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

May 2005


The Editorial Team

Maxine Palmer - Sean Clarke - Wally Wilton - David Burton - Lesley Pugh - Euan Stevenson

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


A new inquisitive resident to the Overton Area
confirms it is Spring....just ignore the rain.

The Beginnings of the National Eisteddfod
By Maxine

The National Eisteddfod is the largest and oldest celebration of Welsh culture, unique throughout Europe as each year it visits a different area of Wales. Eisteddfod literally means a sitting (eistedd = to sit), perhaps a reference to the hand-carved chair traditionally awarded to the best poet in the ceremony 'The Crowning of the Bard'.

The National Eisteddfod of Wales dates back to 1176 when it is said that the first Eisteddfod was held. Lord Rhys invited poets and musicians from all over Wales to a grand gathering at his castle in Cardigan. A chair at the Lord's table was awarded to the best poet and musician, a tradition that continues today in the modern Eisteddfod.

Following 1176, many eisteddfodau were held throughout Wales, under the patronage of Welsh gentry and noblemen. Soon the Eisteddfod developed into a huge folk festival on a grand scale. After declining in popularity in the 18th century, it was revived in the early years of the 19th. In 1880 the National Eisteddfod Association was formed and since then the Eisteddfod has been held every year, except for 1914 and 1940.

The great Llangollen Eisteddfod of 1858 is a highly significant event. It was a tempestuous eisteddfod. It was at this eisteddfod that the famous Thomas Stephens of Merthyr entered his wonderful essay exploding the myth of Madog's discovery of America. John Williams and his friends had been expecting an essay which would reinforce the myth. Because it had been discredited, they were not at all willing to award the prize to Thomas Stephens and matters at this Eisteddfod became turbulent in the extreme.

This Eisteddfod saw the first public appearance of a young poet who would be the idol of the nation until his death in the year 1887: none other than Ceiriog, John Ceiriog Hughes. He travelled all the way from Manchester, where he was living at the time, to collect his prize for a love poem, 'Myfanwy Fychan of Dinas Brân'. 'Myfanwy Fychan' was the most amazing 'hit' from the moment it was first read at the Great Llangollen Eisteddfod.

In my opinion there's one overriding reason for this. The women of Wales had been pilloried In the Blue Books of 1847. Their morals had been called into question; it was said that illegitimate children were two a penny in Wales, and this had cut the Welsh to the quick. What Ceiriog did above all else in 1858 in Llangollen was to create an image of a deserving, beautiful, moral, well-mannered Welshwoman, as a consequence the Welsh fell in love with Myfanwy Fychan overnight.

Opportunity for YOU to contribute to this tradition
by Carol Dykes

Now heading towards its 59th year, the Llangollen International Eisteddfod is a world- renowned festival of music, song and dance. Competitors from more than fifty countries come together for one week to stand side by side through music, the language of love.

The 2005 Eisteddfod programme has been announced. Artists including Lesley Garrett, Johnathon Lemalu and Sir Willard White take to the stage with unique competitions in the day. ….Can you help?

Would you like to meet people from around the world? If so I am looking for families to open their homes and host our Llangollen Eisteddfod visitors in the first week of July. It will be for 3 or 5 nights (to be confirmed). I have my regular hosts to whom I am very grateful but due to unforeseen circumstances some can not accommodate this year.

I am looking for new hosts the visitors only requirements is a clean, loving family atmosphere for bed and breakfast. You receive £10 per night for each guest. In addition to this you will be entitled to a family day pass to the festival.

This is a great opportunity to meet individuals from overseas the rewards are brilliant, there is an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of different cultures, memorable guests that I have had in the past include Polish, French, Germans and Slovakians...some of which enjoyed a traditional fry up, whilst others favoured the Weetabix on offer!!

I wish to take the opportunity to thank all of my valued and faithful hosts.

By Constable Darren King

On behalf of District Inspector Paul Firth and myself, I would sincerely like to thank the residents who took the time to attend the Overton Neighbourhood Policing Meeting on Monday 11th April in the village hall.

The principal of the meeting was to give an opportunity for all residents to have a direct say in how North Wales Police can better serve the village and surrounding district by addressing the things that the community itself says are a problem, and not what the police think we should be looking at. It should go without saying that we will obviously continue to enforce the law, dealing with burglaries, thefts, and assaults etc, but as well as these we will now concentrate on the things that are directly affecting your standard of life in the village.
 During the meeting 4 points were raised-
1.                   Parking problems on School Lane. (Especially at the start and end of school).
2.                   Youth provision. (Re-establishing the youth club).
3.                   Speeding. (On all routes through the village).
4.                   Rural crime. (Thefts from garages/ sheds).
These have now been highlighted as the main concerns of residents. I will be in contact with everyone who expressed an interest in being part of the focus group forthwith, so we can agree on a plan of action with the aim of solving these problems. If you were unable to attend the meeting but wish to be part of the focus group, please let me know.
Also mentioned at the meeting was a concern that the village may lose its police station and local officer. As you may or may not know, it is very rare these days to have small village police stations, especially one with a house attached where the officer and his family actually live. (Except on Heartbeat of course). I personally think this is a glowing tribute to Overton.

In the 21st century, with all the constant media reports of violence and terrorism throughout some parts of the country, I cannot think of anywhere other than Overton where I would be prepared to let my family live next to a police station.

Inspector Firth confirms that there are no plans what so ever to close the police station, and like it or not, I have no plans to move, so you are stuck with me for a while longer yet. Thank you.
Darren King Constable 1360.

Community Beat Manager for The Maelor Section.
The Police Station, Station Road, Overton, Wrexham.LL13 OEF. Telephone: (01978) 290 222 ex 5420. Fax: (01978) 294 771.
E-mail: darren.king@north-wales.police.uk

Argoed Cottage Garden Open Afternoon
By Anne Billington

It's that time again; Chris and I have been busy getting our garden in Argoed Lane ready for our open day on Sunday, May 22 between 2 - 5pm. This will be the 15th year that we have opened the garden for the National Gardens Scheme and each year we have had visitors from as far as the Wirral, Cheshire, Shropshire and all over North Wales.

We enjoy showing people the garden and at the same time raising money for the various charities that the NGS support which include the Macmillan and Marie Curie Nurses. All the monies raised from the gate and plants sold go to these charities and this year, Nightingale House in Wrexham will benefit from the tea and homemade cakes we provide in the garden.

Look for the yellow signs going up and hope for a lovely sunny day; come and join us for tea in our garden!

Oracle Weight Watchers!

For almost six and a half years our faithful team of distributors have freely given their time in hail, rain, sunshine and snow to ensure that a copy of the Oracle pops through the doors of some 600 houses in the parish of Overton. We are deeply grateful for their contribution and hope that they can continue for many years to come. However, in six years there have been a few who have given up. Some have moved away, or their health is not what it was. To them we say thank you for your contribution.

So now we need to find a few more distributors. If you feel you can help please contact a member of the editorial committee who will pass your details to Euan Stevenson who organises the distribution. For those thinking they might like to help but need that extra incentive we can say that we have a guaranteed way of helping you lose weight whilst delivering. All you do is step onto the scales with 30 or so copies of the Oracle and note your weight. Then go out and briskly walk for 15/20 minutes delivering Oracles. When you get home, get back on the scales, now minus your Oracle's and we guarantee you will have lost at least a pound and a half! Over 12 months that's over a stone! The walking might also contribute a little as well

But beware, choose your time carefully when people aren't around otherwise friendly neighbours will interrupt your exercise with friendly chatter, the odd cup of tea and, heaven forefend, choccy biscuits! In which case the Oracle guarantee becomes invalid!

By Lela Palin

Just a little note ….Konnichi wa, all. Not been a brilliant month for me, hope yours hasn't been too crummy. I bought about a million wristbands the other day though. I think I have an addiction….well I had better stop before I start rambling again!
Bye for now Lela

Unicorn image below….Yeah it is just some random pic' I drew. But if you can figure out which web site its from then that means two things….1- you are on the net WAY too much and 2-I am getting better at drawing!...but seriously if you do know email me the answer, if you get it right I will print your name next month.

Brain Teaser

Think of words ending in ..GRY-Angry and Hungry are two of them. There are only three words in the English language. What is the third? The word is something that everyone uses everyday. If you have listened carefully I have already told you what it is

If you have any idea what the answer is, please e-mail me at: info@overton-on-dee.co.uk or drop the answer through my door. If you got it right, I will print your name and age in next months issue!

Answers to last months riddle:
Riddle 1-You are: nothing
Riddle 2-You are: a coggin

By Lucy England and Gareth Overthrow

Two Maelor school pupils; Lucy England and Gareth Overthrow, will be taking part in an Overseas Expedition of self-discovery to Peru in July 2006. Our expedition will take 28 days, in South America's Peru. While we are out there we will take part in community and conservation projects, which will include teaching English to Peruvian school children or helping conserve the habitat of the spectacled Bears. When we are not taking part in community projects we will be trekking through the Peruvian jungle, walking the Inca trail, trekking across barren landscape, climbing Machu Picchu or swimming in Lake Titicaca.

The expedition aims to develop personal qualities such as leadership, teamwork, communication, problem solving, planning and organisational skills.

To raise the amount needed to pay for the trip we will be holding various events such as discos, car boot sales and family evenings. We hope to see you at the various events we will be holding.

Above: Machu Picchu one of the places Lucy and Gareth hope to visit.

REMEMBER THIS IS YOUR PAGE….You draw it, write it, think it-I will print it!

St Mary's Church

Wish to thank everyone who supported The Wrexham Science Festival evening on March 14th 2005. All proceeds from the Entrance Fee and refreshments which totalled £347.30 were donated to Nightingale House.
Many Thanks Keith Overthrow

Tales from the Trade……...
By Sean Clarke

J.P. Taxis,
Ll13 OHA

Pictured above Jim and Rosemary Parkin

Jim and Rosemary Parkin have operated a Taxi service from Overton for the last twenty-one years. Jim had harboured an ambition to be self-employed for a long time prior to this, and saw redundancy as an opportunity to do something he really wanted. They began quite modestly with an Mk II Ford Cortina and Jim averaged around 90,000 miles per year. Collecting Doormen from Llangollen at 3am on a Saturday morning meant that Jim kept quite odd hours to begin with but he has managed to concentrate on less unsocial hours as time has moved on.

As the business has developed Jim has concentrated more on daytime hours although he is quite prepared to negotiate work for anytime. Customers usually hail from Whitchurch, Oswestry, Wrexham and the surrounding areas and Jim travels to Manchester, Birmingham and occasionally Gatwick, delivering holidaymakers to the respective airports. Apparently holidaymakers usually make for quite pleasant customers as we are generally in a good mood- at the start of our journeys at least.

I was keen for Jim to spill the beans- imagining countless tales of drink and debauchery being acted out in the back of his cab, although Jim was loathe to name names -it seems that discretion is counted in the fare you'll be pleased to hear. I did manage to prise out a tale of one local resident, sadly no longer with us, who, after a few sherbets left an item in the back of Jim's Taxi-his false teeth. Jim managed to work out who the owner was and return them to him safely a few days later. I'm still trying to imagine how he coped in the meantime.

Both Rosemary and Jim provide a valuable service to the local community- whether you are unable to drive or cannot access public transport or if you fancy a drink somewhere a bit different and want to arrive home safely, give them a call.

Part Two of Wartime Memories
by Mary Hilton Jones

I went on leave, feeling rather low, and on my return was summoned by the Chief Wren Officer, a God-like being who became visible only in times of dire crisis. She was very large and serious. She handed me a postcard and asked if I could explain it. My heart sank as I recognised the Red ink and bold handwriting of my Mother, using her standard method of communication when annoyed she had written, heavily underlined; “My daughter is no longer in the same condition as when she left home, what are you going to do about it?” Now in the primmer old fashioned language of that era the word “condition” was a sort of code for pregnancy; this didn't occur to me but it certainly did to Chief Officer Rumbelow Pierce, who pre-judged the situation without consulting me. She said I must “Tell her all the Facts” but drew a blank as there were none, so the Padre was summoned, with an equal lack of success. After a long delay the Chief Officer returned and said I was to be transferred that afternoon to another destination to “Await Developments”.

There was no chance to say good-bye to friends and I was worried about my toolbox down at Uncle Joe's Snack Shack. We had been warned that the cost of any missing tools would be deducted from our weekly pay of seven shillings and sixpence. A messenger was sent to collect them and either Sergeant Robinson or my Glaswegian mates had unscrewed the bottom of the box as if it was completely empty. I was frantic as I estimated that I would be in the WRNS for about 25 years paying off my debts. I duly departed and was driven to an grim looking ex-primary school in Dunfermline. It was a holding depot a polite name for a Remand House for Wrens awaiting discharge, mostly dishonorable and indeed they had landed some strange fish in their net. I didn't realise any of this at first and in my genteel ignorance thought that the removal of our shoes in a sack at night meant they were going to be cleaned. I think I was there for about a month; self-preservation was the name of the game. But salvation was at hand in the form of a Wren officer from my first training place in Stafford who came to inspect the Holding Depot. She had always been very kind and human. She walked along the lines of criminals and stopped when she came to me and asked why I was there. I said I didn't know and she said she would see me afterwards. She sat me down and asked if I was pregnant, I can remember to this day feeling as if something was exploding inside my head, suddenly I realised what it was all about. I was absolutely devastated and the shame of it lasted a long time.

With in hours I was transferred to the Signals Dept at Rosyth as a trainee coder. It was largely manned by WRENS the work was interesting and I made wonderful life long friends and gradually life felt focused again. I still think it was miraculous that I was rescued in the nick of time from a dishonorable discharge (you were automatically dispatched when 4 months pregnant) I cannot bear to imagine my mother's reaction if I had arrived home plus the mythical little stranger and minus a Ration book.

My powerful Aunt instigated an inquiry into the affair and was told that it was due to a “clerical error” that I had been committed to the tender mercies of Sergeant Robinson. It was essentially a job for a man and my name had got on to the wrong list, so I didn't exist as anyone's responsibility for 3 months. I suspect that he probably did quite well out of it with a new collection of tools and my daily tot of rum as issued to the sailors. It was all such a long time ago but remains astonishingly vivid and certainly propelled me into adulthood and an enduring curiosity and some realisation of what the outside world was like.

Lucky Quiz Night…on Friday 13th ?

The Tennis Club are holding a Quiz Evening on Friday, 13th May at 7.30 pm in the village hall.
The quiz is open to teams of up to 4 players, although people who fancy an evening out and are not part of a “team” will be able to get fixed up with a team on the night. A buffet of food will be provided as well as refreshments. Cost will be £ 5 per person inclusive of buffet and a refreshment. Tickets are available from Tennis Club committee members. (Entry on the evening by paying at the door will also be possible ). So, come and enjoy a fun social evening.

Play Tennis Day...

The Lawn Tennis Association are promoting a “Play Tennis Day” on Saturday, 7th May.
The idea is that people who fancy tennis but have never actually got around to it will have a free opportunity to get on a court and give the game a try. Several tennis clubs in the area - including Overton - are allowing their facilities to be used for the day.
Pam Griffiths, who works for the L.T.A. in North Wales, is co-ordinating the day. She says “Anyone who is keen to try tennis will be welcome. The courts in Overton will be available between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm. Rackets and some coaching for under 16's will be provided.
If anyone requires further details, Pam Griffiths can be contacted on Wrexham 265260.

Overton Medical Practice News

Three mornings per week in Overton on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, a doctor will hold a Triage Session. All this means is that the receptionist takes details, including a contact telephone number, from patients wanting urgent appointments on that day. The information is passed to the doctor who will then call the patient back to assess the problem and offer an appointment if appropriate. This process takes some of the pressure off the patient and surgery.

Patients are still bringing back surplus or unused medicines to the surgery. We have no means of disposal and have to pass them to the Chemist and ask that you take them there too.

As we become more settled into our new building there will be additional facilities available. Lipid Sessions (cholesterol and diet advice) will be held here as well as Diabetic Eye Screening Tests in the Community Trust section. We also hope to start our Patient and Participation Group in May.

Your Letters...

Dear Oracle Team
I have just received my April Oracle and have read the “No junk mail policy…” article on the bottom of the first page.

Overton Amateur Dramatic Society works constantly to provide a variety of Plays, Panto’s and other social activities for the Village. So it was well timed when the March Oracles arrived at the same time as we were distributing our flyers advertising “Sex Drugs and Rick n Noel” our Spring Play.

So no harm meant by “daring” to deliver them both together. “The Distribution Chain Intercepted” sounds like some MI5 plot to undermine world peace.

So I apologise and admit that it was me (and my husband) It certainly will not happen again. When I look at the scars on my fingers from letter boxes that bite – and think of the times we have been out in all weathers once a month for as long as the Oracle has been in production and organised family to deliver them when we have been on holiday – this sort of comment was ill thought out.

If delivering the Oracle causes a press reaction of this magnitude – then I will carry on delivering my Flyers but definitely NOT the Oracle.

Perhaps the person (s) who made an issue of this will be eager to take on the 38 deliveries each month in the future.
Yours sincerely
Sue & James Glover

Dear Editor...
A Poem needs a certain rhyme,
It also needs to scan—
Poor thing feels quite upokitttled
When you drop the final line!
Regards Paula
Sorry for this error—the perils of moving ones text box! The last line of Film Club adults only poem was as follows:
Our first (and last?) experience.

Extracts of letters from Thailand
By Lesley Pugh

On Boxing Day 2004 I was at my country house in Hua Him which is a seasonal seaside resort about 125 miles south-west of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand. I did not feel the tremor and the sea was absolutely calm with a few small ripples. I did not turn on the radio or TV and it was not until after 4pm (9am in Britain) when a close friend telephoned from Cambridge, England anxious for my safety, that I learnt of the tsunami 500 miles south-west of Bangkok. It seems so strange that the World knew before I did.

I talked to a person who I know well and who had survived the ordeal by clinging to a coconut tree. He informed me that prior to the destructive waves appearing, the sea receded at a very unusual speed leaving fish and crustaceans stranded on the sand. The beach seemed to stretch out into the distance. Everybody was astonished by this very strange phenomenon and just stood and watched. Shortly after that came the first wave followed by two more the last was the biggest about 50 feet high annihilating everything on the shore. After 20 minutes all was calm again with thousands of dead bodies and battered buildings everywhere. Many bodies were buried under the sand and still have not been discovered.

The Moken sea gypsies on the other hand had been taught by their ancestors that if animals behaved strangely such as fleeing their natural habitats ignoring the presence of people and if the sea retreated very rapidly, head for the hills at once for survival. Consequently only one Moken was killed because he was disabled.

……..were supposed to dine with me on December 27th but they never turned up. It took me a long time to realise that they had been killed by those waves because they had been spending Christmas Eve and Day at Khao lak in Phangnga which was the worst hit area; I searched in vain for a week on every website for their names.

Clearing the debris reveals more bodies and misery and danger from disease. The surrounding farming land is polluted but in time this pollution will leach from the soil. Unfortunately it will leach into the ground water that fills the wells and it will be a very long time before any natural water will be safe to use for any purpose.