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

Sept 2007


The Editorial Team

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

Our reporters cannot be everywhere.


The White Horse Rides Again
by Jacky Maskall

Yes, The White Horse is almost ready for the grand re-opening, which will be sometime early September according to the new managers Sam and Andrew Nikolic.

All of us have seen the exterior of the building, which is now looking much smarter, and I hope that many of you will go and have a drink and admire the interior. I have been requested not to describe the internal décor in great depth as Sam and Andrew wish you to come and see for yourselves. However, I can tell you that plans showing the interior of The White Horse were found, circa 1904, and these have been used to construct the “new” look, using light oak and glass. The plans were from when The White Horse was rebuilt in 1904 after the fire in late 1890s, which burned down the original old pub.

Sam and Andrew are planning on all day opening with bar food available from the start. There are two bars and for the aficionados out there Real Ale is offered but if you have a weakness for milder drinks Alcopops will not be served. Outside there will be a Beer Garden for parents and their children and a “Smoker’s Alley” for the diehards amongst us (you will sheltered from the rain, but not the wind).

“We are aiming for a truly traditional, good quality pub without any modern gimmicks,” stated Sam and Andrew; “we are not fans of Karaoke and loud machines for example and trust that locals agree with us.” In the future Sam and Andrew will possibly open a small restaurant and Sam, who is originally from Cornwall, hopes to offer Celtic Cream Teas.

We wish them all the best and offer them a warm welcome to our community.

Overton Recreational Football Club Success
by Will Jones

Overton Recreational Football Club would like to welcome and thank Mick & Karen Pinder of the Corner Shop who are the proud new sponsors of the new first team football kit.

The football club can proudly boast about last season’s successes after winning the Nizam-Druid Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Division One cup and gaining promotion into the Premiership Division. The successes that are being tasted at present are a far cry from when the team was re-established 10 years ago by a small group of local lads following a lapse of more than five years when the village was without team, and without their commitment and enthusiasm the village would be without a football team once again.

The season will start on the 18th August with some new faces and some old (you know who you are - Sam Wynne). So why not come to the park and support your local team and maybe partake in a little light refreshment after the match at Overton Recreational Club. Congratulations and thank you to all who support the football club and here’s hoping we can build on last year.

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis

Dear Friends,
A very old ceremony takes place on the nearest Sunday to 19th September in the church at Painsworth in Gloucestershire. The ceremony is called ‘Clipping the Church’.

Every year on this special Sunday a procession made up of the church choir, the children and people of the town, as well as the town band, make their way to the boundary of the churchyard. The children then all form a circle around the church itself and dance around it. At intervals they go inwards towards the walls and then outwards again. This is called embracing the church and it represents the love of the parish for its mother church. Then a special Clipping sermon is preached from the stone steps at the foot of the church tower and when this is over it means that the mother church has once again been clipped. The word Clipped comes from the word Clypping, which means to clasp or embrace.

When I read about this ceremony, it struck me as a wonderful way to express the picture of mother church embracing God’s children in love and the people in turn clasping their church in love. In other words a real relationship of love. Do we have that sense of love and belonging? Are we able to give thanks for all God’s gifts to us?

Our churches are marvellous signs of God’s eternal love for us, a love that surrounds and embraces us wherever we travel in life. We just have to open our hearts. But the clipping ceremony also reminds us that we also have a duty to God and mother church. For our relationship with God to be true, we must be prepared to give back, in terms of our time, our money and our love. Do we embrace our faith, our mother church?

Ann Lewin wrote this small poem entitled ‘A hug’.

How good it is to be held,
Not clutched, exploited or possessed,
But held, delighted in,
Strength flowing each to each,
Rejoicing in each other’s company.

As we begin The Autumn season, can we embrace God in our lives. Can we know how good it is to be held in his loving embrace and delighted in. Can we embrace Him back, strength flowing each to each. And most of all can we rejoice in each other’s company as we travel together through life and beyond!
Every blessing. Your Friend and Rector,

by Constable Luke Hughes

Over the last few weeks Overton Police Station has had a considerable amount of refurbishment work done, and this has meant that Jenna, Emily and I have been effectively homeless as the station has been closed. This has also meant that the police presence across the area may not have been as high profile as I would have liked. Please forgive me for not giving you advance warning of this, but for obvious reasons I didn’t really want to advertise that the station was closed. However normal service has now resumed.

With more and more people using the internet as a means to conduct their banking, there has been an explosion in the amount of scams set up to obtain personal details, passwords and memorable information which could allow fraudsters access to your account and your hard earned money.

Please don’t start to panic; on-line banking is perfectly safe but it is always best to follow some simple rules. The most important of which is NEVER EVER respond to an e-mail that purports to be from your bank asking you to input your personal details. Your bank will never ask you to do this and the only time you should ever input your details is on the main banking homepage when you "Log In".

There are also a number of other Internet scams currently in circulation, some stating that you have won a large prize in a foreign lottery or that you are the sole benefactor of a long forgotten distant relative. In fact there are so many of these scams the list is quite endless, but they always end in the same way, that you will need to make a "small" investment in order to receive your lump sum. The next rule is also quite simple. If it sounds too good to be true … then it is too good to be true. Never send bank details, or personal details to these people. It is most defiantly a scam.
In order to combat the increase in these problems the UK banking industry has set up a website which goes into greater details, if you have any concerns have a look at the site www.banksafeonline.org.uk or call into the Police Station in Overton and we will be happy to discuss your concerns.

Please find below updated contact nos for Jenna 07854 331472, Emily 07854 400812 and myself 07854 396106. Please note that these numbers are to make it easier for you to contact the local policing team to discuss your concerns, observations & make general enquiries. Please note that there will be occasions that we are not available to take your call, days off, annual leave, training, etc...
If you are reporting a Crime or require urgent police attendance please call North Wales Police on 0845 607 1002
Luke Hughes Community Beat Manager.

by the Overtinions and our mascot Lucy!

Hi everyone.
We’re back at school now and we all hope you had a great summer!!!

Jen’s Reviews

Hi Guys, this month I will review the film ‘Hairspray’. Hairspray is a very funny and exciting musical starring John Travolta, Queen Latifa and Zac Efron!

It is mainly about a young girl and how she tries to follow her dreams, meeting friends and foes along the way.

It is a very addictive story and you will feel yourself being dragged into the story line as it unfolds.

I recommend this film
Rating 8/10
Very funny and addictive!!

Agony Aunt
Hey! This months piece is all about holiday romances.
Q. I have just come home from holiday and I met a really nice guy there! He lives in Scotland I got his address what should I say to him?

A. Having a penpal is great. Just start off as friends ask him what he likes and where he lives and then after a while maybe you will become more than friends! Well I hope this advice helps you.

with Lucy and Rebeccs
What starts with p, ends with e and has lots of letters?

A family of three tomatoes were walking downtown one day when the little bay tomato started lagging behind. The big father tomato walks back to the bay tomato, stomps on her, squashing her into a red paste, and says. “Ketchup!”.
Send us your answer for the riddle and your jokes and we will print them next month.

Timely Reminder
from Jacky Maskall

For those of you who may not know, once you have reached the age of 70, you must apply for a new driving licence.

by Nadine Leese

Easy to apply ideas for making your pets more enviro-friendly!

  • Buy bulk food in the largest box or tin, money saving for you, and less packaging waste too.
  • Please choose tins, which can be recycled, as opposed to the single feed packets which cannot be recycled. It is easy to keep the tin contents fresh with inexpensive re-usable plastic lids available from Tupperware, Lakeland and elsewhere.
  • If you use cat litter, please look for recycled, biodegradable products, such as those made from sawdust. Veggie Pets offers toilet flushable litters made from non-toxic plant materials – www.veggiepets.com
  • When walking your dog, please opt for biodegradable nappy sacks which make great cost effective dog dropping bags. (50 bags for £1.99 from www.spiritofnature.co.uk)
  • Attach bells to your cat’s collar and help reduce the 55 million birds and 220 million native creatures killed by domestic moggies annually across the UK! Collars which have a quick release mechanism should they become snagged on anything, are easily available e.g. from www.pawset.co.uk
  • Bird feeders are best placed high off the ground and not within jumping distance from a wall or roof; otherwise your cat has a personal self-serve McDonalds to enjoy
  • Keep cats in overnight, less wildlife is killed, and you save on less vet bills from cat fights, as well as gain a better night’s sleep. Even adult cats who are used to roaming at night, soon get used to the new regime.
  • The most vulnerable times for birds and other creatures is the hour before sunrise and again before sunset when they are bedding down for the evening. March to July and December to February, are especially dangerous , as they are huddling together to stay warm and are not as alert.

Gwynne Lewis
by Euan Stevenson

Overton lost yet another loved and well respected member of its community when Gwynne Lewis passed away, age 77, on the 2nd August. Gwynne was well known in the village, particularly as an active member of the Bowling club, the Sports and Social club, and the Methodist chapel. He hailed from Anglesey, where his father was a bank manager. Gwynne followed the family tradition and went into banking. His job in the bank resulted in him moving about in North Wales, before settling down in Overton when he became manager of a bank in Ellesmere. After his family and home, sport was probably Gwynne’s main interest. In his early days he was a promising cricketer and a keen footballer. In his later years he played golf and bowls. He helped in the running of the successful Overton Athletic football club in the 1980’s, acting as treasurer. Gwynne will be sadly missed, not only by his wife Glenda and daughters Jane and Catrin, but by all his many friends who will remember the twinkle in his eye and his dry sense of humour.

Betty Keen
by Cynthia Davies

Betty was the eldest of 3 children of George & Olive Reeves at Mossleigh, the home she was to live until her death on 2nd August aged 82. During WWII in Cambridge she became an expert in explosives and was seconded to the munitions factory in Marchwiel researching new explosives. At the end of the war she and sister Rosemary joined the ATS, being promoted to Sergeant and it was here that she met Ray who was to become her husband. They had 2 daughters, Trish and Alison and while bringing up a family, Betty helped in the family greengrocery business. Betty was Chairperson of the Ladies branch of the British Legion, the Overton village Librarian, a fine pastry maker, a keen bee keeper producing honey and mead, and a bobbin lace maker. She gained most pleasure from the company of her family including her three granddaughters and her beloved great grandchildren, Nathan, Jamie and Emily, but her greatest love of all was her husband of more than 59 years, Ray. Our condolences to all the family.

by Peter Rosselli

The village is lucky to have at its heart the historic St Mary’s Church in its beautiful surroundings and it forms an important part of the heritage of our village. The expense of maintaining the Church has always been borne by those attending Church services and it is intended that the majority of the very real and increasing expenses will continue to be funded in this way.

But unfortunately costs are rising fast and there is a gap between income and expenditure which cannot be fully met by the congregation. 2006 saw minimal expenditure on repairs and renewals and if major works are required in the future the necessary funds would not be available. In addition the famous yew trees, one of the “Seven Wonders of Wales” need constant management by specialists. This lack of funds and increasing costs mean that at some time in the future there is a danger that the Church could fall into disrepair and cease to provide the services that we all take for granted.

As well as those who regularly attend services, there are many people who wish to use the Church for baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals plus there are those who now live too far away to attend. Then there are all those people in the village who do not go to Church regularly but who love the building and its setting. All would be sad to see this historic building and site deteriorate. St Mary's Church is far too important to Overton for this to happen.

The “Friends of St Mary’s Association” is being formed to help bridge this gap between income and expenditure and I hope you agree and feel able to help in order to ensure the ongoing preservation of this vital part of our village’s environmental heritage and this beautiful building.

If you would like to help preserve our heritage and receive more information about supporting the Friends of St Mary's, please e-mail the Oracle on editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk. We intend to invite the “Friends” to see where the money has been spent every year.

by Jacky Maskall

If you’re alone in the café of Wrexham Maelor’s Hospital and a stranger approaches you, this could be a Listener. These people are all volunteers who have been chosen for their ability to accept and care for others and who are willing to give their time to listen to you.

They are not trained counsellors and do not offer advice they are simply there to listen about any subject you care to discuss. This kind of reflective listening is not the same as counselling or a friendly chat but a way of helping you to:
Clarify and express feelings
Identify the heart of a problem
Work out what you want to do
Find your own strengths
Work out if other help is needed
Wrexham Listeners also offer an appointment system, if you are in dire need to talk to someone telephone 01978 822573 or 01978 846151 to arrange a meeting.


Have we been busy? Yes we have! The end of term brought all sorts of fantastic celebrations for everyone at St Mary's. The rain eventually gave us a break and on our rescheduled sports day, the sunshine spurred a win by Alyn, the red team, pipping Clwyd and Dee to the post by a whisker! The afternoon completed by a wonderful Summer Fayre, with a barbeque, strawberries and elderflower fizz and lots of fun and games were enjoyed by all. A huge thank you to everyone involved in making the event a huge success.

There were tears and laughter at our Year Six leaving assembly; the whole school gathered, along with families and friends of the children in our top class, in the sunshine for a celebration of their time with us at St. Mary's. The children received their cycling proficiency awards and were presented with their individual records of achievement with each child sharing their favourite memory with us all. Everyone at St. Mary's would like to wish them luck and happiness along their new pathway to secondary school and beyond, we will all be thinking of them all as the new term starts and for them to remember to come back to see us.

Did you ever believe that Scooby Do would meet Elvis? Well he did at the village hall on the last week of term - to a sell out audience as well! Our end of term production used the music of Elvis to tell the story of Elfyn and his dog Scooby, following his journey with his new found friend, Marie to the bright light of Vegas. They met up with the other members of Mystery Machine and even stayed for the night at Heartbreak Hotel at the pleasure of Mr Norman Bates and his crazy nephews. He would have got away with stealing everyone's love....'If it wasn't for those pesky kids!'. It was a hoot and should head to the bright lights of Broadway.....well maybe.

To keep you in touch with some of the sorts of things we get up to, you can now follow us online at www.stmarysoverton.co.uk, our newly designed website by Roger Westwood and sponsored by Greyhound Plant of Knockin, Nr Oswestry.

Have a look, we're sure that you'll be surprised by our virtual tour, you can look at examples of children's work and photographs of some of the activities and visits we take part in and we'd love to hear what you think!

Children of reception class celebrating the launch of new website.

Calor Village of the Year 2007
by Jacky Maskall

On behalf of everyone may I extend our sincere and wholehearted thanks to Katharine Crockford, Clerk to Overton Community Council. Because of her drive, dedication, refusal to let adversities interfere and immense hard work Overton won 1 category last year, 2 categories this year and of course has been named Calor (North Wales) Village of the Year.
So, thank you Katharine we could not have done this without you.

View from the Village Vets.

As I write this article for September’s Oracle, we are waiting anxiously to see if there are any more cases of Foot and Mouth disease before the 23rd August - the last date when infection can be spread from the original outbreaks. If we pass the date without further cases there will be a collective sigh of relief not just from the farmers, but also from the Government Laboratory and vaccine manufacturer at Pirbright one or both of whom may yet face legal action for compensation if they are proved to have been the source of the outbreak.
The impact on farming has been immense with the draconian movement restrictions – whilst being very necessary - placing severe pressure on farmers for feed and finance during one of the most difficult summers in living memory as well as on a large number of allied industries – abattoirs, livestock markets, hauliers to name but a few.
This disease outbreak has also highlighted some of the differences in the regulations between England and Wales that were not apparent during the last outbreak in 2001 and that are much more noticeable to us being so close to the border. For example our farmers in Penley can now sell and move cattle under licence to other farmers in Wales provided that they do not travel through England to reach their destination, whilst our farmers on the outskirts of Ellesmere only a few hundred metres from the border are not allowed to move animals off their own premises. Given that Foot and Mouth disease can spread up to 30 miles in the wind and that we are over 200 miles away from the source of the outbreak the rules are bizarre to say the least.
It is ironic that the strain of the virus causing this outbreak was the one that started in Oswestry in 1967 and was being used to produce vaccine to protect cattle from the disease. Let us hope for everyone’s sake that the disease is now under control and livestock movements can return to normal as soon as possible.

On a completely different and lighter note, Pet Smile month returns in September and we will have a supply of goody bags available again for anyone bringing their dog to us for a dental check up.
Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre. 01978 711975

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
Some Overton friends pass on The Overton Oracle to me regularly but after reading the August copy I found myself sitting down to pen the following poem to you . As my poem is finding fault with the format I do not expect it to be published, but perhaps you will, in future, do your best to manufacture more excitement in your copy, to ensure more of a gripping-read! Overton is obviously a very thriving village, but I'm sure the magazine would benefit from a Dylan Thomas viewpoint of the goings on.
Hazel Matthews

I'm sad to say the Oracle,
Is not what it used to be,
It's rather cold and clinical,
No juicy bits, you see!

The spice of life is missing,
From the new correct format,
But in village life we like to know,
What some of us are at!

Life's not just plain and simple,
It's pinnacles and lows,
And here we have a magazine,
Not saying all it knows!

Perhaps a new Group Columnist
Could cover these omissions,
I'm sure we'd see a bigger press
If you wrote without permissions!

And although I'm not from Overton,
I'd like to read again,
About the misdemeanours,
Of how, and where and when!

Dear Editor,
In her Envirocolumn in the August Oracle Nadine Leese asked if we could choose wine which has real corks. I am not in favour of plastic, however, for the moment there are several goods reasons why plastic corks have to be used.

In Southern Europe, the population drift from rural areas has reduced the availability of labour for farming and forestry. Intensive mechanised land use, such as irrigated crops and plantations of exotic forest species, has replaced the traditional cork oak forest landscape in many areas. In the countries of Nth Africa, there is increasing pressure on cork oak for more intensive land use such as pasture and agriculture as well as forestry. Also, Cork trees (which take 40 yrs to become commercially viable) are traditionally planted with Eucalyptus trees (which take 15 yrs to mature, and in cash crop terms more Eucalyptus are being planted so that the growers can sell sooner. The major tragedy to hit Portuguese Cork was in 2003 when 70,000 ha. of woodlands burnt to a cinder.

The situation is so serious that the WWF in July 2004, launched a 5yr Cork Oak Landscapes Programme which aims to protect, manage, and restore the natural wealth of Cork Oak forests by influencing the policies, practices and markets that affect them.
Jacky Maskall

Dear Editor,
It is with more than a tinge of sadness to hear that Wason’s shop is under threat of closure. In this day of modern communication it is distressing to think that problems can not be worked out through talking or correspondence. Jacky Maskall

Overton Amateur Dramatics

Some of the cast rehearing the next play - “These Ghoulish Things” - a ghostly comedy by Sam Bate. Performances are on October 11th, 12th, & 13th at the Village Hall. Will Boreham Manor reveal its supernatural secrets?


Congratulations to Neil Stevenson (son of Euan & Val) and Laetitia Ferino on their marriage on Sept 1st in the south of France.

Congratulations to Vicky & Huego Herd on the birth of Georgiana, a sister for Libby -Rose & Imogen.

Happy September Birthdays to Brian Hamlington & Euan Stevenson.

Belated August birthdays wishes to Lewis Evison & Jackie Tombs.

Very belated 18th Birthday to Gareth Overthrow for July 25th.