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

Sept 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

Revised Medical Centre Plans Unveiled

Revised plans for the new Medical Centre in Overton have recently been unveiled. The scheme, which was granted planning permission by Wrexham Council in June, differs in layout terms from the original architect's submission, but still offers the same much needed services to the community.

Doctors and staff at the Surgery are looking forward to the move into the new premises, work upon which is likely to start in October with the erection of a temporary surgery building on the picnic area adjacent to the car park in Church Road. This is needed so that contractors can move in to demolish the existing building which, in its day, won a Civic Trust Award for good design.

The building, which was the former offices of the Wrexham Maelor Rural District Council, is now totally unsuited to the needs of the Practice which has grown substantially over the years. The team at the Surgery is much bigger, there is a higher consultation rate, in some cases rooms are having to be shared, and the practice is not able to provide the appropriate level of nursing care that it would like.

The new scheme shows the building closer to the High Street, so that trees at the rear of the site can be retained. It also shows the building further away from neighbouring residential properties. Twelve car parking spaces will be provided at the front of the building for patients, with a further five staff parking spaces being provided at the rear with access from the public car park. Additional staff parking will be in the public car park.

In a previous statement to the Oracle, Dr Paul Myers said: "The new medical centre will incorporate the latest designs and features to make your visit to us a pleasant one. It will enable all the doctors and staff to operate more efficiently in better surroundings and with adequate space. It will incorporate better consulting and treatment rooms as well as a minor operations suite. District Nurses, Health Visitors and other health professionals from the North East Wales Trust will occupy part of the new premises enabling them to provide a wide range of medical services to the community. The local pharmacy will also be incorporated in the new building for your convenience."

The revised scheme is available for public inspection at Overton Library during normal Library opening hours.

Overton W.I. Brightens Show
By Lesley Pugh

The Oswestry Show is a lovely old-fashioned community affair. Various stands and tents selling everything from ice cream to crafts separate the main show ring from an agricultural ring.

The W.I. had a section in the permanent buildings; centre tables were laden with the usual tempting homemade produce for sale, plants and crafts. Along the walls, tables held the competition which this year was 'Variations on a Colour'. One composition in particular drew the eye because it was a beautiful bright yellow, the colour chosen by Overton WI who won a well deserved third prize in a very close run competition.

Many congratulations.

Letters to the editor

Dear Editor,

As a twinning "doubter", I would publicly like to change my opinion of this form of "entente cordialle", having just come back from one of the best holidays I've ever had in France. My wife had been pestering me ever since she visited La Murette two years ago and assured me that I would have a good time. Still unconvinced, I agreed, and from the minute we left Overton I was pleasantly surprised. The company of my fellow "twinners" and the reception we received at Lyon airport from our hosts was fantastic and within minutes I felt as if I'd known everyone all my life. The language which I suppose was my biggest worry became my best friend as I sounded like Rene from Allo, Allo. Every day and evening something new was happening, from village walks, swimming at the local lake, travelling up mountains in cable cars, and enjoying wonderful French food at local restaurants. All this in the company of such friendly people, who went out of their way to ensure that we experienced French hospitality at its best.

So I would like to thank my wife for persuading me to go, and the Twinning Association for providing the opportunity to make so many new friends. Roll on next year when I believe it's the tenth anniversary of "Le Jumelage". I will be there to help provide a reception to match the one we received in France and recommend it to anyone who likes a good time.

James Glover Overton

Ed: We are more than happy to print your letters. However, our policy is not to print letters which in the opinion of the Editorial Team could be regarded as libellous within the terms of the Laws of Defamation. Similarly we will not print any letter submitted anonymously. However, we understand that for personal or other reasons the author may wish to have his/her name withheld from publication. We are happy to respect that request, and will suffix the letter with the comment "name and address supplied"

Overton Community Church News
By Eunice Taylor

On 21st August, the Walking Treasure Hunt around the Village attracted twenty-eight people. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and were happily (?) exhausted at the end - the end being the White Horse, where we were all provided with a chicken and chips supper, which was tasty and very welcome. One or two people decided not to walk, but to sit in the pub and do the clues. These folk shall be nameless - they know who they are! Needless to say they didn't come near to winning!

It was a difficult time marking the papers, as there were over sixty cryptic clues. We finally had a draw between two teams (Clare, Rosie and Charlotte Brookfield, and Will Jones) and (Cynthia Davies and Roxanne Haynes). There had to be a tie break , so each team was set a challenge to see how many words could be made from the WHITE HORSE. Cynthia and Roxanne won by at 'least a length', and were presented with a voucher to spend in Sainsbury's. All the children taking part received a prize, and some even asked when there was going to be another event. All in all it was a very enjoyable evening.

No programme is arranged for September yet. So if you want any information please telephone Eunice.

It's Back to School

Not everybody hates school. For some the end of the school holidays means the end of 6 weeks of boredom. For others, the thought of returning to school after such a long break fills them with horror. Whatever group you fall into, we would like to hear from you. What does going back to school REALLY mean to you? You can write your own article, or if you prefer, you can get together with a few of your friends and write a composite piece for publication in the Oracle. (see footnote in letters column)

Simply write a short essay and e-mail it to: editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk



Are you as confused as I am? Instead of the old Directory Enquiries number 192, we now have in its place up to 20 alternative six digit numbers starting with 118. Whilst I agree that competition is welcome, I find the whole thing very confusing. What is especially worrying is not only the price of the call, but the cost of connection, which in one case is 49p. That means for a one-minute call, it will cost me 58p. According to a national newspaper, BT admitted "nobody knows what firm they are using or why"

Private Eye took a swipe at the whole fiasco when they said; "Now at last, instead of wasting your time ringing BT, you can be put through immediately to a recorded announcement telling you that you are in a queue, followed by a chance to hear again the immortal melodies of Vivaldi. And then, before you know it, you will be connected to a highly trained directory services manager in Islamabad, who will try to sell you a time share in Mombasa, some medical insurance and a new conservatory. Soon you will forget that you wanted to make a phone call to anyone"

It's gone quite mad. (see report on "A guide to getting the right number")

I was watching telly the other night, and happened to switch over to a programme on ITV1 called "Facelifts from Hell". Now I don't want to alarm anyone, but there were some pretty horrific eye-watering stories. Why do people really want to mess with nature. Quite frankly I'm proud of the pimple on my nose, my crows feet, bushy eyebrows and thin lips! Oh dear - now I've given my description away - damn! But the appalling things people get up to was lessened by the first ad screened in the commercial break which was for St Ives apricot scrub: "For smoother, healthier-looking, brighter skin." Nice One!

Alas, it must be a confusing week for me. I have just seen in the papers that we must save electricity to prevent the sort of blackouts that the US and Canada sustained in August. Now how do I save it? I asked someone that very question and they said: "Don't put the light on." Surely, if I don't put the light on, I'll have a self imposed blackout!!

And can anyone tell me how different companies can charge different prices for the same gas that comes down the pipe into you home. How do they know it's their gas in the first place?

Another Family re-united
by David Burton

Stella Austin's article on finding her family prompted me to write about my own family story. Twenty-five years ago I learned from my uncle (my mother's brother) that in addition to my sister with whom I had grown up, I had a brother and a half brother. That started a quest to find out the truth and try to discover the missing members of the family. The two people we dared not ask were our parents, they obviously had reasons why they had never told us, perhaps it was all too painful and perhaps they wanted to protect us. Things were far different in those dark days of World War 2. It has taken us years to discover the truth and the final piece in the jigsaw was put in place only in June.

My father had married his first wife in 1932 and my half - brother Ian was born in 1937. I don't know what went wrong but early in the war my father met my mother. In 1942 my brother was born, but my grandmother discovered them and had my brother adopted, took mother back home with her and sent Dad back to his first wife. The story might have ended there, but Mum and Dad persevered and after he obtained a divorce from his first wife, married Mum and along came sister and finally me.

Nine years ago at my Aunt's funeral I asked members of my father's family about my half - brother Ian. I had learned that they were still in touch with him and I indicated I wanted to meet him. I was gently deflected and left it there. Later that year, at a family wedding to which Ian and his family were invited but we were not, my niece asked her great-uncle about her grandfather whom she had never met and was put in touch with me. Shortly afterwards there were many reunions and we all got on famously.

What struck me were the coincidences. Ian had a caravan, which he often brought, from home in Leicester all the way to Ellesmere. How often we had passed in the street we could only guess at. We shared a love of Rugby and discovered we had both been at the England v Wales match attended by Princess Diana. A discussion ensued as to where we were both sitting - very close. In a crowd of 70,000, we had been separated by only three people! Sadly I was only able to enjoy his company for seven years before his untimely death last year.

Meanwhile the search for the other brother had got stuck. I had uncovered his birth certificate, but as he had been adopted my rights to access his information were zero and the only option was to register my interest on the General Register and hope that sometime he might be curious about his family. That was in 1993. Before he died I asked my father, but he and my Aunt in whom my mother had confided could tell me little except that he had been re-named Robin.

Then one day in June we had a letter from the Registrar that my brother had contacted them and my details had been passed on. A week later came a phone call and the family was re-united. Again there were coincidences. Robin and his wife Meg lived in Oswestry of all places and we both know several people in common. We share common interests - climbing, canoeing and sailing. We had both been Sea Scouts in Wolverhampton in neighbouring troops.

It is sad that it has taken over fifty years before we met and the biggest sadness is that Robin will never meet Ian or our parents, but at least we now have a much bigger family with nephews and nieces and great-nephews and nieces to enjoy!


  • 1st Overton-on-Dee Scouts pass their appreciation on to Overton Community Council for the generous grant of 250 which was used to purchase much needed canoeing equipment.
  • Overton and District Bowling Club is holding a Disco/Dance on Saturday 15th November with music provided by Female Singer Lydia Johnson - Disco Central Sound, commencing 7.30pm. Tickets (6 inclusive of buffet) are available from the Corner Shop, High Street.
  • Apologies from the Oracle Team to Chris Burton, son of David and Jill Burton, Maelor Court for omitting to say that Chris was recently awarded a First Class Honours Degree in Human Geography. We are glad to put the record straight.
  • In Finland the latest craze is "Mobile Phone throwing" In a recent competition, the longest recorded throw was 266 feet, 6 inches, just a few inches short of the world record. (Ed: Whatever will they think of next!!)
  • It is sad to report another piece of vandalism at St. Mary's Church. A stained glass window has been damaged. The wire grill protecting the window was removed and stones were thrown through the window. The window did not shatter, but there are now two holes over the inscription. - so pointless - so mindless - such a sad reflection on the perpetrators. Although the damage was not great, the cost of repair will nevertheless be substantial.
  • The White Horse Coaching Inn Overton has recently opened an exclusive restaurant with an extensive and varied menu. Situated in the High Street, it is dedicated to providing high-quality low-cost food and wines, in a soothing and relaxed atmosphere. Special parties and functions are catered for by prior appointment. Sunday lunches are also a speciality. To book a table call in or phone 01978 710111.
  • The White Horse also received first prize for the best music on a float in the Ellesmere Carnival held on the 23rd August. The music was provided by the "Tequila" Overton's resident band - with the float decorated in the theme of the Blues Brothers.
  • Congratulations to Joanna Evans, daughter of Mr and Mrs B Evans, formerly of 2 Dispensary Row, Overton, on gaining her degree with honours at Bangor University.
  • Members of the Oracle Team have been asked to register the community's appreciation to John Austin, of St Mary's Avenue for the transformation in the appearance of the cemetery in Church Road, Overton. John took over the maintenance of the cemetery in July, and in that month alone spent 80 hours of hard work cutting back the hedges and strimming the grassed areas. Ed: Well done John.

Goodbye 192! A guide to getting the right number

Listed below are just some of the companies who are able to supply national and international telephone numbers following the demise of the old 192 number. This confusing array of choices just serves to indicate how farcical deregulation has become. Consumers should be aware of 'call completion' - when you are put through to the number. For example, a 9p call could cost 58p if you are connected. (based upon a I minute call)

Number Company Cost

118 800 Directory Inquiries UK 19p
111 888 11 88 88 20p
118 099 Cable and Wireless 35p
118 111 One.Tel 35p
118 321 Tesco 35p
118 247 Yellow Pages 40p
118 000 Orange 49p
118 500 BT 55p
118 180 Telewest 55p
118 866 11 88 66 57p
118 118 The Number 58p

(source: Daily Express) Based on an average cost for a 1 minute call

Competition is to be welcomed if it has the effect of giving choice and lower prices, but this new system will cause total chaos, with consumers not really knowing which firm they are using and why!

Overton News in 1903
by Betty Williams

On March 19, Mr Edmund Peel of Bryn-y-Pys died at Lucerne, Switzerland. He purchased the Bryn-y-Pys Estate and came there to live (circa) 1850. Mr Peel used to drive a four-in-hand and was considered one of the best drivers in the country. He had given a piece of land adjacent to the Overton Station to be used as a Smithfield for the sale of cattle and pigs. Messrs Jones of Bromhead Auctioneers of Wrexham held the first auction there on the 17th March.

In 1899 the old "White Horse Inn" was offered for sale together with the yard, stables, coach-house, shippon, pigsty and large garden. Also the adjoining cottage and garden.

The premises were bought by Messrs F W Soomes Brewery of Wrexham for 3,750.

The five acres of land known as the "White Horse" fields (where Deva Terrace now stands) was purchased by Mr Henry Williams for 250.

When the old "White Horse" was being demolished in 1902, the roof of the clubhouse fell in, but nobody was hurt.

Mrs Roberts, who had been the licensee for a number of years, opened the doors of the new building on New Years Day in 1903.

Oracle Team Vacancy

A vacancy exists on the editorial team of the Overton Oracle. If you feel you would like to contribute on a voluntary basis to the Oracle, or you have ideas which you could bring to the team that would improve the way in which we reach out to the community, we would like to hear from you. The editorial meetings are held two weeks before issue, and you will be expected to prepare articles for consideration. An ability to write clearly and in a way which captures the interest of the reader is essential. Please apply by e-mail: editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk

Do you fancy being a walk leader?

Nia Lederle, Walking the Way to Health Coordinator, Groundwork Wrexham and Flintshire, is seeking volunteer walk leaders to lead walks in and around Overton. The Way to Health Scheme 'Walkabout Wrexham' is to promote walking as a means of physical exercise and social activity through both led and independent walking. The scheme was launched in January 2001 and has currently 10 led walks around the Wrexham area which are proving very popular with local communities.

Nia said: "As work has been done on local footpaths in the Overton area it would be an ideal venue for a led walk to encourage local residents to enjoy the surroundings whilst gaining health benefits. As all our walks are led by Volunteer Walk Leaders we would require volunteers to lead the walks. All Walk Leaders participate in a free of charge one day training course followed by a basic First Aid Course. Following the course, we would require the Walk Leaders to commit one hour per week/month to lead a walk."

Should anyone wish to become a volunteer Walk Leader, Nia Lederle can be contacted by telephone 01978 363555 or by writing to her at Groundwork Wrexham and Flintshire, Borras Road, Borras, Wrexham, LL13 9TW

Art and Craft Exhibition

St Mary's Church, Overton held a very successful Art and Craft Exhibition from 27 -30th August, drawing a steady number of visitors throughout each day. All the exhibits, which included watercolours, oil paintings, cross-stitch, embroidery, wood turning, baskets, glass painting and woodcraft were all produced from people living within Overton and district.

The standard was extremely high, demonstrating the amazing and diverse talent that abounds within the village. It held a number of pleasant surprises, and each exhibitor was allowed not only to display items for sale, but also to display their other work. St Mary's Primary School also had a fine display, demonstrating the unique talent of some of its pupils.

A special thanks to all our distributors

One of our "Oracle" distributors - Kath Price-Jones recently had to relinquish her duties due to ill health. It would not be fitting to allow this to pass without thanking her for her years of service in delivering the "Oracle" in her "patch" - many thanks Kath. Our volunteer distributors play a pivotal role in the success of the "Oracle", ensuring that the "Oracle" is delivered in all weathers and at all times of the year and it is testimony to their support that the "Oracle" distribution team has remained largely unchanged for the last five years.

It is therefore appropriate to record a big vote of thanks to all distributors from fellow villagers and from the "Oracle" team. Incidentally, if anyone wishes to "lighten the load" by joining the distribution team, don't hesitate to make contact anyone connected with the "Oracle".

Maelor School Community Education Programme 2003

The Maelor School Penley in partnership with Yale College invites you to take your pick of the Maelor School's Community Education Evening Classes this Autumn. Who knows where it may lead? Why not stretch yourself physically by joining the Yoga or Line-dancing classes, or mentally with a variety of accredited courses. You could even while away the long winter evenings at one of the leisure classes, many with a Christmas theme.

In addition the school is offering French and Welsh language classes. Both are accredited with the Open College Network. If however, you feel as though you need to wind down in a relaxed atmosphere, the school is also offering a wide range of courses including Painting and Drawing and a new class in Celtic Art, which looks at the mysteries behind it and the techniques used.

Work related courses in Food, First Aid and I.T are also on offer.

Enrolment will be at the Maelor School on Monday 15th September

Canoe Challenge Results

The following prizes have been awarded by Timothy Rosselli to those who judged successfully how far he could canoe down the River Dee. (See Oracle July 2003) .

1st Prize Roy Overthrow A season's salmon fishing
2nd Prize Lloyd Kenyon Basket of various cheeses
3rd Prize Mrs C Daley Fresh Chickens
4th prize Rhian Evans 3 nights stay at Erbistock Mill
5th Prize Andy Dodswell A days rough shooting
6th Prize Robin Huxley 2 tickets to Bangor Races
7th Prize Peter Rosselli Free oil change
8th Prize Dowager Lady Kenyon Hamper
9th Prize Frank and Thelma Lloyd 10 voucher (Springfield Supplies)
10th Prize Mr and Mrs W Philips 4 tickets to Aintree Races
11th Prize Sue Jonathan Bottle of wine
12th Prize Wynne Jones Wicker basket

Another prize of a season's course fishing has yet to be allocated.

Timothy wishes to thank all those who contributed prizes and for sponsoring him in his marathon canoe trip, which raised over 2,600 towards the St Mary's Church Organ Fund.