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

November 2008


The Editorial Team

David Burton - Euan Stevenson - Sean Clarke - Cynthia Davies

Please remember that the Oracle has no reporters. We rely on individuals or representatives of our village’s many organisations to write contributions and e-mail them to editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk or leave them at the Corner Shop. So if you think there is something that should be in the Oracle or your organisation is not mentioned - do something about it! Write something for the Oracle!


The Oracle is the News
by Councillor David Burton

A simple question about insurance opened a can of worms for the Overton Oracle as we found out that we were not covered by the Community Council’s insurance policy. We discovered that the way in which the Oracle had been set up in November 1998 was incorrect. Although the Oracle had been set up in good faith to be the voice of the Council and initially was made up of councillors and the then Clerk to the Council, the moment the first letter to the editor was published and the first non-council article was included, the Council were in breach of the Local Government Act on Council Publications - Ooops! Also following high profile cases at national and local government levels, the codes of conduct under which councillors (including community councillors) work have been considerably tightened and we found that we were probably in breach of the new code.

At a special Council meeting in September the divorce between the Council and the Oracle took place. Not only was every councillor present but once the facts had been revealed all agreed on the separation. Councillors were unanimously supportive of the Oracle and every councillor voted to continue to support the Oracle by paying for the printing but this time by a grant.

A meeting was held on a Saturday evening in the White Horse and the Overton Oracle duly set up as an Unincorporated Association with myself as Chairman, Euan Stevenson as Secretary and Jacky Maskall as Treasurer. Cynthia Davies took on the job of organising deliveries, Jill Burton who has compiled the Oracle for the last two years became Editor and a further place on the editorial committee was taken by Sean Clarke. Once the insurance, covering Public Liability and libel and slander, was in place the October issue could be published and distributed. The bank account has been set up and a grant has been paid to the Oracle to cover the next 6 months printing costs. The insurance and any other costs will be paid for out of advertising revenue. The committee agreed that all members of the volunteer delivery team should become members of the association together with any other interested parties. There is still room on the editorial committee for further contributors and we would welcome further offers of help (contact details on the back page).

So after 117 editions under “questionable ownership” the Oracle is now on a legal footing and let us all hope it continues to grow and develop. But it will only continue if you keep sending in YOUR news, views, poems, dates, adverts, letters etc etc.

This is Overton’s News - keep it coming!

Remember to Remember

Sunday November 9th is Remembrance Sunday and the Overton Branch of the British Legion will be on parade again at the Cenotaph to remember Overton’s dead from two world wars.

As the membership continues to decline as old soldiers fade away, the British Legion, both nationally and here in Overton, is looking for new recruits. You no longer have to have been a member of the armed forces, the Legion is looking for lay-members, both men and women, to continue the Legion’s charitable work to assist members of the armed forces and their families who are in need.

This is one way in which you can show material support for our fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, whether you supported the political decision to enter these conflicts or not. If you would like to join please contact Chairman Gerry Owen on 710792.

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear Friends,
Sakae Kobayashi was selected to be a Japanese suicide or Kamikaze pilot. Like all kamikaze pilots his task was to fly a plane filled with explosives and make a suicidal dive onto a target.

The day came for his flight, 14th August 1945. He sat in the plane waiting for orders to take off. While the engine was warming, a ground crew man ran to him to tell him that Japan had just surrendered. You would think Sakae would feel a great relief that his life had been saved. This is what Sakae said, “I went home despondent and bitter. My home had been burned and my mother and grandmother killed. There was no work and no food.”

Later Sakae found work in an oil refinery. There he met a Christian girl who led him to faith. Sakae realised all the hatred and bitterness which had been destroying his life. He later said “I discovered new hope and newness of life which only Jesus can bring.” Sakae found release and was able to find forgiveness.

Sadly even today there are people like Sakae who lives are dominated by anger and bitterness. In extreme cases this leads to terrorism and suicide bombers. Remembrance Sunday reminds us of the hatred and mistrust that leads to violence and war. It asks us all to embrace ways of peace and forgiveness and in doing so help our world be a gentler and understanding place. And that process starts with us and how we lead our own lives.

Thomas a Kempis a Christian writer said this “First keep yourself in peace and then you will be able to pacify others.” Are we able to that and so be a light of hope in our world?

Your Friend and Rector


North Wales Police are starting a campaign called Operation Twilight to identify vulnerable members of the public who are 60+ who would benefit from a visit from crime prevention officers who would advise them on simple measures to protect themselves from burglars and fraudsters as the dark evenings approach.
If you know of anyone or feel that you would benefit yourself please contact Councillor David Burton on 710631 who will pass your details onto the South Wrexham Police Community Support Group.


Happy news – the flu injections have arrived on site and we have started Fly Clinics from Monday 6th October. The posters and leaflets give a lot of information. However, should you really want a flu injection, but fall outside the NHS criteria, ASDA in Queensferry are doing them on Saturday 8th November for a fee of £10. You do need to make an appointment but can ring them on 0151 3486100 for further information.

We are very pleased with the surge of patients wanting to take advantage of our ‘on line’ appointment and prescription programme. If you are interested, ask at reception for the necessary details and we can soon supply you with a ‘pin number’. You won’t have to leave the warmth of your home or use petrol to make the journey to the surgery – we are helping you to do your bit towards ‘reducing your carbon footprint’. Due to confidentiality issues, this option is only open to patients 16 years and above. There is one pin number per patient, and proof of identity is required when registering at the Surgery.

Nurse Eirlys Williams decided to take early retirement and the surgery staff went out for the evening with her in September. She looks very well and is overjoyed at becoming a Nana again for the third time, her first granddaughter. The fact that she had received so many good wishes from her patients really touched her. She sends her thanks and regards to all her patients for the cards and generous contributions towards her present. It was obvious to us all that she will miss her work. However it is more important to make sure that she continues her recovery and her family will keep her busy, loved and very well cared for.

We welcome Nurse Jeanette Jones back into the fold. Jeanette worked as district nurse for the Trust for 12 years before leaving for a short while to work in Flintshire.

Next month it is time to instigate the Annual Patient Survey. It certainly doesn’t seem 12 months since we did the last one but they are important to the surgery. The results of these give us an indication of any problems and also highlight successes so we can build on the information they provide.
Please give us your views about the service we offer.

70th Anniversary Celebrations

Overton Chapel celebrates its 70th Anniversary on Sunday 7th December. Celebrations will begin with Songs of Praise at 3:30 p.m. led by Revd. Roger Baker. And with guest singer Miss Rebeka Lea. followed by afternoon tea. Please send your special requests for favourite hymns to Chapel Members.
The Anniversary Celebration Service will be at 6pm led by Revd Roger Baker.

by Constable Luke Hughes

With autumn now upon us and the nights drawing in, Nth Wales Police are encouraging residents to leave a light on this winter. Leaving your home during hours of darkness, without putting a light on or drawing the curtains, is an open invitation to the opportunist criminal that there is no-one at home. This simple message is one of the key themes of this year’s ‘Operation Twilight’ campaign – which offers valuable advice on how to ensure burglars are left in the dark during the winter months. It doesn’t take long for a burglar to get inside and steal property, particularly things that are easy to sell such as TVs, videos, computers, jewellery and antiques. Unfortunately, every year sees a spate of early evening burglaries associated with the clocks going back and Nth Wales Police will be distributing the Operation Twilight flyers throughout the Force area.
• Use an automatic time switch (& regularly change the time) on an indoor light, in a room that cannot be looked into, or upstairs.
• Put a time switch on a radio that has been tuned to a chat station, this will give the impression that the house is occupied. Regularly change the timing on the switch.
• Ensure that gates or access to the rear of the house are locked and secure. Don’t forget to lock sheds, your tools can be used to break in. Trim overgrown plants - don’t give burglars a hiding place.
• Secure windows, paying particular attention to those on the ground floor and above flat roof areas. Use locks and bolts and keep all your keys, including car keys, out of sight and out of reach.
• Trust your instincts. If you see anything suspicious let us know. If you think a crime is about to happen or is in progress dial 999.
PC 1842 Luke Hughes, Bronington & Overton Community Beat Manager, tel: 0845 607 1002 ext: 48425

Kids Kolumn
By Alice Foster, Lydia Biggs and Lottie Blake

Hi guys - its November. It’s nearly Bonfire Night

Q. Hello I’m Megan, I have just gone up to high school and I’m being bullied.
Please help I don’t know what to do.

A. Hi Megan. Its not nice being bullied. Try to stick with other people whenever you feel under threat. Bullies hate witnesses. Try to make friends. Chances are that other people are being bullied by the same person. The more friends there are in the group the less chance there is of being bullied. Tell someone what is happening. If the person that you tell doesn’t understand keep trying or tell someone else.

Q. What do Skeletons get on holiday? A. Skele-tan
Q. How does a zombie greet a human being? A. Pleased to eat you.
Q. What’s a monster’s favourite TV programme? A. Horror-nation street.

Lottie’s Pet of the Month

Animal: Horse
Breed: Thoroughbred
These are tall horses, averaging 16 hands or more, and are usually bay, brown, chestnut, black or grey in colour. They have a long, lean look, with large intelligent eyes, straight legs, and a powerful muscular body.

Author Michael Morpurgo
Book Kasper Prince Of Cats
Characters Although this book is called Kaspar Prince of Cats, the story's really about a boy called Johnny Trott who works at a posh hotel in London. He relies on his job as he's an orphan and works really hard. Prince Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats, comes to stay with his interesting owner Countess Kandinsky. They befriend Johnny and then the adventures begin.
Plot Johnny's life changes once he meets the Countess and Kaspar. He looks after the magnificent cat, and through Kaspar he makes friends with LizzieBeth, an American guest. Pretty soon, events happen to take Johnny and Kaspar all around the world. Along the way they battle theft, shipwreck on the Titanic and make rooftop rescues.
Highlights The best thing about this book is that the story is told so well you want to keep on reading it and there are some really cool illustrations to go with it. Michael Morpurgo is the king of telling a good tale and this one won't disappoint.


St Mary's School said a very sad farewell to caretaker Mr Dave Jones, He had been with them five years.

Mrs Clarke, Head teacher presented Dave with a garden bench which is to be engraved by Adrian Lloyd as well as a Camellia plant and lots of farewell cards made especially for him from the children. His work colleagues and After School Club gave him a bird bath. The School wished him well in his retirement and thanked him for all he had done. He will be well and truly missed by children and staff alike.


The Overton Amateur Dramatic Society production of “Ladies Day” was well supported and those there enjoyed a colourful and lively evening, with plenty of laughs and just a touch of pathos.
The four fish-packers played by Sue England, Ruth Overthrow, Kay Lawrenson and Linda Done delighted the audience with their banter and gossip and their transformation from white coats and wellies to their glad rags for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot at York.

The four ladies were ably supported by Mervyn Haynes playing a worryingly convincing drunk, Alan Farley the supervisor, Nick Harrison the TV pundit, and Mike Done the jockey and bookie. The production was a credit to the capable direction of Glynis Farley and her team.

If you missed it then you missed a treat!

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
I was of the understanding that the community council were elected to represent members of the community in the decisions that they made. How naïve and foolish I was. I read with amazement that the traffic calming scheme will not be implemented in Overton as the community council consider it to be an “area of beauty”. Mount Snowdon is an area of beauty. The river Dee at Erbistock is an area of beauty. The primary function of any village is for it to be at the heart of the community and to be a safe environment for people to live and for the families to bring up their children. If alongside this it is also an area of real beauty, then we are lucky.

Having been a resident of Station Road it wasn’t until the birth of my daughters that I realised what a dangerous road it was to live alongside. The road is used as a short cut from Shropshire and the Midlands for lorries to the Wrexham by pass and at the weekends forms part of a section of a race track for the bikers reliving their youth on high powered motor bikes heading towards Llangollen. I do not have a problem with either of these as it brings business to the village. However the speed with which they travel is a problem. It was one of the main reasons we moved from Station Road.

In the late 1800s the motor car with a top speed of 20 miles an hour was preceded by a man waving a red flag to warn people. We now live in the 21st century and the children of our village have no warning of the speeding traffic. I sincerely hope for the sake of the decision makers that their view of the “area of real beauty” is not spoilt by the sight of a child lying in the road.
Simon Edwards, Iris Edwards

Reminder: It is the policy of the Oracle and all newspapers, that they will not publish anonymous letters. Writers of letters to the Oracle must give their name & address, but may request their letter concludes with the words “name & address supplied”.

by Joanne Kember, Chair of Overton Community Council

Well, OK, perhaps I am exaggerating a bit, but OCC has worked long and hard over 15 years to get Highways to address speeding in the village. All form of traffic calming known to man has been discussed. We've campaigned for the 30mile/hour area to be extended to the top of Overton hill or for the 40mile/hour limit be introduced there; this was rejected by Highways.

About four years ago, we precepted the money ourselves, one of the arguments being, we do not rate enough 'points' for Highways to take action (i.e. there has not been enough serious accidents!! -a disgusting way to judge the need to act.) We put money aside to buy 4 reactive warning signs. For nearly 3 years we campaigned with no response from Highways. Then about a year ago, they refused permission to erect these signs. Highways' only concession was to send someone from Arrive Alive to speak to us on what action we COULD take. We were told we would not be allowed to go 'straight' to the use of such signs without having tried the more 'basic' forms of traffic calming first.

The objections of OCC to the development on Bangor Rd. included the concern for the impact of increased traffic on an already very dangerous road. Part of the restrictions put on the development was that they must include a 'traffic management' scheme in their plans. Highways restricted them, as it had us. OCC had recorded reservations about their design as it was on the wrong part of the road and would have restricted access and parking for the houses already there. But we had insisted that the planning department must hold the developers to the requirement to provide some form of traffic calming. Through continued pressure we were eventually given permission for the dragons teeth road markings, with '30' red zones (gateways) and large orange backed '30' road signs which we paid for about 6 months ago. This was the maximum adjustment to the roads which we were allowed to make, and applied to the developers too.

Since then our clerk has probably talked to Highways more often than she's talked to her husband! With the result that over the last few weeks Highways have started the work, the signs will arrive soon! Also a government consultation over the summer on national speeding issues may result in all 'school areas' having a national 20mile/hour limit imposed, but we are awaiting the outcome of this.

So to go back to my heading - as a community council we have worked long and hard to get the speeding situation in the village addressed and we've not finished yet! Although we have won this 'battle' , the 'war' (against speeding) is far from over and we shall CONTINUE to fight it, despite what ever you may have heard to the contrary!

Overton Play Group News

The Play Group is undertaking a number of fund raising events in the coming months and we would be grateful for your support. If you are clearing out your wardrobes and cupboards we would be happy to help you remove your unwanted goods.

We are having a Bag2school collection on 7th November which will raise £300 per ton collected for the Play Centre. The following goods can be included in the collection: Adult and children’s clothing, shoes, belts, handbags, curtains, bedding, linen and soft toys (NO bric a brac thanks). These can be put in black bin bags or we can provide you with the special collection bags by calling me on 01978 710246 or they will be available from the Post Office in the village from the 14th October. I will also be happy to collect the full bags from your homes up to and including the 6th November if you call and arrange it with me.

We are also having another New 2U Sale on Saturday 15th November from 1pm to 4pm in the Village Hall. It was a great success earlier in the year and we hope that you will once again come and support us and bag some early Christmas presents in the bargain!! If you would like to take a table, they are £10 and you can sell any products you wish excluding alcohol. So, come and have lots of fun, meet new people and make some money too! Refreshments will be included in the table price. Should you wish to come along on the day, entrance is £1 for adults and 20p for children and will include refreshments.
To book a table, please call Andrea on 710246

View from the Village Vets

We’re Here To Stay!!.
It is hard to believe that it is now almost three years since we opened our branch surgery in Overton and we would like to thank all of those from the village and surrounding area who have been to see us. We hope that you have found it convenient to have a veterinary surgery on the doorstep and are pleased to announce that we have agreed an extension to the original lease on the building so that we can continue to trade in Overton.

The farm animal side of our practice continues to be pre-occupied with the relentless increase in the number of case of bovine tuberculosis (TB). Only a few years ago. TB was unheard of in our area and the majority of our farms were only required to test their cattle for the disease every 4 years. All of them are now having to test every two years and in many cases annually.

The Welsh Assembly Government is taking a more proactive stance with TB than the English authorities and ‘Health Check Wales’ was launched in October. The plan is for every bovine animal in Wales to be tested for TB in the next 12 months to give a precise map of the extent of the TB problem in the country. From this the authorities are considering a number of strategies to try to reduce the amount of TB and this may involve the selective culling of badgers in ‘hotspot’ areas.

There is no doubt in my mind that badgers are not at least partly responsible for the spread of TB in cattle. When I qualified as a vet 20 years ago, the ban on badger culling had only recently been brought in and Britain was virtually free of TB. As anyone who travels the local lanes after dark will testify, badgers are now a very common sight. Coupled with the increased use of maize for cattle feed – which badgers love to eat both in the field and when stored over winter on the farms, the result is that we have a large population of badgers with regular access to cattle and their feed.

Whilst the culling of badgers is a highly emotive issue, the huge increase in the number of cases of TB in cattle has major welfare implications – thousands of cattle are being slaughtered due to TB every year, and there are the welfare and financial considerations for farmers unable to sell their stock whilst under TB restrictions.

If the Welsh Assembly decides to try selective badger culls in areas where TB is at it’s worst and if the result is a significant reduction in new cases of TB, the English authorities will find it very hard not to implement a similar strategy. We await the results of ‘Health Check Wales’ with interest.

Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre. 01978 711975.

COME & SING The Rhos Orpheus Male Choir are holding an open rehearsal to recruit new members on Wednesday 12th November at St Mary's School 7.30 to 9.30pm. Everyone is welcome to come, listen and join in if they wish. Wives/partners also welcome. Refreshments provided. No previous choral experience is necessary. If you can't make this date or would like further details visit the choirs website www.rhosorpheus-mc.co.uk or telephone the memberships secretary on 01978 846919

CONGRATULATIONS Congratulations to Betty Williams of Deva Terrace, who has just been awarded her third bar to her medal for selling poppies for 45 years on behalf of the British Legion. Betty started selling poppies in 1962 and is now in the middle of her 46th season selling them. “Our lads gave their lives, it’s the least I can do”, she said as she left to catch the bus to Lightwood Green to sell more poppies, on a cold and blustery evening, displaying an indomitable spirit that the old soldiers would appreciate.
Congratulations to our budding journalists Lydia, Charlotte & Alice on taking over the Kids Kolumn - Well Done from Margaret Evison

THANK YOU Mick and Karen at the Corner Shop were really overwhelmed by the response to the request for photos to turn into Christmas Cards for the benefit of the three active churches in the village.

The Christmas Cards have now been printed, and are available at the Corner Shop. The original pictures are available for collection, and Mick and Karen extend their thanks to all who contributed. All profits from the sale of these Christmas Cards will be donated to the three village churches.


Happy November Birthdays
to George Buttress a happy 5th birthday. And happy November birthdays to Anita Brown, Lydia Evison, Pearl Edwards, Hugo Hunter, Edward Pugh, Pauline Dodd, Andrew Maskall, Mike Done, Phil Edwards and Jacky Maskall (who has a special birthday!)
Belated 9th birthday wishes to Georgia McKay. Love from Mummy.
Belated 60th birthday wishes to Jean Edwards