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

October 2006


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


Overton’s 34th Annual Produce Show
By Euan Stevenson

This event has become a village institution, and it was nice to see it continue to flourish. The weather had done it’s best to make life difficult – on Saturday, 2nd September the rain poured down for most of the day. People ferrying entries had to scurry to the village hall in the downpours and try and keep both themselves and their exhibits dry.

In spite of a difficult growing season, and the foul weather on the day, the show had 330 entries. This is quite a testament to the fun and satisfaction we get from nurturing our own flowers and vegetables in our own gardens – long may it continue. The judges commented favourably on a high standard of exhibits, so, all in all, the show was again a resounding success.
Here is a list, which although not fully comprehensive, gives the main prizewinners :-
British Legion Cup ( Most points overall ) Vic Roberts
Tradesmen’s Cup ( Runner-up ) V.Pryddech
Lowther Cup ( W.I. member with most points ) Josie Ralphs
Fitzhugh Goblet ( shallots ) Sue Foulkes
Trotting Mare Cup ( onions ) Sue Foulkes
Farmer’s Cup ( Best overall vegetables ) V.Pryddech
W.I. Cup ( Best overall fruit ) Elizabeth Glynne-Jones
September Plate ( Best Table Centre ) Caroline Wason
Healey Salver ( Best overall blooms ) Vic Roberts
Pam Upton Memorial Bowl ( Specimen rose ) Enid Thompson
Rosselli Cup ( Best Pot plants ) Peter Ralphs
Kath Hamlington Memorial Trophy (Flower Arranging) Ann Edwards
Mrs. Wright’s Cup ( Flower arrangement ) Josie Ralphs
Mrs.Bransby’s Cup ( Best Novice flower arrangement ) Caroline Wason
Mrs. Sumsion’s Tray ( Best overall Cookery ) Helen Rennie
Mrs. Woodhouse’s Bowl ( Best Preserves ) Marjorie Moraghan
Haynes’ Wine Cooler ( Best Wine ) Phil Edwards
Childrens’ Section :-
Best Painting / Drawing ( 5 and under ) Harley Davies
Best Painting / Drawing ( 6 to 9 ) Alice Morcumb
Best Lego type model ( 9 and under ) Scott Lawrenson
Best Painted egg ( 7 and under ) Eliza and Heath Rosselli
Best Painted egg ( 8 to 13 ) Kieron Rogers
Thanks to the organizing committee and to everyone who participated.

My Show
by Maxine

We were robbed! I muttered as I packed away my cherry cake! It was only as I cut into the cake back at home that it was clear to me that my lack of prize was very apt – my cherries had sunk and the top section was decidedly under baked! ….and I don’t even want to mention the under watered fuchsia!

However sour grapes aside! The Produce Show once again proved to be an excellent platform for which local talent shone. Despite the rain the event was well attended and proved to be a great family day out for gardening enthusiasts or people with an arts and crafts interest. The WI displayed their talents once more with their wonderful exhibition of needlecraft work, painting, photography and floral displays. The children of the village didn’t hold back with their creative sides this year, with their painted eggs, paintings, lego models impressing the judges and visitors alike.
Why not put next years show in your diary…start perfecting your baking early though, as competition is stiff . . . .

By Constable Darren King

With the dark night drawing in, autumn is the time of year when there is an increase in anti-social behaviour, thankfully though this is usually not the case in Overton. However, with Halloween and Bonfire night approaching I thought I should just lay down some ground rules as we want the festivities to be a happy occasion for everyone.

Since being here I have found it a pleasure to see so many residents, both young and old, taking part in Halloween and embarking on the rounds of ‘trick or treat’ whilst dressed in a variety of scary costumes. Being a father of three I definitely know the younger children enjoy this, whether or not the same can be said of the parents who have to accompany them is another matter. All that I suggest, following previous complaints of nuisance, is that you choose wisely which doors to knock on. Not all residents want to take part and threats of actually carrying out some form of punishment for not providing you with the sweets you had expected to get only inflames the situation.

I know that I have had to deal with a number of the older children in the past for throwing eggs and flour bombs etc, but as one youth found out last year, with the new legislation and police powers you can and will be arrested for simply carrying the above items if the police have suspicion to believe you are only doing so in order to commit damage. Parents, please question your children if you see them leaving the house with such items.

With regards to Bonfire night, providing used safely; you can legally use fireworks until midnight, (On New Years Eve and Chinese New Year this curfew is extended until 1am). On all others nights the legal time in which you can use fireworks is 11pm. I have chosen to point this out as every year we receive complaints of persons holding ‘firework parties’ upon the weekends either side of Guy Fawkes Night. You can receive an on the spot fine for this if used after 11pm, but if you are intending to use fireworks at any time, I’m sure notifying your neighbours would go a long way to stopping such complaints/ bad feeling.
I hope this clarifies the legal position as I just want everyone to enjoy themselves and I hope you have a lovely time.

Thank you.
Darren King, Constable 1360.
Overton Community Beat Manager.
The Police Station, Station Road, Overton, Wrexham. LL13 0EF.

Telephone: 0845 607 1002.

E-mail: darren.king@north-wales.police.uk

Is Your Child Sitting Comfortably
( And Safely) ?

Did you know that there was a significant change in the law on September 18th 2006 linked with the use of in-car safety seats for children.

Parents have been used to getting rid of booster cushions when their children reach the “Juniors” in school but must now reconsider their actions.

Children up to the age of three, sitting in the front or rear or rear seat in a vehicle MUST use a correct child restraint ie. a child seat. The Driver is the person responsible for this.
Children from their 3rd birthday up to either 135cms or 4ft 5 inches in height or the age of twelve years must use a correct child restraint i.e. a child seat or booster seat. The Driver is the person responsible for this.
Children over 12/13 years must use a seat belt (if available) The Driver is responsible for this.
Children over 14 and including adults must wear a seat belt (if available) The Passenger is responsible for this.

To find out more about this legislation log on to www.childcarseats.org.uk www.childcarseats.org.uk

There are a few exemptions within this law - but please remember children are your most valuable assets. Protect Them!
Sue Glover

Ramblings From the Rectory
By David Lewis

Dear Friends,

I am a great lover of old folk tales and superstitions. And I suppose October is one of the months for these tales, as it ends in Halloween.

I was reading about Old Michaelmas Day the other week, which was on October 11th, and not September 29th as it now is. It is supposed to be very unlucky to gather blackberries after this day - blackberry pickers take note! This old belief arises from the medieval tradition that it was on this particular day that the Devil was banished from Heaven. He was thrown out with such force that he landed head first in a clump of blackberry bushes; and-as can easily be imagined, his temper was not improved by this! He trampled and spat on the offending bushes cursing them as he did so, and ever after this it is the belief that those who eat the fruit after this date will have sickness and perhaps even death in the family. Being a great lover of blackberry pie, I think I am in trouble!

These old folk tales I find great fun and they put us back in touch with a simpler time. As Christians however we believe that Jesus defeated the powers of evil that do exist in our world. In him we can know true peace, joy and love. For us all, at times we may face the darkness of illness, unemployment, bereavement, and depression. God offers us his love and light to support and strengthen us.

The last Thursday in October has another old folk tradition. It is Punkie night. Punkie is an old word for lantern and these lanterns were made from hollowed out mangelwurzwls or Swedes. They are sometimes carved with patterns and weird designs cut to resemble ghoulish looking faces, the forerunner of today’s Pumpkin Halloween lanterns. Like the Pumpkins, they will have candles placed in them and children would go around the villages singing a curious punkie song and asking for money or candles, again the forerunner of Trick or Treat. In medieval times these lamps were always made at this time of year and farmers would put a punkie lantern on each of their gateposts. When it grew dark the small candle would be lit to keep away witches and evildoers.

Again for Christians it is the light of Jesus that shines in the darkness that gives us hope and joy and strength in life. He will guide and protect us. St Columba of Iona was a Celtic saint who would have been totally aware of these old folk tales and superstitions concerning the devil and evil. But he trusted implicitly in God, believing that whatever he faced, God was there beside him. He wrote one of the most beautiful prayers ever written:

Be Thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a guiding star above me
Be thou a smooth path below me,
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me
Today - tonight - and forever.

It is my prayer that for us in our own lives and whatever we face God will be a bright flame before us, a guiding star above us, a smooth path below us and a kindly shepherd behind us, today, tonight and forever. Amen!

Your Friend and Rector

Race Day Traffic
by David Burton

Currently the AA road signs from the Wrexham bypass direct race traffic to Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse through Overton village, into Turning Street and down Bangor Road. Villagers are concerned that this extra traffic is potentially dangerous and the Community Council agrees. Meetings have been held with Bangor Racecourse, Bangor Community Council and the Police, to agree the best course of action to share the traffic on race-day between the two communities.

It has been suggested that the best route from the bypass is up from Overton Bridge to the top of the hill and then left into Argoed Lane. This would not prevent any members of the public coming into the village to use the shops and facilities available in Overton.

The Council has consulted with the residents of Argoed Lane and are requesting comments from other members of the community.

If you have an opinion and wish to express it, you may contact a member of the Community Council or the Clerk of the Council on 710055 or write to the letters section of the Oracle

Calor Village 0f the Year

It was totally thanks to the written presentation of our village given by Katharine Crockford, that Overton reached the final few to be chosen from North Wales. Once this had been achieved Jacky Maskall and I came on board to form the Calor Team. The Team were at once struck by the huge number of businesses, groups, clubs, societies, etc., which we had in Overton and it is something everyone has commented on.

Would everyone be willing to take part? This is Overton and typically the response was overwhelming. It soon became a case not of would we have enough to put on a good show but rather more like, will we be able to fit everyone in! The more we chatted over the telephone the more encouragement and enthusiasm was received. Emails flew around and lots of meetings and cups of coffee were drunk. Phil Humphries soon succumbed to the charms of the Team and became a valuable aide, Diane and Katharine made sure the Hall was set up and the loos and kitchen sparkling.

The time allotted for our presentation was 2 hours and it was thought 1 hour in the Hall and 1 walking around the village would be ample. A dry run quickly showed that it was impossible to do the walkabout in1 hour and Joanne Kember volunteered her services as chauffeur, she also offered to join the crew of volunteers in the kitchen. Tuesday afternoon and evening saw a steady stream of people bringing in their displays and yet more offers of help. It was sort of organised chaos and had a few interesting moments. Jean Hughes suddenly realised that she had been to Ellesmere and was now standing in the Hall wearing her bright red slippers.

Katharine made some very eye-catching posters and displayed them around the village thus ensuring everyone had the opportunity to support us. Wednesday morning dawned, Darren King responded to a frantic email and came with ‘No Parking’ cones, last minute displays were put in place and the Hall began to fill up with people. The response was amazing! The Rector was determined not to let something like being unwell stop him coming. Refreshments were soon in demand and typical of Overton folk, many offered to help in the kitchen. Lots of memories were relived and news and gossip exchanged.

Meanwhile outside we met the three Judges. It was like one of those ‘surprise’ birthday parties, very quiet and unpromising on the outside and suddenly being greeted with a room humming with noise and activity. The Judges gave us 2 hours timed from the start of the welcome speech delivered by Josie Ralphs. Firstly they looked at the stage displays and it was strange how the photographs of the Amdrams kept revealing men performing the Full Monty or cross dressing; saying they always welcomed new members was a bit tongue in cheek! The group progressed around the Hall showing an interest in everything on display and taking their time to chat. The display about Footpaths was of particular interest and suddenly the male Judge realised that Ken Farrell had taught him French. It must have been a long time ago said Ken, as ‘the boy’ now sported a head of white hair. Walkabout time approached - and went - so itinerary plans so carefully mapped out had to be forgotten, well the main idea was to meet with as many people as possible and they certainly did that. At last the time came to bundle the Judges into Joanne’s vehicle and whisk them around the village, and here we must say very many thanks to everyone who tidied up the village. Happily the Judges did get to catch the children in school; at the Playing Field a two-minute deadline was given so a bit of rapid talking just about managed to complete our presentation.

Meanwhile, back at the Hall, by now fairly empty, the Press turned up. As soon as Joanne delivered the tour bus back to the Hall, the occupants had to walk back up to the High Street to walk towards the Hall looking as if they were still judging - well you get the idea; it meant that they did actually get to see a little more of the village in the flesh so to speak. The final result will be given at a luncheon in Cardiff on October 31st 2006 and 2 members of the Overton Community Council can attend, the rest will be standing by the telephone.

The Hall was kept open to allow the opportunity for more visitors. Edward Pugh, bless him, suddenly appeared with a picnic and a bottle of bubbly which we fell upon in the kitchen whilst still serving refreshments. The village may not win the Calor Award but the community of Overton should be proud of the effort it made and I think we all enjoyed getting together and appreciating what a great place Overton is. Thank you so much to everyone for your support. The Evening Leader gave the event coverage under ‘Social Scene’, reporting a judge had said that Overton struck her as an impressively vibrant village – no argument from us on that.
by Lesley Pugh

Whether we win or not - DIDN’T WE DO WELL !

On behalf of Overton Community Council I would like to thank everyone involved in any way whatever for the superb effort that was made to ensure a good turnout of businesses and organisations that made such a brilliant display of wares and memorabilia., Photographs and other information needed to show how our village and its people “tick” so to speak. I’m sure that the judges were very impressed with the way people spoke to them in such a concise way, given that time was so limited.

I personally enjoyed every minute and learned a great deal about our village life in a very short time. It was a great PR effort due to teamwork of Katharine Crockford our Clerk and her team of Leslie Pugh and Jacky Maskall, whose organisation was superb. They all deserve our grateful thanks and we shall see the fruits of our efforts when we visit Cardiff for the results at the end of October when we shall be told whether or not we have won any of the categories that we have entered. We did our best! So thank you all once again for pulling out all the stops
Josie Ralphs Chair O.C.C.

Calor Village of the Year judges with Josie Ralphs, Chairman of OCC and Mike Pinder of the Corner Shop

The Village Hall Exhibition

Tina’s Marathon Charity Run of Success

Tina Williams of Sundorne, successfully completed the 5km “Race for Life” charity run around Alyn Waters Country Park in Wrexham in June. She finished in the first twenty places with a time of 18 minutes and 43 seconds. Tina raised £600 for Cancer Research and would like to express her thanks to all in the Overton community who gave generously.

This is not Tina’s first fund raising event. She is an avid supporter of Cancer Research, but has also raised money for St. Mary’s Church Aided School as well. Tina enrolled for the charity run in January and started to collect sponsors immediately, whilst also training for the event at the same time. Tina should be applauded for her efforts and for her continuing enthusiasm to supporting good causes that benefit us all. Well done Tina!


The winners of the Colouring Competition sponsored by the Corner Shop were
“The Catholic Church”
Heather Davies (12) of Maelor Court
The Village Pump”
Lesley Davies (9) of Maelor Court
“The Corner Shop”
Sarah Morilly (12) of Cloy Lane

Mike Pinder of the Corner Shop said “It was nice to see so many entries of such a really fantastic standard.”
The independent judging was carried out by the adjudicators of the Calor Village of the Year Competition.


We will be starting our Flu Clinics middle to late October. You will be able to book from the beginning of October if you are 65+ or fall into one of the ‘at risk categories’ ie with heart, asthma, diabetic, kidney problems etc. The delay in despatch of the vaccines this year has resulted in it not being available to book as early as usual. There is still the opportunity to have the ‘one off’ Pneumonia Injection for those 65+, ask at reception if you have any queries.

Do remember that the surgery can not book hospital transport for you if you live in the Wrexham Borough. There is an excellent leaflet in the surgery which gives very necessary information. For those in Shropshire the surgery will book transport for your 1st hospital visit and then don’t forget to book at the hospital for any follow up appointments. Do give a minimum of 48 hrs notice to book routine transport. The criteria for who is eligible for transport is available from the surgery.

The improvement in requests for prescriptions means patients are taking on board the 48 hour rule and we are very proud of this small success, keep it up! But there were still 61 missed appointments in July, still far too many, remember – KIOCI – keep it or cancel it!

A reminder that if you feel very unwell and need to see a doctor urgently then please telephone the surgery and we will put your request through to the triage nurse or duty doctor. We appreciate that you may be worried but we do not have an open door policy, which is why there is a triage nurse on duty each day.

There is a very good booklet for you to peruse in the waiting room called ‘Your Guide to Local Health Services 2006’. It is worth taking a few minutes to look through especially if you need to find a dentist or are moving out of our area.

Donations made to the Practice are very much appreciated. We welcome suggestions as to how this money should be spent; any ideas will be very welcome and can be placed in the ‘Comments’ box.
A quick reminder that the next Patient Participation Group Meeting is on Monday 23rd October at 6.00pm.

View from the Village Vets. Fireworks Month!

As Sir Terry Wogan might say ‘Is it me?’ or do Bonfire night parties and fireworks really now start in early October and last until New Year?!
Unless like one of our members of staff’s dog which used to be frightened of fireworks, but is now too deaf to hear them, the stress of the unexpected loud noise generated by modern fireworks can be really upsetting for a large number of cats and dogs.
Each year from early October onwards, we receive regular requests for treatments to sedate animals to reduce their anxiety during the firework season. Traditionally, for dogs, low doses of a sedative drug called Acepromazine (ACP) have been used to try to calm the animal and whilst these can be moderately successful, it is not ideal to have to sedate your pet over successive days on the off chance that there might be fireworks and the drug cannot be safely used in cats.
More recently, products containing Pheramones have been used for a variety of behavioural issues in both dogs and cats and these have been found to have a calming role when it comes to firework noise.Pheramones are the natural ‘smells’ produced by animals – in the case of dogs and cats smelt by them, but not us – and which have an unseen beneficial effect on behaviour. Available as a spray or plug in air freshener-type diffuser, we have found in certain cases that they do help to reduce the anxiety caused by loud noises. So unless your pet is brave (or deaf) why not ask your vet about pheramone preparations. Short of dog or cat earplugs they might help to calm a very frightened pet.
Mark Spurdens,
Maelor Vet Centre.

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
Was anybody struck like me how beautiful Overton village looked in summer when the road markings had yet to be painted on? When ever I see workers on our roads I worry that they are going to paint them red, add bumps and shark’s teeth and ruin the village like neighbouring ones which have been turned into monstrous obstacle courses.

But what about road safety, I hear you say. I would agree that safety should come first. However there is research which suggests that no markings at all are safer. Recently I spoke to Wrexham’s Highways officer to discuss this and he was well aware of the research and was looking for a village like Overton to test the theory.

I think we’d all agree that more prominent signs are needed at the village entrances. I would prefer these to be of a rural nature but I appreciate freedom is not allowed in this area. As for the latest ugly traffic calming signs and the normal white lines, wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could dispense with them, restore Overton to its former pastoral glory and be safe at the same time? I urge our council to take up Wrexham Highway officer’s offer which could be cheap, effective and aesthetic!
Jenny Horton


Junior Choir Members:
Children aged 7 upwards, if you would like to become a member please phone Sue on 710229 or come along to choir practice. The details will be on the notice board outside church.


Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families of Mrs Fitz-Hugh, Mrs Keyhoe and Mr Iain James Hughes.

Congratulations on the marriages of
James & Sue Clarke,
Andrew Malam & Sally Taylor
& David Williams & Wendy Bickley
& the engagement of Paul Edwards and Nicola Evans

and special congratulations on the Diamond (60th) Wedding Anniversary of Gwen & Alf Dalby.

Congratulations to Sue & James Glover on the birth of their 4th grandchild a beautiful little girl, born 14th September 2006. Love and best wishes to Antony, Jan & Lewis.

Congratulations to Lianne Evans, daughter of Iory & Angela Evans of 1a Maelor Court who gained a Bachelor of Education Hons. in primary teaching and graduated July 17th at University of Wales, Bangor.

Congratulations to Mark Kelly for being awarded the OBE for his services to 10 Downing Street. Since leaving Overton, Mark has worked as Private Secretary to the Chief Whip for 22 years and has shown immense skill and loyalty within his job. All of the family are all so very proud.
Well done!


Yale College of Wrexham with the Maelor School are running a 10 wk course of Flower Arranging Classes on Monday afternoons, commencing on 25th September, in Overton Village Hall, 1.15 to 3.15 p.m.
The 10 week term will cover 5 weeks of Autumn and 5 weeks of Christmas Flower Arranging. 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 10 wks:- Adults £37 Concessions £25
For further information and a list of materials to bring ring Belinda Owen on 01948 830291 or Yale College 01978 311794;
Or enrol On-Line on www.yale-wrexham.ac.uk.
Course No: LW901. We look forward to meeting you.