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

Oct 2003


The Editorial Team

Alan Edwards - David Burton - Ken Farrell - Lesley Pugh - Christine Stead
Jackie Evans - Euan Stevenson

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.

If you have a story contact any team member or ring 01978 710422

Local man returns home after four years of hell in Japanese Jail.

Patrick Loughlin, who claims he was beaten, tortured and brutally force fed in a Japanese jail, is now glad to be home after being released on parole having spent a total of 1,409 days of hell behind bars for a crime he did not commit. He is now trying to rebuild his life and clear his name.

Before going to Japan, Patrick, a 34 year old teacher, had been a popular figure in Overton and was especially noted for his prowess on the football field and always a keen player for the Overton team.

Patrick returned home at the beginning of September after enduring an horrendous 4 years in prison on an indictment of "bodily injury resulting in death" after being caught up in a bar fight which led to the death of his friend who was trying to defend him from a number of Japanese youths, some of whom were carrying weapons. In all that time, his parents and many friends have been vigorously campaigning for his release.

Patrick's parents, Kath and Rob said: "We would like to take this opportunity to give our heartfelt thanks to all the good people of Overton, Penley and surrounding areas for all their support in our troubled times this past four years. It has been an emotional nightmare for us as parents as it most certainly has been for Patrick. But Patrick and ourselves have been able to draw great strength from the fact that there were so many kind people rooting for him, and us, during his terrible ordeal. We are happy now that our son is finally home safe and as well as can be expected. We can now relax in the fact that everyone has given him a warm welcome home"

Patrick wishes to thank everybody who supported him and never stopped believing in him over the last four years, but at this stage does not wish to talk about what went on in Japan. All he wants to do is to settle in and enjoy being at home again.

Ed: I am sure I speak for all your friends in Overton, and Penley when I say "WELCOME HOME". It's good to see you back.

A New Season of Music

The Maelor Music Society's 35th season begins on Wednesday 15th October at 7.30pm in the hall of the Maelor School, Penley.

The first concert features Cantorian Glan Alun. Last year this Welsh choir was runner-up at the National Eisteddfod in Denbigh. The choir has broadcast many times and travelled widely. Singing with them on this occasion are four young soloists. This will be a concert for all to start the season.

Once again there are five concerts in the series with music to interest everyone. The final concert - a Gala Evening with pianist John Gough and Friends - will be a favourite for all as John Gough has a long connection with the Society.

Further information may be obtained by telephoning the Society's Secretary, Mrs Meryl Batho, on 01939 270608 .


Dear Editor,

I am writing in the hope that you may be able to help me, or point me in the right direction. My father is researching an incident that occurred on 29 June 1944. An RAF Air Sea Rescue high-speed launch (HSL 2551) out of Gorleston in Norfolk went to the aid of a plane that had been shot down. The skipper of the launch was Flight lieutenant George Lindsay. After a hunt on the www, I found an article in the Oracle for Nov 2000 by Alan Jones about the Overton War Memorial. Appended to the article was a list of those commemorated on the memorial.

One inscription is as follows:

George Lindsay, High Street, Overton. Aged 43. Flight lieutenant. RAF Voluntary Reserve, Died 29 6.1944. No known grave.

I am writing with the hope that some of his relatives may still live in Overton as my father would like to find out more about him and his crew. (By the way, my father says he was buried at sea which explains the "No known grave" inscription.) I have obtained some additional information about Mr Lindsay from the Commonwealth War Graves web site. It says that he was the son of Thomas Charles and Lily Jane Lindsay and husband of Constance Mary Lindsay of Bramhall, Cheshire. .

I should be very grateful if you could help in this search, or perhaps suggest a route of inquiry.

Yours sincerely, David Meacock mail@dmeacock.freeserve.co.uk

Cytun Together in Overton and District

Cytun are once again organising a Village Harvest Supper. You do not need to belong to a church - everyone will be made welcome. This year the Supper will he held on 10th October in the Village Hall commencing 7.00pm. Tickets (£5.00 adults - Primary aged children £3.00) are available in all the three Churches and thereafter in the Corner Shop, Overton. The evening will commence with entertainment by the children from St Mary's Primary School prior to the Supper at 7.30pm.

This is a non-profit making event. Last year, after all expenses were paid, £100.00 was donated to Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham and £30.00 was awarded to the Music Department at the School.

Although last year's event was reasonably successful, Cytun would like to welcome a few more people. Supper takes the form of cold meats/various salads, a sweet and a glass of wine.

Return of the Penley Panther
By Angela Wilson

Of course I had heard of the "Penley Panther". Our house is in the trees behind the old Polish hospital, and we had been told stories by the security guards of nocturnal sightings. But nights as a security guard must be very tedious - and chilly too, in the winter. So who could blame them if they took a little nip or two of something to keep the cold out. And after that, it would be all too easy to imagine that the shadows were taking the shape of a prowling beast. So I was sceptical.

Then one winter's evening, my husband and I were coming down the drive, when something loomed up briefly out of the shadows before disappearing into next door's garden. Much too big to be one of our cats: "Must be the panther," he joked. Yet still I couldn't really accept that a panther was creeping about in our drive. All doubt was finally dispelled one sunny evening in June. We had been to Whitchurch, and had just passed Hanmer on our way home, when suddenly the panther crossed the road in front of us. In size it was slightly bigger than a fully-grown Labrador, though much slighter in build and with a small head. It was mid to dark brown and had a long, curved up tail. Its movement was very distinctly cat-like. It all happened so quickly, it was like a dream and yet it was broad daylight and we were very much awake.

Now of course, I look for signs of it everywhere, but have never seen it again.


How I discovered I'm a Toff

Some months ago I bought, in a Charity Shop, a copy of the 1912 edition of Mrs Beeton's Book of Home Management. It cost me 10p, has 2040 pages , is 5 inches thick and, I must say, is the best investment I have ever made for the money.

Many of the recipes are, as everyone knows, quite delicious but what surprised me was how cheap they are. Starting with soup, there is what she calls "Benevolent Soup", made from ox-cheek, celery, carrots, onions, turnips, cabbage and dried peas. This she says, is a cheap soup, suitable for a soup kitchen to feed the poor. It costs under 1p a pint and takes only seven hours to prepare.

Being a Toff I would prefer something a bit more exotic, such as Truffle Soup, containing half a pound of fresh truffles, Marsala or Sherry, butter, eggs, cream, etc. which costs 45p for sufficient to feed six persons. For the fish course I'll have Sturgeon. It's only 8p per pound.

After this I'd go for Lark Pie, containing 12 skylarks, rump steak and bacon costing 23p and enough for 8 persons. If I can't get larks, there are recipes for blackbirds, plovers, thrushes, corncrakes and even rooks.

In addition to food Mrs B. offers further advice on a variety of topics, such as the duties of the Domestic Servants, none of whom must be allowed to idle their time away during their long working day. With an annual wage-bill varying between £12 for a Stable Boy and £90 for a Butler, the Mistress needs to keep an eye on everything that goes on.

Finally, Mrs B provides a table of how many servants one can afford, according to one's income. If you are on £200 a year you can only afford a 'young girl for rough work' but if, like me you are a Toff and earn at least £1000 a year you can have a Cook, a House-maid and perhaps a Man-servant. When I told my wife she urged me to hire the lot as quickly as possible. The only problem I now have is how I am going to fit them all into my 3-bed semi!

Ed: I remember seeing a similar book which suggested kippers and kidneys for breakfast - but not at the same time! Now you are lucky if you have time for a coffee before going to work!

Go ahead given for new extension

Overton Pre-School Playgroup and Toddlers has just heard that it has been successful in obtaining grants for the refurbishment of the Playcentre.

Work is expected to start in October during half-term and will include, a small extension for a disabled toilet and new entrance, an additional child's toilet along with the re-fitting of child-sized toilets and sinks, a newly fitted kitchen, a purpose fitted art/wet area and the re-wiring of the building.

This work will make a huge difference to the staff and children at the Playcentre and will no doubt attract more children to use the excellent facilities and playgroup.

Julie Done, on behalf of Playgroup and Toddlers, said: "I wish to say a big thankyou to Louise Morcumb, the Chairperson, for all the hard work that she put in with the grant applications."

Local Council Co-opts two new members

Two vacancies on the Overton Community Council have been filled by Mrs Joanne Kember, Springfield Park,Overton and Mr Rob Lawrenson, Deva Terrace, Overton.

The Council was presented with the task of deciding who to co-opt from five applicants, all of whom were keen to get a seat. This was done by a secret ballot, following a seemingly bizarre but legally correct system of voting and lots in both cases, to arrive at a majority vote. The two new members were welcomed by the Chair, Cllr Sue Glover. The remaining candidates were thanked for showing an interest in becoming a Councillor, which she said was encouraging, and were reminded that as the whole Council comes up for re-election in May 2004, they, and any anyone else, would have a new opportunity to put their name forward for election.

Looking Back
By a reporter old enough to be able to!

This month we feature a photograph taken in 1920 from an article which appeared in a magazine called "Ourselves" dated April 1960. The magazine appears to carry news of people in local businesses throughout the North of England, and was kindly provided by Mr Mike Davies of Marchwiel.

The magazine carried the following story:

"WRIGHT PROUD", from D.W.Parker, Fole Creamery.

"George Wright, oilcan in hand, stands in our picture proudly before his vehicle, a 30 cwt, Maxwell, one of the first of its kind used for milk collection. This photograph was taken 40 yrs ago"...(i.e 1920)..."when George was driving for the Traffic Department stationed at Overton Milk Depot - when the most important accessory to a transport driver was his oilcan. In 1922 George was transferred to Fole Creamery, then an old converted mill. Now as transport foreman, he supervises a large fleet of vehicles from what is now one of the largest dairies in The Midlands"

The second photograph depicts CWS workers in Overton-on-Dee taken, it is thought, at about the same time.

Ed: Can anyone add to the article in any way?

The sun shines on the opening of Overton's new bowling green

On Saturday, 13th September, on a beautiful warm summer's day ( although in Autumn ), Overton Bowling Club celebrated an event they have been looking forward to for some time - the official opening of their new green.

There were many dignitaries there from the world of bowls and Martyn Jones, the MP for South Clwyd, was there to carry out the opening ceremony.

There was a total of around 70 guests, not only from the Bowling club but sponsors and representatives of many of the different organisations in the village.

The "star" of the day , however, had to be the green itself. The lush green turf was immaculate and nicely bordered by decorative flower beds and a new clubhouse, it really is an impressive sporting location. Full marks to bowling club members for their hard work in getting the location to a state of perfection. This is the third home for the bowling fraternity in Overton. The first was on the site where the car-park is situated on Church Road, and the second was behind the Doctors' surgery. The new facility is next to the tennis courts at the end of St.Mary's Avenue.

It was nice to see Colonel Fitzhugh present - he was chairman of the club when it was first formed in 1962. It is interesting to review some of the facts and names from 40 years ago. The Vice President was the Rev. Peter Jones, the chairman was Captain Owen, the secretary H.Stant and the treasurer J.Cooper. At that time the yearly members fees were £1, to be paid in 5 shilling quarterly instalments. The club has come a long way since then and its new facility must be one of the best Crown Bowling greens in the country. The club now has 40 plus members of all ages and abilities. There are currently 4 teams in the Oswestry league, one each in Divisions 1 and 2 and two in division 5, plus two Veterans teams. Congratulations to all who worked hard to make this happen. Many people have put in a lot of effort, but none more so than Reg Jones and Ivor Parkinson. Everyone concerned must be very proud. Martyn Jones MP, cut the "ribbon" and in his "opening words" referred to the long history of bowls, back to the time before Sir Francis Drake. He made the valid point that bowls is a sport that can be enjoyed by both young and old, and then proved the point by bowling the first "end" on the new green with Junior members Annabel Jeffels and Chris Probert.

The day was completed by a champagne reception and a lovely buffet - the end of a real landmark occasion not only for the Bowling Club, but also for the village of Overton, which is enriched by having a thriving bowling club.

by Police Constable Darren King

I am glad to report that crime and road traffic collisions are down again this month, however, there has been a recent rise in juvenile nuisance and anti-social behaviour.

While I do not have a 'problem' with youths congregating and having a laugh with friends, anyone who has had dealings with me will tell you that I am not oppressive and give everyone a fair chance, always preferring to give a warning or the benefit of the doubt. But enough is enough, and if the warnings have not worked then I will have to 'up the stakes'. Some of the incidents reported recently have left people upset, angry, hurt and at a financial loss, and I can assure you that they do not see what has happened as,' a joke', or,'kids just being kids', as the majority of offences are being caused by people in their late teens who should know better. These incidents include: shouting and swearing at passers by, throwing stones at moving vehicles, 'mooning', sitting on the driveway 'revving' motorcycle engines, garden plants and furniture being vandalised, setting fire to hay bales, smoking cannabis, and the one which I witnessed myself, climbing up the lamp posts and pulling out the wires at 1 am outside the police station. This type of behaviour is not acceptable; it is making people become victims, and is breaking the law. I am fully aware that compared to other places the above may seem minor and 'not the end of the world', but to the injured parties it is very serious.

The above has been perpetrated by a small number who know exactly who they are, and I am not 'condemning' the whole village youth, who I generally find to be very pleasant, friendly and respectable. But there is a 'hard core' of youths who walk around the streets of Overton most weekends between midnight and 4am thinking that if they act in the way described above, this is acceptable and will be tolerated, and it is this group that I am in the process of re-educating. But before any parents come forward shouting, 'outrage, how dare he', etc, I would like remind you that I am only referring to a small number of individuals, and that these incidents are fact, not fiction. I wish to point out that if your children are not at home between these hours, are you really sure that you know where they are and what they are doing? I hope that I have made my point. But by the time that you read this, the offenders for the above will have been sufficiently dealt with.

Thank you,

Darren King, Constable 1360. Community Beat Manager for Ruabon and Maelor Section. NORTH WALES POLICE

Future of Village Hall in the balance

James Glover, Chair of Overton Village Hall Management Committee is calling for your help to set up a new, dynamic committee to move things forward from the sound base that has been established by previous hard working teams.

Over the last few years the Hall has undergone a programme of improvements and modernisation which now makes it one of the finest in the area, due entirely to an enthusiastic committee that always rose to the challenge. James said: "Unfortunately now that everything is running smoothly, interest in the day to day running of the Hall is diminishing. If this situation is allowed to continue, it is believed this could have very serious consequences for the long term. Without new, young, enthusiastic members the Hall will stagnate and eventually the village will lose one of its best facilities." He added: "Please, if you want to see your Village Hall continue to prosper and improve, and more importantly represent your needs, a meeting of all user groups and interested parties is planned for Monday 24th November 2003, in the Parish Room, at 7.30pm.

Please telephone James Glover on 01978 710413 for more details.


The thirty-first Annual Show was held on 6 September in the Village Hall. There were over two hundred exhibits entered in the various classes. Entries were a little down on last year but the high standard was maintained. It was good to see exhibits by new entrants along with the loyal supporters who enter year after year to make the Show a success.

Mr Stan Wright very kindly presented the prizes to the worthy winners.

Thanks were extended to the Judges, to those who had provided prizes for the raffle and all who had helped in any way.

Tables on the stage were filled with items submitted by WI members for the Handicraft Show which created a great deal of interest.

Another successful Show. If you missed entering this one be sure and come along next year when it will be held on Saturday 4 September.

Trophy Winners

Exhibitor with most points Mr J Parry British Legion Cup

Runner-up Mr V Roberts Tradesmen's Cup

Overton WI Member with most points Mrs B Roberts Lowther Cup

Three Cooking Apples Mr S J Wright September Plate Pair of Marrows Mr S J Wright Trotting Mare Cup

Vegetable Section - Pair of Marrows Mr S J Wright Farmers Cup

Fruit Section - Dessert Apples Mrs E Glynne Jones WI Cup

Blooms Section - 5 blooms Mr R Upton Healey Salver

Specimen Rose Mrs M Worthington Pam Upton Memorial Bowl

Flowering Plant Pot - Succulent/Cactus Mr J Parry Rosselli Cup

Flower Arranging - Arrangement of 5 Blooms Mrs M Worthington Kath Hamlington Memorial Trophy

Arrangement to represent a Film Title Mrs M Worthington Mrs Wright's Cup

Cookery Section - Victoria Sandwich Mrs H Rennie Mrs Sumsion's Tray Preserves Section - Jar of Stone Fruit Jam A Humphreys Mrs Woodhouse's Bowl

Wine Section - Rosť Wine (sweet/med sweet) Mrs B Roberts Haynes Wine Cooler

Children's Classes

Scott Lawrenson Mrs Roberts' Shield Kieron Rogers Mrs Watts' Shield Kieron Rogers Mrs Price Jones' Shield Catherine Chalk Mrs Wason's Shield Scott Lawrenson 21st Anniversary Shield

Congratulations to all!

Watched by hungry vultures

Fifteen Ladies from St Mary's Primary School, Overton recently completed a tricky 5 Kilometre run/walk around the outskirts of Chester Zoo, watched by the Zoo's vultures who, luckily, had to do without an extra evening snack.

The runners completed the course in a little over 30 minutes, with the strollers hot on their trail. A truly fantastic £1321 was raised for the Cancer Research Race for Life Campaign. A special thanks to all those who sponsored this worthy cause.

Scenes of Hollywood at Bangor Racecourse

During a cold winter's evening, six parents from St Mary's School, Overton met to discuss a possible fund raising event for the School. The seed for the Hollywood Ball had been sown. Who would have thought that five months later that this event would be the 'talk of the town'?

On a truly magnificent summer evening in July, at Bangor on Dee Racecourse with dress code being 'gorgeous and glamorous', 200 beauties and Bond look-alikes enjoyed a Pimms reception on the lawn, a delicious meal, dancing and tried their hand at the 'Casino'.

With donations from local businesses and individuals, the hard work from the committee and the speed in which this became a sell-out event, a hearty £4,000 was raised for much needed equipment and resources at the school. The organisers wish to express their sincere thanks to all those who helped make the evening such a marvellous success and truly a night to remember.

Have you had your flu jabs yet?

The doctors at Overton Surgery are recommending that all those aged 65 and over should have a flu vaccination. It is also recommended for those in the "at risk" groups, namely those who suffer from heart disease, chronic chest disease, and nursing and residential home residents.

All you need do is contact the Surgery on 01978 710666 and make an appointment with the nurse in one of the flu clinics.

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot contract the flu from the vaccine.

In Brief

  • All the best to Pat Edwards after being appointed Warden at Parkside, Overton.
  • St Mary's Church is presenting a Promise Auction on Friday 3rd October at 7.15pm in Overton Village Hall to raise money for the new organ which will cost approximately £25,000. Tickets cost £2.50 and include a glass of wine and light refreshments. The auctioneer is John McCusker.
  • Have you lost a pair of spectacles recently? A pair of spectacles was found in St Mary's churchyard. If you can't read this they are probably yours! Contact the Editor at 1 St Mary's Court, Overton or ring 01978 710422 for more details.