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Gaydon with Chadshunt Parish Magazine December 2008

This Month's Diary

Christmas Lunch     Sun 7th 12.45pm         Village Hall
Carol Singing       Thurs 18th 7pm          Village Hall
Crib Service        Weds 24th 6pm           St Giles' Church
Pilates             Tuesdays 8pm            Village Hall
Toddler Group       Thursdays 10-11.30am    Village Hall
Mobile Library      Thursday 18th

Parish Council News

Gaydon was awarded a Gold Certificate in Warwickshire's Best Village of the Year Competition 2008.

Flood Defence Plan

Various meetings are taking place with landowers and residents to gain views on the proposals which have been put forward by Highways.

Highways have been shown photos of the recent flooding of Pimple Lane and they are currently investigating installing additional grips or gulleys.

We are waiting to hear whether Highways will fit kerbstones on driveways of properties in areas which have flooded. A number of residents have requested this.


The new bench has arrived.

Play Area

Will be inspected some time this month. The Parish Council should receive the report early next year and will action accordingly.

We are in the process of obtaining a third quote for the refurbishment and have approached a number of businesses for funding.

Bridle Path

The Pimple Lane bridle path (other side of M40) has been cleared.


Please keep your plants clear of the footways.

Emergency Plan

We are updating our emergency plan and are looking for one person from every street to be willing to help their neighbours in an emergency, e.g. flood.

This person would be given a copy of the emergency plan which contains emergency contact numbers, the location of sandbags, etc. St. Giles Road and the Warwick Road already have representatives.

All we require is your name and then we will add it to our list (not to be circulated) and provide you with a copy of the emergency plan. If you are willing to be the contact point could you please contact the Clerk on 641220.

Next Meeting:Tuesday, 6th January 2009, at 8pm in the Village Hall.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Gaydon Parish Council!

Great Walks of Gaydon Number 2 - Allotment Walk

Here is another short walk. Although the walk is flat and is at most a mile and a half in length, part of it is over ploughed land and so it is unsuitable for pushchairs.

Start in Church Lane at the back of the church with the churchyard wall on your right. Now walk Westward to the end of Church Lane and enter the snickett. Keep going for about a hundred yards until you come out at a grassy patch at the end of St Marks Close. Negotiate the footpath alongside a garden fence and climb over the stile at the end.

You are now in a field. The path goes off to the left and heads due South across the grass to a stile in a hedge. Climb the stile and the path ahead is marked out in yellow against the green corn*. Walk over the cornfield to a gap in the hedge beside a stile. The farm track to your right leads to Tollgate Cottage on the Kineton Road. Cross over the farm track to another cornfield.

Again the path is marked out in yellow against the green corn*. Follow the path for about 200 yards. On this leg of the walk, do take time to stop and look around. There are clear views of the hills the South and you can get a good impression of the village of Gaydon nestling in its hollow. You may be lucky enough to see skylarks here.

The path now turns right and heads for a stile in the hedge that separates the field from the Kineton Road. The clue to this mysterious turn is in the name of the field you have just crossed. It is known as "Allotment Field" after the village allotments that used to be here. The path was used by villagers walking out to tend their plots.

The ditch shown on the Explorer OS map 206, like the allotments, now exists only in the country of the past. To return to Gaydon either walk along the road or retrace your steps and walk the path in reverse.

*In November the path was completely obliterated by ploughing although the yellow waymark signs are in place. Walkers will have to try to follow the map above. Please join me in lobbying the Parish Council to get the path reinstated! John Rickman

Heritage Motor Centre 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

Neighbourhood Watch

Gaydon Report: another quiet month.

Police Result

One male from the Castle Vale area of Birmingham was charged with burglaries in this area (Gaydon, Kineton and Wellesbourne) following an investigation by CID. The male in question has been sent to prison for two-and-a-half years.

Fraud Warnings

Emails that claim to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and which have seemingly legitimate logos and formatting, claim that the recipient can apply for a tax refund by clicking an included link. However, the messages are not from HMRC and are in fact the first part of a typical phishing scam. Do not reply to them.

Stratford District have issued a warning about a new ruse that they call Bin Stamping. Men in hi-viz jackets walk around pinning penalty notices on wheelie bins that have been left out for emptying. Fines are levied for petty or non-existent technical infringements. In fact the address on the "penalty notice" for payment of the fines is not a Council address and the penalty is a fraud.

Mobile Library

The Mobile Library will visit Gaydon on Thursday 18 December.

Seasonal Recipe

Spiced Cranberry Chutney


1lb/450g fresh cranberries      14oz/400g granulated sugar
1 tsp coriander seeds           10 fl oz/275ml red wine vinegar
7 fl oz/200ml cider vinegar     6 whole cloves
zest and juice of 1 medium orange


Heat a large saucepan until it gets really hot, then tip in the coriander seeds. Watch carefully and when they are hot they will brown and 'jump'. This brings out the flavour. Remove pan from heat and transfer the coriander to a mortar and crush them with the pestle.

Turn the heat down low and pour the 2 vinegars into the pan, add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved.

Now add the zest and juice of the orange, the cloves, the coriander and the cranberries.

Stir well, then simmer gently without a lid for 1hr, stirring occasionally but gently so that the cranberries do not burst.

Leave to stand for half an hour, then ladle into sterilised jars and seal when cold. Make it now and it will be ready to complement your turkey on Christmas Day!

Nature Notes

Red in tooth and claw

The welcome return of poultry-keeping in the village perhaps reflects the fact that it's the fastest-growing hobby in the UK. When the Sainsburys free-range farm near Kineton had to change its flock, great bargains were to be had in the form of laying hens, fully wormed and vaccinated for £2 each! My purchases have already laid dozens of eggs and paid for themselves but my neighbour's flock, which started in like manner, were all killed by a fox that found a way in through the roof of the run!

Foxes often kill all they can reach. This creates a "time of plenty" for them and they would expect to return for weeks to feed on the corpses! In the past, this was their undoing and I recall my grandfather lacing one body with poison. The six other corpses were of course plucked and eaten by our family, as they were a luxury meat then and were a huge breed called Jersey Giants! We found the dog fox dead in a ditch the following day, feathers still rouind his mouth.

Though this appears brutal, mass killing is only a natural instinct. Poison, of course, is now illegal as you have no idea what will eat the body: maybe a badger or crow? However, a well-placed hold-snare set in a gap leading to a corpse will also catch the miscreant! Foxes that come in the day are a serious danger but otherwise, locking up birds at night is usually the solution - but the one night you forget, the fox will be there!

In my part of Church Road one patrols regularly, leaving droppings and tracks. There are now more foxes in large towns than in the country-side because a dropped Indian take-away is easy to hunt down and there are no guns

or foxhounds!

Last month I was e-mailed a great photograph of a sparrow hawk which frequents the Banbury Road. Many of us now feed birds but do not realise that we may be creating a snack bar for this voracious hunter; always place a bird table away from hedges and trees, as a hawk will use these as cover and there is no time for flight once talons have closed on an unfortunate blue tit or greenfinch!

What is ironic is the persecution of birds of prey by a minority of so-called gamekeepers in order to preserve game birds for a rich, paying minority of largely "towny" business types who do not need the birds for food and cannot even pluck them. They often miss or wound birds by hapless shooting, too, inadvertently giving the fox a meal. Hunting for the pot is not perhaps profitable enough!

Buzzards and harriers seem the main victims of this sort of shooting estate, whereas most people would rather see these raptors in flight than a cage of half-tame pheasants waiting to be released and shot. It is good to see them condemned by shooting organisations as well as the RSPB.

The autumn colours, although late, are very fine this year but where are the sloes and wild plums? I notice also a lack of spindle tree and service tree berries. In the garden, I had a good crop of quinces but no medlars; by contrast, cooking apples are being given away free in many places.

Bernard Price

Salvation Army Appeal

I work for the Salvation Army Homeless Action Project, as well as the Hostel, and we are in need of sleeping bags for those people that we cannot put up in the Hostel.

As we are only an 11 bed hostel, there are a lot that sleep rough. Maybe, if anyone has an old sleeping bag, still in usable condition, they could ask family or friends for a new one and donate the other one to us?

I have tried to contact major companies but no luck, so I was wondering if a village could beat major companies. Here's hoping!

Please contact Veronica or Tony at 10 St. Marks Close or on 691145. Thankyou.

The Village Store

Negotiations with Enterprise Inns over the lease for the barn are being finalised and it is hoped that the lease can be signed off by the end of the year. Meantime shares are now available for sale. This means that everyone now has the opportunity to own a part of the village shop and to have a say in how it is managed. Shares are £10 each and there is only one share per person, resulting in one vote each at the AGM. Please contact me direct on 647854 if you would like to purchase a share in the village store. Claire Hamm

Fundraising efforts continue and there will be a Quiz Night on Wednesday 28 January 2009 at the Malt Shovel.

Tickets are £15 and include a two course meal. Please purchase your tickets from behind the bar at the Malt Shovel.

Carols in the Village Hall

Mince pies, mulled wine and carol singing will be available on Thursday 18 December at 7pm in the Village Hall.

Everyone is welcome to come and have a hearty sing-a-long

to get the Festive Season off to a good start!


We would like to thank everyone who supported our supper on Saturday 1st November and helped to make it a very enjoyable evening. A special thank you goes to the Symbolix (Ric and Jason) who gave up their free time to come and entertain us so well, also donating their collection to the fund. The evening was a great success and we raised £300 for the Christmas Lunch and the Shop Funds. Many thanks again, Jean, Liz and Bev.

St Giles' Church Gaydon Services for December AD MMVIII

7                 8.00             Eucharist                 Burton Dassett
                 10.00             Family Eucharist          Fenny Compton
                 11.15             Morning Service           Gaydon
                 11.30             Eucharist                 Farnborough

14                9.00             Eucharist                 Fenny Compton
                 10.00             Morning Service           Farnborough
                 10.00             Eucharist                 Northend
                 11.15             Growing Together           Gaydon
                  5.00pm           Carols                    Avon Dassett
                  6.00pm           Evening Prayer            Burton Dassett

21                8.00             Eucharist                  Farnborough
                  9.00             Eucharist                  Gaydon
                 10.30             Crib Service               Fenny Compton
                  3.30pm           Carols by Candlelight      Burton Dassett

24 Christmas Eve
                  6.00pm           Crib Service               Gaydon
                 11.30pm           Group Midnight Mass        Burton Dassett

25 Christmas Day
                   9.00            Eucharist                Farnborough
                  10.00            Family Eucharist         Gaydon
                  10.00            Carol Service            Northend
                  11.15            Family Eucharist         Fenny Compton

28                10.30            Group Eucharist           Gaydon

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

This year, the 90th anniversary of the ending of World War I, Gaydon

collected £695 for the appeal.

Each year more people come to the Legion for help and there will always be a need to provide help for them and their dependants.

Grateful thanks are due to all who contributed and particularly to the volunteers who collected.

Mrs Mary Fox and Mrs Pam Furnivall, who have worked for the last 15 years, received a certificate and a commemorative brooch to mark their efforts.

The Vicar's Letter

''Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat',' runs the old nursery rhyme. Already there are orders being taken for Christmas turkeys, the shops are decorated for Christmas, lists are being composed for Christmas presents, plans are being made how to spend the feast and the pressure on people is mounting.

Don''t forget that amid all the commercialism and hype, we are preparing to celebrate the birth of love. Christmas is the time when we remember Jesus' birth at Bethlehem, the time when Love came down to transform people''s lives and change us for the better.

Come and celebrate with us at any of the churches within the Group the true meaning of Christmas; and enter into the spirit of Christmas by letting Christ''s love rule and guide our lives: I wish you a blessed and happy Christmas,

Philip Francis

St Giles' Church Crib Service

Our candle-lit Crib Service is to be held as usual on Christmas Eve at six o'clock. The Christmas story will be told as the crib scene is put together in the stable under the altar. Children in the congregation will carry the Holy Family and other characters up to the chancel while all the old familiar carols are sung. Finally, the Church Christmas cake will be distributed so that everyone can share in the joy of Jesus's birthday. Please come and join in!


St Giles' children's teaching and activity session will be held in the village hall this month on Sunday 14th at 10.15am. There will be refreshments before moving over to the church to join the family service. Please note that there will be no session on 28 December.