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

Sept 2008


The Editorial Team

David Burton - Euan Stevenson - Sean Clarke - Cynthia Davies

Please remember that the Oracle has no reporters. We rely on individuals or representatives of our village’s many organisations to write contributions and e-mail them to editor@overton-on-dee.co.uk or leave them at the Corner Shop. So if you think there is something that should be in the Oracle or your organisation is not mentioned - do something about it! Write something for the Oracle!



who won a Gold Medal in the Coxless Four at the Beijing Olympics. Tom is the grandson of the late Mr. Whitehouse who many remember as the consultant gynaecologist at the Maelor Hospital, and who lived at Dee Bank, Overton.

What did you do this summer?
Part 1
“It seemed like a good idea at the time”

by Ruth Overthrow

Back in March this year my sister in law Amanda and myself discussed doing ‘something’ for a charitable cause. As my mum had died from cancer two years ago we thought it fitting to raise money for a cancer charity. We decided to enter the Nightingale House Ten Mile Ladies Midnight Walk on the 28th June. No problem we said we are both fit healthy and walk our dog’s daily (how wrong I was).

We practiced walking around the fields of Overton and began raising our sponsorship money, the day got nearer and our enthusiasm was not great. Could we drop out without anyone knowing? To boost our enthusiasm we decided to go in fancy dress, so texts back and forward took place such as “find yellow tights”, “what do you think about pink”, any one reading these must have thought “what on earth will they look like?”

The day dawned, the weather was good. As it was the day of Overton fete that was bound to be a good omen; off we went to the fete stocking up on burgers and ice cream energy food –well that was my excuse. After a tea of pasta (well that’s what all the athletes eat before a race) we got ready, oh what fun. We (Amanda, and Claire, Amanda’s sister) arrived at the Guildhall in Wrexham at 10.30 pm to register and already the place was filling up with ladies all wearing pink and flashing rabbit ears (the dress code of the walk) the atmosphere was wonderful and we met many people that we knew who were also taking part. There was a disco warming the crowd up and we made our way to the start there were over 1000 women ready to walk in all shapes and sizes.

At midnight the fast walkers started and we decide to go into the medium walkers group (chicken I hear you cry) To pace ourselves was the motto of the night, the feelings were of anticipation, had I enough mars bars and most important would I finish the walk We started to walk and went though the start at 12.15 am. To be honest I was glad we were underway, the first half of the route was relatively fine, oh we thought this is not too bad we can manage this, the route was well marshalled and everyone was cheering us on. We stopped at Nightingale House half way for our banana (energy food) and soldiered on, I use that word as the second half of the walk became quite challenging, and the last mile seemed endless. I was glad the finish was in sight and at 4.15am with the dawn chorus approaching, we finally crossed the finish line to be treated to a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich (best I have ever had) we handed our number in and gingerly walked to the car, to get home and fall literally into bed.

We did enjoy the walk the organisation was excellent and the atmosphere was exciting and very moving at times. Was I prepared? Um! I think that I was very complacent and didn’t realise that walking ten miles through the night was going to be so difficult. But we raised £200 between us and guess what - we are entering again next year. More Practice required I think

Part 2
“A French Farce ”

by Sean Clarke

Given that the village recently enjoyed the company of our La Murette Twinners I thought it may be worth sharing a recent experience I had whilst on holiday in Brittany this summer. We returned to the medieval town of Montcontour, a picturesque village about an hours drive from St Brieuc.

A couple of days into the holiday I suggested that we visit the local swimming pool and the kids were delighted. The first visit we arrived at 12.30 to find that everyone had gone home for lunch. The second time we returned to find that swimming lessons were taking place and no visitors were allowed. The third visit was also unsuccessful and I can’t even remember why. The kids were gutted and I felt a little inadequate, a theme that was likely to continue…..

Not to be deterred I suggested that we drive to Lamballe, a bustling town with a huge sports complex in the vain hope that we could at least swim there. On arriving I approached the receptionist with my fingers and toes crossed and inquired in my best ‘Allo Allo’ pigeon French, “Madame… errr… trois enfants … et deux adults pour swim?.......errrr…. sil vous plait?....She looked at me with an eyebrow cocked, - looked at the towels and armbands and deduced that we wanted to swim. “Oui monsieur, voila” she said and produced the tickets. I felt like a lottery winner and consummate multi linguist although those who know me will realise that English is sometimes a struggle.

We entered the multi-sex changing area, which I will be honest I find embarrassing. After a quick change we were all ready when a lady cleaner walked past and stopped dead in her tracks. “Non Monsieur !” she shouted pointing at my groin, “ Non, nes pas ! wagging her finger ferociously at me. “What ? what?” I replied., open palmed, “what?” (told you I was articulate). She pointed at me and then to a sign on the wall “Non Bermuda !” I looked on aghast, shorts aren’t allowed, those ones that cover you properly and would be considered decent here aren’t allowed. I bowed me head, feeling like a true anarchist caught in the act. “Monsieur”, she beckoned me with a luck of pity, realising that I was just a stupid foreigner, and led me back out to the woman on reception. After a brief discussion between them, the lady on reception handed me a piece of cotton which someone had managed to print the word Speedo onto, probably by using advanced micro stitching. I took the candy floss like article and changed into it. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was indecent! Then to add insult to injury, the cheeky cleaner walked past, raised an eyebrow and gave me a look which defied translation.
I spent the next hour in the pool refusing to try the diving board, looking like an extra from Benidorm, too fearful of an indecency charge to move.

Ramblings From the Rectory
by David Lewis
Dear Friends,

Donald Coggan was a onetime Archbishop of Canterbury who had a very dry sense of humour.

He was once quoted: ‘Hospitality is the art of making people feel at home when you wish they were at home!’
I love witty remarks like that, but to me one of the really important things about the Church’s ministry to people is making them feel warm, welcomed and loved. We all like to feel valued for who we are and what we can contribute.

St Mary’s has been running a Sunday praise service since January and we start the service with coffee and a good chat, which is followed by a simple half hour service. I have really enjoyed the sense of fellowship and laughter that now precedes this service and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to that sense of fellowship and to welcome anyone to come along to our next Sunday Praise on September 14th at 11am. YOU ARE MOST WELCOME!

Our choir to has a real sense of fellowship, so if you have an interest in music, or simply enjoy singing, even if you voice is like mine - and believe me you don’t want to hear me in the shower! - come along and join us on a Sunday. You would be most welcome.
Your Friend and Rector

Wanted - new people to join St Mary’s Choir. If you have an interest in music or just like to sing come along and join us or contact the Rector on 710229


We would like to thank everybody who attended Joshua's christening on the 10th August-contrary to weather reports the sun shone and we all had a lovely day! We would like to thank all those who attended for their generous donations (in lieu of presents) to The Special Care Baby Unit and a special thank you to The Buck House Hotel in Bangor for all their help - the list of which is endless and The Corner Shop in Overton for having a collection for him there.
We managed to raise £800 for the unit which is great and far exceeded our expectations and can assure everybody it will be put to good use! Our thanks go also to Reverend Lewis for a lovely service. The photograph is of said Reverend with the boy of the day Joshua James and his very proud Godmother Sharon Barclay! With many thanks again, Sarah, Matt, Jade and Joshua Hayward


We welcome Dr Jessica Sokolov and Dr Bhavana Sreeram who joined the Practice on 11th August for their Registrar year.

The reception staff have undergone training and are now able to give out results to patients. I’m sure you have all experienced how busy we are first thing in the morning and when the doors open in the afternoon at 2pm. We would therefore ask you not to ring for results until at least mid-morning, around 10.30am onwards and we will do our best to oblige. Confidentiality laws mean we can only give results to the person to whom they apply. Getting upset with staff won’t help, these rules are there for your benefit, personal details should not be given out to just anyone as I am sure you will agree!

The figures for the first half of this year for those did not attend for appointments are showing an improvement at the moment so let’s try to keep it up. We now have over 170 patients enrolled online, remember you can now order your prescriptions as well.

There does seem to have been some disruption to the service provided by the chemist just lately. Please remember it is the responsibility of the practice to produce the necessary prescriptions but where you have them sent and when they are delivered is then up to the chemist. Reception staff spend a lot of time chasing missing scripts, if in doubt you can always tick the box and pick up the paperwork from the surgery.

You will be aware that surgeries have had a tendency to run late recently so people with late appointments are delayed. We apologise for that. We do build in catch-up slots but increasingly some people come with multiple problems. The doctors are happy to give you extra time but remember long consultations cause delays for others. We have decided to trial from September, slightly longer appointment times for non urgent appointments. However, we would be grateful if you have several issues you would like to discuss, please let the doctor know at the start of the consultation. We will also have a few more appointments before 9am and after 5pm. We will monitor how this goes.

Overton Play Centre News

The Summer Coffee mornings held at the Play Centre have proved to be a great success for pre-school children and their siblings, so a big thank you to all those who attended. The Toddler Coffee Mornings will resume on Tuesdays from the 2nd September from 9 – 11am. Everyone is welcome.

We would like to welcome all the children who are starting at Playgroup from this September. We are now taking children from 2 years old so if you think you would be interested please do contact us for details.

We would also like to welcome our new members of staff, Becky Davies and Lorren Wallwin who will both be assisting Margaret and Angela in making the time the children spend with us stimulating and interesting.

We also have a job vacancy for a reliable cleaner at the Play Centre. 1½ hours per day during the week with occasional weekend working, at a rate of £5.52 per hour. Please apply in writing to the Play Centre by Friday 5th September.


Hi everybody, it’s September already. Its the end of the summer holidays!
Welcome to our new Kids Kolumn writers Alice Foster, Lydia Biggs and Lottie Blake

Q: Hi, I’m scared about moving up to year six. I don’t whether I can manage it. What should I do? From Lizzie

A: Hi Lizzie, It will be scary at first but you will get used to it. Try talking to somebody who has had the experience of moving up to year six, try not to worry about it that will just make it seem scarier.

What’s green, sits in the corner and cries?
The Incredible Sulk!

Who is the best dancer at a monster party?
The boogie man!

Lottie’s Pet of the Month


Animal: Dog
Breed: Whippet
Whippets are not good in the winter, as they have thin coats and they love to bask in the sun.


The film -Wild Child
Wild Child is an extremely funny film about an American teenage girl called Poppy who is sent to an English boarding school by her Father.
Poppy gets up to all sorts of crazy things.
*A must see film for all girls ten to fourteen.
Rating: 10/10

View from the Village Vets.

Whilst more of us may have taken our holidays in Britain this year, many still prefer to take a holiday abroad and an increasing number of people like to take their pets with them. The introduction of Pet Passports a few years ago allowing pets which have been previously microchipped, vaccinated and blood tested for Rabies to return to Britain without the six months quarantine has made this possible.

Until the 1920’s, rabies was endemic in Britain and many thousands of animals were destroyed in an effort to rid the country of this particularly terrifying disease. Having successfully eradicated rabies, one of the advantages of being an island was that by preventing pets from coming into our country without quarantine, we have been able to stop it coming back. The six months quarantine limit was set because rabies can sometimes take this long to show signs after infection. Currently there is a proposal to reduce the quarantine limit to 4 months. I for one would rather it remain at 6 months – if rabies came back into our country and re-established itself in the urban or rural fox population it would be very difficult to control.

Rabies is not the only disease your pet might bring back to Britain from a foreign holiday. There are a number of mosquito and tick-borne diseases present in mainland Europe which your pet might contract whilst abroad and there are an increasing number of cases of exotic diseases such as Lyme’s disease (which is also infectious to humans), Babesiosis and Erhlichiosis reported in animals coming back from holiday. Some of these diseases are fatal.

At the very least you should ask your vet about the most effective types of tick and sandfly prevention before you travel in addition to the tick and tapeworm treatment your pet will have to be given abroad 48-24 hours before you return to Britain.
If you only take your pet on one foreign holiday each year, you might even consider whether it is worth the risk to your pets health from subjecting it to long journeys and the risk of coming home with serious illness.
Mark Spurdens, Maelor Vet Centre. 01978 711975.

by Constable Luke Hughes

You may have noticed that under your "Area Priorities" I always make mention of "Operation VARDON" Let me try to explain what on earth it is all about.

When I arrived in our area in June 2006, we were experiencing high levels of theft, these offences were primarily being committed during daylight hours during the working week (9am - 5pm Monday - Friday) it was decided that a formal operation would be implemented to try and gather intelligence and target specific individuals and also to encourage all members of the public to report any and all suspicious incidents, this led to some significant results and crime soon started to reduce.

Due to the success of the operation it was decided that it should remain and adapt to deal with the developing crime trends and patterns that develop from time to time across our area, in its latest form Operation VARDON is a series of HIGH IMPACT events run across the area. The first took place over a period of four nights from 30th June to the 3rd July 2008. It was decided that North Wales Police, Cheshire Constabulary and West Mercia Police would run identical operations over the four day period, sharing communication channels and backing each other up at incidents that were taking place in the border areas. By working this way we were able to communicate more effectively than ever before and have a significant police presence on the ground.

Over 130 vehicles were stopped over the period of the operation, with seven arrests and significant amount intelligence gathered, I believe that the operation was a big success and future operations of this nature will be held in the comings weeks and months.
Tip of the Month....
Never leave a Answer Machine Message containing things like "HELLO, SORRY BUT WE ARE ALL OUT AT THE MOMENT,,,," you`ve just told the potential burglar that there is nobody home !!.

PC 1842 Luke HUGHES, Bronington & Overton Community Beat Manager

Where on earth do you read the Oracle?

in the sunshine - California & Cyprus!

I lived in Overton for 18 years before setting off to university in London and eventually ending up in sunny California where I have lived with my wife Sarah, for the last 5 years. I always enjoy catching up with, and reminiscing about, the goings-on of village life through "The Oracle Online".
The fast pace of Silicon Valley is a far cry from the familiarity and serenity of Overton and I'd like to pass on my warmest regards to all those still in the village. I'd also like to give a special mention to my dad, David Burton, who's retiring on August 31st, hope you enjoy the well deserved break.
Chris Burton

Thank you for a most informative Oracle Newspaper, one which I browse regularly for news of home. As a long ago resident of the village I am the Reverend Lt. Col. Rod Price . I lived with my parents, George and Vera Price at number 2, ( Clovelly ) in High Street.
I would like to know if anyone from the village still remembers us? My wife is Beryl and our two children, Andrew (39) and Yvonne (33) . After nearly 30 years as an Army chaplain we retired to Cyprus in September 2005.
Yours aye, Rod

Editor: Or if you haven’t got e-mail drop your name and address into the Oracle envelope in the Corner Shop and we’ll pass it on to Rod.

Badger Baiting

You may not be aware that Constable Luke Hughes is also one of a few officers in North Wales Police who has volunteered to specialise in the investigation of "Wildlife Crime". In fact it was this role that brought him to the area in 2006 following an Badger Baiting incident in Worthenbury. Since then he is pleased to say that until recently there have been few such incidents in the area

However on the 30th July this year a report was received that a Badger had been found dead in the Penley area and that it would appear to have been attacked by dogs. On further inspection of the carcass he was able to confirm that it had indeed been attacked; however the badger seemed to have died by having its throat cut with a knife... A grim example of the attitudes of those involved in such activities. Badgers are a highly protected species and this is clearly a serious offence. Enquiries are ongoing....

Are you aware of the Age Concern North East Wales Options scheme In Wrexham?

As part of the Supporting People Scheme with Wrexham County Borough Council they can visit people in the this area and provide support to people over the age of 50 who feel they may benefit from some support to manage their homes or improve their quality of life. The service is confidential and free.

The sorts of issues are wide ranging but include
• Maintaining and repairing their homes
• Accessing social activities
• Improving physical, mental and emotional well-being
• Accessing specialist or community transport
• Access to a range of specialist information and advice services

If you would like to know more then contact Carol Leaney, Options Advisor
Age Concern North East Wales, Suite 2 Daniel Owen Precinct, Mold CH7 1AP
Tel: 08450 549969 or email: CLeaney@acnew.org.uk

by Henry

It never rains but it pours!
It was the rain that highlighted that thieves had stolen lead from our Parish Church roof. But when inspecting the damage it was realised that the roof of St Mary’s is going to have problems in the future.

At a ‘thank-you’ evening for the “Friends of St Mary’s” in August, Peter Rosselli, David Lewis and Keith Overthrow outlined the problems and challenges that lie ahead.
If you would like to help protect Overton’s oldest building and ensure our village retains its beautiful Parish Church, join the “Friends of St Mary’s”.
Send your name to the Oracle & we’ll pass it on.

Your Letters...

Dear Editor,
Further to previous letters on the same subject we would like to add that the speeding unfortunately is not limited to School Lane - we get people travelling at ridiculous speeds on Bangor Road and have been urging Wrexham Council since we moved in 6 years ago to put some traffic calming in place.

We were extremely pleased to learn that the new development meant that something was finally going to be done. However, we were then told that Overton Community Council had objected!! So now we have the 30mph painted on the road which is neither use nor ( most definitely) ornament. It is useless because the people who speed are well aware of the speed limit and choose to ignore it - hence the need for some sort of physical calming so they HAVE to slow down.
The local police are aware of the speeding problem and have advised us that the objections came about because Overton is an ‘area of beauty’ - however this hasn't stopped the sensible villagers of Penley and Eyton accepting that safety comes first and not much can look worse than the present huge, red and totally ignored square!! Maybe all those in favour of a safe village should form a secret society of midnight road hump builders!! In all seriousness something needs to be done as it is only a matter of time before someone is injured or worse.
Sarah Aird


• Fed up with the limited choice of films at the Wrexham Odeon?
• Eager for more variety - and on your doorstep?
• Then join me in making the Overton Film Society happen!
We have a venue (the excellent function room at the White Horse).
All we need is a committee - so that we can access funding (for equipment) and organise screenings.
So please join the committee. What kind of society we set up, and the films we show are up to you!
For more information contact Wilf Macdonald-Brown on 01978 710329 or email wilfmb@yahoo.co.uk


Happy September Birthdays
to Brian Hamlington, Euan Stevenson, Sue Walker, Val Stevenson, Ross Morrison David (Wavy) Williams, Charlotte Eve, Melissa Haynes, and Kayleigh Grindley

Belated Birthday Greeting: Happy 70th Birthday to Brian Williams.

Deepest condolences to the family of Brian Crockford

Christmas is coming

This Christmas your picture could become a Christmas Card. Five pictures of Overton will be selected to be turned into exclusive Overton on Dee Christmas cards.
The pictures have to be of a seasonal nature and will be returned. To enter take your picture with your name & address to the Corner Shop before 20th September.
The money raised from the sale of the cards will be divided equally between the three Churches in the village. Pictures stored on computer can be emailed to
pictures.overtoncornershop@hotmail.com Pictures on memory cards can be printed at the corner shop for a small charge.