Gaydon Parish Magazine October 2011

index of magazines

This Month's Diary

Harvest Festival  Sun 2nd 10.30pm   St Giles Church
Morning Coffee    Sat 8th 11am      Village Hall
Pilates           Tuesdays 6.30pm   Village Hall
Mobile Library    Thurs 13th

Church Services in October

2nd      8.00   Holy Communion BCP Burton Dassett
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Fenny Compton
        10.30   Family Communion, Harvest Festival
                     and Baptism at Gaydon
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Farnborough

9th      8.00   Holy Communion BCP Farnborough
        10.30   Family Communion   Fenny Compton
        10.30   Communion by Extension  Northend
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Gaydon
         3.30pm Messy Church       Farnborough
         6.00pm Evening Service    Burton Dassett

16th     8.00   Holy Communion BCP Gaydon
        10.30   Family Service     Fenny Compton
        10.30   Family Communion   Northend
         6.00pm Evensong           Farnborough

23rd     8.00   Holy Communion BCP Fenny Compton
        10.30   Family Communion   Farnborough
        10.30   Prayer and Praise  Gaydon
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Northend

30th    10.30   Dassett Magna Group Service at Gaydon
                    with Coffee and Cakes

Heritage Motor Centre

Autumn Half Term Activities

22 - 30 October: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Enjoy the Ladybird Big Book of Motor Cars Exhibition with its nostalgic collection of illustrations from the books, set amongst many of the vehicles which feature in them.

Large Model Aircraft Show

23 October: This annual indoor show has over 100 Large Scale Radio-Controlled Model Aircraft, plus demonstrations and aircraft simulators.

The Big Draw

27 October: The Big Draw is a national event aimed to get everyone drawing, so come and join us for some half term planes, trains and automobile drawing, painting and sticking.

Miniature Roadway

The Miniature Roadway electric ride on cars will be open daily during the October holiday period from 11am until 4pm. They are suitable for 3-8 year olds but as they are outside they are weather dependant.

Land Rover Experience

A 20 minute taster session to experience the thrills and spills of off-road driving. These now run daily throughout the year with qualified instructors driving you around a challenging off-road course.

Stop Start Under 17 Driving Sessions

Great for bored teenagers, learner driving experiences for 15+yrs in our dual controlled vehicles. These 1 hour sessions cost £45 and are available during the school holidays. For more information please visit or call 01926 641188.

Upton House

Enjoy the outdoors this October at Upton House and Gardens. There is a three-mile circular walk from the car park which takes about three hours. Follow this with a cream tea at the House! You can download a copy of the walk at

On 28 October you can join the Upton Ramble, a six-mile festival walk. If you like history you can commemorate the battle of Edgehill with us on 23 October when the Sealed Knot will be re-enacting the scenes of the English Civil War.

There is a Family Fun Hallowe'en event in the woods at Upton on the 28th and 29th with activities and spooky stories.

Upton House and Gardens offers something for everyone this autumn come rain or shine and we hope to see you soon

Mobile Library

The mobile library will be in Gaydon on Thursday 13 October.

Friendship Club

Members will be contacted about the date and venue of this month's meeting.

Coffee Morning and Bring and Buy

Gaydon Village Hall Saturday 8 October at 11am
Home-made cakes and garden produce.  Raffle.
Come to meet other villagers and catch up on the news!

Flu 2011

Flu clinics will be held on the following dates for patients at Hastings House Surgery, Wellesbourne:

Saturday 15 October 9am - 12.30pm

Saturday 29 October 9am - 12.30pm

and at Little Thatch Surgery, Kineton

Wednesday 19 October 11am - 2pm

No appointment is needed: just come along. Kineton patients are also welcome at Wellesbourne clinics.

Patients eligible for flu jabs are as follows:

All over-65s

All pregnant women

People with certain chronic conditions.

Gaydon Parish Council

The Parish Council will soon be starting work on improving the children's playground. Initially, the changes will be restricted to repairing the existing equipment. Do not be alarmed if the roundabout disappears for a while! When these repairs are complete the council will be considering installing some new playground equipment.

What is happening at the Church?

The Churchyard

Part of the churchyard was designated as a wildflower meadow a few years ago as part of a nationwide move to create churchyards where natural species of wildflowers are preserved.

Our churchyard has subsequently been planted with seeds and bulbs of many species including snowdrops, primroses, and bluebells. It takes several years for the plants to establish and show their true beauty and for the desired balance of flowers and grass to be achieved.

This year it was pleasing to see snowdrops, crocuses, primroses, ladysmock, clover, bluebells, oxeye daisies, periwinkle, poppies, and buddleia to attract butterflies, buttercups, violets, celandines and numerous grasses.

It is a pleasure to watch young children exploring the mown paths through the meadow and visitors to the village stopping to read all about our meadow. Earlier this year, visitors seen taking photos reported that they would be using them to assist in the planning and developing of their own churchyard wildflower meadow.

In contrast, the area of the churchyard near to the entrance is maintained as close-mown lawn and rose beds. Both areas require considerable maintenance in order to look their best and thanks must go particularly to John Rickman for hand-scything the wildflower meadow this summer, to Scott Haysted and Chris Kettle for mowing and to all those involved in raking up the scythed grass. It is not only the grassed areas that require maintenance, so thanks are also due to those who give time to pruning and deadheading the roses, and pulling weeds from the paths and around the wall.

If you appreciate a beautiful looking churchyard and wish to help look after it please feel free to become involved: watch this space for details of churchyard working parties throughout the year; and in the meantime if you see an obvious weed in the flowerbeds, path, gravel or at the base of the wall ... Green bins for weeds can be found to the right of the door!

In addition to encouraging wild flowers and butterflies, birds are also welcome in the churchyard. Bird lovers are warmly invited to hang nuts and seeds for them in the trees.

Anyone is welcome at anytime to explore the churchyard and wildflower meadow. If you've only ever seen it from the road do take a peaceful meander through the mown paths in different seasons to gain a different perspective.

Jo Hotchkiss, Churchwarden

Nature Notes

Autumn seems a trifle premature this year in Gaydon. Trees are already turning colour and wild fruits are in abundance; whilst there are still a few Swallows perching on the telegraph wires before the long return migration.

Hummingbird hawk moths have abandoned the Valerian in favour of Balsam and Lobelia. A few small Coppers and Burnet Moths cling to the grass heads amongst the gravestones which have a mention in Warwickshire Butterflies as an outstanding habitat. The Birdsfoot Trefoil, which supports these species along with the colonies of Common Blues, will need to have the grass cut soon to perpetuate its growth next season. It will be time soon to look at hedges and boundaries too: fallen dead elms and fierce winds have left them gagged.

I was delighted to see a flock of some fifty Green Plovers feeding on the ploughed-in stubble off Watery Lane, much diminished in numbers these days but holding their own with modern agriculture. Increasing, the Buzzard population; I counted twelve circling over my garden a few days ago, having been alerted by their piercing cries to look skywards. No doubt there is plenty of carrion for them - young rabbits and hapless pheasant poults litter our roads at present.

Badgers too, seem to die in some numbers as road casualties as they move territories. I drive with care and hope to avoid the inexperienced pigeons as well who seem almost blasé about approaching vehicles, unless a sharp peep of the horn warms them of impending doom!

I joined a few parishoners to pull Ragwort last weekend. Hay has to be free of this weed as it can be poisonous in large qualtities, though only when dry.

Deer seem to have had a good season with fawns to heel. They are more visible now the crops are cut. The clearly-defined tracks and short cuts can be seen even if a sighting eludes you! The predicted plague of wasps is still awaited and hibernating butterflies are still taking in the last few weeks of nectar or fallen fruit. I have switched our Aga back on in anticipation of autumn!

Bernard Price


Kayla Joyce Mitchell was christened at St Giles' Church on Sunday 4 September.

October in the Garden

Now is the time to start tucking your garden up for the winter, harvesting the last bits and pieces as we move into that delectable period of armchair gardening, planning for next year. A coffee in one hand and an armful of inviting brochures in the other, anything is possible. As the garden begins to quieten down, my dreams for next year become ever more elaborate and plans ambitious. As an RHS member, I take advantage of the annual free seed distribution to try things I might not otherwise bother with. I'm also a sucker for all those special offers and volume discounts, clubbing together with friends and family to buy industrial quantities of bulbs, mainly based on whether they smell nice and how pretty the name is. Every year, I decide to be sensible and not buy ten packets of different chilli seeds and every year, somehow, the seeds sneak into the shopping basket when I'm not looking and we're back to square one.

This year, however, I have made a resolution. Having spent years wrestling with Italian vegetable seeds that go sad in the cold and disappoint, I realize it might be sensible to use seed developed in this country specifically for the British climate. And as part of the latest economy drive, I'll be having a go at saving my own seed for the following year. The Real Seed Catalogue offers sound advice on line and has a mouthwatering selection, so I'll be reporting back on progress. Perhaps other Gaydon gardeners would like to try this as well. I can start us off with enough tomato seed for several years

to come!

Seasonal Recipe

This recipe can be used for apples, quinces or medlars or a mixture. For an extra dimension, sprigs of herbs can be added to the liquid when bottling, such as mint, rosemary or thyme. This is best with apple as the flavour of medlars and quinces is quite strong and unique.

Quince Jelly

Rub the fluff off the quinces. Roughly chop, cover with water in a large pan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, cooking until soft. Strain through a muslin or jelly bag.

For each pint of liquid (600ml), use 1lb (450g) granulated sugar. Dissolve the sugar by stirring constantly and bringing slowly to the boil. DO NOT boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then boil fast until setting point is reached. I test by dipping a wooden spoon in, holding it parallel above the pan and when the liquid drops off slowly in large globs rather than a thin stream, it's ready - not very scientific!

Bottle in warmed, sterilised jars. Enjoy on toast or with cold meats or cheese and biscuits.

Sarah Nield

Messy Church

The Churches of the Dasset Magna Group invite you to attend 'Messy Church' at Farnborough Village Hall on Sunday October 9th from 3.30 until 5.45pm.

'Messy Church' is aimed at families but is open to everyone from 0 to 100 who wants to learn more about God in a fun, informal, friendly and creative way.

We welcome anyone regardless of whether or not they normally come to church. We will meet together for some craft based activities and a short piece of worship, after which we invite you to stay and join us in a simple tea. It's a fresh expression of church - which means trying church in a whole new way.

The theme for this first 'Messy Church' will be Harvest and if success-ful we hope to hold similar events throughout the year.

For more information please contact: Lesley Bosman 01295 771171.

You are welcome to turn up on the day but if you know in advance that you would like to attend we would be grateful if you could let us know so we can cater accordingly. Please note that all children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Over 60s Christmas Lunch

The Christmas lunch this year will be held in the Village Hall on Sunday 4 December at the usual time of 12.45 for 1pm. Invitations will be sent in due course but if you have not received one by mid-November, are eligible (i.e. old enough!) and would like to come, please let the organisers know and you will be very welcome. Similarly, if you know of anyone we have overlooked, do tell us.

Liz Thomas on 641144 and Julie Rickman on 640349.

Gaydon Neighbourhood Watch

Gaydon Report: We continue to experience a quiet period but we recommend installation of burglar alarms which are now quite cheap.

Wellesbourne Police Station Closure

First Southam; now Wellesbourne: our two closest Police Stations have closed their front desks to the public.

Our Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team will operate out of Stratford from 7 October. Whilst this might not have any immediate effect on Gaydon, it further waters down the Police cover that we enjoy.

The West Window

You may be wondering why the scaffolding has been up for the past few months, especially when there is little sign of anything happening.

Work started on the repairs to the West Window of the church back in June and initially good progress was made. The old glass was removed and sent away to be re-leaded, and the crumbling stone around the window traceries has been cut away ready to be replaced. Prior to the repair commencing the PCC, when ordering the work, had expressed a desire to use local Hornton stone.

However, I am told by the building company undertaking the repairs that the stone they were planning to use has turned out to be too soft to make the repair effective; and that finding a suitable alternative, which is of the correct hardness and colour, has proved more difficult than expected.

The diamond glass has now been re-leaded and is ready to be installed and we are only awaiting supplies of the correct stone. Once the window itself is replaced, work can commence on cutting out and replacing the weathered stone-work. It is hoped that this will be done before we suffer too much from the colder and wetter weather.

Parish Council News

At the last Parish Council Meeting Parish Councillors agreed the following roles:

Jonathan Crowe (Chairman) is lead for drains.

Helena McGrath agreed to take the role of Vice Chairman and is lead for lights, litter, street furniture and community liaison groups.

John Rickman will lead the refurbishment plans for the play area. Please contact John if you would like to join the working party and give your input or ideas as to how the play area should be refurbished.

Mary Fox will lead the cemetery maintenance. Mary has a long list of 'tidy up' items and a ragwort-pulling session took place on Saturday 17 September.

It would be very much appreciated if you could spare some time to help with the "tidy up". Please contact Mary if you can.

Bernard Price is lead for the footpaths. If you find any trees or shrubbery blocking the way when you are walking the footpaths please contact Bernard.


It is vital that we keep the drain grids around the village clear of fallen leaves or debris to avoid any risk of localised flooding.

Could we ask residents to clear any drain grids where they notice that leaves or debris have collected, please.

Land Rover/Jaguar Car Transporters

We have received complaints from residents regarding the car transporters that Land Rover/Jaguar are running through the night. We have had discussions with Land Rover, the Enforcement Officer (District Council) and Environmental Health (District Council) explaining the disturbance this is causing to residents.

If it persists, may we ask that residents write to Land Rover's Chief Executive, Dr Ralf Speth at the Gaydon site.


Our audit has been finalised. Any resident wishing to view the accounts should contact the clerk.