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

Sept 2006


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


The 2006 Twinning Visit with La Murette
by Catherine Starkey; photos James Glover

Last month saw another successful visit with our French friends from LA MURETTE. We welcomed a party of 17 people this year, including 2 new families from France.

We had a hectic week visiting Llangollen on the Monday, the Salt Museum at Northwich on Tuesday. A rather windy day took us over to the beach. The village of La Murette is far from the sea, so we are fortunate that from Overton it is only just over an hour to the coast and to the seaside town of Llandudno, where we went down the copper mines. After our picnic we ventured up a rather blowy Great Orme, a huge hit, with the children virtually being blown off the top!

Our big day out on Thursday was to Warwick Castle, this occupied us for a busy 12 hours so Friday we took it easy with a guided tour around the Bryn y Pys Estate. Thanks to Tim and Clare Rosselli for their hospitality and knowledge that was enjoyed as much by the Overton people as it was by the French visitors.

Battles were once again fought in our traditional France vs. Wales cricket match at the park - another draw!! - followed by the evening hog roast. Saturday saw things quieten down with a hearty breakfast followed by a walk to Cloy Lane for a truly British afternoon tea, rain included! The final evening saw us all being taught a few jive moves before supper and a disco was enjoyed by all as we wearily headed home with memories of a truly wonderful week. Early Sunday saw us cram the car park with tears and kisses as we sent our friends off on their safe journey home to France.

Llangollen Steam Railway
The start of a long journey home. You can see by the smiles that many new friendships were made .

Calor Village of the Year Competition

The meeting with the judges is now just days away! Can we remind all organisations and businesses to come to the Village Hall 12noon – 9.00pm Tues. 5th, or 9.00am on Wed 6th September to meet the judges at 10.30am. There are 6 categories - Community Life, Business, Young People, Older People, Environment, ICT. We are also looking for anyone who can help with tea and coffee, sandwiches and biscuits. If you can help please ring Lesley on 710409; Jacky on 710328 or Katharine on 710055.

Fete Photo’s

Photo’s of the Fete are now in an album at the corner shop. Go look - you might see yourself!

By Constable Darren King

I have always seen this column as an opportunity to keep residents informed of criminal activity and to offer safety and security advice. Unfortunately this month I need to use it to address a more personal issue.

The August edition of The Overton Oracle included the article, ‘Musings on the village fete’, by editorial member Sean Clarke, which documented Mr. Clarke’s observations on this years village fete, in particular his opinions of the police presence. As a result of Mr. Clarke’s comments I wish to clarify the following points with the aim of setting the record straight.

The reason for police attendance at the fete was not to combat any form of disorder but to allow the public, especially the younger members of the community, to see that the police are approachable and for them to communicate with us in a ‘non-threatening’ atmosphere, because usually the only time people get to speak to an officer is when they have either been a victim of crime or they're the offender. I think this is more important now than ever seeing as officers uniform resembles combat gear with its compulsory wearing of body armour and dressed all in black. Together with the overt weapons we have to carry this can appear threatening. The public always state that they want to see more police officers; we were simply trying to do this as well as forging important bonds with the teenagers who only see the police as ‘oppressive fun stoppers'.
The four officers whose attendance was described as heavy consisted of 3 unpaid Special Constables who had volunteered to give up their time and me, who chose to represent North Wales Police although it was my weekend off. As I had attended with a 'basic' police vehicle last year I thought it would be a change to allow the public to 'play' with a police van. This was not a riot van but a general issue 4 seater police vehicle that can be regularly seen working from Overton Police Station. This year we were also fortunate enough to get the head of the Wrexham County Neighbourhood Watch Association, (another volunteer), to attend with us. I think I can safely state that the people who took the opportunity to have a go in the vehicles and/or speak to us found the experience both fun and informative.
I have been assured by the Chair and the editor of the Oracle that Mr. Clarke's article was meant in jest and to be taken tongue in cheek, however to the other officers and myself his comments can only be seen at best uninformed, and at worst having a jibe and trying to undermine our position and authority. We do not find the article remotely amusing, especially, whether meant affectionately or not, the comments on what is said behind my back. That is where such comments should stay. I have come to except that I will receive abuse from a drunken male under arrest, but I do not expect to receive abuse in the printed pages of a magazine I have chosen to support every month for the past 3 and a half years. I have shown Mr. Clarke's article to as many officers as possible and all have been shocked at the comments made and agree with my stance.
As Mr. Clarke has offended both me and my colleagues I therefore sincerely hope that he and the rest of the editorial team have the decency to print an apology.
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.
Message from the Chairman of the Overton Oracle

Our aim is to inform and entertain our community; we have no desire to upset anyone and the article entitled “Musings on the Village Fete” in the August issue was written and meant to be read tongue in cheek! Constable King has used his Country Beat section for his redress in answer to this article. It is hoped that you will read both articles as open and friendly viewpoints of the people involved. On behalf of the Oracle team please accept this as an apology for inadvertently causing offence to anyone.

By Lela Palin

Just a little note...

Hey, its me again, but this is going to be the last page I publish. I've had a lot of work lately, so I won't have enough time to do the page every month- sorry.

If anyone would like to take over the kids column, then please contact David or any other members of the Oracle editorial team.

Lela --x

International talk like a pirate day 2006

"Every now and then, some visionary individuals come along with a concept that is so original and so revolutionary that your immediate reaction is: 'Those individuals should be on medication.' " -- Dave Barry, Miami Herald

That’s right, talk like a pirate day. I'm sure a lot of you are reading this, and are wondering simply: Why?

The answer to that is pretty simple. Its fun. Do you really need another reason?
Of course not!
T.L.A.P.D takes place every year on September 19th. Sure, a lot of you will think its pretty weird to talk like a pirate all day, but lets face it: you know you really want to.

Well, for those of you who don't, you don't have to. For the rest of you, here's a beginners guide to speaking pirate - enjoy!

Ahoy! - "Hello!"

Avast! - Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, “Check it out" or "No way!"

Aye! - "Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did."

Aye aye! - "I'll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over."
Arrr! - This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. "Arrr!" can mean, variously, "yes," "I agree," and "That was a clever remark you or I just made." And those are just a few of the many possibilities of Arrr!

Many thanks to Lela from the Oracle Editorial Team for her wonderful ‘Kids Page’ contributions over the last 2 years.

Ramblings From the Rectory
By David Lewis

Dear Friends,

Five years ago on September 11th I was at my father’s bedside as he was dying from cancer. It was also my birthday

We had the television on in the hospital room when suddenly reports started coming in of the terrorist attacks on the World trade centre in New York.

That day is embedded in my memory and now I can never celebrate my birthday without returning in my mind to that Hospital room. My Father’s death and the evil of that day have become interlinked in my mind. I cannot think of one without the other!

The event was made even more real as I had been on top of those skyscrapers and had been in the ‘restaurant at the top of the world’ where so many people had made the terrible choice to jump as conditions became so horrendous. The famous photograph of a man caught falling from the trade centre really did send a shiver down my spine.

This September I am sure my mind will return to my dad’s last day on earth. This year it is especially sad, when you look at the dreadful violence that has been occurring in Lebanon and the Middle East. So many people have needlessly lost their lives, as they did five years ago. And have continued to do in Afghanistan and Iraq and countless other places. Life is cheap in our world, especially when people justify violence and death because it meets their aims and strategies.

Along with Christians all over the world, it is my prayer that God’s peace will reign in our word and that justice and equality will be the norm. It is my prayer that people will be seen as unique individuals with their own stories and unique identities and not just as collateral damage in some larger conflict.

As we approach the Harvest season and once again celebrate the wonderful gift of the world God has given us, isn’t it really time that we started to treat our world and our neighbour better.

Julia Esquivel of Guatemala wrote this prayer
Let your Kingdom come;
Your kingdom, which is freedom and love
Which is sisterhood and brotherhood
Which is righteousness and life
Which is truth and justice.
This September 11th may that be all our prayer.

Your Friend and Rector.

St Mary’s welcomes The Reverend Doctor David Child as the new Assistant Curate. David will be working between the Overton group and Bangor group of parishes. We are looking forward to David’s ministry with us.

I am being driven mad by ……………..

Flies, the small buzzing variety
not the trousered version.
You know the ones I mean about 4 to 6 mm long and cheeky enough to keep landing on you when you are totally unaware of their presence. The larger flies do the decent thing, just get the can of fly spray out of the cupboard and they die with fright, but these little ones, spray away and they stick out whatever it is they have equivalent to our tongues and carry on bothering you. My family has now hidden the spray muttering about ozone levels and how they would like to keep one thank you very much, so I am on the look out for a fly swatter – no luck so far, so, if you see one please let me know as I’m finding the tennis racquet a bit too large and dangerous.

Heard on the Grapevine

We know this may be old news to many of you but we thought it was worth mentioning anyway. On May 10th the headmistress of St Mary’s School, Pat Clarke, was invited to Number 10 Downing Street to meet Mr Blair, along with other teachers, in recognition of her contribution in raising school standards. Congratulations Pat and well done!

Welsh Assembly Cash for Rainbow Centre

Penley Rainbow Centre, which is used by many Overton residents, is to receive £125,000 to build a new healthy living centre to enable the group to provide community nurses, chiropodist, optician, counselling and complementary therapies. A full information and resource centre will also be available .

The Rainbow Centre has been in a temporary accommodation since the building of the new Penley Hospital.

The Community Facilities and Activities Programme is a grant scheme operated by the Welsh Assembly to help community and voluntary organisations provide facilities or carry out activities which will promote the regeneration of communities.

Welsh Assembly Minister Edwina Hart said “CFAP makes a real, tangible difference to community and voluntary groups at grass roots level. It also supports the creation of much needed new facilities and services, that are at the very heart of our communities.”


Dr Rosemary Fallows joined us as a Partner last month. We also have a new GP Registrar, Dr Anwen Sadler, starting this month for a six month period. We welcome her and hope she enjoys her time here.

There are some amongst you who still do not seem to understand the rules concerning repeat prescriptions. We need 48 hours from ‘receipt to complete’ and then of course you must allow the pharmacy time to dispense the medication. Results are available from the secretary after 11.30am.

We thought you might be interested to see how many patients Did Not Attend their appointments so far this year - 416! It has been estimated that a missed appointment costs approximately £18. That means for the first half of this year, £7,488 has been wasted! – makes you think doesn’t it!!
The following tips can perhaps help you to remember your appointment:-
· Make a note of your appointment as soon as you book it – in a diary, note book or calendar.
· Set the mobile phone alarm beforehand or mark it in your phone calendar – it would also be useful to have the number of your surgery saved in your mobile.
· Let your partner, family member, carer or colleague know so that they can remind you.
· Note it on a wall chart or notice board or stick a post-it note somewhere obvious like on your fridge or computer.
· If your appointment is during work time make sure it is convenient. Double check with your boss that it is OK to get time off and give yourself plenty of time to get to the surgery – you are entitled to reasonable time off to see your doctor.
· If you are at work and have a computer send yourself an email reminder.
If you need to cancel your appointment, call the surgery as soon as possible. You may not get through the first time as the reception is often busy, so be prepared to keep trying. If you do experience continual difficulty in getting through to the surgery, we would appreciate being told. It may be necessary to introduce an additional service to cope with the amount of calls. If you don’t tell us we are not always aware that a problem exists.

If you want a say in how we run the surgery the next Practice Patient Participation Meetings are Mon 23rd October at 6.00pm and Mon 22nd January.

Finders Keepers
by Jill Burton

It was with some surprise that the Oracle received an enquiry from Yale University last month!

The enquiry was from the University’s Law School from a researcher who was working for a Professor Smith who is writing a text book for American Law Schools. And the enquiry was about what we knew of the house at Gwernheylod.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Gwernheylod was a fine country house built in the 1600s, added to in the 1830s, which stood to the north of Argoed Lane with a fine view over the Dee Valley. It was the home latterly of the Fletcher family and with its surrounding land was bought by the Peel estate in 1938. It was demolished in 1956.

During the Second World War Gwernheylod was requisitioned by the British army for troop use. It was used to house Polish Officers at the end of the war. One lady, Jolanta Lwak from San Diego, contacted the Oracle some years ago “In August 1946, I came as a child to Overton. At that time Polish Officers (including her father) were stationed at Gwernheylod. To me it seemed like a Castle and I have since wondered how it came to be so used and who lives there now. I still remember the beautiful grounds and the large yew trees."

So why the American interest? Our correspondent from Yale informs us that Overton and Gwernheylod are the site of an incident which became a celebrated court case that set a precedent that is an important part of UK and US law!

On August 21st 1940 a Lance Corporal Duncan Hannah in the Royal Artillery, who was stationed in the house, was putting up black-out curtains and found a brooch lodged in crevice above a window. Thinking it may be valuable he handed it to the police. By 1942 the owner had not come forward and the police handed it to Major Hugh Peel, the owner of the house, who sold the brooch for £66. Lance Corporal Hannah then went to court to claim that he had found the brooch and it should be his. In 1945 the case reached the Kings Bench Division. The court ruled in favour of the soldier, Major Peel had to pay him the money he had sold the brooch for. This created a new precedent in law and a peculiar way of acquiring title to property in the UK, which is also still used today and is also of relevance in US law.

So when you next walk along Argoed Lane, remember that Overton has its own special place in law and the meaning of “Finders, Keepers”!

View from the Village Vets.

Say Cheese!

September sees National Pet Smile Month when pet owners are encouraged to visit their vet for a free dental check up for their dog or cat and to collect a free goody bag containing a selection of quality dental samples.

Our practice will be offering free dental checks and will have a limited supply of dog goody bags to give away. We would encourage all pet owners to call in with their dog or cat for us to carry out a free oral health check and discuss preventative measures or treatments required.

Dental disease is certainly on the rise in both cats and dogs and there are a number of possible factors responsible. Firstly as medicine advances, our pets live longer and so their teeth are subject to wear and tear over a much longer period. Secondly, and especially in cats, some modern meat based soft diets do not provide teeth with the rough work needed to prevent the build up tartar. In dogs the reduced availability of fresh bones from the butcher prevents them from ‘having a good chew’. The result is a build up of tartar on the teeth, damage to the gums causing gingivitis – and bad breath or halitosis and ultimately the risk of tooth decay and dental abscesses.

So if your dog really does have ‘dog breath’ why not call in for us to check the teeth!
Further information on Pet Smile month can be found at www.PetSmile.org
Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre.

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
Can I thank all of you who have shown support & encouragement to Carol in her appeal to help the orphaned children of Mombassa in Kenya. She is hoping to return to Mombassa next summer. However there have also been many ignorant and disheartening comments from others, such as not wanting to support Carol “to take a holiday” .
I think these comments are either naïve or just plain nasty! And are possibly made by people who would not find it in themselves to give up their time to help these children, or would not be able to handle what they would be faced with on arrival. The work Carol undertakes in Africa is certainly NOT a holiday!

The charity aims to build churches and schools and provide fresh water and sanitation. It provides shelter and education for children who have lost their parents to Aids and have no one to care for them. Manual building work is carried out by the local people. Carol’s work is providing love, support and time with the orphans, reading them stories from the Bible, teaching them to use the books she has taken out to them, and providing the children and sick adults with lots of hugs. This is witnessed in the many photos and videos she brought back from her last visit.
I would like to ask people before making comments, to think if they could honestly do what Carol is trying to do. I know I would not have the strength to be faced with such a degree of poverty, grief, disease and sadness.. I am proud of what Carol and her Church is trying to achieve. It may not change the world but it will definitely change the life of those children, or at least make it better! Well done Carol, don't be disheartened and keep up the good work. If only there were more like you - not too self-absorbed to think of others less fortunate!
Name and address supplied

Dear Editor,
I am wishing to locate a lady who sold me a black and tan Jack Russell puppy in 2004. Unfortunately at the weekend I lost the dog in an accident. I would very much like to purchase another Jack Russell puppy from the same lady but I have recently moved house and I do not have her address or telephone number. Could someone help me locate her?
I remember the lady lived just outside Overton village and had been breeding black and tan Jack Russells from 16 years. The lady also owned a couple of ponies. The main road leading to the house drive passed through farm buildings. The house was set back from the road, and had large windows along the front. The house and yard were in immaculate condition with a gravelled drive. She also had a couple of children. I would be most grateful if anyone recognizes the lady from my description. I hope you can help me as the whole family has been so upset by our tragic loss.
Sarah Emmerson
Contact the Oracle if you can help Sarah. E-mail: info@overton-on-dee.co.uk or ring 710631


Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families of
Stella Rogers Janet Harris
Joanne Emmet & Geoff Marks

Also our thoughts are with Ken & Lyn Jones who have lost their beloved pet dog, Monty.

Belated congratulations go to Beth & Ian Wright on the birth of their 2nd son Jamie Richard, providing Ray & Betty Keen with their 2nd great grandson and Trish & Ken Roberts with their 2nd grandson

Happy 60th Birthday to Carol Dykes

Just a few lines to say a big Thank You to everyone for their comforting words, hugs, cards, flowers, cigarettes and practical help that myself and my family received after Geoff’s untimely death. We were deeply overwhelmed by it all. Our thanks again.
Pat Marks and family

Welcome to Attend

Overton Community Council would like to remind the community that members of the public are welcome to attend Council Meetings and there is a ten minute period at the start of each meeting (from 7.20pm to 7.30pm) when you can raise any subject you wish.

Just send your question three days before each meeting to Clerk to the Council, 7 Salop Road, Overton, LL13 0EG. Meetings take place on the second Tuesday of alternate months and the next meeting is on Tuesday 12th September.