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

November 2007


The Editorial Team

David Burton - Euan Stevenson - Sean Clarke - Jackie Maskall - Cynthia Davies - Maxine Palmer

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.



On 16th October Joanne Kember and Sue Glover attended the finals of the Calor Village of the Year Cymru competition at Skinners Hall, London. It was important to them that they gave credit and thanks to the hard work over a period of 2 years to all the people involved in any way, shape or form.

Overton, winners of the Nth Wales Village of the year, came runners-up in the final for the whole of Wales, pipped at the post by Lawrenny in South Wales. Many congratulations to them.

Managing Director of Calor, Alex Davis, said “Overton-on-Dee villagers should be extremely proud. As a regional winner, the village has achieved so much, and we know that the community’s drive and enthusiasm will spur them on to continue to make every effort to further improve life for everyone in the village.”

The presentation of the awards for Nth Wales Village of the Year , for the People, and Business sections and the prize money of £1,500.

By Jacky Maskall

Sunday October 7th and the day dawned looking very cloudy and grumpy. But as 4pm approached it was warm and dry as we made our way to St Mary’s School. The celebrations started with Brian Challis Co-ordinator for Calor Village of the Year presenting the awards Overton had won. Accepting these awards on Overton’s behalf were Adrian Lloyd, a self employed carpenter, representing Businesses, next, resplendent in his Scout Uniform, David Burton for the People’s Award, Katherine Crockford, the driving force behind our success, accepted the North Wales Village of the Year Award and Phil Humphreys Chairman of the Overton Community Council received the cheque for £1,500.

Refreshments were then served, tea, coffee and hundreds of scones and home made cakes small, large, square, round; I think you get the picture and many thanks to all you bakers. Slightly later, hot dogs and filled jacket potatoes, again many thanks for the fillings that were donated. Ice cream sold by India Simon and Robyn King both aged 10; cold drinks were being sold by Chloe Chilver, Lynne Potter, Dafydd Kember all 15 and Anwen Davis 16, all volunteers. However, not to lose an opportunity all the profits were going towards funding 20 pupils from Maelor School who are going on a community and wildlife project to Zambia and Botswana. At times like these I wish I was still at school! The White Horse also supplied a bar. There were face painters, beat the goalie, a coconut shy, Emma Daniels and Eliza Meredith from Afterglow Circus Arts with many exciting activities such as stilts, a uni-cycle, spinning plates and many other interesting items to experiment with. Scouts and Guides were represented and our very own Reverend Dave. Musically, something for everyone from a string quartet to Pianist Tom McCusker 17, and The Overtones Barry and Roger Glover and Jonny Bell.

The party was paid for by Calor who gave us an extra £500 for a village party as they were so impressed with how the villagers interact. This event proved it was a justified extra as there were babes in arms up to Grandparents all happily chatting and enjoying the fun. There are so many people to thank for making this party the success it was and I am terrified of missing someone out so may I just pick out Pat Clarke for the use of the school, Joanne Kember, Kay Lawrenson, Katherine Crockford and Katrina Chalk for the tremendous organisation which made this event so memorable and all the people helping with the refreshments and clearing up.

by Sean Clarke

On the 7th October the village celebrated it’s Calor Gas title with a party held in St Mary’s and the turnout was impressive. There was juggling, a coconut shy, beat the goalie and scouting displays, not to mention a huge variety of cakes and tasty hot food. The kids got the opportunity to play with their friends at the weekend and parents were able to leisurely catch up with one another as opposed to the ‘drop/ run/remember what you forgot’ routine we all have to suffer during the week. It was a weekend of mixed results, with the English Rugby team celebrating a victory and Lewis Hamilton managing a reasonable impression of Nigel Mansell. I won’t even mention the football …. There were raised eyebrows at the mention of a party in October but fortune favours the brave and the organisers were blessed with unseasonably warm weather.

We recently received a poem from reader Hazel Mathews who hinted that she wanted us to report on the dark underbelly of Overton’s society and bring about more of a balanced content to the Oracle. Whilst I’m sure she would delight in the report that a number of W.I. members were ejected for starting a food fight and then shocked the crowds with their Calendar Girls impersonations, it didn’t happen so I will have to stick with the facts. My pen was poised, but she will be disappointed to learn that the event was probably more successful than hoped. Even the circus entertainers escaped ridicule and they invited it! Whilst I’m sure that Hazel’s comments were tongue in cheek, our more long standing readers will remember the ‘Stargazer’ column, which ran regularly a few years ago and occasionally carried a less wholesome view on village life. If you would like it to return please let us know, and if I’m lucky, I’ll be reporting on the crop circles and devil worshiping that’s been going on………..

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear friends,
I remember being in a shop a couple years ago, as the two-minute silence on Remembrance Day started. One lady had come to the till and was very upset when the cashiers stepped back to observe the silence. She completely destroyed that period of reflection by complaining in the loudest voice possible. For her those two minutes of remembrance was nothing more than a nuisance and inconvenience.

What does Remembrance Day mean for us? Do we give it any thought, do we observe the silence and then think no more about it. I was reading an old article the other week from the Manchester Guardian, which was describing the very first two-minute silence, held in London in November 1919. The pain and memories of the trenches were only a year ago when this article was written and you get a real sense of the trauma of people as they remembered:

“‘The first stroke of 11 produced a magical effect. The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume and stopped dead, and the mighty limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped, as seeming to do it of their own volition. Someone took off his hat and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also. Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of attention. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still…the hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city and became so pronounced as to impress one with a sense of audibility. It was a silence, which was almost a pain, and the spirit of memory brooded over it all.”
Manchester Guardian, 12th November 1919.

For those people, the memories and scars of the First World War were still vivid and raw. For us today it is vital we continue to remember as a tribute to those who sacrificed all and as a rededication on our part to work for peace anew in our world. This Remembrance Sunday it is my prayer that we all will replace fear, suspicion and hatred in our own hearts with trust, understanding and compassion, the things that lead to peace in our world.
Your friend and Rector, David.

by Constable Luke Hughes, Community Beat Manager

Halloween and Bonfire Night is one of the busiest times of the year for the Police with increased reports of Anti Social Behaviour and Noise from unauthorised firework displays.

Fireworks - It is hoped that all schools will receive presentations from their respective "School Liaison Officers" outlining the dangers of fireworks.
Efforts will be made by both the Police and Trading Standards officers to prevent the sale of fireworks to under 18 year olds. The police also now have broader powers to deal with a variety of firework offences such as throwing fireworks in the street and there is now a firework curfew from 11pm - 7am This has exceptions, eg New Years Eve when it is extended to 1am and 5th November when it is extended to midnight.

Police Presence - Your Local Neighbourhood policing team will be making every effort to provide an extra presence over this busy time, please call us if you are being effected.

Smoking Age Increases - From the 1st October 2007 the sale of Tobacco and all Tobacco paraphernalia became illegal to be sold to anyone under the age of 18, more information on this change can be found at www.tobacco18.co.uk .

Funky Registration Plates - From the 1st October 2007 the rules around Registration Plates on vehicles have been tightened If you have a registration plate on your vehicle that has italic writing, Bold Letters or In Cor rectly Space ed letters your vehicle WILL fail its MOT . You may also receive a fine in the process. More information can be found on the VOSA website or pop into the police station for a chat.

St Mary's Church - And finally we have recently received a number of complaints regarding youths congregating in the Church Grounds. Can parents discourage their children from doing this as if we receive reports of damage or littering, prosecutions will be considered.
Enjoy Bonfire Night and stay safe.
Luke Tel: 0845 607 1002

by the Overtinions and our mascot Lucy!

Hey Everyone!!!
It’s November which means that Bonfire Night is coming soon!
We hope you have a good time but remember to stay safe !!

Agony Aunt
Q: My dog has just died. We had him for 10 years and I miss him so much! How can I cheer myself up?
A: Many people have gone through losing a pet dog and of course, it is a very sad time. Why don’t you try talking to your family about it. They might understand how you feel. You could also try taking up a hobby to keep your mind off him.

Recipe for Choc-Marshmallow bites
The perfect treat for bonfire night!
· 400g dark chocolate, chopped
· 250g mixed coloured marshmallows
· 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts optional
· 100g glace cherries halved optional
· ½ cup desiccated coconut optional

1. Line the base and side of an 18 by 28cm rectangular tin with foil or baking paper.
2. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Stand the bowl over a small pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has completely melted and is smooth. Remove the pan from heat and leave the bowl over the pan to keep the chocolate soft.
3. Roughly spread about one quarter of the melted chocolate over the base of the prepared tin. Place the marshmallows, nuts, and cherries randomly over the chocolate and press lightly to stick; sprinkle the coconut over.
4. Pour the remaining chocolate evenly over the ingredients in the tin. Tap the tin on the bench to ensure the chocolate is evenly distributed between the gaps.
5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until completely set. Carefully lift out of the tin. Remove the foil or paper and cut into pieces to serve. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Bonfire night is soon to come, and everyone is getting excited but you must remember to stay safe, have a few helpful rules to help you enjoy Bonfire Night safely:
· Always wear gloves when handling sparklers.
· When the sparkler has fizzled out, stick it in a bucket of cold water or sand. DO NOT touch it, it will still be VERY hot!!
· Keep all pets indoors because they get scared of loud bangs and bright lights.
· Never go close to a firework, it might be lit!
· Let the adults light the fireworks, they know what they are doing.
Have a good time and stay safe!!!

by Jacky Maskall

For three very hot days over the August Bank Holiday 2007 The National Veteran Tennis Championships were held in Swansea on clay courts.

John Eve and his partner Gordon Scott went to represent The North Wales County Veterans Tennis Team. After a lot of hard work and some fun I am delighted to report that they won the doubles final, without losing a single set.

Having spoken to John I do not know which pleased him more, winning the tournament or beating the number one seeds from South Wales in the semi-finals, after being 4-1 and 4-2 down. John and Gordon were not seeded, so after that triumph they then beat the number two seeds in the final.

John and Gordon also played in the singles tournament; John lost in the first round to the eventual winner, whilst Gordon managed to get to the final but couldn’t quite make the grade. However we wish them all the best when they defend their title next year.

The County Veterans team consists of four members and their Captain Steve Hinton is also a member of the Overton Tennis Club and they play other Counties i.e. The Isle of Man between April and September.


Yale College of Wrexham will be running a 5-week course of Christmas Flower Arranging Classes on Monday afternoons, commencing 5th Nov in Erbistock Village Hall. Classes will be 1.15 p.m. to 3.15 p.m. This is a leisure course for beginners to learn basic flower arranging skills and for improvers to build on what they have already learned. You will be required to bring flowers etc., each week.

Fees for the 5-week course are:-
Adults £21
Concessions £14 (only if in receipt of:
Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit or Pension Credit) (No age-related concessions)

For further information and a list of materials to bring on the first day, please contact Debbie McCarthy, Community Development Officer at Penley Adult Centre, Maelor School, Penley
or Tel: 01948 830291 or enrol on the website www.yale-wrexham.ac.uk.


Congratulations and well done to Alice Foster, who entered the W.I produce show and took on the adults at their own game. Alice had grown runner beans in pots which she thought she would enter into the village produce show. Well, she did herself proud by coming 2nd being beaten only by Den Owen. Look out all you gardeners, Alice is hoping she can go one better next year. Well done Alice, here’s hoping you can achieve your goal. Cynthia

Stitched by over 40 local people to mark the 50th anniversary of the Maelor School in November 2007

will be on view at the school on
Saturday 10th November
10.30 am to 3.30pm
All are welcome
Refreshments Free entry Raffle

Jim Phillips
by Euan Stevenson

It is sad to report the death of Jim Phillips, of Lightwood Green, who died suddenly on 5th Oct. Jim, who was aged 52, was well known in local sporting circles. In his early years he was a keen footballer and played for several local teams.

Later in life he took up tennis and became a keen player not only in the Overton Tennis club but also at Wrexham Tennis Centre. He will be sadly missed by his sister Hazel and the rest of his family, and by all who knew him.

Acupuncture Awareness
by Julie A Perkins BSc (Hons)

As an acupuncture practitioner partially working from the Overton-on-Dee Medical Practice I have been inspired by the encouraging enthusiasm I have received to date from those patients I have treated. Acupuncture falls under the umbrella of Traditional Chinese medicine and due to scientific developments is currently recognised by the World Health Organisation as being a safe treatment when carried out by professionally trained practitioners. To date there has been enough evidence published to consider acupuncture effective in many health conditions although due to the delicate dynamics of Traditional Chinese Medicine this has been a difficult area to develop, although encouraging for many health conditions. Traditional Chinese medicine prides itself on treating the whole person thereby offering an individualized treatment strategy for each patient using the well-routed concepts of Traditional Chinese diagnostics.

Working amongst the community and guided by local enthusiasm I have provided the Overton Medical Practice with an Acupuncture Awareness leaflet for the benefit of patients indicating some of the health conditions that could benefit. This patient information offers guidelines regarding needle sensation, therapeutic effects and typical health conditions as seen in practice. The Medical Centre currently provides ongoing health clinics for Asthma, Hypertension, Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease all prevent health problem within our community. Many of the typical signs and symptoms as seen in these health conditions can be supported by acupuncture. Examples include: blood circulatory problems, headaches, vertigo, anxiety and depression. wheezing, copious sweating, allergies, weak immunity, lack of self esteem, breathlessness, pain and insomnia. These conditions offer a small insight as to the scope of health conditions seen in practice although are relevant to the group of patients attending the health clinics at Overton and provide an additional health service that could be considered as both supportive and convenient. If you would like to make an appointment or enquire about acupuncture please contact the Medical Practice or call in and collect an information leaflet. Tel: 01978 710666 or 01691 624734

The Flu Clinics started on Monday 8th October. Every year there is something in the press or on television about the effectiveness of these injections. Overton Medical Practice is very much in favour for those who are 65 years of age (before the end of March 2008) and anyone in the ‘at risk’ category taking advantage and coming along to have one. There is also the ‘one off’ pneumonia injection for the over 65’s. Ask at the Practice Reception.

Neighbourhood Watch PCSO 2876 Emily Williams
Further to last months item I am still looking for Street Co-ordinators to help support Overton’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. It is not difficult and only requires a small amount of your time in order to help reduce crime and increase community safety. If you interested in becoming a street or an area co-ordinator please contact me either by phone 07854 400812 or e-mail emily.Williams2@nthwales.ppn.police.uk

View from the Village Vets.

Stop, Think – Fireworks Frighten Animals.

With the season of bonfires and firework parties upon us, the RSPCA has issued a very useful leaflet highlighting the dangers to all animals – not just dogs and cats – of fireworks and some sensible precautions that can be taken to make sure that they are not injured or upset. Generally the hearing of all animals is much more acute and sensitive than ours and so firework noise will naturally sound much louder. It is therefore useful to keep cats and dogs indoors with the doors and windows closed and background radio or TV sound to distract them. For small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs it might be sensible to move them into a shed or outbuilding.

The leaflet also highlights the risk of bonfires not just to animals caged or housed nearby, but also to any wild animals particularly hedgehogs which might have burrowed into them. For dogs particularly frightened by the noise of fireworks, there is a calming plug-in diffuser available and as a last resort your vet might prescribe a mild sedative – this should only be dispensed after checking that your pet is otherwise healthy and has no illness which might affect the way in which the sedatives work.
Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre. 01978 711975

by Ken Farrell

At a time when much of our rural landscape is undergoing constant change, and not always for the best, it is nice to feel that Overton, at least, continues to resist modern trends and manages to retain much of its old charm. One reason for this is undoubtedly the substantial number of listed buildings to be found in the village and its immediate surroundings, a surprising total, in fact, of seventy-six.

A listed building is one that is of special architectural or historic interest which has been included on a list approved by the Secretary of State and is subject to special controls. As well as buildings, other objects or structures can be included in the list. Of the seventy-six, three of the buildings are graded II* (one being St Mary’s Church) and the remaining seventy three are all grade II. In High Street alone there are no less than sixteen listings. As well as imposing properties like Llan-y-Cefn, Knolton Hall, St Mary's House and Pendas House there are less obvious ones such as the Jubilee Pump, two milestones along Salop Road near Knolton, the War Memorial, Overton Bridge, Barton Bridge and Poulton Bridge and even the gate piers and gates to the former Bryn-y-Pys Hall.

Most surprising, perhaps, is the red telephone kiosk in High Street by the Corner Shop and one, I believe, that we all need to keep an alert eye on. I have read some where that BT is in the process of replacing all similar phone kiosks with modern glass and plastic ones. The penalty for demolishing, altering or extending a listed building without official permission can be a fine of unlimited amount or up to 12 months imprisonment - so if you see a gang of BT workmen attacking our precious phone kiosk rush over to them and shout “Stop ! Desist ! You are committing a serious offence and could well end up in that little prison cell in Ruabon near the railway station and which incidentally, is also a listed building.”

The Maelor Youth Club
by Helen Furnee

The youth club is going from strength to strength except in one vital area and that is helpers. If we are to continue, we need people to help, otherwise we may lose this essential part of village life. If you can help even if it’s only occasionally, contact

Rhos Choir to give Overton Christmas Concert

Male voice choirs have never been more popular, as reflected by the fact that the Fron choir sold half a million copies of their best-selling CD issued last year. The equally famous Rhos choir, who regularly perform at top venues not only in the UK, but in the U.S., Canada, Germany and all over the world, are coming to give a Christmas concert in Overton St. Mary’s Church.
Sharing the bill with the Rhos choir will be tenor soloist Alf Gladman, and last but by no means least, junior choirs from Overton St.Mary’s School. This Christmas Concert, which promises to be one of the most memorable events to be staged in Overton, will take place on Friday 14th December at 7.30. Advance bookings may be made by contacting any church-warden or member of St.Mary’s Social committee.

by Andrea Buttress

We are excited to announce that we can help parents with their Christmas preparations this year!! If you are planning to go shopping or need time without the children on either Sat 24th Nov or 15th Dec WE CAN HELP! If your child is between 2 ½ and 8 we will look after them for part or the whole day. We will provide them with fun and interesting activities which will include Christmas crafts.
Morning from 8.45am to 11.45am: £9.00
Lunchtime from 11.45am to 1pm: £4.00
Afternoon from 1pm to 4pm: £9.00
For the whole day from 8.45 to 4pm the cost is £20.00. For additional siblings there is a 10% discount.
Snacks will be provided in the morning and afternoon, but you will need to provide a packed lunch if necessary. The sessions will be run by qualified staff and dedicated volunteers who are closely involved with the Play Centre.
Should you require further information please call into the Centre for booking forms. The address is: Overton Pre-school Play Group, Overton Play Centre, School Lane, Overton.


Congratulations to Mark Whittall and Suzannah Hill and also to Hannah Pritchard and Peter Lodge on their engagement announcements.
50th Wedding Anniversary congratulations to Gwynne and June Owen, and also to Sylvia & Floyd Ogden on their Golden Anniversaries!

Happy 4th Birthday to George Buttress with lots of love from Mummy, Daddy, Henry, William and the animals.
Happy November birthdays to Jacky Maskall, Amelie Vabishanan 1yr, Lydia Evison 3yrs, Hugo Hunter 2yrs, Edward Pugh, Pauline Dodd, Andrew Maskall, Mike Done, Phil Edwards and Pearl Edwards.

Belated birthday wishes to Melissa Haynes, Noreen Haynes, Clare Edwards, Stephen Sorfleet, Mary Perrin, Mark Whittall, Rebecca Overthrow and a Very Happy 18th Birthday to Lucy England.

Sincere condolences to Jim Eastop and family on the loss of Jim’s wife, Viv, who has passed away after a long illness.
Deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Joe Heighway, to the family of Margaret Cooper and to the family of Jim Phillips.

It is also with sadness that we note that a former resident of the village, Mr Bill Storey has passed away.