Overtons Free Newspaper - issued monthly to over 600 homes in Overton
The Editorial Team
Maxine Palmer - Sean Clarke - Wally Wilton - David Burton - Lesley Pugh - Euan Stevenson
Our reporters cannot be everywhere.
EMAIL YOUR STORIES TO EDITOR@OVERTON-ON-DEE.CO.UK
year 2004 marks the centenary of the "Entente Cordiale",
a treaty established in 1904 to promote friendly understanding between
Britain and France.
On Wednesday, a formal reception was held in the Village Hall. After several speeches, both in French and English Awards where presented and it was highlighted by the Deputy Mayor of Wrexham that "Overton was the first community in North Wales to sign an official charter of friendship and understanding".
show was put on by local children. The show entitled "A Review
of French History", contained just about every French character
you could think of.....from Asterix, Napoleon and the Three Musketeers
to Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier.
saw a "Hog roast", held in conjunction with the cricket
club, at the cricket field, with challenge matches between La Murette
and Overton at boules and cricket. The cricket event ended in a
draw and somewhat unsurprisingly, La Murette were convincing winners
of the boules event. As darkness descended, the evening concluded
with a fantastic fireworks display by Mike Lawrenson, accompanied
by even more cold pork baps. Again, congratulations to the organisers,
who ensured an enjoyable evening for everyone.
whole week went like a dream, with the French visitors having enjoyed
their stay immensely.
organisers, the "Twinning committee" (in the 10th year
of "twinning") under chairman, Alan Edwards
I read somewhere that "a stranger is just a friend you have yet to meet" how true this was when in late July I was asked at short notice to be a host to the visitors, due over from France as part of the twinning 10 year celebration. With hesitation I accepted; much to the horror of George and the kids. Not to be put off I set about readying the spare room for a couple and their 6 year old son, two other children were to stay with Jayne and Stephen Sorfleet.
given an itinerary of events that would keep the French busy from
10:00hrs most days till 17:00hrs most evenings prior to the evening
events starting at 18:30hrs onwards, so I was able to carry on with
my normal routine. Apart from giving a breakfast and providing a
packed lunch no other duties were required; except perhaps to join
in if I wanted.
Following on from my article in last month's edition of the oracle, where I drew attention to the necessity for neighbours to 'keep a look out for each other, and each others property', I would like to make you aware of a series of crimes which are currently taking place in other parts of the county as well as locally.
These crimes are generally known as 'Distraction Burglaries', where the intended victims are usually the elderly or the infirm, and although there have been various types of methods used to commit these offences, by far the most common scenario usually goes something along these lines. Two or three well dressed individuals, (shirts and ties); attend at a property claiming to be from the water board. They then say that they need to check your water pipes, or that there has been a burst water main in the area and you need to run your taps until the water runs clear.
Whilst one person keeps the home owner occupied, the other person searches the house for cash and valuables. Once this is done they then flee on foot to their vehicle which is usually parked a few streets away, so that no one records its description or registration number. Obviously there will be variations on these details, but any unknown caller to your home should be treated with a degree of suspicion.
All public authorities should contact you prior to any visit, and with regards to them attending in an emergency situation, they should be prepared to show you their identification badge upon request. If in doubt, don't let them in, and either call the police, their stated department, or a neighbour or relative.
What I wish to point out is that these people are smartly dressed and generally do not look suspicious or out of place. They may even follow a victim home from the post office or bus stop. This is why everyone needs to be vigilant. We should all know which of our neighbours are elderly or infirm and at risk, and we should be prepared to look out for them and check on their welfare. Again I confirm what I have stated in the past, in that Overton has a great community spirit and the vast majority of residents are 'neighbourly minded', but I feel it does no harm to remind people.
What also needs addressing is that a great number of people are keeping large amounts of cash at home. I know that it may sound like a cliché, but a number of victims had been storing thousands of pounds under their mattress. Naturally this is one of the first places that the offenders look. Please consider keeping your savings in a bank, building society or post office account.
to contact the police if you see or hear anything suspicious, and
as I have pointed out above, this can include people parking their
vehicle and then walking some distance to properties in other streets.
Thankfully to date no one in this area has recently been a victim
to this type of crime, but with Ellesmere only 5 minutes away, and
with Overton only 10 minutes from Wrexham, it would be naive to
think that these criminals could not target here. Thank you.
HEARTS CAUGHT IN ACTION
As promised Carol Dykes has given an exclusive interview about her time in Mombassa. As part of the Hearts in Action Team which comprised of 9 members Carol undertook the Equipe Africa challenge. The protocol of the Equipe Africa project is not to give money but provide more practical hands on support; for example the team took books and pens for the Schools. Carol was away from the 8th of July to the 23rd of July. Carol wants to thank the readers who sponsored her, which facilitated her joining the rest of the team in Mombassa.
It was apparent by speaking to Carol that the team had a myriad of skills which secured the success of the mission and that it was not the result of any individual effort but as a whole group. The Hearts in Action team; most of whom are members of the Community Church; now face a new challenge. They will be holding an African evening in September with the aim of raising £51,000 to assist in benefiting the day to day existence of the people of Mtwapa by hopefully procuring land, on which a training centre, an orphanage and a church will be built, church leaders will be taught then further candidates will be taught practical elements for example sewing with the provision of a machine (can you remember the Singer Treadle machine?), carpentry and basic computer skills.
It was clear to me that the whole experience had moved Carol deeply "I cried every day" she revealed. The team faced a daily dichotomy. Staying in the sanitised hotel catering for the tourist industry, to then travel 25 minutes to Mtwapa and witness very meagre living conditions.
The lady photographed below retired from a career in teaching with the international aid organisation SOS Children's Village. With her savings she bought the building which was her home which she then further converted into a school and church herself still living in the corner of the property. 100 children use this service 20 of whom are in a position to be able to fund their education the remaining are orphans with no funds. This lady never turns a child away providing them education, shelter and love. The pencils, pens and books bought with the readers donations made a huge difference to her and the children's world. Finally I would like to thank Carol for taking the time to share her experience with us.
guys! This is going to be a page by the kid's for the kid's! With
everything you would ever want to know about...well everything from
the latest info on music to reviews on games and books! Its everything
you have ever wanted, and its here every month! But we can't do
it alone we need you to send in your jokes, letters, opinions, pictures,
riddles or just something that you think we should know about! Just
drop it through my door at 20 Bangor Road or send it to our Production
Editor Maxine! I will be happy to receive any comments or suggestions
about how we can make this page better! Also we will be having a
trading section in which you ask to trade your 2nd hand game for
another. For example:
Team Comment-Lela has worked extremely hard to produce this column. We really hope that you get behind her kids and submit your material to ensure the success of the column-thanks Lela
Great picture Rosie!
Mary's Goal Is
Mary has never missed a match, so she was the boy's natural choice for a replacement manager . I asked her how she felt about this her comment was "it's lovely to be wanted!" This is quite a seminal moment for the team as far as Mary is aware she is the only female manager to have undertaken the role of manager of the Under 15's - go girl power!
The team was established 9 years ago to provide the youngsters of Overton, Bangor on Dee and Penley an additional out of school activity. Until that point any aspiring footballer would have to wait until aged 16 to join the adult teams; missing out on the valuable skill development stage of their football career. I asked Mary what her aspirations for the year her response was clear "to finish top of the league and play at Wrexham Race Course" If determination has anything to do with this dream the boys & Mary may well achieve this.
I joined them at their first match of the season; a friendly at Overton Football Pitch on the 10th of August, armed with the Jaffa Cakes for half time and thoroughly enjoyed myself. One can attend their training sessions which are held every Tuesday at 1830 at the Penley School. In future editions of the Oracle we will include the month's fixture list.
Mary is proud of her new signing Tom Shore who is showing signs of strength and ability. "We are always glad of new signings" said Mary. She also wanted to say the following. "Thanks to all the boys for their support and dedication and also a big thanks to Jason Starkey and Richie Hamer for giving up their Tuesday nights to help me train the team, thanks lads xx"
The season runs from April to September so we will report on the final team results in our next issue and then report on the new season next year. To assist in raising funds for the maintenance of the club a coffee morning is to going to be held at the village hall on the 18th September at 1030hrs all are welcome.
The Great Erbistock Raft Race 2004 has been cancelled.... Because; quite reasonably; now that no-fee ambulance chasing solicitors abound, owners of the rights on the river require us to have a public liability insurance of £10Million. Cover for the raft crews has not been achievable. Despite crews being willing to sign disclaimers; the advice was that it possibly would not hold up in court. The donation of money to serious causes will not happen. (In 2002 £15,000 to two cancer charities and many £100's to local good causes.)
The team is genuinely sorry for the disappointment caused as a result of this and understands that many will have already begun constructing rafts for the event.
Overton Medical Practice News
Denise, our secretary, has been to Southern France visiting Dr. Turkie and Dr. Pack who now live there. The whole family have settled in well and are very happy; they send their regards to everyone in Overton.
our 'congratulations' theme, Friday, July 23rd 2004, marked the
20th anniversary to the day that Nurse Eirlys Williams started work
with the Practice.
Of An Octogenarian
Over the 20 years that I have lived in Lightwood Green, I have had many an interesting conversation with my neighbour, Mr. Stanley Wright. His clear reflections on the changes experienced during his 80+ years are a living history and here he shares some of his thoughts with the Oracle.
"I am often asked 'what changes do you notice most between now and the 1920's and 30's'. Well first of all everyone is better off financially. Poverty in this country at least, is almost unknown. In the 20's and 30's everyone had to make every penny count. The air we breathe is actually much cleaner than 50 or 60 years ago. Then every chimney belched forth its complement to the general smog; every railway engine and every factory added to the grand total.
tremendous increase in road traffic is another very noticeable thing.
We are all slaves to the car it rules our lives; try going without
a car, how far will you get? I cannot pass this subject without
mentioning farming and the speed with which any farming job is accomplished;
it is truly amazing. We are slaves to machines, there is no doubt
Were you born in Overton? "No, I was born and brought up on the Chirk Castle Estate. My father was Head Gamekeeper. Those were the real upstairs/downstairs years. There was a big outdoor staff, keepers, gardeners, grooms, chauffeurs, builders, carpenters, farm workers and these were matched by an almost equal number of indoor staff.
One of the highlights of those years from my point of view was beating at pheasant shoots the pay for which was five shillings for a man, three shillings and six pence per youth and half a crown for lads There seemed to be far more snow in those days and I have a very clear recollection of sledging, we had a wonderful sledge run, a full quarter mile. That was a winter activity of course. In the summer it would be bird nesting and cricket.
One thing we used to do each spring would be to collect Plover eggs, it was legal to do this up to and including April 30 so we were not breaking the Law. Plover eggs were a great delicacy and a certain gentleman who had a great deal in running the Estate, arranged with my father to have eggs sent to his residence in London whenever possible. The eggs were put into a specially made box and sent by rail from Chirk Station. If they were put onto the one o'clock train from Chirk they would be in Paddington by half past five and, I believe, delivered that same evening. That was service, I wonder if it could be equalled today?"
Do you remember electricity coming to Chirk? "Paraffin lighting was the norm, except for the Castle itself and one or two homes adjacent to the Castle which had the 'the electrics' supplied by the estate's own generator. It was some time after the War before the whole Estate and surrounding farms were connected to the National Grid. Paraffin had only one advantage over electricity, it gave heat as well as light. Other than that electricity was far better.
Our main transport was the pushbike. The early 1930's saw the pedal cycle at its pinnacle and the two main makes of bikes were the Hercules, which cost £3.19.6d, and the Raleigh (the all steel bicycle) a pound more at £4.19.6d. We relied on our bikes to takes us anywhere and everywhere, even long distances Blackpool, Southport, the Midlands; those were the cycling years when a bike had as much right on the road as a car. My father had a horse and trap for transport and he would go to Chirk village every Friday to pick up provisions for the following week. The horse and trap would be stabled in J.D.Edward's yard whilst my father paid a visit to the 'Cross Keys.' All of this came to an abrupt end with the outbreak of World War 2.
I believe the first winter of the War 1939-40 was one of the most ferocious winters we have every had; also the first winter after the War, 1946-7. Remarkable but true."
Reflections Of is to be a new series featuring interviews with Overton residents we are looking for participants. You may wish to share your experience of work, leisure, hobbies or interests. If so we would be delighted to hear from you. Thank you Stanley for taking the time to share your recollections and reflections with us.
Doing Anything For Christmas....
may seem strange to ask this question in September, hopefully beating
the supermarkets to their Xmas card display, but December and Christmas
is not that far ahead.
TALES FROM THE TRADE
Village Club is managed by the Recreational Club Committee, consisting
of B.Hamlington (Chair), T.Stead (Treasurer), L.Degville (Secretary)
and six committee members. It is thought that the Club was established
in December 1969 and will be celebrating its thirty fifth anniversary
this year. Its conception was inspired by founder member Tom Haynes
who sadly past away last year.
technically as a freehouse, the Club underwent a massive refurbishment
in the mid eighties which substantially increased its membership,
now numbering around four hundred.
Over the last ten years the Quiz Team have become somewhat renowned across Wrexham for their intellectual prowess. Should all this Sportsmanship prove too much you could always relax with a drink and play bingo, which alternates between Saturday's and Sundays.
Anyone wanting to visit the Club as a guest is made welcome and the entry fee of fifty pence is likely to be cancelled out by the first purchase of a drink. Pursuing membership after a couple of visits is advisable and is a fairly simple and financially painless exercise. It is not widely appreciated that the Club is run on a non-profit making basis with the very marginal yield being ploughed straight back in. The Club serves the village as a testament to its founder member's vision and exists to this day due to the guardianship of its committee. Given its altruistic purpose, it fully deserves our patronage.
What's New Pussycat?
It was reassuring to see Overton W.I.'s presence at this years ever popular Oswestry Show. This years theme was musicals and 'Cats' was selected by the group. Presenting a feline themed stand, contributions were provided by Jean Hughes, Dilys Parkinson, Josie Ralphs, Beaty Roberts and Doreen Walker. The stand included a cat print cushion, baked chocolate biscuits, truffles and elderflower wine. Judges commented particularly favourably on a piece of pastel artwork, remarking "a delightful pastel picture. well done." Also singled out for praise was Doreen Walker who was awarded runner up for her Raspberry jam. It appears that our W.I. our flying the flag proudly on behalf of the village.
Memorable Day Out"
The visit to Gigrin farm near Rhayader was a trip I had been longing to make for some time. I am very interested in wild birds, and the chance to witness the amazing spectacle of red kites feeding at the centre there was an opportunity too good to miss.
a Saturday in July, my wife Margaret and I made the journey of around
70 miles to the "Red kite feeding centre", which is situated
approximately half a mile from Rhayader, on the A470 Builth Wells
road. We arrived at the centre early, so decided to go on to the
delightful town of Llandridnod Wells for lunch and a look around.
3.00 pm the tractor, with its load of meat portions arrived. The
meat is then scattered on the bottom field, where there are two
large hides to view from really close range. After the food has
been scattered, the first birds to arrive are crows and ravens -
lots of them. Within another 15 minutes, the birds we were waiting
on, which I had never seen before , arrived - the beautiful red
kites. I counted between 40 and 50 of them, riding the thermals
tremendous spectacle goes on for quite a considerable time, as fresh
groups of birds kept arriving - goodness knows where from.
Diary of "Le Grand Visite"
3rd of August