Gaydon Parish Magazine November 2011

index of magazines

This Month's Diary

Parish Council    Thurs 3rd 7.30pm   Parish Office
GVH Committee     Mon 14th 7.30pm    Village Hall
Morning Coffee    Sat 12th 11am      Village Hall
Remembrance Day   Sun 13th 10.50am   St Giles
Friendship Club   Tues 15th 2.30pm   Carn Iw
Pilates           Tuesdays 6.30pm    Village Hall
Mobile Library    Thurs 3rd and 24th

Remembrance Sunday at Gaydon

Sunday 13 November 10.50am at St Giles' Church

Villagers should gather in the churchyard at the war memorial at 10.50am for the wreath to be laid and the

silence kept.

Church Services in November

All Souls Day
2nd      7.30pm Holy Communion*     Gaydon
6th      8.00   Holy Communion BCP Burton Dassett
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Farnborough
        10.30   Family Communion   Gaydon
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Fenny Compton
13th     8.00   Holy Communion BCP Farnborough
         9.00   Combined Service   Burton Dassett
        10.50   Wreath-laying at Gaydon
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Fenny Compton
20th     8.00   Holy Communion BCP Gaydon
        10.30   Family Service     Fenny Compton
        10.30   Family Communion   Northend
         6.00pm Evensong           Farnborough
27th     8.00   Holy Communion BCP Fenny Compton
        10.30   Family Communion   Farnborough
        10.30   Prayer and Praise  Gaydon
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Northend

*All Souls: if you would like to have the names of those dear to you who have died commemorated in the service, please put their names on the list on the table at the back of the church.

November in the Garden

Although medlar trees originated in Persia, I always think of them as very English and mediaeval. I have planted several for clients in smallish estate gardens where they have caused quite a stir. They are closely related to roses, apples and quinces. So in spring, there is a profusion of beautiful white blossom, followed by what look like a cross between mini apples and giant rose hips. These ripen to a soft, russet brown and can be picked in late October/November after they've been "bletted" by the first frost. Late autumn sees the large, strap-like leaves turn a gorgeous deep red as well.

Our ancestors would eat medlars raw with port at the end of a meal.

I think you would have to be very determined to do this as they are an acquired taste, a bit like a half-rotten pear with a hint of cinnamon. But some relatively fresh fruit in midwinter must have been very welcome, especially in the middle ages.

The medlar is a highly decorative small tree that is tough and hardy, needs very little care or pruning, and will reward you with interest and colour for most of the year. And at the end of it, the fruit makes a great jelly if mixed 50:50 with apples and a mega chutney with a little patience.

Medlar Chutney
3-4 tbsp sunflower oil                      4 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp crushed black peppercorns            1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp ground cumin                         2 tsp turmeric
500ml cider vinegar                         2 tbsp salt
1 bulb of garlic, peeled and grated  500g dark muscovado sugar
5-7cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
6 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2kg cooking apples, cored and chopped

1kg medlars, chopped, placed in a large pan, covered in water and stewed until soft. Then passed through a sieve.

1. Warm the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices, stirring well and frying until the mustard seeds just begin to pop. This will only take a minute or so - be careful not to scorch the spices. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies, stir well, and fry gently for few minutes.

2. Tip the chopped apples into a large preserving pan and pour over the spices.Add the sugar, vinegar and salt, along with the left over pulp from the medlar jelly, or the pears if you are using them instead.

4. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for about 2 hours until thickened, stirring occasionally.

5. Bottle in warm, sterilised jars, filling the jars really full as the mixture will shrink slightly. Sarah Nield

Village Hall News

The next meeting of the Village Hall Committee will take place on Monday 14 November at 7.30pm.

Gaydon Cemetery

Some new residents may not be aware that the village owns a cemetery. It lies on the Banbury Road, some one hundred yards south of Last Cottage, on the opposite side of the road.

The land was bought for the village in 1936 by the then Parish Council because the Churchyard had been declared full and closed for further burials. The Bishop of Coventry consecrated the part designated for interments, the remainder being devoted to a wild flower meadow, car park, paths and a shrub-laden mound.

Every resident has a right to be buried there; a plot may be purchased for a modest fee (by today's standards). Fees for non-residents are double. As burials are becoming less popular, cremation being the favoured option nowadays, an area has been set aside for the interment of ashes.

Part of the cemetery holds thirteen RAF graves. These are of men who died while serving at Gaydon Airfield, now the site of the Heritage Centre and Jaguar Land Rover. The War Graves Commission takes some responsibility for the care of these.

Trees and shrubs have been planted in recent years by families in memory of those they loved.

It is a very peaceful, tranquil spot; and the Parish Council, along with others, strives to keep it in a tidy and respectful condition. Help is always welcomed.

West Midlands Ambulance Service

WMAS is supported by volunteers who have been trained by the Trust as Community First Responders. Their early intervention has saved the lives of many people in our communities especially in Rural Areas.

John Davies is a Training Officer and also a First Responder for Gaydon which currently has two trained First Responders - Lighthorne Heath has a further two. They serve the immediate surrounding villages providing Basic Life Support pending arrival of the Ambulance or Paramedics.

We need more volunteers. You will only be called upon at times that you make yourself available. Please contact us on 077 3400 7236.

Gaydon Neighbourhood Watch

The ESSO petrol station was raided in October just after closing and while a member of staff was still on the premises. So far no arrests have been made. A house on the Kineton Road was broken into on 11 October during the day and a number of items were stolen. A black vehicle may have been involved.

Church News

Prayer and Praise Service

As part of our new service pattern our 4th Sunday Service has changed format. What does it now involve? The service is led by a team of people from within the congregation. The service itself includes 6 hymns or songs, accompanied by either organ or piano (and sometimes guitar and flute!). We aim to include more modern hymns and songs alongside some traditional old favourites. So if you enjoy a good sing please come and join us. If you have a musical talent and would like to play an instrument at this service then please contact Jo or Alastair on 01926 642248. We also get together to share coffee and croissants or cake afterwards and we'd love you to come and join us!

Advance Notice: Saturday 3rd December will be the St Giles' Church gift day which will include Festive Fayre and the opportunity to see Father Christmas. More details nearer the time!

Parish Council News

Banbury Road Pipe and Flood Plans

A meeting has taken place between the County Council, Stratford District and the Parish Council regarding the draft design details. A new scheme has been developed and we are in the process of discussing this with the landowners. Plans and funding are also being looked at for surface water in the Kineton Road and excess water above the roundabout.

Materials left in Banbury Road Ditch

The Parish Council would like to thank the two residents who have removed the tarmac, bricks, etc. from the ditch along the Banbury Road. We were pursuing this with Highways as we thought it was a result of the work on the footpath. However, Highways believed it was left over from recent works undertaken by a utility company and were pursuing the matter with them on our behalf.

Banbury Road Lay-by

Following requests from residents for a bin in the lay-by, County Councillor Chris Williams said at our September Parish Council meeting that it was not County Council policy to install bins in lay-bys.

Overhanging Plants and Bushes

Can you please ensure that shubbery is trimmed to keep the pavements and roads clear.


Thanks to the resident who cut the grass and the ex-resident who sprayed the car park and footpath.

Next Meeting

Thursday, 3rd November at 7.30pm.

Community Forum News

The next Forum will be held on Thursday 17 November at Moreton Morrell Primary School. People can speak to the police, county and district officers and councillors between 6.30pm and 7pm. The meeting at 7pm will report on speed limits, road signs, flexibus, waste and recycling at Wellesbourne and the youth service.


We hate to say this but it's less than 10 weeks to Christmas! And we all want to look super stunning then. So if you haven't already - now is the time to come back to classes!

We have sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7.45pm at Shipston High School; Tuesdays 11am at Brailes Village Hall and Thursdays at 6.30pm at Sheldon Bosley Hub, Shipston.

Sessions are £5 and there is no need to book. Don't forget tickets are available for our Christmas party on 16 December at The Sheldon Bosley Hub. You can get tickets at any of the classes.

Check out shipstonzumba on facebook for videos and routines. Rach and Debbie

Charity Bags

Warwickshire Trading Standards are launching a bid to clamp down on bogus charity clothing collections (bags) - and they need your help.

Trading Standards Officers are concerned that some householders may be duped in to donating their unwanted clothing and bric-a-brac to private traders when they thought they were giving to a registered charity. Warwickshire Trading Standards Officers want to investigate these types of bags and are calling on Warwickshire residents to help.

Householders can either post their bags (or fliers) to us, or scan them in and email them (in both cases, tell us where they were delivered).

Freepost CV1898 Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service, Old Budbrooke Road,

Warwick CV35 7BR or email:

Shipston Home Nursing

Christmas Fair - 60 Stalls - Ettington Community Centre, Rogers Lane on Wednesday 9th November 6-9pm and Thursday 10th 9.30-4pm. Entry £3.50 includes tea or coffee and biscuit.

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 out this month. Liz Thomas: 641144; Julie Rickman: 640349.

Mobile Library

The mobile library will be in Gaydon on November 3rd and 24th.

Friendship Club

We meet this month on Tuesday 15th at 2.30pm at Carn Iw, Church Road, the home of Mrs Gay Talbot.

Coffee Morning and Bring and Buy

Gaydon Village Hall Saturday 12 November at 11am. Home-made cakes and garden produce. Raffle.

Come to meet other villagers and catch up on the news!

Father Christmas!

St Giles' Church Gift Day and Festive Fayre
Saturday 3 December
at Gaydon Village Hall
Advance notice - more details nearer the time!

Gaydon Voices

'An Evening for the Season'
on Saturday 26th November
An evening of singing and more!  Food will be provided.
For further details, including ticket sales, look out for posters around the village or contact Martyn Hamm on 647854.

Remembrance Sunday

This year's commemoration of Remembrance Sunday will be different from that of previous years. There will be a combined group service at All Saints Burton Dassett at 9.00am. This service will include music, readings and the blessing of wreaths from each parish. It will be followed later in the morning by a short wreath-laying ceremony at our own war memorial in Gaydon. We will gather at 10.50am in order to observe the national silence at 11.00 am. All are welcome to attend either or both commemorations. If you need a lift to Burton Dassett please contact Jo Hotchkiss on 642248.

Nature Notes

The countryside this month features many premature leaf changes and rather stressed looking trees. The Horse Chestnut on the village Green looks decidedly ill and fallen leaves crumble to fragments. The transpiration process of many plants has been halted by months of dry weather: in fact, it is many months now since we have had any substantial rainfall.

I mentioned last month that berries and hedgerow fruits are unusually prolific. Now in my garden, I am ankle deep in Walnuts and Quinces. They have ripened fast, too. This morning I watched both a Wood-pecker and then a Magpie using different techniques to open the walnuts. It was a matter of brute force from the former bird whilst the Magpie rather cleverly dropped them on the path to crack them open!

Buzzards are so common now that even their spectacular size merits only a cursory glance and this evening I watched one pick up a dead rabbit and skim away to an adjacent Oak tree. There are light and dark phases in the plumages and you get to know individual birds and even their favoured dead trees smeared with white droppings.

Kestrels are still around but less numerous; yet I often meet an individual whilst walking my dogs. One can compare the agility of both species: the lazy flap and glide of a Buzzard and the rapid swoop of the smaller raptor, using telegraph wires as a lookout point.

The last insects are still enjoying the extended sunny days. Red Admiral Butterflies and large Hawker dragonflies have the highest profile along hedgerow paths. Drone flies and Hornets will not survive the first few hard frosts which cannot be far away.

Again a very large group of Lapwings mixed in with Golden Plovers spent a few days on the ploughed fields in Watery Lane but have now moved on. These species have less predictable movements now as there is less deep tillage of fields.

Looking at my chickens - much increased this year by two broods of chicks - I have to hope that wheat will not rise in price once again. One increasingly resorts to boiled scraps, leftovers, greens from the neighbours and stale bread which they enjoy... very much the wartime ethic of nothing being wasted.

It has been a poor year for fungi. Many came up months early whilst others, I think, have remained inactive. There is a chill in the mornings now: time for the Aga to go on!

Bernard Price


The Flag on the village green was raised on 21 October to commemorate Trafalgar Day.



We, the Committee and team of Volunteers, at your village shop, struggle to fill the rota most weeks to keep the shop open for the advertised hours. We need more volunteers to fill the gaps on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons between 4 and 6.30pm.

There is little to do in the afternoon apart from man the till. Everybody would receive full training and not be expected to undertake any tasks they would rather not do.

We are all working very hard to keep the shop open for convenient times in the day but if we can't find any more helpers the shop may have to close on an ad hoc basis.

We would also like to thank everyone in the village who supports the shop as a customer. We could not have got this far without you!

Please note NEW Winter Opening Times

If you feel you can help out, contact any one on the committee or pop into the shop.