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Gaydon Parish Magazine November 2008

This Month's Diary

Parish Council Meeting        Tues 4th 8pm                  Village Hall
Village Hall Committee        Mon 10th 8pm                  Village Hall
Men's Group                   Thurs 20th 7pm                Village Hall
Christmas Market              Sat 29th 2pm                  Village Hall
Pilates                         Tuesdays 8pm                  Village Hall
Toddler Group                 Thursdays 10-11.30am          Village Hall
Mobile Library                Thursdays 6th & 20th

Nature Notes

The weather remains mild as I write this and in my garden the early morning sunrise and blue skies are reminiscent of the summer we never had this year!! Some trees like my Hazels and Walnut are beginning to change colour and shed both fruit and leaves.

I was able to watch a vividly-coloured Greater Spotted Woodpecker (black and white with rich scarlet rump and crest) picking up nuts and hammering them with that familiar drilling tone, to break open the shells. This species is really a woodland bird but seems to have adapted well to back gardens. Family groups of Goldfinches, Great Tits and Goldcrests also perch in these trees to absorb early heat from the sun.

There has also been a stay of execution (lack of frosts) for many late butterflies and dragonflies. Red Admirals and Commas feeding from fallen fruit and large Hawkers/smaller Darter dragonflies hunting the swarms of fruit flies. Windfalls are often left uncollected, though the old varieties are much superior to clinical supermarket imports. Never-the-less, they form a valuable food source, as they often last many weeks and attract migratory Fieldfares and Redwings later when protein is scarce.

Old Bramley cookers which are often mis-shaped and blemished are delicious with local blackberries. There's a huge crop of these if an effort is made to pick them. Other berries are scarce. I've been lucky enough to find one Blackthorn bush with a few Sloes! Wild plums are also absent.

When I am walking the fields, I see that a high-profile bird, the Raven, seems to be established here. It's like a huge Carrion Crow and makes a distinct "Cronking" sound, more like a Seagull or Heron. I saw a group of six on the field behind the meadow today, indulging in a spectacular display which seemed to be just for fun, though it was probably parents and offspring from this year. They are very intelligent and live for up to a hundred years, appearing in many books and British Mythology. It is alleged that they attack the eyes of Lambs but they are a protected species.

A flock of Lapwings can be seen again, mixed in with Golden Plover, on Watery Lane. Depressingly, both these species continue to decrease in numbers each season. The end of "Set Aside payments" and the rise in food prices will influence the agricultural landscape for them further. It's likely deep ploughing will give way to minimal tillage in the next few years, which may be of some benefit. Bernard Price

Remember, remember to check your bonfires for hedgehogs when you are preparing for 5th November!

Over Sixties' Christmas Lunch

Village Hall on Sunday 7 December at 12.45 for 1pm. Invitations will be sent out this month; contact Liz Thomas on 641144 if you would like to come but do not receive an invitation.

Christmas Market

St Giles' Church Christmas Market will be held this year on Saturday 29 November at 2pm in Gaydon Village Hall.

If anybody would like to run a stall or help with teas, etc., please get in touch with Margaret Phelps on 640559.

Mobile Library

The Mobile Library van visits Gaydon this month on Thursdays 6th and 27th.


The Warriner Choral Society, Musical Director Martin Quinn, presents John Rutter's Gloria and Winchester Te Deum; and Bob Chilcott's Jubilate at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Deddington, on Saturday 15 November at 7.30pm. Refreshments. Tickets £7 from Jenny 01295 721224 or on the door.


The flag was raised for Trafalgar Day on 21 October and will be flown on 9 November to commemorate Remembrance Sunday. We are grateful to Councillor Andy Thomas for undertaking this duty.

Village Hall News

The next meeting of the Village Hall Committee will be on Monday 10 November at 8pm.

Harvest Supper

Grateful thanks to everyone who helped to make the Harvest Supper such an enjoyable evening.


New residents have recently moved into Upper Farm Meadow: Dave and Melissa at one house; and David and Angela at another. We welcome them to Gaydon and hope they will enjoy life in the village.


Advent Angel: we need your hands!

This year The Children's Society is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its introduction of Christingle Services to the Church of England. As part of these celebrations, the children at First Mates youth club in Fenny Compton are helping to raise funds for The Children's Society.

We shall be building an Advent Angel with a wire frame supporting wings made from humdreds of white paper hands. We need as many people as possible to provide the paper hands! The complete Advent Angel will be on display in the parish church in Fenny Compton on November 30th, when there will be a special Christingle Service for the whole of the Dassett Magna group of parishes, to which everyone is welcome. The collection in church that Sunday will be given to The Children's Society along wth the money that our Angel has raised.

How you can help

1 Find a clean piece of white paper. Draw round your hands. Cut out the shapes that you have drawn, making sure that you include some wrist, for us to attach the hands to the Angel's wings

2 Repeat as many time as you like!

3 Write a name on the back of each hand. This could be your own name, or the name of someone you'd like us to remember in our prayers at Christingle, or whoever you like.

4 Put your paper hands into an envelope together with your donation to The Children's Society. We suggest a minimum donation of 50p per person - please note that this is a suggested donation per person and not per paper hand! Please include as many paper hands as you can with each person's donation - e.g. a family of four people might include a donation of 4 x 50p = £2 and as many paper hands as they like.

5 Return your envelope by November 18th to one of the collection points around the Dassett Magna group of villages.

If you have any questions about the Advent Angel then please contact either Kate Distin on 01295 770118 or Sarah Marsden on 01295 770815.

Gaydon with Chadshunt Services for November AD MMVIII

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

9.30              Requiem Eucharist         Fenny Compton
10.00             Remembrance Service       Farnborough
10.30            Growing Together and Remembrance at Gaydon
11.00            United Service at the Memorial at Fenny Compton

8.00              Eucharist                 Farnborough
9.00              Eucharist                 Gaydon
10.30             Morning Service            Fenny Compton
10.30             United Service            Knightcote

11.00             Eucharist                    Gaydon

9.30              Eucharist                    Northend
10.30             Family Service               Fenny Compton
11.30             Family Eucharist             Gaydon
6pm               Evensong                      Farnborough

10.30            Group Eucharist and Christingle   at Fenny Compton

Weekday Service at St Giles' Church: There will be a Eucharist on Wednesday 19 November at 11am.

The Vicar's Letter

November is a poignant time because it is a time for remembrance; a time of the year's turning; a time of falling leaves speaking to us of those who have died, whom we remember at our altars during the month at All Souls and on Remembrance Sunday. The poet Ernest Rhys wrote a poem about the lives lost in the Great War: I share it with you now because lives are still being lost overseas; and in our remembering the fallen of not just two world wars but of countless conflicts since 1945, we do well to ponder and gather to honour their falling and commit ourselves to living good and honourable lives.

The Leaf Burners

Under two oak trees
on top of the fell,
With an old hawthorn hedge
to hold off the wind,
I saw the leaf burners
brushing the leaves
With their long brooms
into the blaze.
Above them, the sky
scurried along
Pale as a plate,
and peered thro' the oaks,
While the hurrying wind
harried the hedge.

Far on the fell where the road ran,
I heard the men march,
in the mouth of the wind:
And the leaf burners heard
and leaned down their heads,
Brow upon broom,
and let the leaves lie,
And counted their kin
that crossed over the sea,
And left wife and wean
to fight in the war.

Much I thought then
of men that went forth,
Or dropt like the leaves,
to die and to live;
While the leaf burners
with their long brooms
Drew them together
on the day of their death.
I wondered at that,
walking the fell -

Feeling the wind
that wafted the leaves
And set their souls
free of the smoke,
Free of the dead,
speeding the flame
To spire on the air -

a spark that should spring
In me, man of men;
last of the leaves.

Heritage Motor Centre

1 Nov - Invasion of the Daleks

If you come down to Heritage Motor Centre today you're sure of a big surprise! Daleks will be wandering the museum.... Plus you can take part in an audience with a Dalek, visit trade stands and enjoy Dr Who themed activities. Normal museum entry prices apply. Visit

25 Oct-2 Nov - Go-Karting, 4x4 and Miniature Roadway

Go-Karts (8yrs+ & 1.35m tall), Miniature Roadway and 4x4 Experience (5 yrs+) going on daily throughout the Warwickshire half term holidays approx. 11am - 4.30pm. Open to non museum visitors. Prices per ride; £6.00 for adults, £4.00 for children and concessions. Miniature Roadway, £3.00.

Autumn Lecture Series:

Victorian Engineering Lecture

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

on 3 December 2008 at 10 am.

Discovering your Family History Lecture

on 10 December 2008 at 10am.

Living Memories: RAF Gaydon Lecture

on 17 December 2008 at 10am

Tickets are £20 and £15 for Heritage Motor Centre Annual Members. To include: tea & coffee, lecture, a two course festive luncheon and entrance to the museum. For more information visit .

Tel: 01926 645029 Email: Tickets can be bought online at

Gaydon Men's Supper Club

The next Men's Club evening will be on Thursday 20 November at 7pm for 7.30pm in the village hall.

The speaker will be Rev Philip Francis who will talk about his visit to Kosovo in the spring shortly before the Independence Vote and the local conditions prevailing.

Please contact Rev Francis or John Goldsmith (642571) if you wish to attend. You are asked to donate £6 to cover the cost of the evening.

Parish Council News

Flood Defence Plan

Parish Councillors met with Highways to discuss the way forward. An action plan has been drawn up and we will keep you informed of any progress. We have been successful in securing some funds from the District (albeit not as much as we would have liked) for this project - £3,200. This money is ring fenced and its use will be carefully monitored by the District Council.


A new bench has been ordered to replace the wooden bench which has rotted. 50% of the cost will be met by a Community Grant.

The car park and path have been sprayed with weed killer.

Play Area

We have obtained two quotes for the refurbishment of the play area and need to get a third.

The District Council have said that they have run out of funds for replacing the broken bin so we may have to wait until April.


We are still receiving complaints about people parking on footways and on grass verges. Please do not park illegally in the village.


Please ensure that plants outside your house are not blocking footways. Please consider people with small children in pushchairs and people in wheel chairs when deciding how far to cut back.

Bridle Path

Highways have been asked to clear the bridle path on the other side of the M40. Once this has been cleared the District Council should be able to remove the rubbish which has accumulated there.

Private Firework Displays

The parish council have received complaints regarding private firework displays.

If you are planning a firework display, could you provide the Parish Council/Clerk with a minumum of 7 days' notice of the date and proposed time of your display.

We will inform residents on your behalf of the date and time of the display via the village notice board.

Next Meeting

The Parish Council will meet on Tuesday, 4th November at 8pm in the Village Hall.

All residents are welcome.