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Gaydon with Chadshunt Parish Magazine February 2008

This Month's Diary

  Village Coffee Morning     Sat 9th 11am           Village Hall
  Friendship Club            Tues 19th 2.30pm       Almeley Chase
  Gaydon Men's Club          Thurs 21st 7pm         Village Hall
  Pilates                    Tuesdays 8pm           Village Hall
  Toddler Group              Thursdays 10-11.30am   Village Hall
  Mobile Library             Thursdays 7th and 28th 1.50pm and 2.15pm

Nature Notes

Winter is traditionally a bleak time with leaden skies and little to observe in the countryside, January being a month that typifies this scenario; but as the days slowly lengthen it's a good time to see the distinctive shapes of many deciduous trees and to differentiate between the cones of coniferous species. A few fungi still survive the winter and the bracket species stand out clearly on tree trunks.
I've even seen a few large queen Bumble bees which have their own heating system and emerge during mild spells to seek new nesting places. Midges appear in clusters, too.
Around the village large flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings feed on the remaining berries in the hedgerows; Deer and Badgers are high profile and the diggings of the latter can be seen in many places locally.
Early Snowdrops are already flowering and Hazel catkins, not yet heavy with golden nectar, are appearing.
The RSPB national birdwatch begins this week and now has 30 years of Data taken by watching Garden birds for one hour (forms can be downloaded from their site). These record the pattern of species numbers in the UK and revealed the decline in Starlings and House Sparrows.
The wet summer of 2007 is sure to show a decline in Blue Tits and the increase in Gold Finches. I note that there are large flocks of these around Gaydon already.
Kestrels have a hard time of it at present, often having to hunt until dusk and Barn owls hunt around Chadshunt in the broad daylight. As we become more distant from natural things, I was pleased when one of my students saw a deer for the first time. He was elated, describing the Muntjak as a large dog: in fact, it even barked - as this species do when alarmed.
I noted he was an expert on the Amazon Rainforest, as many children are... yet they know nothing of their own wildlife, getting all their facts from the Television or Internet!
It seems in this barcode society that parents are unable to take the risk of any first hand experience and we are in danger of losing such experiences.
Few people will skin or pluck their food now, yet gladly eat " fast " and often factory-produced food without complaint.
There are no seasons now and local food has to compete with the world market at great environmental cost.
One could use Pheasants as a classic example: they are an incredible bargain, costing a lot to produce but cheap to buy in feather at this time of year. Large corporate shoots have many surplus birds, paid for by guns who are seeking a "hunting" experience but do not need actual food.
There is a certain irony here, too.
In the war, when food was scarce, the season was extended to February but in1946 it returned to the end of January and became a financial enterprise once again.
The birds are safe next week for another season. Bernard Price

Village Coffee Morning

On Saturday 9 February the Village Hall will be open for the sale of home-made produce and for coffee, tea and biscuits - offering an opportunity for villagers to meet one another and catch up on news. You can Bring, you can Buy but you don't have to do either, just come! We look forward to seeing clientèle old and new. All proceeds go to the Church Fabric Fund.

Gaydon Men's Supper Club

Thursday 21 February at 7pm Speaker: Lt Col Martin Gliniecki Commanding Officer Army School of Ammunition
'Recent Tour in Iraq' If you wish to attend please contact Rev Philip Francis telephone 01295 770400 or John Goldsmith 01926 642571. A donation of £5 is requested to cover expenses.

Friendship Club

The February meeting will be at Almeley Chase, Kineton Road, the home of Mrs Olive Richards, on Tuesday 19th at 2.30pm.

Mobile Library

Cleopatra, as the van is now known, will next visit on Thursday, 7 February and again on the 28th: 1.50pm at the Telephone Box and 2.15pm at St Marks Close.
The arrival of the new van was eagerly awaited last month. It is smaller than the old version but allows easier access. There is a wide selection of Large Print books but a smaller selection devoted to regular fiction and non-fiction than before. However, we are promised a more frequent change of titles and borrowers will soon get used to the new layout.

Spring Lectures at Heritage Motor Centre

The Heritage Motor Centre is running a series of lectures this spring entitled Planes, Trains and Automobiles and of particular interest to locals is one on RAF Gaydon, presented by clubs co-ordinator John Bishop.
Tickets are £20 including morning coffee, and post-lecture café lunch; for more information or to book tickets call 01926 645032 or visit

Parish Council News

We are actively pursuing the need for a VAS (Vehicle Activated Sign) along the Kineton Road.
The speed limit will be reducing between Lighthorne Heath and Gaydon and we are hoping that this will give us the opportunity to extend our 30mph zone.
Dog Fouling
The Parish Council will be arranging for 'Dog Fouling' signs to be placed at the top of Church Road (opposite the Village Green). The Dog Warden has been notified that the problem continues and has assured me that she will be including Gaydon on her rounds.
Church Road
The bench at the top of Church Road has been vandalised. We are arranging for this to be repaired.
Emergency Plan
We are currently updating Gaydon's emergency plan. This plan lists residents willing to help out in an emergency, e.g. flood. If you would like more details or your name included in the plan please contact a member of the Parish Council.
There are some large shrubs planted on some of the graves in the cemetery. When planting shrubs on graves could you please keep them small and low. They should be no higher than the headstone. Play Area
A new baby seat and chains for the swings are being ordered.
Flood Prevention Scheme
See separate article in magazine.
08/09 Precept
The Parish Council have set the Parish 08/09 Precept at 3%.
Next meeting
The Annual Parish Assembly is on Tuesday, 4th March at 7.30pm. This meeting provides an update on the year. It is followed by the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting at 8pm. Agendas will be posted on the Village Hall noticeboard the week before the meetings.


I would like to thank everyone for their kindness during Tony's illness. Your help and support was greatly appreciated, as were the letters and cards received following Tony's death. Thank you all. Joan Irving and family

Parish Council Flood Prevention Scheme

We are writing to Severn Trent to complain about the condition of Gaydon's water pipes. It is hoped that if we can reduce our number of water leaks our land will not be so saturated.
A meeting is being arranged with the County Council, District Council and Councillors to find out how the different departments can work together to try and help Gaydon prevent flooding. It is hoped that this will produce some actions such as clearing of ditches, ensuring pipes are running freely, and even new measures such as altering the camber on the Banbury Road to direct water into the ditch, rather than into the gardens, and redirecting water that runs down the B4100 to the roundabout and then down Kineton Road. We are also talking to Ford and Aston Martin about this, as they have expressed willingness to help with any practical suggestions.
We have made an extensive survey of the ditches (thanks largely to Jane and Richard from Penrith) and are looking to get them cleared where necessary.
We have been talking to the local landowners and people who have been flooded - and this process continues.
At our last meeting we received a number of comments from residents on flood prevention measures and these have been added to the list of possible measures.
We continue to explore the issue of funding for flood measures (beyond the normal responsibility of Highways, etc.).
We have visited Fenny Compton to look at their flood defence system. This includes a holding bank, as suggested below, but they had some advantages in this installation - mainly highly co-operative landowners and the presence of old fishponds behind the bank which provide a natural holding pond when the levels rise.
We are pursuing some possible larger schemes - such as the holding banks idea, designed to hold field run-off for a while and let it slowly into the drain system. Given the extreme volume of water we had in July, this sort of measure may be the only way to prevent flooding under those conditions (wettest July on record, 3 inches of rain in 2 hours, etc.).
If you want more information or have any further ideas, please contact the Clerk or any member of the Parish Council.

Flood Report

As you can see above, the Parish Council is working hard on flood prevention. The experimental earth bank behind the Old Bakehouse and
the Village Hall worked well during the heavy rain in January, preventing the usual run-off into Church Road. JR

Gaydon with Chadshunt Services for February 2008 AD

8.00                Eucharist            Burton Dassett
10.00               Eucharist            Fenny Compton
11.15               Morning Service      Gaydon
11.30               Eucharist            Farnborough

9.00                Eucharist            Fenny Compton
10.00               Morning Service      Farnborough
10.00               Eucharist            Northend
11.15               Growing Together     Gaydon

8.00                Eucharist            Farnborough
9.00                Eucharist            Gaydon
10.30               United Service       Fenny Compton
10.30               Village Communion    Northend

9.30                Eucharist            Northend
10.30               Family Service       Fenny Compton
11.30               Eucharist            Gaydon
6.00pm              Evening Prayer       Farnborough

Ash Wednesday

will be celebrated with a group Eucharist and the ceremony of the imposition of ash at Fenny Compton on 6 February at 7pm.

Gaydon Men's Group

A supper club meets in Gaydon village hall to offer fellowship for men. Numbers come from across the group of parishes and I would like to take this opportunity to advertise the event and offer an invitation for men living in the parishes to attend.
We enjoy each other's company and share a simple meal of bangers and mash, wine and apple pud and have a guest speaker.
On February 21st we meet at 7.00 for 7.30pm and our speaker will be
Lt Col Martin Gliniecki, Commanding Officer of the Army School
of Ammunition.
If you would like to attend please phone the parish priest on 770400.
There is a small donation of £5.00 to cover costs.

The Vicar's Letter

In the midst of winter, we look forward to the light dawning and growing and the springtime burst of life. That i's why I love the feast of Candlemass, or the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, on the 2nd February: because it celebrates the Light and Life Jesus brings into our dark world.
TS Eliot in his Ariel Poems wrote these words about Candlemass and Simeon the old priest waiting in Jerusalem''s Temple for the light of the Messiah to dawn:

A  Song  for  Simeon

  Lord, the Roman hyacinths are blooming in bowls and
  The winter sun creeps by the snow hills;
  The stubborn season has made stand.
  My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
  Like a feather on the back of my hand.
  Dust in sunlight and memory in corners
  Wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land.

  Grant us thy peace.
  I have walked many years in this city,
  Kept faith and fast, provided for the poor,
  Have given and taken honour and ease.
  There went never any rejected from my door....

Jesus calls us to reflect his light and share his love. I wonder, when we reflect on our lives, young or old, could we say as Simeon said that we have lived well, in openness and trust and in giving of ourselves in the service of God and others?

The Feast of Candlemass or the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
will be celebrated in the parishes on Sunday February 3rd.


We would like to thank everyone who has supported and welcomed us to the Village over our first nine months in The Gaydon Inn. Please bear in mind that it's not too late to treat your loved ones to something special!
Mothering Sunday 2nd March - make your reservations NOW! Once again, thank you from Natalie and Marie.

Mothering Sunday 2nd March

There will be a special service on Sunday 2 March at 11.15am. Children of all ages - that means grown-up children too! - are invited to bring their mothers along to the service. More details in next month's magazine but put the date in your diaries!


Terry Wells, a former resident of Gaydon, died peacefully at his home in Spalding on 18 December 2007. He was 94 and is survived by Caryl his wife, one son and two daughters to whom we offer our sincere condolences. GBD

James Anthony Irving 'Tony' 1941-2008

It is with sadness that we record the recent death of Tony Irving.
Tony, born a Yorkshireman, spent the greater part of his life in Lancashire until moving to Gaydon in 1984. He worked in the automotive industry and it was on this account that he came south.
It was not long after his retirement that he developed cancer and he bore his long illness with courage and fortitude, remaining cheerful even when he became bedridden. Joan looked after him devotedly, with splendid help from the district nurses and those from the Shakespeare Hospice. A kind and generous man, the crowded church at his funeral on 14 January was testimony to his popularity. We send our sympathy to Joan and her family. RD

Home Group

A few months ago I was asked whether there was a home group, outside of church services, where people could meet in an informal way. In response, we started getting together on a fortnightly basis to read a passage from the Bible, to ask what God wants to show us in it and to encourage each other in our Christian lives. It's exciting, challenging and a lot of fun. If you want to find out whether you would be interested in being part of such a group, talk to Martin and Margaret Phelps on 640559; or Alastair and Jo Hotchkiss on 642248. It would be good to hear
from you.

Seasonal Recipe

Valentine's Truffle Torte
3oz finely crushed amaretti biscuits 1lb plain chocolate
5tsp liquid glucose 5tbsp rum
1pt double cream cocoa powder to decorate
Line a 9/10" cake tin with cling film.
Scatter biscuit crumbs evenly over the bottom.
Melt the chocolate, glucose and rum together in a bowl over a pan of simmering hot water.
Stir until smoothly blended; leave to cool for 5 mins.
Lightly whip the cream and fold into the chocolate mixture, blending evenly together.
Pour into the tin on top of the biscuit crumbs and leave overnight in the fridge to set.
Turn out onto a serving plate and decorate with sifted cocoa powder. Serve with strawberries on Valentine's Day!


Thank you for all your tips and well-wishes this Christmas. Wishing you all a Happy New Year from Andy the Paperboy.