Overtons Free Newspaper - issued monthly to over 600 homes in Overton
The Editorial Team
Alan Edwards - David Burton - Ken Farrell - Lesley Pugh - Christine Stead
Our reporters cannot be everywhere.
If you have
a story contact any team member or ring 01978 710422
Plans for new medical centre unveiled
After a great deal of planning, work on the construction of a new medical centre in Overton will soon be started. This will replace the existing surgery, which occupies the former Wrexham Rural District Offices in the High Street. The new centre is expected to be open in Autumn 2003
The project evolved through a national competition, a short listing from which the architects and Trinity Medical Properties were selected. In a statement to the Oracle, Dr Paul Myers and Partners said:- "When the new centre is completed, the old building will be demolished and the land on which it stands extensively landscaped.
The new medical centre will incorporate the latest designs and features to make your visit to us a pleasant one. It will enable all the doctors and staff to operate more efficiently in better surroundings and with adequate space. It will incorporate better consulting and treatment rooms as well as a minor operations suite. District Nurses, Health Visitors and other health professionals from the North East Wales Trust will occupy part of the new premises enabling them to provide a wide range of medical services to the community. The local pharmacy will also be incorporated in the new building for your convenience.
During the construction period there may be limited patient car parking on site. We trust that you will understand and bear with us until the new premises are finished. If you travel to us by car, please park in the public car park behind the surgery.
It is anticipated that we will open the new medical centre in the Autumn of next year and in the meantime the surgery will operate normally. We will keep you informed of progress."
Part of the new building will occupy the site of the existing bowling green, which is currently being replaced by a new crown green at St Mary's Avenue.
Plans of the new medical centre have been deposited with Wrexham County Borough Council for planning permission and a copy is being publicly displayed in the Parish Rooms during library opening hours. Any comments should be addressed to the Chief Planning Officer, Development Services Directorate, Wrexham County Borough Council, Lambpit Street, PO Box 1290, Wrexham, LL11 1WL, quoting reference no. P/2002/1046
At an extra-ordinary meeting of the Community Council on October 23rd, the Council endorsed the scheme, but had a number of reservations. These referred to the adequacy of the proposed car park to cater for the parking needs of both visitors and staff, the close proximity of the building to residential property, and the impact of the proposal on the future of the Chemist in the High Street. However, despite these reservations the Council fully supported the scheme in principle on the basis that it will be an asset to the community of Overton.
The Council further debated matters relating to St Mary's Church, at one point asking the public to leave the meeting in view of the confidential nature of the business to be discussed following the receipt of a letter from Bishop John. A member of the public said he had submitted a letter to the Oracle for people to get in touch with him if they felt a public meeting would help to inform and enlighten the community about such issues. (see page 2)
Bishop John to visit Overton
Bishop John, at the request of the Reverend Canon Valerie Jones, will be present at the Eucharist at St Mary's Church, Overton on Sunday 3rd November.
In the October Church Newsletter, the Rector said: "I have asked the Bishop to come and be with us and speak to us, because over the past weeks, you and I have had to face severe accusations and criticism from certain members of the community, regarding the way we conduct ourselves as a Christian Church. I work under his authority, and I know that I can be in constant touch with my Bishop any time of the day or night, and this is reassuring for me. However, I feel you too need to see him - to have the opportunity to speak with him and to listen to what he has to say on the matter.
Please could you make every effort to be there on the morning of 3rd November at 11.15 am."
Letters to the Editor
St Mary's Church
I read with astonishment in October "letters" "Yes I am a Christian" but "it would be wise for this man to voluntarily move on to another pasture" and suggest "we build respect for the Church and what it stands for".
Move on so that he can be hounded out again? The family will never be able to rebuild their lives whilst this mentality prevails. Secondly, what is the church for if it is not welcoming and forgiving? Isn't that what Christianity means or will nimbysm win the day?
From one correspondent who hides behind anonymity to another - "Stargazer". He states "we're in the news sadly, in the News of the World" but does not see fit to criticise the actions of a person who fed the story to such a newspaper knowing the harm it would do not only to the Kennett Orpwoods' but to their young daughter who was about to start secondary school. Such action is beyond understanding.
Stargazer adds that the story is too familiar to require repetition but recounts his version anyway, adding such niceties as where the family lives and Mr Kennett Orpwood' s occupation.
Other points cannot be allowed to pass:
1. He says hardly anyone knew about it. Having assessed the risk to the Church community, from a non- resident, who only sought with his family to continue to worship, what was the church to do - place an article in the Oracle? (Bear in mind PC Burns comments on confidentiality).
2. He then speaks for "the vast majority" by assuming that the voices and letters to the Community Council meeting are representative of the whole. We too have spoken to many people whose views are not those of Stargazer.
3. Words such as "religious rehabilitation" are not only extremely hurtful but without foundation.
Stargazer uses his privileged situation to "inform" Overton in a biased way, but more than that, his column contains statements which are ill-advised
In the September issue, Stargazer writes (concerning fundraising for the organ in St Mary's) that the "poor state" (I.e fair wear and tear) "was not spotted at the time and therefore taken into account in the insurance claim". Is he suggesting that we should have attempted to defraud the insurance company? In fact strong attempts were made at the time of the fire for a replacement organ, without success.
Regarding the current matter, we too are tired of the anti-St Mary's criticism which followed what was a simple Christian act to a family who desperately needed and still need support. Please can we not recognise that and, as your correspondent rightly asks, all get back to normality.
Ian Roberts and Phil Humphreys - Churchwardens
I write with reference to both the Stargazer article and the Editor letter in last month's edition.
I am a mother of a young child and a member of the Overton community. It seems to me that a witch hunt is going on which holds the potential for great damage not least to the lives of the Orpwood children.
Surely the Orpwood family should be given the chance of a fresh start and is it not time for the community to move on and begin to focus on other more positive aspects of community life?
Becci Kannreuther, Lightwood Green
At a recent Community Council meeting, members of the Council agreed to write on behalf of the people present to the Bishop regarding their concerns about a person on the sex offenders register being a member of our church choir.
The Council members were asked, if necessary, to facilitate a public meeting. In anticipation of a reply from the Bishop acknowledging our concerns, I would like any person who feels that a public meeting would help to inform and enlighten the community about this issue to please contact me. If there is sufficient interest it will allow a meeting to be organised and qualified speakers on this subject to be present.
Yours sincerely James Glover Overton
RECENT CRIME NEWS.
At the time of writing, the village has been reeling in the aftermath of two early evening burglaries - something we can really do without. Then two nights later the same thing happened again in Bangor-on-Dee, probably the same offenders.
A burglary in the home can be a very traumatic experience for the victim. The thought that a stranger has searched through your private possessions and trespassed in the rooms of your home in your absence is a sickening thought.
Such bad news however does make us all sit up and realise how close to home it is, that this sort of thing can happen. It's sad, but true, that it takes such an incident to put people on their own guard and consider their own security arrangements.
The North Wales Police Community Safety Department offer such advice. Anyone wanting to speak to our Community Safety Officer can do so by contacting P.C. Peter Barratt, for free advice or collect one of our leaflets from Overton Police Station.
WHO'S THAT MAN ON A BIKE?
I know a lot of you have noticed over the past few months a fit looking Bobby up and down the villages on a pedal cycle, complete with "Police " Cycling helmet. It was not me, I must confess, but Adam Griffiths, one of our team of Special Constables, who has been increasing patrols in the areas of Overton and Bangor. I am very fortunate to have a team of Special Constables who work the Maelor Section. They assist during times that I am not working and also provide extra staffing for local events.
If you are interested in becoming a Special Constable and have some spare hours to provide to the community or would just like some more information, please contact me at Overton Police Station.
Pat Burns. Constable 15 Community Beat Manager, Maelor Section.
DID YOU KNOW
According to the Times Book of Quotations, the following e-mail address was offered to and rejected by the Arch-bishop of Wales. Archbishop@demon.net
'TIS BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST
Now that Edwina Currie has told us all about her secret affair with John Major it is, perhaps, time that I finally revealed the story of my own torrid liaison with Gladys Biggleswick. I was ten at the time and she was eight. We first met on the annual Sunday School outing to Rhyl and despite the rain we quickly discovered that we were meant for each other. In fact, by the time we got back home, she had made me promise to marry her as soon as I had passed my '0' Levels. What a time we had with my five shillings pocket-money - terrifying rides in the fairground, at least three goes on the Dodgems, sticks of Rhyl rock, ice creams and dishes of whelks all washed down with large glasses of Vimto. Gladys wisely did not spend any of her own money, sensibly explaining that she might need it for an emergency at some future date.
Ah! such memories! Saturday matinees clasped together in the back row of the Hippodrome, (we rather despised the Mickey Mouse Club at the Odeon as being only suitable for kids), while Gladys squirmed with delight as she read out the messages on the big bag of Love Hearts I had bought her and which she always managed to eat in two minutes flat.
It could not last, of course. Gladys ultimately tired of Love Hearts and Aniseed Balls, much preferring Cherry Lips which she quickly discovered were a handy substitute for lipstick. She showed little interest in conkers and swopping cigarette cards and all too soon she drifted away. Much later I heard that she had changed her name to Tara, married a Peer of the Realm and was now living in some huge baronial castle in Scotland.
Just like Norma Major my wife knows all about my affair with Gladys. She fully understands the temptation I was under and has long ago forgiven me. Just as Edwina courageously gave her story to the" Times" she has encouraged me to do the same with the "Oracle" and, furthermore, to tell it in detail in my new book which will appear just in time for Christmas. She says that there is a huge market for this kind of self-revelation and has already spent most of the massive royalties she anticipates I will be receiving.
Players' skills tested to the limits.
Overton Amateur Dramatic Society staged another excellent play entitled "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" by Martin McDonagh. Produced and directed by James Glover, the play was set in the hills of Connemara, Ireland, in the little village of Leenane, and followed the growing tensions between Maureen, played by Cynthia Davies, who had been left at home to look after her demanding mother Mag, played by Anne Kynaston. Maureen had reached middle age without finding a husband, unlike her two sisters. Mag although frail, took great delight in taunting Maureen, who found it increasingly difficult to cope with.
As the play unfolded, this fragile situation was seen to be tested to its limits, with some shocking scenes which tragically ended in the death of Mags. Now she was free to pursue her old flame Pato, played by Stephen Sorfleet. Throughout, Ray, his younger brother played by Mike Redworth, became increasingly frustrated as the go-between for Maureen and Pato, delivering messages which never seemed to get through. In the end Maureen found that she was left all alone, as her old flame had left for America to marry a woman from Boston whom he had met at a local dance.
This black comedy was superbly played by all the actors who not only had some difficult scenes to perform, but kept delivering their lines with very convincing Irish accents. James Glover said: "This play was as much of a challenge for me to produce and direct as it was for the cast to perform, but I must say that it was one of the most rewarding achievements for all of us, not only on, but off-stage as well. I feel proud that we have such a fine team." He added: "Perhaps our recent weekend trip to Dublin had something to do with it"
Rehearsals are now taking place for the Pantomime, "Jack and the Beanstalk", which is to be held in the Village Hall at the end of January 2003. Anyone wishing to help please contact Sue England or any member of the Society.
Ed: another "not to be missed" performance for your diary.
SENIOR CITIZENS' CHRISTMAS PARTY
By The Rector of St Mary's Church
For many years now, St Mary's Church congregation at Overton has given this party as a gift to the Senior Citizens in our community.
This year the Party will be on Tuesday December 3rd at the Village Hall at 3.30pm. Invitations will be sent out, but as you can imagine, it is difficult to be absolutely sure that we have included everyone.
If you have "come of age" during the year, or if you are "of age", and you have come into the community recently, or by some accident, we have missed your name on the list, then please let me know.
When you receive your invitation, please reply to me at The Rectory, by November 19th.
We look forward to seeing you.
Amateur Dramatic Society supports Mind Peru Challenge
On behalf of the Overton Amateur Dramatic Society, Jim Glover presented a cheque for £100 to Alan Edwards, a member of the Society, in aid of Mind the leading mental health charity, as part of Alan's challenge to trek 60 miles through the Peruvian High Andes to the lost city of Machu Picchu.
Alan said: I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support for this charity, for which I have committed to raise £2,500 by May next year. I know that this donation will make a real difference to someone in need".
Who would you like to meet and why?
Following the successful track record of the "Photograph with a famous person", this month sees the launch of a new series entitled "Who would you like to meet and why?" To start you off here's a contribution from David Burton, of Maelor Court, Overton.
"I would like to meet King Edward 1 - shortly before his death in 1307 to see the look on his face when I tell him that even though he encircled Gwynedd with 14 Castles, 178 years later a Welsh king Henry V11 (1485) would sit on the English throne. Also, that in spite of being known as the Hammer of the Scots in 296 years time a Scottish king would become the first King of Britain - James 1 (1603). Would I tell him that the Prince of Wales was still English? Probably!"
So now you have got the idea, submit a note on the person you would like to meet and we will consider it for printing in a future issue of the Oracle.
Yet another new series! This time we will print old photographs of Overton and its people with a short history, so if you have any old photographs and you can put together a few words to describe the event, or name the people in the picture, we will print these in future issues. All photographs will be returned in good condition. Contributions please to the Editor.
Ed: We are always happy to include items like the above, but will contributors please remember to include their name and address with their request.
Victory for School Football Team
Wearing their new strip, St Mary's Church Aided Primary School football team played a superb game against Rhos-y-Medre School on Thursday 10th October securing a 2-0 victory.
Some say that it was all to do with their new strip, which was financed by a grant from the Community Council earlier in the year, but the team knows otherwise!
Ed: Well done.
We welcome any sports news, so please contact Christine Stead, our sports writer
Advertise your Christmas Events
Are you thinking of running a special festive event next month to raise funds for your organisation? Or would you like to publicise Church Services over the Christmas period? Whatever your needs, the Oracle can help to reach over 600 homes in the area. Just drop a note of your event/services to the Editor, no later than 19th November.
"S - Club 7" are Chasing Turkeys
By Euan Stevenson
Now that the clocks have gone back and the evenings are dark, cold and wet, how do the good people of Overton spend their evenings? Curled up by the fire, watching television perhaps?
Down at the Sports and Social club ("S - Club" for short) things aren't quite as inactive, for this is an exciting time of year for club members. The "Christmas Knockouts" will be underway in November and December, leading up to the grand finals night on 13th December. There are 9 Sports club competitions (i.e. S-Club 9 - the headline is slightly inaccurate. Let's hope that none of our junior readers are alarmed).
The 9 annual events are: - Snooker, Billiards, Pool, Dominoes (singles and doubles), Darts (Men's, Ladies and mixed doubles) and Chess.
The excitement is already mounting down at the club. Many questions will be answered in the coming weeks, for example: - Will Doreen Hamlington again be successful in the dominoes doubles (at the expense of husband Brian? Will marital strife be avoided?) - Will Phil Malam repeat his 50 - 1 shock outsider win in the snooker competition? - Will Kelvin (Kasparov) Davies manage to overcome the challenge of blonde bombshell Sally Taylor and others and win a third successive Chess title?
Why do S - Club people get excited over these events? Well, there's the honour of being champion of course, and getting your name on that plaque on the wall for posterity. There is another reason, however. As the competitions climax just before Christmas, the tournament winners (and finalists) receive turkeys as prizes - a mouth-watering incentive.
So while you are curled in front of the fire, spare a thought for those in the Sports and Social club, who are chasing turkeys. There will be nervous fluttering in the stomach, twitching in the hand and the odd bead of perspiration on the brow as they try to summon their reserves of hand - eye co-ordination and brain power.
Will their performance be that of a champion? - or that of a turkey?
The Power of Happiness
Be happy with what you have while pursuing what you want. The man who says he is going to be happy when he reaches what he's looking for, probably never finds it.
Happiness is not a destination. It's a state of mind that anyone can learn to adopt.