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

May 2006


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


A Chilli Supper, A Hog Roast, an A Banquet.
Three events in the village hall throughout May that need your support

Arts and Crafts Exhibition in the village
By Euan Stevenson

This month offers a good opportunity for villagers to both see how talented our community is and to display their own craft skills.

This exhibition was held two years ago and was very popular. Therefore the people at St.Mary’s Church are again sponsoring the event. Since a good length of time has elapsed since the last show, people will have produced new work.

It is anticipated that all sorts of craft skills will be on view – art and painting, woodworking, embroidery, basket-making and wicker work – there are no limits to the media people use to demonstrate their craft skills.

The exhibition will be held in St. Mary’s church on the following days :
Wednesday 24th May ( 9.00 am to 6.00 pm )
Thursday 25th May ( 9.00 am to 6.00 pm ) admission charge : £ 1 for adults
Friday 26th May ( 9.00 am to 6.00 pm )
Saturday 27th May ( 10.00 am to 4.00 pm ) children free

Many pieces will be for exhibition only, but there will also be a number of items for sale.

Notes for Exhibitors :
The exhibition will be set up in the church on Monday and Tuesday, 22nd and 23rd May, so please bring your work along on those days, between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm.

Charge for exhibiting and presenting work for view will be £ 1 and the charge for selling pieces will be 20 % of sale price ( proceeds will go to help St.Mary’s church funds ).
Note that the exhibiting donation will not be required for children.

In Brief….

Now the weather is improving, why not go on a Conservation walk around the park at Bryn-y-Pys and learn a little more of the changing view of Bryn-y–Pys estate, see page 4 for full details.

Just in case the weather doesn't hold out! Why not visit the White Horse— under new management, with a new menu and many other events coming soon….

Where are they now?
Last month we asked whether anyone remembered these lovely ladies. Well we had all sorts of guesses...

But now to reveal all, they are from the left: -
Pat Clarke – Headmistress of St Mary’s School
Davina Pritchard of School Lane
Councillor Sue Glover of High Street
June Jones of Maelor Court
Jill Burton of Maelor Court
Lyn Sabbah of Sodyllt Bank

Anyone got anything to match this? Send it in and we’ll publish it!

By Constable Darren King

As you may already be aware there have recently been two house burglaries in the village, entry to both properties were via insecure rear doors. Please be on your guard, and with the warmer weather approaching, (hopefully), remember to lock doors even if you are only going into the back garden. I know that it can be very uncomfortable to close all windows in the hot weather, but if you have to leave them open please consider fitting locks to ensure that they cannot be opened any further to allow criminals access.

Also with the holiday season approaching try and make sure that do you not do anything too obvious to show that your property is empty, such as garden gates left to swing open when they usually shut, forgetting to cancel milk/ papers etc, and only tell people you know you can trust that you will be away. I know that this may seem obvious to most of you, but even in this day and age people do not follow basic security measures.

We are all aware, (not that I am casting any aspersions), that Wrexham is only 10 minutes away, but unfortunately I have to report that it is not always people who travel here that commit crimes, there are also prolific criminals living in Overton who would quite happily steal your things and have numerous convictions for doing it. That’s why I say, ‘only tell people you know you can trust’, and be on your guard for ANYBODY, local or not who is acting suspiciously. You never know what information people are telling their friends, and who those friends may be.

Thank you.

Darren King Constable 1360. Community Beat Manager for The Maelor Section. The Police Station, Station Road, Overton, Wrexham.LL13 OEF. Telephone: 0845 607 1002 ex 35420.
Fax: (01978) 294 771. E-mail: darren.king@north-wales.police.uk

Ramblings From the Rectory
By David Lewis

Dear Friends,

A musician passed away, having left strict orders that his flute was to be buried with him.

“What do you make of that? A friend asked his widow

“It’s a blessing he didn’t play the piano” she replied

The old adage you can’t take it with you is one we are all familiar with, even if the above musician did try just that. So it is very important that we use the gives and talents we have in this life to try and make our world a better, more loving place. Our musician used the gift of his music to give pleasure to c countless people.

Jesus based his whole life on telling people that there was so much more to life than material things. He asked them to think about how much God loves them and wants them to live happy fulfilled lives. An he said one way to find fulfilment was in helping others to find happiness, healing and love. The Easter Season reminds us of just how much Jesus did love each of us. He was prepared to give his life out of love for you and me.

So often we do not appreciate just what a wonderful gift we have been given in life and the world we live. Thomas Fuller was an English writer in the 16th Century once wrote, “We are born crying, live complaining and die disappointed”.

May we find love and fulfilment in using our gifts and talents to make our world a better place. May we find God’s love for ourselves. And may it never be said of us that were born crying, lived complaining and died disappointed.

Your Friend and Rector

Your Letters...

Dear Maxine

Re: Free entry to the Bangor On Dee Races.

The Country Beat last month mentioned the introduction of a temporary one way traffic system, I am concerned as to the impact the reduction in this passing trade will have on my business, are there details as to the route of this one way system. Will it by-pass the village completely? - name & address withheld.

Oracle Response: I will approach the appropriate authorities and revert back with an answer in the June edition. Regards Maxine

We try to print all material submitted to us in the Oracle—to encourage a variance of view and opinion - therefore, as long as you submit your name & address with your contribution—but specify if you wish to not have your details printed—your material can still be printed—we do not print anonymous material received with out a name.

By Lela Palin

Just a little note ...Hi – Due to a press deadline there is not a kids column this month—but please see the enclosed drawing to brighten the page up a little! This was submitted a few months ago & has finally made it to press!—I hope that business is back to usual next month—why not use this opportunity to submit your material—let us know of your Summer plans...you submit it & we will print it!! - Lela xx (hope you enjoy the Puzzles)

Thanks to Ann Butt—we will be submitting a number of puzzles every month, they will appear in the Brain teaser section each month—answers will appear in the next months edition—(Thanks for submitting them Ann)


· What has a neck but no head?

· In a race , the runner who came three places in front of the runner who finished last came two places ahead of the runner who came seventh. How many runners finished the race?

· Can you form a common English word by taking the letters ERGO and putting three letters behind them?

· In which sporting activity do the winners move backwards and the losers move forwards?

· Take the number 45. Divide it into four parts, so that adding 2 to the first, subtracting 2 from the second, multiplying the third by 2, and dividing the fourth by 2 produces the same result in each case.

- Can you find the country hidden in this sentence? In December mud and slush are a peril on the roads.

Get Connected

The 9th March saw the launch of an exciting £1.6m pilot scheme aimed at 16-18 year olds in North East Wales.

The scheme, funded by the WAG for two years, is offering a concessionary pass entitling all 16-18 year olds who live in the Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire areas, to half price bus fares, for any journey beginning or ending in Wrexham, Flintshire or Denbighshire.

For example, half price fares will be valid on cross boundary bus services, e.g. Mold to Chester, Wrexham to Barmouth and Rhyl to Llandudno.

The pass holder is eligible to use this pass from the first day of their 16th birthday, up until the day before their 19th birthday and it is hoped that if the pilot scheme proves to be successful, the scheme will be rolled out throughout Wales.

Application forms are available from libraries, sports centres, local authority offices and satellite offices. They are downloadable from the website www.16218.org, and can also be obtained from the Concessionary Travel Unit of each county. The applicant will be required to produce a recent passport size photograph, evidence of age and residency.

A series of road shows will be happening at schools and colleges throughout the three regions, where we hope to sign up as many eligible young people as possible. A series of bus back advertising and other press advertising will be ongoing.

For all enquiries and further information please contact:
Jessica Wellstead, Regional Travel Plan Co-ordinator, Transportation Dept. County Hall, Mold Tel: 01352 704544 Email: jessica.wellstead@flintshire.gov.uk

View from the Village Vets.

A new regular column from Maelor Vet Centre.

I had hoped that my first item to appear in the Overton Oracle might have been on a light hearted note, but with Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) occupying so much of our news at the moment, I thought it might be appropriate to add a few more comments.
Since the confirmation of the H5N1 virus in a single Swan on the East coast of Scotland, our surgery has received a steady trickle of reports of a dead Duck in the canal, a dead Seagull on Colemere and advice on how to dispose of a Kamikazee Blackbird which flew into someone’s patio windows!
At the time of writing, there has been only the single confirmed case of the disease in the UK which has been identified as a Whooper Swan likely to have migrated to Scotland from elsewhere.

Whilst H5N1 has been responsible for deaths in humans (103 Worldwide), there have been NO cases in the UK and the media fail to mention that VERY CLOSE CONTACT WITH INFECTED BIRDS is required for humans to become infected. Close contact means sharing your kitchen table with live hens or allowing your children to play catch with an infected bird carcase.

The worry with the virus of course and the reason for the majority of the tabloid panic is that the virus might mutate or adapt itself to spread more easily from birds to humans or between humans and therefore cause widespread serious human disease. At present there is NO EVIDENCE to suggest that this has occurred.

So What Should We Do?
Continue to eat well cooked chicken and eggs as normal. When walking in the countryside be vigilant. If you find one or more dead Swans /Wildfowl (geese and ducks); more than 3 dead birds of the same species or more than 5 dead birds of different species, in the same place you should contact the DEFRA helpline on 0845 9335577.

If you keep poultry and have more than 50 birds you should already have registered with the GB Poultry Register on 0800 6341112. If you have less than 50 birds you can also register voluntarily. You should also be making preparations to move your birds indoors if required (although hopefully not to share your kitchen table!)

Further information on Bird Flu can be found on the surprisingly helpful DEFRA website at www.defra.gov.uk
Mark Spurdens.

Reg Foulkes
By Davina Pritchard

I’d like to share a few memories of Reg Foulkes, who’s 94 years on this earth, were full.

He had many tales of life abroad during the war whilst serving his country. His life with Fan and their two daughters, Marlene and Sandra, was extremely happy as far as I could see and being grand-parents and recently great grand-parents, was the icing on the cake.

He used to do a great job of playing Father Christmas to the local schoolchildren . (Oops! Have I spoilt any child-hood illusions!)

He’d accompany my husband Geoff, on a Saturday evening to fetch a Chinese meal from Ellesmere, going for a quick pint in the pub while waiting, but only Geoff would have a drink!

His life with the Chapel was devoted and sincere, as is Fan’s. Apart from riding his bike around the village and still going to Wrexham on the bus until a few years ago, he was still doing 20 press-ups more recently than that!

I will always remember Reg for his friendly greeting and smile and always a joke or two, even when he was suffering his aches and pains.

Long live Reg Foulkes’s memory!

At the funeral of the late Reg Foulkes of School Lane Overton the amount of £353 was received. Mrs Foulkes and family would like to thank all those who attended the service and contributed to the Methodist Chapel Funds.

Bryn-y-Pys Estate
An estate within the Tir Gofal Conservation Scheme
by Maxine

As promised last month I caught up with a descendant of Edmund Peel, Tim Rosselli. I was keen to gain a 2006 perspective of the Bryn-y-Pys estate in comparison to the 1892 perspective we printed last month, I learnt of the conservation work taking place on this vast estate within the parishes of Overton, Bangor and Erbistock. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Tim for taking the time to meet with me at short notice.

The Estate joined the Tir Gofal conservation scheme approximately 2 years ago. One gains entry into the scheme by demonstrating a conservation aware plan, although the estate is referred to as parkland Tim explained how it would be more accurate to refer to it as a combination of parkland & wood pasture. He explained how by leaving dead timber creates lichen and an ideal habitat for invertebrates.

Home Farm is an example of how in the 1970’s farmers where encouraged to optimise their land, produce as much produce as possible, ploughing over hedgerows to remove field boundaries to create larger fields better suited to increase stock numbers and modern farm machinery. It is now proving to be a good example of a farm that is keen to adopt species rich hedgerows.

There is a five year plan of conservation work which includes an intention to plant 1220 metres of new hedges, this is a costly exercise (£7 to £10 a metre) whilst there are grants available for this work, about 50% will not be grant funded. Tim explained that not all the hedges would be planted at once, this way the hedges have time to get established. There is an intention to introduce 5 different hedge lines, these will be a diverse range of woody species. The variety will encourage different types of wildlife. With the work that the estate team are doing work we could see an increase in the numbers of dormouse, bats, butterflies; we know that owls already exist on the land. Tim also confirmed that 15 parkland trees are also to be planted.

There is an intention to reduce the stocking rate on the park a reduction in sprays and fertilisers to encourage native grasses to grow. There will be reduction in the poaching activity that takes place between December and March to help the land go back to a pasture.

Set aside distributed around the arable fields will create wildlife cover. Other farms have already seen the benefit of this feasible approach to conservation and have reported an increase in brown hare figures, and a doubling of songbird numbers. With the planting that is taking place there will be the creation of corridors of habitat from wood to wood.

Spending the time I did with Tim, it was clear that he has a real passion for conservation. I was therefore delighted to discover that he is inviting groups of individuals to walk around the park at Bryn-y-Pys. (6 to 8 people ideally) Some of the things the tour will cover are the site of the Bryn-y-Pys Mansion with the views out over the park with its ancient oaks. The stables cobble courtyard and wall garden site. Woodland walks through Pleasure Gardens with exotic trees and ponds. The woods are a sea of snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils from January onwards. You will also gain an understanding of the management practices taking place to ensure a wild range of wildlife habitats. In addition to this you will have the benefit of being shown the estate by the Great, Great, Great Grandson of Edmund Peel, which means you will gain an insight into the history of the estate from 1850’s to present day – wow! Oh & I believe the tour also includes tea! To take advantage of this great opportunity call 01978 710 043 and speak to Tim Rosselli.

An age thing…….
By Lesley Pugh

My cousin in New Zealand has recently attained her retirement age. Panic, I am going to be over the hill, must show that I am fit, type of thing sets in when certain significant numbers are reached. Gillian decided to dust off her old cycling skills but from the reports so far, it seems she is landing in the dust rather often.

My mother, a widow by then, went through the same panic for a short while and bought a bicycle. She lived in Cambridge where bicycles rule and as she had never learnt to drive a car, felt this would give her some independence. First Aid kit to hand, we were quite impressed at how quickly the old skills returned but there were one or two problems. Firstly, she could only get going from a kerb, which was not always available in the middle of the country. Secondly, taking a hand off the handlebars to indicate she was about to make a turn proved difficult. Mother overcame this problem by nodding in the direction she wished to travel; unfortunately other road users thought this was just a friendly gesture and nodded back or gave a wave. ABS braking systems had not been invented in the early 1980’s but the quickness of resultant emergency stops had to be commended even if the air did turn a bit blue, Cambridge or otherwise. It was soon decided that the bicycle would have to go before damage to life and limb hurt rather more than her pride.

Overton Medical Practice News

There is some good news that will help save money; prescription charges in Wales are going down again as from 1st April. The new tariff will be £3 per item, £15.69 for a four monthly pre-paid and £43.09 for a yearly tariff. This only applies to prescriptions issued in Wales on Welsh script pads. You can take them over the border to be dispensed and the reduced charge will still apply. Unfortunately, even if you live in Wales are Welsh by birth and know ‘Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ backwards but your surgery is on English soil, the benefit does not apply.

We think it is a good idea to let you know each month how many patients did not attend for their appointments during the previous month. For the month of February 2006 there were 74 DNA’s —28 male and 46 female. Ladies, this is not good, are we too busy reminding the other half that we forget ourselves? We really need to get this figure down, please let us know if you cannot attend. We don’t need to know the reason, but even half an hour before your allotted time may enable us to re-use the appointment, to those who do let us know, thank you.

There seems to be some confusion as to which doctor you are registered with. Our policy has always been that our patients register with the practice rather than individual doctor. However, it is useful to both you and us if you try to see the same doctor each time (not always possible, we know), so we get to know and understand each other better. We suggest that the doctor you usually see is ‘your doctor’. That may not be the same name as on your medical card. However, when your doctor leaves this produces uncertainty. In order to ensure the work is evenly shared amongst our doctors we suggested that patients who usually saw Dr Breese should now see Dr Koundakjian, and those who regularly used to see Dr Vibhishanan see Dr Asprou.

Sometimes the hospital doesn't get updated on changes. This means any letters will be addressed to the wrong doctor. The letter will get onto your notes but may not be seen by your “usual doctor” straightway . It is worth checking with the hospital receptionist which person is actually recorded as your doctor and change if necessary . We work as a team so sometimes the doctors will talk to each other about cases or ask you to see one of the other doctors for further advice.

“The Surreal Inspector Hound”
By Euan Stevenson

OADS ( Overton Amateur Dramatic Society ) tackled a complicated and enigmatic play by Tom Stoppard called “The Real Inspector Hound” from 30th March to 1st April.

Stoppard is an “egghead” playwright known more for his aptitude at displaying how clever he is rather than for his ability to entertain.
The play was indeed enigmatic. It opened with two theatre critics sat beside the set of a play, rambling on about their private lives. The critics, well played by Alan Edwards and Jim Glover, reminded me of the two “old git” critics on the muppet show – Statler and Waldorf.

Eventually, on the set, a play starts – obviously a “whodunit” set in Muldoon Manor with the lady of the house and a group of guests settling down to a game of cards, when they discover a body.
So far – so good.

After the interval, Inspector Hound, a larger than life character ( admirably played by Nick Harrison ), wearing flippers and a deerstalker, arrives to investigate.
The play has now become funny, but also a bit strange, and when one of the critics answers the telephone on the set, he is soon caught up in the play he is watching !
We are now entering the realms of the surreal and soon the second critic also becomes a character within the play !
By now it is clear that it doesn’t matter a jot who committed the murder, and I have to confess to being totally bewildered by the whole thing.

Afterwards, I was chatting with a friend and asked if she had understood the play. She replied “Not really, but I suppose it was trying to say that normal life and fantasy are interwoven within real life”. How profound ( well done to Mary Hilton – Jones ).

The play did create a fair bit of hilarity however and congratulations to the whole cast for a job well done, especially to Sheila Miller and Cynthia Davies, who got most of the laughs.
Congratulations also to the back stage crew and to director Stephen Sorfleet for a good production of a very challenging play.

This wheelbarrow in Dublin - supplied by a company from Overton-on-Dee!
by Harry Evison

Stephen and Neil were amazed to hear from one of Springfield Supplies customers, that a wheelbarrow supplied by them had been used in a confrontation with the Guardai in O’Connell Street Dublin.

The loaded question was “How did it get there?” This civil engineering contractor explained that it had been removed from his site in Dublin by demonstrators. A youth then hurled it at the gardai in the street riots in February this year.

This photograph was printed in the Irish Independent and brought in by the purchaser to Springfield Supplies.

Not the type of publicity to be encouraged but nevertheless interesting to see where our wheelbarrows get to!