writes David Burton
Twenty two visitors from La Murette, France, spent the last week of July in Overton as part of the annual exchange programme organised by the Overton Twinning Association and Le Comité de Jumelage de La Murette.
For many it was their first visit to Overton, and they were not quite sure what to expect. But as some of the French guests had hosted families from Overton last year, it was a chance to meet up again and renew their acquaintances. Almost half the party were teenagers, who were keen to extend their knowledge of the English language.
A full range of activities took place during the week, including trips to Lake Vyrnwy, walks along the Sandstone Trail and Cader Idris, visits to the Nantwich Show, Powis Castle, the Open Air Museum at Blists Hill (Telford), shopping trips, the Shrewsbury Quest , the Candle Factory at Bickerton, and a superb meal at the Llwyn Onn Hall Hotel.
In the lead up to the exchange the Twinning Association had a few challenges to overcome, and had to make some last minute changes to the hospitality list.
Duncan Rennie from Sundorne said:- "A last minute plea from the twinning committee to help out resulted in our playing host to a couple from La Murette. Although we had hosted Eisteddfod visitors for many years, we felt we were very much "New Kids on the Block" as far as twinning was concerned. However, we did meet up with the other host families before the exchange, and this gave us an insight as to what was required. The brains of the old-timers were well and truly picked. We practised such phrases as Bonjour and Vive La France in the days leading up to the visit, but thankfully these were not required due to the excellent linguistic abilities of our guests. As well as making new friends from France, there was also the opportunity to even make some new friends from Overton! The whole experience was most enjoyable"
During the week there were several buffet supper evenings, including a BBQ at the playing fields when Overton challenged their guests to a game of Petanque (the French equivalent of our bowls) and recorded a memorable victory!!
Plans are now being put in place for the trip from Overton to La Murette next July, which normally takes place the first week of the school holidays.
The not-too-formal village wedding with a Celtic flavour that Laura and David Evison had planned materialised on Saturday 29th July. The weather wasnt promising, but by the time the quaint little blue florists van wound its way up the High Street with the Brides smiling face peering out of the window, the skies had started to clear. The ceremony took place in a beautifully decorated church - no prizes for guessing the florists! Joyful hymns were sung and Betty Scott carried the Celtic theme forward with a reading in Welsh. The harpist played a melody while the register was being signed.
As the happy couple came out of church, the sun continued to shine and after the photographs had been taken, they then walked to the Village Hall for the reception.
Balloons suspended from the tables and sailing down from the ceiling plus more flowers enhanced the party atmosphere. Mark Worthington did a great job as Best Man.
The party continued in a marquee at Springfields until early morning and re-commenced at lunchtime on Sunday with a Celtic Band provided by local talent playing throughout the day, thanks to tolerant neighbours!
Laura and David Evison would like to say a big "Thankyou" to all who made their special day, extra special.
Paul Philips, eldest son of Jim and Gwyl Philips of Knolton, is home from Kenya for a few weeks break from his job as Cricket Development Officer for Nairobi. Two years ago Paul, aged 31 and a former pupil at both Overton Primary School and The Maelor School Penley, gave up a teaching post in Yorkshire and is now in his third year as a VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) Worker.
He works with schools and clubs throughout the Nairobi region and has made great strides in bringing CRICKET to hundreds of young Kenyans. He has established a network of young coaches and enthusiastic local teachers through cricket courses as well as working directly in the schools to introduce the game and get the kids playing. Now, 30 schools are taking part in leagues and tournaments across the age groups. He arranges Cricket Clinics for the promising young players who are encouraged to become involved with the Cricket Clubs.
Whilst at home Paul hopes to raise some money to support these developments. Schools cannot afford even basic equipment. Many schools play cricket using home-made bats and stumps and some have bits and pieces of Quick Cricket kits.
Ed. Its always good to receive stories like this, and we are always happy to print them.
After reading the article which appeared in the December 99 issue of the Overton Oracle entitled "Remembering Who", Alan Jones from Maelor Court, Overton decided that he would research the history of the War Memorial in the High Street. We start with part one of a three part serialisation of his story.
OVERTONS FALLEN OF THE GREAT WAR 1914 -1918
The need to commemorate the Great War and those who died in it was recognised before it had ended, indeed such was the commitment for a lasting memorial that villages and towns made tremendous efforts to record, mainly in stone, those who had made the supreme sacrifice. This was different from previous conflicts where, except in the case of officers, little or no public recognition was made, the ranks being professional soldiery and as such thought not worthy of acknowledgement. After this conflict there was communal need for permanent commemoration, testimony to this being the huge crowds which attended every dedication ceremony.
A memorial service was held on Sunday October 3rd 1920 at 2.45pm in St Marys Church for the "Men of the Parish who fell in the War 1914 - 1918". During the service a Memorial Tablet was unveiled by Brig-General Lloyd commemorating 25 servicemen. The service which was taken by Rev. Elliot Simpson began with the National Anthem, followed by Prayers including The Lords Prayer, the Twenty Third Psalm and the Lesson, The Wisdom of Solomon, Chapter 3. During the singing of the Hymn "How Bright These Glorious Spirits Shine", the Choir, Clergy and Churchwardens moved in procession to the Memorial Tablet which Brig-Gen Lloyd unveiled with the following words:- "We people of Overton are gathered here as one family to remember those whom we have known and loved in this place, and who, by sea and land, have in this war given their lives for their country and for us. May we never forget what we owe them, and try always to follow their example of love and sacrifice" The Rector dedicated the Tablet saying:- "To the Glory of God and in memory of the men of Overton who fell in the service of their King and Country we dedicate this Tablet in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost". After prayers and the Hymn, "Hunger and thirst are felt no more", an address was given by the Rev F.J.Okell, late chaplain to the Forces. The service closed with the Hymn "For all the Saints who from their labours rest".
(To be continued next month.)
Overton Womens Institute are holding their 28th Annual Produce Show in Overton Village Hall on Saturday 2nd Sept. at 2.30pm. This year the Show also includes the Handicrafts Show and the presentation of the prizes will be at 4.00pm. Leaflets setting out the full range of categories are available from Londis and the Corner Shop. Overton came 2nd overall in the Window Competition at the Oswestry Show and also received the Scroll for the highest points for items displayed. In the Table Top Competition, Overton decided upon Decimal Day as their interpretation of "A Day to Remember in the 20th Century", receiving 20/20 for variety and interpretation. In the individual group, Jean Hughes received 2nd prize in the cross stitch competition.
In answer to the letter from Mr Ian Roberts in last months "Oracle", I would like to point out a few facts concerning Knolton Bryn Mission Room. Mr Roberts asked for evidence that the Mission is or has been for many years "thriving" and, in particular, requested details of the attendance during the Winter and Spring months of 1998 and 1999.
Over this period the average congregation numbered twelve with more on special occasions and the collections averaged £16.77 per service. I have a record of all collections since 1937.
In answer to his query regarding people who do not live in the Parish but still support the Mission, I would reply that whether they live in the Parish or not is immaterial providing they wish to worship there, which some have done all their lives, as did their parents and grandparents.
They should not be banned from attending simply because they have moved a few miles over the boundary.
(Treasurer of Knolton Bryn Mission)
I am increasingly saddened and upset by the apparent deadlock over the Knolton Bryn Mission Room, so much of which has seemed to me to be unnecessary. I am not a theologian, but I am a believer in God and his infinite power. "God is Love" is a profound truth which does not seem to be recognised in the present situation. The premise is that, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them"
The important factors in defining a thriving congregation are loving worship, faithful continuity and Christian fellowship, as exemplified by the Knolton Bryn Mission Room for over 100 years, and not statistics of numbers or geographical locations.
I am not going to repeat the various interpretations of the financial situation which have been well aired but are not at the heart of this problem, and I would like to express to the Oracle my appreciation of what I consider their fair presentations of all shades of opinion.
Mary Hilton Jones (Ex PCC member)