Gaydon Parish Magazine February 2012

index of magazines

This Month's Diary

Coffee Morning     Sat 18th 11am      Old Bakehouse
Friendship Club    Tues 21st 2.30pm   Corner Cottage
Jubilee Meeting    Fri 24th 7.30pm    Village Hall
Parish Plan        Sat 25th 12pm-6pm  Village Hall
Pilates            Tuesdays 6.30pm    Village Hall
Mobile Library     Thursdays 2nd and 23rd

March diary

Parish Council APM Thurs 1st at 7.30pm Village Hall

Church Services in February

5th    10.30   Holy Communion        Gaydon

12th    9.00   Holy Communion        Gaydon

19th    9.00   Holy Communion BCP    Gaydon
        6.00pm Songs of Praise       Fenny Compton
                   with Communion

22nd    7.30pm Ash Wednesday Service Gaydon

26th   10.30   Prayer and Praise     Gaydon

Neighbourhood Watch

Gaydon Report: we are happy to report another quiet month.

"Nottingham Knockers"

Police and Neighbourhood Watch alerts have been issued lately regarding a rising number of break-ins that seem to follow door to door "bagmen" visiting an area.

Police fear that a group pretending to be reformed convicts-turned-salesmen may be staking out homes to burgle and have warned residents to beware of anyone knocking at their homes trying to sell over-priced household goods.

Detectives say the scam was a well-known trick known by Police as Nottingham Knockers, named after the city where it originated; they work in groups across the country.

In nearly every case they are not involved in any officially recognised offender rehabilitation programme and many do not possess pedlar's certificates, which are issued by police and are necessary for salespeople to be legally allowed to sell door-to-door. Genuine certificates have the Police crest and a description of the person who is issued the document. We recommend that should you receive such a visit you inform the police on the non-emergency number 101.

Warwickshire Police are on Twitter and Facebook:

"Monitoring Services"

A Coventry company is phoning pensioners in Gaydon offering "monitoring services" for emergencies and claiming immediate response to Fire and Police emergencies. All this service is, is an expensive monitored burglar alarm service that requires an installation fee and monthly charges.

We recommend that before agreeing to a trial subscription you contact the Crime Prevention Officer at Stratford Police station for advice.


A big 'Thank You' to everyone for my Christmas gifts and A Happy New Year to you all! From Andrew the Paperboy/man

Flood Report

The holding pond behind the flood defence bund in the village hall garden has four inches of water in it following the recent wet weather. This indicates that the ground is now saturated for the first time since last spring. No cause for alarm as yet but there is no harm in looking out your sandbags. JR

Gaydon Parish Plan

Thank you to everyone who has responded to the Parish Plan Questionnaire and to the volunteers who delivered and collected them. 215 were returned, a 64% response. The completed questionnaires have been delivered to Stratford District Council and will be sent to The Research Solution for independent analysis. There will be a public meeting in the Village Hall on Saturday 25 February 2012, between 12 and 6pm so that you can see the results.

This meeting is a vital stage in the development of the Parish Plan at which the village as a whole can help to define actions based on the findings of the survey. SR

Gaydon Village Store

The Management Committee of the shop is looking for someone to join them. We currently have 4 members and meet approximately every 6 weeks to:

monitor the business;

consider day to day issues;

promote the shop further;

meet the needs of our customers.

If you have ideas to share and would be interested in joining us or would just like to know more, give Sue Roberts a ring on 641270.

Shipston Home Nursing

Exclusive Private Viewing at Compton Verney of Gainsborough's Landscapes (Gallery closed to general public)

Thursday 15th March at 1.30pm for tour starting at 2pm; Tickets £40 for hour-long tour followed by full afternoon tea in the Adam Hall.

See Compton Verney website for more information and for tickets call Di Yeoman 01608 674929

Everything Stops for Tea!

If you are planning a hard day's shopping in Stratford upon Avon, may we suggest a visit to The Fourteas 1940s tea room on Union Street when your work is done? Relax in the old-fashioned atmosphere and refresh yourselves with the tasty teas and pretty cakes and sandwiches. Nostalgia galore - just the place for a brief encounter!

Praying for our Parishes

Throughout the 29 days of February 2012, the 29 churches in Fosse Deanery will be united in prayer. Every day, one of the churches will be praying for its own needs and the needs of its parish. On the same day, churches across the Deanery will be praying for that Parish.

The Dassett Magna churches will be praying on the following days:

Saturday 4 February:

Fenny Compton Village Hall, 10-12 Coffee and Chat; St Peter and St Clare, Fenny Compton 3pm Service of Intercession.

Saturday 11 February:

Chapel of Ease, Northend 10.30am Coffee, Chat and Pray.

Saturday 18 February:

St Botolph, Farnborough 2pm Service of Intercession.

Saturday 25 February:

St Giles, Gaydon: 12.30pm Bring and Share lunch with Service of Intercession and prayer.

A Prayer Diary is available for those who would like to pray throughout the month for other churches as well as their own. It can be downloaded from or please contact Kate Distin (01295 770118 if you'd like to receive a paper copy.

A leaflet, 'Praying for your Parish', is available in church for those who would like to pray at home on our days of prayer.

The month of prayer will end with a Service of Thanksgiving at 7pm on Wednesday 29 February at St PetersChurch, Wellesbourne. Everyone is welcome.

Parish Council News


The Parish Council has alerted Highways to the loose kerbstones by The Malt Shovel. If anyone is aware of any other loose kerbstones can they please contact the Clerk.

Grass-cutting Contracts

We have decided to offer 2 contracts for tender this year; one for the cemetery and one for the remainder of the parish. If you are interested in applying please ask the Clerk for a copy of the contract. Please note that all contractors must have public liability insurance.

Street Lighting

The street light along the Banbury Road which shines all day has been reported to the County Council. We have also requested that the bollard light be replaced although we understand that there is no legal requirement for this light.

Horse Chestnut Tree

Following concerns expressed by residents the Parish Council consulted a local tree surgeon whose recommendation was that the tree should be cut down. Following further discussions with residents the Council has agreed to request an independent report on the condition of the tree. The report will be undertaken by an arborist who has been recommended by the District Council.


Dogs must be kept on leads when in the cemetery.


We are aware that some footpaths have not been reinstated following ploughing and winter sowing. We will be asking landowners to mark these as soon as possible.


The Parish Council has agreed that the precept be increased by 2%.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be the Annual Parish Meeting on Thursday, 1st March at 7.30pm and it will be followed by the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting.

February in the Garden

February seems to be a bit of a housewife month this year. I've been on a couple of (very cold) pruning courses, and now have to set-to tidying up all the fruit trees and bushes I have neglected in my ignorance up until now; whilst at the same time taking hardwood cuttings of the soft fruit bushes to start new ones for lush jostaberry pies and blackcurrant coulis for years to come.

Unfortunately, I have let the chickens run riot. They look so miserable hanging around the gate to their enclosure telling me tales about how hard life is unless they can come out and wreak havoc in the rest of the garden. Being a big softy, I let them out and instantly regret it as they rush off to grub up said cuttings and the remaining veg. I must be firm and ignore their sad pleas. Really, I must.

I intend to cut back all the herbaceous plants, too, and split them where I can if the weather holds out. Having visited the fabulous Trentham Gardens recently, I was very taken with leaving seedheads on everything for winter interest and to get those wonderful pictures of sun shining through frosted skeletal plants. Piet Oudolf and Tom Stuart-Smith seem to have been rather more successful than me this time round - perhaps it's just not cold enough. Look out for snowdrop days in February to catch the first hopeful signs of spring! Hill Close Gardens in Warwick and Chaddesley Court both have dedicated days which promise well. At last we can emerge from hibernation!

Sarah Nield

Upton House and Gardens

Your 'Local Treasure' open all Year Round

Upton House is a 1930s Millionaire's House and re-created Garden; World-famous Art Collection; wonderful Restaurant; and a Calendar of events for all the family.

11-13 February     Sugar and Spice and All things Nice: children's cooking - booking essential
17 February        Kids' Art Club 11.30-3pm only £2 for children
23 February        Herbal workshop 10am-12 noon - booking essential
10 March           Spring Art Focus
6-9 April          Easter Egg Trails with Ricky Rabbit 12-4pm.  Great fun for all the family and only £2 for children

For more events later in the year check the website

Don't just drive by...Drive in!

Coffee Morning

The February Coffee Morning, Bring and Buy and Produce Sale will be held at the Old Bakehouse on Saturday 18th at 11am. Please note the change of venue and later-than-usual date. Proceeds go to the Church Fabric Fund. Everyone welcome!

Mobile Library

The Library will be in Gaydon on Thursdays 2nd and 23rd this month.

Friendship Club

This month we meet on Tuesday 21st at 2.30pm at the home of Mrs Mary Fox, Corner Cottage, Church Lane.

Need Help?

Whoever you are, whatever the problem
Children's Centre, Lighthorne Heath
Opening hours
Second and fourth Wednesday of each month 10.00am - 1.00pm
by appointment only
Please ring for an appointment: 01789 200136
Telephone helpline is available: 0844 855 2322
For opening hours at Stratford bureau please go to:

Lighthorne Heath Primary School

The last half term at Lighthorne Heath was a very exciting one.

Firstly, we have been awarded the Basic Skills Quality Mark which celebrates our achievements and curriculum in Maths and English and recognises the fantastic teaching and learning that is going on throughout the school.

Secondly, staff and pupils have been working hard on their artwork and over the last few terms we took part in a competition run by the National Gallery called 'Take One Picture'. The children have worked with our federated partner school, Sydenham Primary, to create some amazing pieces of art based on the painting called 'The Family of Darius before Alexander', by Paolo Veronese.

The idea of the project is to use the painting as inspiration for a range of learning across the curriculum like art, design, music, dance or drama.  Photos of the final pieces and the learning journey are then submitted to the National Gallery who choose two or three entries from across the country to be displayed in the gallery itself alongside famous masterpieces.

The children were very excited to have the chance to have their own work displayed in such a prestigious gallery and began planning immediately. They had the chance to look carefully at the painting and one class went to see the real thing in the gallery in London. The children then worked together with their teachers and our artist in residence, Ros Ingram, to plan what they wanted to produce based on the painting.

We are thrilled that our work has been shortlisted to the last sixteen schools in the country and we should hear by the end of January if our work will be exhibited.

A happy new year to you all! Juliette Westwood (Executive Headteacher) Michelle Cragg (Associate Headteacher)

Seasonal Recipe: Leek and Potato Soup

2 sliced leeks; 1 peeled, sliced onion; 1 large potato, peeled, chopped

Place ingredients in a large saucepan with a generous knob of butter and sweat gently for 10 minutes.

Add water + stock cube/stock (ham stock is best) to cover, bring to the boil and simmer until all vegetables are very soft. (I do this in the bottom oven of the aga for an hour.)

Whizz to a puree, if liked, or use a potato masher for a rougher texture. Adjust seasoning to taste. Add some milk or more stock/water to thin to desired consistency and heat through. Serve with fresh crusty bread, grated cheese or dash of crème fraîche.

Nature Notes

Winter Chills & High Winds: January 2012

After a prolonged mild spell we have at last been subjected to frosts and high winds. Early in the month it seemed almost like Spring on some mornings: coats and gloves being unworn and some plants unexpectedly coming into flower. Several species in the hedgerows, like Red Campion, Forsythia and Gorse are in full flower whilst Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) is almost out and early Snowdrops and Hellibores are peeping through.

Recent days have seen a distinct change. I no longer hear my neighbour's bees, who have no doubt retreated back to a warm hive after a foray on my winter-flowering Lonicera Bushes. Midges are no longer "dancing" in clouds over damp areas. The bright crisp days with vivid blue skies are much colder but welcome.

A good place to observe bird behaviour is the Village Hall roof which is in full sun for hours. Blackbirds and Collared Doves warm themselves on the roof tiles whilst recent migrants like Pied Wagtails and blackcaps bask amid the mossy crevices. It is strange how asbestos attracts a huge variety of mosses and lichens in spite of its poor environmental reputation.

Talking of Lichens, this is a wonderfull time to see them. Very few have English names other than the spidery Stags horn but the variety of colour is vivid and any piece of dead wood or tree branch reveals a number of species. Ash and Hawthorn trees are popular hosts. I don't have a book on lichens, but one of my students did an excellent assignent on them and I've kept a copy to refer to because it has the added advantage of being a local field-study.

Walking in the Banbury Road cemetery to look at the storm damage and remove split branches, led me to the neglected corner where cuttings are often dumped. I have to say it is unintentionally becoming a great wildlife area! Tree saplings are growing up, rabbits and Voles are burrowing and, to my delight, a huge colony of "Blue Legs" or Field Blewit have colonised the grass cuttings. This is a very large edible (when cooked NOT raw) Mushroom. It is much liked as it is frost-hardy and it is thriving at present. I often used to collect these around Edge Hill and Radway, so the spores must have spread. The top is glossy Brown with a purple stem.

Winds may be disruptive but those with logburners will be able to collect the annual collapse of Dead Elm trees and fallen branches to stave off the chill nights. Bernard Price

Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

There will be a meeting on Friday 24 February to talk about what Gaydon villagers want to do to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee on Saturday 2 June. Please come to the Village Hall at 7.30pm if you have any ideas.

There will be wine and nibbles to get us in the mood!