Gaydon Parish Magazine January 2012

index of magazines

This Month's Diary

Parish Council     Thurs 5th 7.30pm     Village Hall
Village Hall C'tee Mon 9th 7.30pm       Village Hall
Pilates            Tuesdays 6.30pm      Village Hall
Mobile Library     Thurs 12th

A Message from the Editor

As usual at this time of year, I would like to thank my many helpers in the production of the magazine: those who deliver door-to-door; the collators and staplers; the editorial team; the technician and the contributors. The support of the Parish Council and the businesses who advertise is much appreciated, as is that of our readers, not only those in Gaydon and Chadshunt but in the world beyond. A Happy New Year to all!

Church Services in January

1st      10.30   Group Communion    Northend

8th       9.00   Communion Service  Gaydon

15th      9.00   Holy Communion BCP Gaydon
          6.00pm Songs of Praise    Gaydon

22nd     10.30   Prayer and Praise  Gaydon

29th     10.30   Group Communion: Fenny Compton

5th      10.30   Communion Service  Gaydon

Gaydon Voices Seasonal Entertainment

Everyone who attended or took part in the Gaydon Voices' evening in December had a very good time and raised £340 for church funds. Again, thanks to all who supported the event.

Economical Tea Bread

We'll all have to tighten our belts in the New Year's austerity régime so here's a tasty way to do so!

Place in a mixing bowl 2 Weetabix                                                   4oz brown sugar
4 oz mixed dried fruit
½ pt milk
and soak for 10 mins.
Add 1 beaten egg and 6oz self-raising flour.  Mix well and pour into a 1lb loaf tin.  Bake for 1hr at Gas 4 or 180°C.

2012 in Gaydon

An exciting year lies ahead for everyone in Gaydon! Don't forget that it's a Leap Year, ladies: select that lucky fellow and make him the happiest man on earth by proposing marriage to him on Wednesday 29 February. Then we have the Queen's Diamond Jubilee coming up at the start of June. There's bound to be a Street Party and probably a Fête as well if enough enthusiasts can be got together. And that's not to mention the Olympic Games of Gaydon...

Children's Society

I will collect your boxes in mid-January; or if you prefer, you can bring them to me at 4 St Giles Road. If you do not already hold a box but would like to in the future, call Jane on 642571.

Parish Plan

Any remaining Parish Plan questionnaires can still be handed in until 4th January. If you have any problems, ring John Rickman on 640349 for help.

Christmas Lunch

It has become quite a tradition in Gaydon for some of the younger members of the community to entertain the 'over-60s' to a Christmas Lunch. This custom was continued in 2011 with a splendid meal in the Village Hall on Sunday 4 December. I know that this meant a lot of hard work for the organisers and volunteers but I can assure all those involved that the lunch was very much appreciated. Over forty of us attended and it was a most enjoyable occasion. We thank all the cooks and helpers very much indeed. RD

Mobile Library

The mobile library will be in Gaydon on Thursday 12th January. Telephone Box: 1.50-2.10pm; St Marks Close: 2.15-2.35pm.

Coffee Morning

Please note that there is no coffee morning and produce market in the village hall in January. In February, it will be held on Saturday 18th, a week later than normal.

Disappearing Villagers Alert!

A mysterious phenomenon has hit the local communities surrounding Gaydon with reports of villagers seemingly disappearing before their family and friends' very eyes! According to earliest records, these bizarre circumstances began in April and have shown no signs of stopping. Alien abductions have been ruled out due to the impenetrable airspace surrounding DMC Kineton. An altogether more plausible explanation has been offered here in this following report by Lorna Bowden, Slimming World Consultant for the Kineton and Bishops Itchington Groups:

Since launching my Slimming World Group, Tuesday evenings at 7pm in the Kineton Methodist Church Hall in April, my members have lost a collective amount of weight of 112 stone! That is an average of 5 stone per week which is a mind-blowing 20 stone per month overall so it is no wonder there are a lot less of the villagers to see now! I can vouch for the fact that each week my dedicated members turn up to weigh, have a cuppa, a chat with friends and settle down to enjoy a fun-packed, inspiring evening of motivational weight loss support amongst other like-minded individuals. It is not so much that they are disappearing, as changing shape, losing unwanted weight burdens and enjoying themselves whilst achieving it!

The cases of villagers thinning out spread like wildfire when I also opened my Bishops Itchington Group on Wednesday evenings at 7pm in the Community Centre.

Slimming World's Food Optimising plans are so accessible, simple and flexible as they follow the premise of weight loss without hunger and healthy eating with no foods banned! My members still enjoy chocolate, their favourite tipple, fry-ups, huge roast dinners, even curry or fish and chips! And, at this chilly time of the year, heart-warming, delicious soups and casseroles are particular winners!

So, in conclusion, as long as villagers from the surrounding areas continue to join and attend Slimming World in Kineton or Bishops Itchington, we will see this trend of vanishing, slimmer, healthier and happier locals continue.

A fantastic offer of FREE membership (a saving of £10) plus 2 weeks FREE is available when new members buy a 12-week Countdown between 1st January - 28th January 2012.

You have nothing to fear other than to disappear!

Contact Lorna Bowden on 641214 or 07803 161146.

Nature Notes for December

The first hard frosts around Gaydon: frozen puddles and birds gathering around newly-replenished feeders in my Garden. One unusual bird, a Dunnock or Hedge sparrow, has white feathers around its beak. I also have a Blackbird who visits to steal from my dogs' bowls, with white wing feathers. Both these individuals must be at least two years old now but this partial albinism does not seem to be a disadvantage, although all-white true albinos with pink eyes are rare and considered unlucky by old countrymen. There is still a fine of a bottle of Port if a White pheasant is shot on a formal shoot to this day.

I rescued a Hedgehog by the church this week, trapped in a drain cover. After a hearty meal of cat food it is now curled up in my hay bales for hibernation, I hope. Other mammals observed this month are Stoats crossing the Kineton Road, skipping with lightning speed; and several Muntjak Deer grazing on the verges after dusk.

The days are very short now and as a consequence many species need to hunt right up to sunset. Kestrels in particular "Stand" hovering in the sky and Buzzards walk clumsily amongst the Gulls to pull worms from newly-seeded fields.

Few plants flower now but Ivy blossom is the exception, being a great source of nectar for winter Moth species.

Without the leaf cover, this is a good time to observe species of birds on migration: Redwings and Fieldfares arriving here in large flocks. Woodcock are sometimes flushed in copses having arrived from Siberia; and Golden Plovers settle on local fields in small flocks that fly in complete symmetry.

Remarkably, both these species are Game in season and have no protection although they are beneficial species and have little nutritional value these days, outside my ancient copy of Mrs Beeton's Cookery.

A Happy New Year to all! Bernard Price

January in the Garden

There are some bits of the garden that just never seem to work. I suspect this is down to the lack of a proper plan. The planned bits - where seasons, colours, height and fragrance were all carefully thought out and I was firm with myself and wouldn't be side-tracked by pretty plants in flower at the nursery - generally work well. It's those unfortunate impulse buys or kind gifts that need a home that throw things out. Having said that, a garden should always be a personal history with plenty of meaning to the owner. So, for my (very embarrassed) children, I have Rosa 'Francesca' and Rosa 'Robert Le Diable'. Even Herb Robert is allowed to flourish between the flags, I'm such a softy. But trying to fit them into the planting scheme has not been 100% successful and January will have to be a time of shuffling.

So this time, I shall do it properly. Pace it all out, get a couple of big sheets of paper and do two planting plans. One of what I have and where it is now, and the other with the plants shuffled into happier combinations. January is going to be busy. Especially as birthdays and Christmas may mean a few small indulgences also have to be accommodated...

Seasonal recipe

Hot Spiced Cider
litre/35fl oz cider
4 tbsp honey
1 orange, finely sliced
1 apple, finely sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
small handful of whole cloves
2 tsp ground allspice
generous splash of Somerset Cider Brandy


Put all ingredients into a saucepan, heat gently and stir occasionally for around 15 mins.

Do not boil. Strain into heatproof cups (leaving the flavourings in if you want) and enjoy.

Note: if you don't drink, use good quality pressed apple juice - Bramley is best - and ignore the brandy. Adjust the honey to taste as you may need less. Sarah Nield

Gaydon Village Store wishes all its customers a Happy New Year!

We now have locally made Ice Cream made by Jane and Geoff Ridgway from Downs Farm, Epwell, near to Tysoe. They use milk from their own cattle herd to make their delicious icecreams.

We shall also be able to stock small amounts of Fowlers cheese and if you particularly like this cheese, made locally in Earlswood, then please place your orders in the shop.

Underneath the spreading chestnut tree...

Residents of Gaydon, particularly the older and longer-standing ones, will be very sorry to learn that the large horse-chestnut tree on the village green has to be cut down. It is quite old now and has been deemed unsafe by the tree experts.

It was planted in 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It has been climbed by generations of Gaydon's children who will have gathered its conkers eagerly; and with its close proximity to the school gate, it will have witnessed many an earnest conker fight.

It is now appropriate for the people of Gaydon to mark the Diamond Jubilee of our own Queen Elizabeth in 2012.

Should it be another horse chestnut? If you have any suggestions, please contact any member of the Parish Council.

The disposal of logs will be decided at a later date.

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal 2011

This year the Gaydon collection has raised more than £1500 which is a record. Grateful thanks to all who donated in the 90th year of the Appeal and to all volunteers who worked so hard. It is due to their dedication that such a result is possible. JG

St Giles' Gift Day

A fun time was had by all who attended our gift day which raised £1600 towards the upkeep of our church. It takes approximately £98 per week to maintain our church and keep it open and available for weddings, baptisms, and funerals, as well as for our regular services. 'Thank you' to everyone who supported this event.

If you were unable to attend and still would like to make a financial gift towards keeping our church open for the future, please collect a gift aid envelope from church and return it to either of the church wardens or the treasurer.


Jo Hotchkiss: Almeley Chase, Kineton Road; Martyn Hamm: Oak Beams, Church Lane.

Treasurer: Andy Corner: The Old Cottage, Church Road.

Envelopes are also available and can be handed in at any of our services. We would love to see you at any of our services - see details above.

Parish Council

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Thursday 5 January at 7.30pm in the Parish Office. Members of the public are invited to attend.

Village Hall News

The next meeting of the Village Hall Committee will be on Monday 9 January at 7.30pm.

Village Archive

The WI Book of the village is now kept in the Parish Office and can be viewed on application to a member of the Village Hall Committee. Similarly, if villagers have archive material that they would like to donate to the village, please contact one of the committee members.


A new swing for toddlers was installed in the playground for Christmas.