Gaydon Parish Magazine December 2011

index of magazines

This Month's Diary

Gift Day         Sat 3rd 2pm           Village Hall
Christmas Lunch  Sun 4th 12.45pm       Village Hall
Shop Tasting     Sat 10th 9.30-11.30am Village Shop
Carols           Mon 19th 7/7.30pm     St Marks Cl/V Hall
Crib Service     Sat 24th 6pm          St Giles
Christmas Day    Sun 25th 10.30am      St Giles
Pilates          Tuesdays 6.30pm       Village Hall
Mobile Library   Thurs 15th

Church Services in December

4th      8.00   Holy Communion BCP Burton Dassett
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Farnborough
        10.30   Family Communion and village
                Christmas Cake-making at Gaydon
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Fenny Compton

11th     8.00   Holy Communion BCP Farnborough
        10.30   Growing Together     Gaydon
        10.30   Holy Communion     Fenny Compton
        10.30   Communion          Northend
         6.00pm Evening Service    Burton Dassett

18th     8.00   Holy Communion BCP Gaydon
        10.30   Crib Service       Fenny Compton
         3.30pm Carols by Candlelight at Burton Dassett
         6.00pm Evensong           Farnborough

Christmas Eve
24th     6.00pm Family Crib Service at Gaydon
        11.30pm Midnight Mass at Burton Dassett

Christmas Day
25th     9.00   Holy Communion     Farnborough
        10.30   Holy Communion     Fenny Compton
        10.30   Holy Communion     Gaydon
        10.30   Morning Prayer     Northend

1st January 2012 at 10.30am Group Communion at Northend

Seasonal Recipe: Squash and Chickpea Soup with Coriander

1 butternut squash or pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, roughly chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped     1 410g tin chickpeas, drained
1 level tsp ground coriander          1 litre stock
Fresh coriander and crème fraîche to garnish

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and the same of butter in a heavy saucepan, add the ground coriander and onion and sweat for 5-10 minutes. Add the butternut, turning to coat in the oil and sweat a little more. Add the stock and chickpeas and simmer until cooked through, roughly 20 minutes. If you like a smooth soup, liquidise. I use a potato masher for a rougher texture and keep back some whole chickpeas to add at the last minute. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with fresh coriander and a dollop of crème fraîche. Sarah Nield

The Parish Council wishes all residents a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Written from the Heart

In November the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible was celebrated at Westminster Abbey in the presence of the Queen with the full pomp of the Church of England. Ancient copies of the KJB were carried into the Abbey to commemorate the fact that it was there that the compilers met to test their translation by reading it aloud prior to printing. These and other translations were on exhibition in the summer at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Showing now at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a new play by David Edgar, Written on the Heart, which covers the period of bible translation that started with Wyclif in 1382 and ended in 1611 with the publication of the KJB. It explores Wyclif's martyrdom for his belief that ordinary lay people should be able to read the bible in English if they were to understand their religion.

The play explains that the clergy wanted to hold on to their rôle as the sole interpreters of the word of God, controlling what the common people believed. Wyclif and others like him were opposed to this hermeneutic authority and thought that 'Christ did not write his laws on tables, or skins of animals, but in the hearts of men'. The version of the bible that was finally authorised by King James was, in the end, a compromise between interpretation of meaning and accuracy of translation.

At this month's Prayer Book Communion Service at St Giles' Church, Gaydon will be celebrating the Quatercentenary by reading the lessons out of the King James Bible.

Children's Society Christmas Newsletter

The time is coming when I will collect your boxes; or if you prefer, you can bring them to me at 4 St Giles Road. We will let the Christmas Rush die down: so mid-January will be good. If you do not already hold a box but would like to in the future, call Jane on 642571.

In the course of the next twelve months I will need to find someone who can take over from me, so if you feel you could do this please give me a ring or email me at

Parish Plan

Parish Plan questionnaires are being delivered throughout the village and should reach your household by 4 December. Volunteers are handing them out and will collect them from 12 December onwards.

If you have any problems, ring John Rickman on 640349 for help.

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. Liz Thomas: 641144; Julie Rickman: 640349


The Flag on the village green was raised on 11 November for Armistice Day and on the 13th for Remembrance Sunday. It was flown again on 20 November on the Anniversary of the Wedding of HM The Queen.

Vote for Harbury!

Harbury is through to the finals of the Energyshare competition to win £100,000 to make our community buildings more energy efficient. We are the only Warwickshire finalists and have competed against 1000 groups to get this far. Now we are up against only five other groups - but two are giants, Sheffield and Manchester - as well as Wadebridge, Lyme Regis and Hexham. Harbury is the smallest community and we need support from Warwickshire: voting closes on 3 December.

The winner will be the group with the most internet votes so we will only win if lots of people vote for Harbury. You don't need to live in Harbury to vote - or have much to do with Harbury at all it seems!

Go to to register and then vote.

Even if you have registered previously you may not have actually voted. You will need to return to Thank you! from Harbury Energy Initiative Steering Group

Parish Council News

Proposed Starbold Wind Farm

We have just been notified that a planning application will be submitted for 5 wind turbines, with a height to the tip of the blade of 125m, on land between Knightcote and Bishop's Itchington. If you wish to see the approximate location there is currently a mast erected which is visible from Pimple Lane. In view of this forthcoming application Broadview have arranged a third party exhibition in Knightcote Village Hall on Thursday, 8th December, between 2pm and 8pm where the Broadview Team will be on hand to answer any questions and to advise on the current status of the project. Broadview state that since their last application they have commissioned an Environmental Impact Assessment which confirms the suitability of the site for a wind farm development consisting of five wind turbines and associated infrastructure.

Grass Cutting Contract

The Parish Council has decided to divide the grass cutting contract into two separate contracts: the cemetery and the rest of the village. The contract details are currently being revised and anyone interested in quoting for either area or both should contact the Clerk.

Land Rover Jaguar

We understand that they are currently putting together a 'vehicle movement report' in which they are addressing the complaints by some residents about the car transporters that are operating throughout the night. They are also still looking at the issue with car alarms being triggered whilst vehicles are being transported.

Chestnut Tree

A tree surgeon will be advising us as to the work which needs to be carried out on the Chestnut tree on the green.

Cemetery Hedge

The Parish Council discussed the condition of the hedge at the back of the cemetery. It was suggested that the hedge be laid; but at a cost of at least £700 the Parish Council is not in a financial position to commission this work. This matter will be discussed again when the 2012/13 budget figures are agreed in January.

Play Area: Thanks to Cllr Rickman the gate has been repaired and rehung.


The Footpaths Team will be looking at the bridge to the cemetery which badly needs repairing.

Next Meeting: Thursday, 5th January 2012 at 7.30pm.

Nature Notes

Late October... and it is once again the First Day of the shooting

season. I always approach this with some cynicism, as I unsleeve my old Westley Richards 12 bore once again and don my Cordings flat cap. Most pheasants are not wild birds, having been "bought in" as young poults and in their minds the Gamekeeper is a friend who feeds them. Suddenly, at the end of September the situation alters and man is the enemy! Early in the season many of these short-tailed, trusting birds make only a token effort to fly when flushed by beaters and "let go" to become wilder!

This is a great opportunity to see wildlife, as everything is flushed out as you wait on your Peg (a designated numbered standing place). Throughout the day I saw many rather startled and rarely seen species. I was nearly run down by a herd of fallow deer, then a Short-eared Owl winged its way out of the wood in silent flapping glides. Nuthatches and Bullfinches skipped around oblivious of the guns nearby.

It is unsafe to shoot "Ground game" - unlike the Olde Days when the pot was paramount - so Rabbits, Roe, Muntjak Deer and Hares almost run over your toes. The appearance of a Fox to cries of "Charlie!" causes panic, as this fellow Game-hunter is disliked as competition; though no doubt a slow pheasant (costing £3.95) is to his mind just another meal. I do not blame him. Like Buzzards and Hawks, foxes are opportunists: life is hard out there and they are an essential part of the natural cycle.

Having shot my birds that day, I am fortified by Sloe Gin, Pork Pie and a good meal. I am always uncomfortable when I hear of huge commercial shoots killing hundreds of birds. A brace that you can pluck and eat is sufficient after a day trudging the countryside. I don't think such numbers do much for the conservation of any environment and commercial gain seems somehow out of place .

Autumn is here at last but a very mild one so far. I do not recall picking fresh field mushrooms this late in the year, delicious for breakfast even when stored in your cap! Flocks of Redwings and Fieldfares have arrived in Gaydon's environs already. Watery Lane was littered with Sloe and hawthorn berries after profligate and extravagant feasting. The culprits were, to my excitement, a large flock of Waxwings.

Is this early banquet a sign of a mild winter perhaps? Even the odd Wasp and butterfly is still on the wing. The large flock of Goldfinches has once again returned to the village in the sunny afternoons. They sit high in my Walnut Tree taking in the last rays of roseate light. Their vivid colours and rippling song are almost tropical, though like the Siskins that accompany them they are migrants from Northern Europe.

Well, "All the pheasants ever bred Don't account for one man dead" but they may well have caused the loss of Slow worms and small amphibians in recent years around Warwickshire. Badgers may also have had a hand in the decline of hedgehogs and Bumble bees. Then we have Grey squirrels, rats, Magpies and our most intelligent villain the Crow: all seem to thrive despite culling and dislike. We have great views of the countryside from the village now but older villagers will tell you that once, huge numbers of Elm trees were in the way! Bernard Price

December in the Garden

I have to confess to spending less and less time outside in the garden, and more time scheming and plotting what I can do better next year. It always seems a little bizarre, but this is a great time for getting in hedging, fruit trees and roses. Buy them small and bare rooted and they normally establish far quicker than the equivalent in pots bought later in the year.

We're lucky to have ideal soil for many fruit trees and roses. But how to choose which ones will grow best? Anything with Warwickshire in the name, or native to the Midlands is always a good bet. Warwickshire Drooper, for instance, is a good plum. But my personal favourite is Pershore Purple. Many a happy hour has been spent on plum crawls around the garden, and it makes a heady wine as well.

We also have many excellent suppliers roundabout. I tend to use smaller, organic outfits who I find more helpful and ready with advice. Walcot Organics have an excellent range of old English fruit varieties. Make sure you choose a rootstock that works for the size of your garden or you might be engulfed forever in deep shade!

For roses, my cardinal rules are to decide what colour I want, and what size, look for a scented one with a seductive name, and then buy and plant in threes (shrub roses only!). I can never resist roses with old French names - Souvenir de la Malmaison, or unpronounceable Latin ones - Sericea Pteracantha: I just can't help myself. Don't be tempted by the 'one of each colour' special offers. Less is more. A group of three of the same rose will give you far more impact and display than five or six odd ones dotted about. And the memory of a whiff of perfume on a summer evening will keep you going through these long, dark winter nights. Sarah Nield

Lighthorne Heath Primary School

Everyone at Lighthorne Heath Primary School has been very busy since September. We started the term with an exciting visit from 'Zoolab' who brought lots of nocturnal animals for the children to learn about and hold. One class visited Rugby Museum as part of their project on the Romans, whilst the older children went on a thrilling adventure trip to Wales.

Our school is federated with Sydenham Primary School and in October we had a special day where children from both schools worked together, taking part in lots of fun activities all focused on the theme of harvest and thanksgiving.

We would like to say a big thank you to Jaguar Land Rover who have been volunteering at our school over the last two months, transforming our playgrounds and class gardens into beautiful environments for the children to work and play in.

We would also like to thank the MCS group, a local building firm, who have very generously donated their time and money to a renovation project, creating a brand new library and storage area for us.

Juliette Westwood (Executive Headteacher) and Michelle Cragg (Associate Headteacher)

Village Carol Singing

Monday 19th December at 7pm. Meet at St. Mark's Close for some singing around the village, returning to the village hall at 7.30pm for more singing and refreshments. Please join us for as much of the evening as you feel able. If you know of anyone who would particularly appreciate a visit from the carol singers please let Jo or Alastair know on 642248.

Mobile Library

The mobile library will be in Gaydon on Thursday 15 December: Telephone Box at 1.50-2.10pm; St Marks Close 2.15-2.35pm.

Messy Church

The next session of Messy Church for the Dassett Magna Group will be about Advent and will be held at Northend Village Hall on Sunday 4 December at 3.30pm. Messy Church is an informal event with lots of things to make and do, followed by a short period of worship and a simple tea. The last one at Farnborough was well-attended and enjoyed by everyone. Lesley Bosman

St Giles' Gift Day

an opportunity for loving and giving
Saturday 3rd December 2-4pm
Gaydon Village Hall

    Do you appreciate the church in the centre of the village?
    Do you enjoy getting together with others in the community for a
      chat over refreshments?
    Have you or any of your family been christened or married in our
      village church?
    Do you want your family to be able to use the church for christenings,
      weddings and funerals in the future?
    Are you new to the village and looking for an opportunity to
      meet people?

  If you have answered yes to any of the above, please do come and
                support our gift day!
 The aim of the day is to get together, spend time socialising, and have
some fun whilst raising all-important funds to keep our church operational.

What will be on offer?
            A variety of activities including:
      Father Christmas who will be visiting to meet children of any age!
       Refreshments: tea, coffee, mulled wine, mince pies and cakes;
                               Hamper Raffle;  Tombola;  Games!

How can you help?
     If you can donate cakes or mince pies, please bring them to the
                   village hall during the morning.
     If you are able to donate a gift for the tombola, please contact
                     Jane Goldsmith on 642571
                              or bring it to the village hall during the morning.
     If you are able to donate a prize for use either in the raffle, or as a
      prize for a game, please contact Jo Hotchkiss on 01926 642248.

Please come along and take part in the event!
If you are able to make a financial donation towards costs of keeping the church open and enhancing further what it can offer the village, please come along and
'gift' your donation using one of the envelopes on the Christmas tree.