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

May 2008


The Editorial Team

David Burton - Euan Stevenson - Sean Clarke - Jacky Maskall - Cynthia Davies

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


Thieves strip the roof of our Parish Church by David Lewis

On Sunday 13th April, a shock lay in store for the congregation of St Mary’s. It was found that there was considerable water damage to the interior of the church, especially to the Vicar’s Vestry, from the recent rains. We thought we had sprung a leak and so Mike Lawrenson kindly agreed to look at the roof. What he found shocked myself and my warden Euan Stevenson.

At some point in the previous few days people had been on the roof and stripped it of its lead, leaving much damage behind them. Our local policeman Luke has been to inspect the situation and we ask if anyone has seen something suspicious or has any information to contact the police.

For this to happen to our beautiful Parish Church saddens me considerably, especially as people have been working so hard to maintain our church. It saddens me, but sadly doesn’t surprise me. All Saints, Gresford have had their roof stripped, as well as Marchwiel church. It seems that for some people, our buildings of worship are just an opportunity to make money, regardless of the damage and hurt they leave behind.

PC 1842 Luke Hughes adds
This is clearly a serious offence and enquiries are ongoing, however at this time it is unknown when the offence occurred, although it is suspected to have been committed between 1st April 2008 - 13th April 2008.
If anyone recalls seeing anything suspicious or any unusual activity or vehicle, could they make contact with myself ASAP. Tel:0845 607 1002 or e-mail : Luke.Hughes@nthwales.pnn.police.uk
Your help in this matter is much appreciated.

“New 2 U”

Overton Play Group are holding their very first ‘New 2 U’ Sale, the buying and selling of quality second hand items, together with new ones. This will be held on Saturday 10th May at the Overton Village Hall from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. If you wish to participate you may purchase a table for £10 and sell anything you wish except alcohol. Currently 18 tables have been sold and an excellent selection of clothes, jams, plants, cakes, toys and crafts will be available on the day. If you just wish to browse, the entry will be £1 for adults and 20p for children, which includes refreshments. Please come along to support us and also get yourself a bargain! To book a table, please call Andrea 710246.

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear Friends,
An ordinand is someone training for the priesthood. There was an Irish ordinand who undertook a test. Here are the answers he gave:
Q :What do you know about Damascus
A: Kills all known germs, dead!
Q :Who was born in a stable
A :Red Rum
Q. How did David kill Goliath?
A: With the Acts of the Apostles
Q :Who was Noah’s wife
A: Joan of Arc
Q. What is Copper Nitrate
A :A policeman’s overtime.

That made me smile, but in April I visited St Michael’s College in Llandaff, which trains future vicars and was told that vocations to the priesthood are down. That will have an impact for the future as that means there are fewer Vicars and Rectors coming through the system. This means if we want our churches to continue we need to look at our own ministries. Are there lay people who could offer themselves as lay readers or worship leaders to take services? Are there people who could offer themselves as wardens or assistant wardens to look after the church? Do we have welcomers who could welcome people to services or people who feel it is their role to go out and visit the sick and those not able to come to church.

I spoke last month about the sterling efforts of the Friends of St Mary’s. And I would like to thank all those who do currently give up so much of their time and energy for our church in whatever capacity. However If our church is to thrive and survive, we need more people who are willing to be Jesus’ light of hope in our world and are prepared to offer their gifts and time to God’s mission.
Your friend and Vicar,


From 1st April 2008 a new system called NEWDOC is taking over the ‘Out of Hours’ medical service for our area, previously supplied by Shropdoc.

When the surgery is closed, out of hours cover will be provided by NEWDOC. NEWDOC have been contracted by the Wrexham Local Health Board who are responsible for commissioning the out of hours cover. NEWDOC contact No is 01244 834999.

Please do not call out of hours for routine matters as this service is provided for urgent cases only. The service sees patients by appointment only. NEWDOC operates from two centres: Deeside Community Hospital and Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
The service is open:
Overnight (6.30pm to 8am)
Over the weekend (6.30pm Friday until 8am Monday) and on Bank Holidays.
NEWDOC is unable to make appointments with your GP and does not provide repeat prescriptions.

The system operates in a very simple and easily understood way as follows:

• You telephone 01244 834999.

• An experienced call-handler will take the details or advise you to ring 999 if an obvious emergency.

• A Triage Nurse will call you back. The nurse is specially trained to take more detailed information and make an assessment about you or the patient.

• You will be given appropriate self-help advice or You will be asked to attend OOH centre
• or You will have a home visit by Out of Hours doctor if appropriate

Since Christmas we have seen a considerable growth in the number of patients asking to become part of the Online Access brigade. We are hoping to open access for requesting repeat prescriptions on-line by the end of June 2008 which should prove beneficial and time saving for some busy people. Any of you out there who may have been thinking about doing it ask at reception for details.

We have upgraded the website for links to organizations catering for the disabled, plus other housekeeping elements, click on refresh to gain access. See http://www.overtonsurgery.co.uk

by the Overtinions and our mascot Lucy

Hey everyone!
Welcome to May!
Not long until school finishes - yippee!

Jen’s Reviews

Hey everyone! This month my review will be on the film “27 dresses”. This film takes the old superstition “Three times a bridesmaid - never a bride!” to the extreme.

Here we find a woman, Jane, who after being a bridesmaid 27 times, has only 27 dresses to show for it. Now her younger sister Tess has come into town and is planning to be married too! She has captured the heart of Jane's boss (with who she is secretly in love) so Jane begins to re-examine her always bridesmaid lifestyle. This is a story of love with some rather surprising twists in the tale!

A very original script with an excellent cast. The star is Katherine Heigl.
Rating: 8 / 10 For everyone who likes a Chick Flick!

May Days

9th May 1914 Mothers Day (Mothering Sunday) was proclaimed
19th May 1916 Britain’s first Summer Time (“Daylight Saving Time”)
24th May 1862 Westminster Bridge opened across the Thames
28th May 1742 Opening of the first indoor swimming pool in London

Agony Aunt
Hi! This month I will be dealing with an issue that affects a lot of people.

Q: Hi. I’m really worried because my Mum and Dad are splitting up. I keep thinking its because of me and I don't know who to turn to. I love them both and I really don’t want them to break up! Is there anything I can do?

A: A lot of people’s parents split up but this doesn’t make it any easier. If you are feeling worried then tell your Mum and Dad because they know that this will be upsetting you.

Be honest with them and if they do decide to split up then remember, it is not your fault and they will not love you any less. Just because they don’t love each other, will never stop them loving you. Don’t worry!

The Corner Shop of Yesteryear
by Ken Farrell

Look carefully at the right hand corner of this photo and you will probably spot the glass tops of two petrol; pumps - one Shell and one National, Now, we all know that you can buy most things at the Corner Shop but before you drive down to fill up the car we should tell you that petrol is one item you will no longer be able to buy there.

The name too, over the door gives us another clue that this is rather an old photo - A. Onckelinx, Cycle Agent and Ironmonger. The left hand window advertises James motor cycles. The ladies in their cloche hats also tell us that the scene is from the 1920’s or 1930’s. The iron pipes that still form the low rail around the War Memorial are there but our red telephone kiosk has yet to be installed.

Auguste Onckelinx came to Overton from Belgium after the First World War to set up his business on the corner of High Street and Willow Street and, in the bedroom over the shop were born in 1923 his twin daughters, Val (later Mrs Yeadon) and Ness who married Doug Haynes. He later moved to what is now Wason’s Garage in Salop Road.

The lady in the foreground is. I understand, Mrs Andrews who, with her husband ran the White Horse, In her gypsy costume, complete with accordion and a parrot in a cage it looks as if she is taking part in Carnival Day in Overton. Peeping over the wall of what was then Overton Hall and is nowadays Sundorne, is probably Jean, the daughter of Dr W.M. Casper, the village doctor, who then lived at the Hall. Below her, wearing the flat cap and overall is, we think, Mr Bill Jones, the stonemason who lived at Ivanhoe and was the father-in-law of Mr Bill Bussey who is standing next to him.

Only one thing about the fascinating photo worries me - I wonder where Auguste stored all that petrol !!!


We are all very excited as we prepare to welcome this year's group of French friends from La Murette. We hope that as many of you as possible will join us for the various activities taking place during the visit in the first week of August. Everyone is very friendly and has a marvellous time during the visits. All the residents of Overton and district are members of the Association. No money changes hands! There are no joining fees. At our recent AGM we proposed some changes to our Constitution and you are now invited to air your opinions on these changes. To facilitate this involvement, the Constitution and its proposed changes will be on display from 26th May until 16th June in Overton Library. We'd be very grateful if you would take a few minutes to read it and let us know what you think. The Twinning Association are launching a Saturday night Bonus Ball number game. Pay £1 per week and you'll be in with a chance of winning £25. To find out more, please get in touch with any member of the committee including the Treasurer Catherine Starkey on 710322 or the secretary Georgina Mason on 710486.

Where on earth do you read the Oracle?

I am a past resident of Overton, and still have cousins Howard and Alan living in the village. I am now spending my retirement in Estepona on the Costa del Sol in Spain. Many thanks for keeping me in touch with Overton news.
Regards, Bryan Jones

Thank you for those who have already told us what far-flung places in the world ex-Overton residents read the Oracle via the internet. If you have not been featured yet let us know which part of the world you read the Oracle in!

Send to editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk

Can you see yourself?

Gordon Whitfield, who now lives in Cambridgeshire and reads the Oracle on the website, sent this photo of the Overton School football team 1967. Who can you identify? Answers next month.

These are the names for the photo in last months Oracle taken in 1967.

Back Row
Gareth Edwards, Stephen Andrews, Gordon Whitfield, Jeremy Thorpe, Iorweth Evans
Middle Row
Richard Humphrys, Caroline Ingram, Carol Owen (Sadowski), Lynne Ogden, Janet Owen (Tinsley), Ceri Thomas
Front Row
Diana Hilton Jones, Shane Evans (Stubberts), Yvonne Capper, Dian Haynes (Nicholas), Roberta (Bobby) Osbourne (Edge), Peter Colley


A group of young people from The Maelor School walked the Maelor Way from Overton to Penley on Friday 14th March for Sports Relief. Six of them set out raising £500. Well done.
Here are the four from Overton who took part. They are: Melissa Haynes, Jo-ann Rodenhurst, Anne McCulloch and Vicky Glover.


Overton Recreational Club have just won another trophy to go along side Mark Whittall's pool league trophy.
Congratulations to the Domino Team that have just won the Ruabon Domino League Knockout Trophy. Well Done Overton Club. (Where will the next trophy come from?)


The Clerk to Overton Community Council has received a copy of a letter from the Service Manager for Public Protection, Wrexham County Borough Council, it reads:

“I write with regard to a matter raised at the Community Council Forum Meeting on the 18th February 2008. Dog owners who let their dogs foul and fail to remove the waste are committing an offence under the Dogs (Fouling on Land) Act 1996 and risk being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for £75. Dog litter should be picked up immediately and it is recommended that it is double wrapped in plastic bags which are properly secured. Dog owners should ensure that they have gloves and bags etc. to enable them to carry out this task safely and effectively. Bags for this purpose may be purchased from most pet stores. The Council do not have a policy of providing additional litter bins specifically for dog fouling. Dog litter bins are provided in the parks and Country Parks and they are regularly maintained. Dog owners are encouraged to behave responsibly and put waste in the nearest litter bin or take it home and dispose of it properly in their own domestic waste bin. Dog owners can put dog waste in any available litter bin in the County Borough as long as it is properly bagged and secured.”

Please note that the bins in the Overton playing fields and the cemetery are only to be used by people using these areas, and not for general rubbish.


Springfield Supplies have now moved from Overton to Penley, the new address is Unit 38, Hall Ind Est., Penley, LL13 OLQ, (Tel:- 01948 830839) (Just in front of Mother Goose Nursery). We would like to thank all our customers and friends for all your support over the years.

We have now joined forces with Maelor Farm and Garden and relocated to Penley Industrial Estate. We hope you will continue to support and visit us and use the individual service you have enjoyed in the past.

We have plenty of products from DIY and Household Products, Nuts and Bolts and many Gardening Products. If you don’t remember us from the past then we will remind you of how valuable we can be to your needs. We look forward to your visit.
We are open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

by Constable Luke Hughes, Community Beat Manager

To start this months article I thought that you would like to meet the Team!

PCSO Emily Williams

PCSO Jenna Owen

PC Luke Hughes

As I’m sure you are all aware legislation to increase the penalty for using a hand-held phone whilst driving came into force on 27 February 2007. The £30 fine was increased to £60 and 3 penalty points on your license. Penalty points can mean higher insurance costs. If you get 6 points within 2 years of passing your test, your license will be revoked and you will need to re-sit the test. If the case goes to court, you could risk a maximum fine of £1,000, which rises to £2,500 for the driver of a bus, coach, or heavy goods vehicle.

A driver can also be prosecuted for using a hands-free device if you are not in proper control of your vehicle when using the device. The penalties are the same - £60 fine and 3 points on your license. Callers also play an important role in keeping the roads safe. If the person you are speaking to is driving, please terminate the call and arrange to speak to them later.

In addition to this you are also required by law to wear a safety belt whilst driving or being a passenger in a vehicle; unless certain exemptions apply, the penalty for this is a £30 fine. Road safety is a priority concern in our area, being in a rural location means that you are much more likely to have an accident on rural roads and also suffer serious injury as a result. Unfortunately I`m sure you will all agree we see far to many people flaunting Mobile Phone and Safety Belt laws and let’s not even get started on speeding...

Please if you are one of the guilty ones that's "Just popping to the Shop" or "Just taking that quick call" please put the phone away and belt up before you are injured or you injure someone else, it is the intention to deal with all offenders by way of prosecution from hence forth... sorry to be all blunt about it, but


Overton was featured on BBC Wales Tonight in March when PCSO Jenna Owen, leader of Wrexham Council Aled Roberts and Street Scene Engineer Kevin Edwards were filmed conducting an Environmental Audit in the village, this was broadcast on the evening of 31st March and formed part of a Local Election story explaining how the Borough Council now work with a number of agencies to identify community issues, broken street lights, poor road surfaces, missing signs etc, since starting these audits in mid 2007 I believe we have made a number of improvements across our area.

With the weather now slowly improving we may be turning our attention to the garden, and you may be considering purchasing new equipment, including tower tools, mowers etc... Can I ask that if you do find yourself making such purchases can you make a note of the serial numbers and record details of make / model / colour. I ask this as power tools are often stolen from insecure or poorly secured garages, sheds and outbuildings and any information you can provide may aid its recovery.

Police Horses Visit Overton

Quick thinking Oracle reader Graham Millington took this surprise photo in Overton on Tuesday 15th April 2008

Graham writes, “My wife and I were very surprised to see two Mounted Police walking down Springfield Park. What a lovely sight !! They told us they had brought the horses to Overton in a horsebox and were touring Overton before going on to Bangor on Dee. They kindly waited whilst I got my camera and then posed for me before going on their way.”

The new Mounted Section of the North Wales Police is stabled at Erddig

View from the Village Vets.

Bugs, Badgers and Blue Tongue.

Regular readers of the Oracle will have noticed that the veterinary feature has been missing for a few months. This has been partly due to the absence through ill health of Ryan Hartley which has left us one vet short – you will be pleased to hear that he has made a good recovery and has just stated back at work on a part-time basis – and also because we have been preparing for a new practice computer system. The new system went ‘live’ on the 9th April and (hopefully!) means that we can now access all of the client records at our main practice in Ellesmere from the branch at Overton.

On the farm animal side of our practice, the workload of TB testing continues to increase. 5 years ago the majority of our farms were tested for TB every 4 years. Sadly the rise in the number of cases means that many now have to be tested every 12 months and whilst this generates extra work for the vet, it causes considerable extra work for the already overstretched farmers.

The Welsh Assembly Government is considering a countrywide TB testing programme and targeted culling of badgers in heavily infected TB areas. Whilst this is clearly a highly emotive issue, it will be very interesting to see how England responds if this plan is implemented and leads to real reductions in the number of cows which have to be slaughtered as a result of being tested positive for TB.

As if TB was not enough to worry about, we also expect to see cases of Blue Tongue this coming summer. As many of you will know, infected midges brought the disease into the UK from Holland last August and so far there have been over 100 confirmed cases chiefly in the east of England. A vaccine is due to be released in May and we hope that all animals in our area will have been allowed to be vaccinated before the midges move further west this year.

Blue Tongue causes severe illness and a high level of mortality in sheep and although cattle tend to recover, the disease is unpleasant and appears to cause abortion and severe depression in milk production in dairy cows and reduced weight gain in beef animals.

Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre. 01978 711975

A Good Deed
by Helen Fernee

I met a bored Connor and his friend Ryan on Sunday, and so I asked them if they were any good with a shovel. They asked why and I told them about the path along The Avenue that has become overgrown, and asked if they would they like to help?

They asked why - which was a genuine question. When I told them about people having to walk in single file or tripping up, and how older people enjoy a chat on the path, they said ‘OK’. It occurred to me then that the younger generation genuinely don’t know about helping the community unless we teach them. (Same as litter) Anyway, they came round today and asked where I was yesterday as they called and today they came twice - for shovels! They are really enjoying doing the work! The only reward they are getting is the left-over sweets and drinks from the youth club. But I am hoping that I am able to get them Youth University points.

Fair Trade at St Mary’s School

Pupils at St Mary’s School, Overton have been learning about Fair Trade following the recent Fair Trade Fortnight. Members of the school’s eco council also recently participated in the North Wales Fair Trade conference at Loggerheads. The school has also set up a steering group made up of pupils, staff and governors, with the aim of achieving fair trade school status.

Pictured are members of the steering group: from the left
Oliver McCarthy, Jade Aird, Frazer Kokic,
Zoe Fernee, Josie Clacher and Jessica Croudace.

School Demolition Derby

On a chilly day in the Easter holidays, we bid a fond farewell to our tired out mobile classroom, which had served us well but had long outstayed it's welcome at our school. With a band of helpful mums, the mobile was cleared and any items of any use were reused and recycled within the school and playgroup, then after the electricity had been disconnected and the windows carefully removed, the demolition experts came into their own....

The digger on loan from Greyhound Planthire and it's eager driver lurked in the wings and within seconds the mobile was crunched and munched by the digger's powerful grab. By lunchtime, the digger had filled the enormous skip and the ground was clear, showing a wonderful new space for our garden.

We are indebted to those who provided support, such as BBC Breathing Places and The National Lottery for providing the funding for this project and to those who gave their time and expertise to fulfill our ideas - thanks to Greyhound Planthire and our motley demolition crew; none of this would have been possible without your help. Watch this space for more news on our garden area as spring finally arrives!

It’s going to be an Edible Forest!
by David Burton

In last month’s Oracle Rafela Fitzhugh described what happened when one of her trees fell across the A528 and invited readers to go along and find out what her plans were – so I did. I said that we were used to seeing a wood alongside the road, so what was going to happen? Interestingly Rafela told me that many villagers had said how nice it was to see the view. However, she told me that it used to be pasture and that Col. Fitzhugh kept chickens and her father kept a horse. Then about 35 years ago her Grandfather planted Christmas trees for a cash crop, but never harvested them. Now the area is designated as woodland and will have to be replanted and Rafela and husband Wilf, are happy about that. The Forestry Commission had advised them that the Christmas trees had reached their natural lifespan and had to come down.

As for the trees along the roadside, they were mostly over 100 years old and the Forestry Commission had advised them that the older trees were sound. Whether the removal of the Christmas trees reduced the ability of the older trees to withstand the wind is pure speculation, but the wind did blow and a tree did fall across the main road. Rafela feels that she was bullied by the Highways department to take all the trees down, but faced with one tree down and the others swaying wildly in the wind she felt she had no option and agreed as she felt that safety was paramount. It later transpired that they had no right to order their removal. Rafela is now liaising with Wrexham County Borough Council and the remaining trees are now covered by preservation orders.

Rafela’s plans include an edible forest on the top half of the garden, trees and bushes that yield food – walnut, apples, pears etc. Along the road they hope to plant a hawthorn hedge with hornbeam trees behind (back from the road). She wants to re-plant the Rose Walk, and along the top of the bank will be planted oaks interspersed with Buddleias to attract butterflies. Overall the area has to be 80% shrubs and woodland.

On the bank down to the public footpath that runs from the road down to Overton Bottom, there will be bushes at the top and native trees, oak, ash and sycamore. This will help to keep open the view from the house and for those on the footpath they will see mixed woodland and hopefully plenty of colour. The laurels on the bank, planted in the early years of the 19th century, will have to be cut back. The whole project, and especially the bank, will be managed by the Forestry Commission’s arboreal-culturist.

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
In Overton we do our bit each Thursday when it comes to recycling. But when it comes to plastic we have to put a lot of it in with general waste as we can only recycle plastic bottles. There are all kinds of plastic but if its bottle shaped it can only be made from certain polymers which are recyclable. So if it's plastic and bottle shaped it is an easy way to see it can be recycled.

But the same polymers are used for many other things; we can all see that the clear plastic containing our Sunday joint is the same as that of our fizzy drink bottle, and if you get a magnifying glass and look closely at the Mobius Loop (the recycle triangle with a number in the middle) you can prove that it is. Wrexham Council says “The fact is that although these items are recyclable, there are no companies within the UK who are prepared to accept them from the Council. Therefore we are unable to dispose of them.” Because no one is prepared to check the other shaped items!

So the answer is? Give every bin man in the country a huge magnifying glass or start a campaign to get manufacturers to put BIG Mobius signs on their products.
Miss Mona Lot

by Henry

Curious isn’t it, the lack of joined up thinking shown by Government (both national & local)? First of all Rafela Fitzhugh is told to fell a row of trees by the Highways Dept. only to find from the Planning Dept. that they had no right to (story page 9 ). Then we learn that most of the plastic we put out for recycling cannot be recycled because there is no-one in Britain with the capability to process it! (see letter page 9 )

Keeping my ears pricked and poking my cold nose where it is not wanted, I dug this story up the other day. Apparently two traffic police officers were involved in an unusual incident whilst checking for speeding motorists on the A55 between Conway and Penmaenmawr. Last summer they were using a hand-held radar gun to trap unwary motorists on the North Wales Expressway.

One of the un-named officers used the device to check the speed of an approaching car from the Penmaenmawr direction. He was somewhat surprised to find that the speed recorded was off the scale, in excess of 400mph. The device had then seized up and could not be reset by the puzzled PC’s. The radar had, in fact, latched onto the RAF’s latest super-fighter, a Typhoon aircraft flying parallel to the North Wales coast, which was taking part in a large scale low flying exercise around Snowdonia.

Following a complaint by the police to the RAF liaison Office that they should have been advised that the exercise was taking place, it was revealed that the officers could be classed as ‘very fortunate’! The tactical computer on board the Typhoon had not only detected and jammed the hostile radar equipment, but it had automatically armed a Sidewinder air-to-ground missile, ready to neutralise the perceived threat.

Luckily the pilot was alerted to the missile status and was able to over-ride the automatic protection system before the missile was launched.

The Police have never commented on this and the whole incident has been hushed up, although it is understood that officers have been advised, that on this stretch of the A55, to point their radar guns inland!


Erika Pyne (née Henstock) and Phil announce the arrival of their new daughter Freya Elisabeth, a sister for Henry.
Happy May Birthdays To Jade Lyndsey Aird Happy 11th Birthday and good luck when you move up to Penley in September. All our love and kisses Mamma, Grandad, Andrew and Archie the chocolate lab! XX
A very Happy May Birthday to Eleanor McCusker 11yrs, Luke Haynes 11yrs, Henry Buttress 13yrs, Olivia Dodwell 7yrs, Phillip Maskall and Gail Coupland.
Belated April Birthdays wishes to Geoff Hodgson.
Congratulations to Ivor and Dilys Parkinson on their Golden Wedding Anniversary last month.
Best of luck to Wilf McDonald Brown who is riding his bike 260 miles from London to Rheims on behalf on Autism, starting on 6th June.


A big thank you to Pauline Dodd who is retiring from delivering the Overton Oracle around the Lightwood Green area for the last 10 years.
And welcome to Linda Hughes who is taking on her deliveries.

On behalf of the members of Wrexham Maelor Lions Club. We thank the residents of Overton-On-Dee for their donations and support at our recent coffee morning, We raised £260, which will be used to buy a crib and soft toys for the bereavement room at the Maelor Hospital.