the origin of the Email horrified me. It had the file Norton.delete.exe, which I believe had I activated, may well have deleted my Norton anti-virus security, opening up the computer to some of the worst mass-mailing worms that abound at the moment.

This was similar to a spoof Microsoft Email some while ago which told me that to prevent an infection, I was to download a patch to repair a hole in the program. Had I done this it would have infected my machine and rendered it completely useless.
At the moment I receive at least 5 Emails per day which are infected with the mass mailing worm W32.Netsky.C.@mm, or variations thereof. The Email message will say something like, "Here's the file" , "your attachment -verify it", "your file",etc. Had I not had anti-virus protection, curiosity could have got the better of me and I'd have looked to see what was in the attachment. The golden rule here is to ignore and delete Emails from people you don't recognise. But I cannot stress how important it is to have the most up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your computer.

That said, however, even this is no guarantee that things will be alright. I recently had great difficulty trying to load Norton 2004 anti-virus program onto a friend's computer, only to be told later that it was not 100% at doing its job. Earlier versions I am told are up to scratch and work beautifully.

News in Brief

  • The next meeting of Overton Community Council will take place on 11th May in the Parish Room, commencing 7.30pm. Concerned about the environmental impact of the Banger Racing at Trench Farm, Redhall Lane, the Council has invited an officer of the Public Protection department of Wrexham Borough Council to address the meeting. Members of the public can attend the meeting and be invited to express their views.
  • The Council will also be hearing from the Clerk about the Highway Authority's views on the possible introduction of "advisory speed limits" at the junction of Argoed Lane and Wrexham Road, and outside the Trotting Mare Inn, Knolton.
  • The lady who appeared in the photograph in last month's issue, playing with children on the banks of the River Dee at Erbistock in 1955, is Mary Jones of Poethlyn Terrace, Overton.
  • Overton Amateur Dramatic Society is keeping open its "Wig Amnesty"! If you have borrowed a wig from the Society at any time in the past, the Society would be pleased if you could return it. Please contact Mr James Glover, Bank House, High Street, Overton as soon as possible.
    Our sources reveal that no questions will be asked!