Gaydon Parish Magazine April 2012

index of magazines

This Month's Diary

Easter Day        Sun 8th 9am          St Giles
Coffee Morning    Sat 14th 11am        Village Hall
Jubilee Meeting   Fri 13th 7.30pm      Village Hall
Jubilee Quiz      Mon 23rd 8.30pm      Malt Shovel
Friendship Club   Tues 24th 2.30pm     No 2 Cottage
Pilates           Tuesdays 6.30pm      Village Hall
Mobile Library    Thursdays 5th and 26th

Church Services in April

Holy Week
Palm Sunday
1st     9.00   Holy Communion BCP   Burton Dassett
       10.30   Holy Communion       Gaydon
        6.00pm Evensong             Farnborough
2nd     7.00pm Evening Prayer       Gaydon
3rd     7.00pm Holy Communion BCP   Farnborough
4th     7.00pm Evening Prayer       Gaydon
Maundy Thursday
5th     7.30pm Passover Communion   Northend
Good Friday
6th    10.30   Children's Service   Gaydon
        6.00pm Reflection and Readings Fenny Compton
7th     7.00pm Easter Vigil         Burton Dassett
Easter Sunday
8th     9.00   Family Communion     Gaydon
                   and Egg Hunt

15th    9.00   Holy Communion BCP   Gaydon
       10.30   Family Service       Fenny Compton

22nd    9.00   Holy Communion BCP   Fenny Compton
       10.30   Morning Prayer       Northend
       10.30   Prayer and Praise    Gaydon
29th   10.30   Group Service        Burton Dassett

Parish Council News

Banbury Road pipe

At our Annual Parish Meeting on 1st March County Councillor Chris Williams confirmed that this would be starting shortly.  We understand that legal agreements have been sent to landowners and as soon as these have been signed work will commence.  There will, of course, be some disruption to the traffic flow but not for long. 

Warwick Road/M40 junction

County Councillor Williams also informed the meeting that it is likely that work will take place to improve the M40 junction.  At the moment at peak times there is a backlog of traffic trying to exit the motorway which the Highways Agency want to address.  Highways have been notified that transporters are grounding on the Gaydon roundabout so County Councillor Chris Williams says that work on the Warwick Road/roundabout will start sometime this year.  We are hoping that this will result in the camber being altered to help with our flood defence programme.  We have been assured by the Highways Department at the County Council that minor repairs will  be undertaken on the Warwick Road, immediately after the Banbury Road pipe is installed, as the equipment will be on site to help improve drainage.

Windfarm Planning Application at Knightcote

District Councillor Chris Mills told the meeting that this has been received at the District Council.  The Parish Council have not been notified yet (20th March).  If you are interested in this application please keep an eye on the Parish Council noticeboard, as a meeting will need to be called to discuss it, or an eye on the District Council website where it will be recorded and details should be available for residents to view.

Street Lighting

The County Council have said that there will be a consultation on turning street lights off from 12pm til 5am.  This will not affect the street lights that are owned by the Parish only the lights around the roundabout and the new lights (installed at the same time as the roundabout) along the Banbury Road.

Broadband Co-Ordinator

Warwickshire County Council have secured funding for improving broadband in rural areas.  They have asked for a co-ordinator from each parish to report information to them which will enable them to decide which parishes need assistance.  Councillor John Rickman has kindly agreed to do this.

Foot Bridge to Cemetery

Highways have confirmed that they will repair this.

Grass Maintenance Contracts

Mr. Chris Pickering will be continuing to maintain our greens and cemetery in 2012/13.  

Church Clock

The church clock has been serviced and councillors met the engineer to discuss various health and safety issues that have been brought to the Parish Council's attention.  This will be discussed further at our

May meeting.

Chestnut Tree on Village Green

The quotes received for reporting on the condition of the tree were between £350-£450.  The Parish Council agreed that they could not justify this spend.  It was further agreed that councillors would meet a District Council approved tree surgeon to discuss the condition of the tree and whether it would be possible to remove some of the heavier branches instead of removing the whole tree.  These options would then need further discusion at our next meeting.  With the village green being at the centre of the village it is imperative that it remains looking pleasant.

Next Meeting

Thursday, 10th May at 7.30pm (Annual Meeting of the Parish Council).

Seasonal Recipe

Hot Cross Buns from 1950s Be-Ro Home Recipes
1lb Be-Ro self-raising flour
3oz raisins
2oz mixed peel
1 egg beaten (save 1tsp for glazing)
2oz lard or butter
3oz sugar
1tsp mixed spice        pinch salt
1/2 pt water
Mix flour, salt, and spice in a basin.  Rub in lard, then stir in sugar, raisins and peel.  Pour in the water and beaten egg and mix to a soft dough.  Divide into 12 and form into buns, rolling them out a little.  Place on a greased baking sheet and make deep right-angled cuts on each to make the cross.  Brush the tops with the remaining beaten egg.  Bake in a hot oven 220°C for about 15 minutes.
These buns are more like cakes as they have no yeast in them.
Ideal for children to make on Good Friday for a quick treat!

Gaydon Village Store

New in store for you to try is a small range of Fowler's Cheese:

Mature Cheddar, Warwickshire Truckle and Smoked Cheddar. This cheese is made in Earlswood, near to Solihull.

Don't forget too that we have Ridgway Farmhouse Ice Cream made by Geoff and Jane Ridgway at their farm near Tysoe. Why not 'test run' Minter's Biscuits, a recent addition to our range. We look forward to seeing you in the shop and thank you for your continued support. Finally, we still really need volunteers - if you can help just let

someone in the shop know. Sue Roberts

Upton House and Gardens

This is a special 'Year of Art' at Upton House with visits from famous artists. There is a gift shop and a plant centre and a new French chef at the restaurant. Entry for Adult £9.95; Child £5; Family £26. Further details on and 01295 670266.

Jubilee Meeting

There will be another meeting on Friday, 13 April, at 7.30pm in the Village Hall to continue planning for the Jubilee celebrations. Please come along for wine and nibbles if you are interested in helping.

Superfast Broadband

The Government is making available £530m towards improving broadband speeds for UK properties. Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire's share of this is £4.07m. The money will be invested where there has been shown to be a demand. For Gaydon to benefit from this we must show that our broadband speed is slow, and thatwe care!

The minimum target for households is 2000 kilobits per second. The speed to my house averages just over half of that, which among other things, is not enough for the BBC iPlayer HD TV.

You can help Gaydon to get faster broadband by completing the Warwickshire County Council survey at:

This asks some questions about your broadband usage and measures the speed to your computer.

WCC are running meetings about the programme. Dates and times are on the notice board and on the Parish Council section of the village website: JR

Church of St Giles, Gaydon with Chadshunt

The Annual Parochial Council Meeting is to be held on Wednesday, 25 April, at 7.30pm in the church.

April in the Garden

I love this time of year, with everything starting up again and the garden filling up with green shoots and energy. It's time to sow seeds. I've just been on a bit of a Berlin Wall type exchange with my mum, also known as 'The Real Gardener' and have come back with some wonderful treats, including the best flavoured cherry tomato in the whole wide world - Sakura. We both nearly had a heart attack when we realised there were only 8 seeds in a £3 packet but believe me, they are worth it and will grow well outdoors. There really is nothing nicer than wandering round the garden later in the year, helping yourself to a sun-warmed treat. In the greenhouse, I grow either Super Marmande or Brandywine tomatoes, which I discovered after watching the film '84 Charing Cross Road.' Again, the flavour is excellent and they are not difficult to grow provided they are well-fed. I change the soil in the greenhouse every couple of years to try and keep disease down. I have no success with growbags, they need too much watering and I think are too shallow to be really successful without a lot of hard work.

Another triumph this year has been getting 4 packets of seed from Lidl for £2. And not just any seed, interesting things like Charentais melons, aubergines and kohl rabi which I've not tried before. The kohl rabi is already up and coming along nicely so I have high hopes for the rest. The only downside is that I can never just plant the seed that I need, so I end up with 10 cucumber plants, 30 tomatoes and so on. Anyone fancy some *swapsies? I'm also not as good as I should be at throwing out old seed. I've just discovered Okra labelled best before 2006. Who am I kidding? If I didn't have the nerve to try it then, am I really going to do it now? I need one of those counsellors who comes and helps you to declutter. Only for me, it's the seed box...

*Swapsies: Plant Sale

If you have just read Sarah's article you may be interested to know that the monthly coffee morning and produce sale miraculously transforms into a bring and buy plant sale in May and June. The first will be held on Saturday 12 May at 11am in the Village Hall.

Neighbourhood Watch

Another quiet month in Gaydon except for a report of the theft of marker poles from the Allotments and damage to a way-marker. If anyone has information on this, please email in confidence to

You can register for a monthly Police Safer Neighbourhood Newsletter updates and alerts by contacting the above email address.

Coffee Morning

The Coffee Morning, Bring and Buy and Produce Sale will be held in the Village Hall on Saturday 14th at 11am. Proceeds go to the Church Fabric Fund. Everyone welcome!

Mobile Library

The Library will be in Gaydon on Thursdays 5th and 26th.

Friendship Club

This month we meet on Tuesday 24th at 2.30pm at Number 2 Cottage, Gaydon Hill Farm.

Jubilee Quiz

Come To The Great Gaydon St George's Day Jubilee Quiz at the Malt Shovel on Monday 23 April at 8.30pm (so people can eat beforehand). Teams of four, £2.00 per person.

The quiz will help raise money for the Jubilee Street Party on 2nd June and the questions will be from each decade of the Queen's reign.

So come along and have fun! Please book your place at the Malt Shovel by telephoning 641221. 

Volunteering with the Heritage Motor Centre at the New Museum Collections Centre

We are looking for people who can give some spare time to help with this project and there's work to do straight away whilst we plan the new building, for example, collecting data about the cars in store. There will also be an opportunity to become a volunteer tour guide and look after the collection once the building is open.

If you have an interest in motor cars, the motor industry or just want a project for your spare time, we'd love to hear from you. No previous experience needed!

Check the role profiles download or fill in an online application form at or request one by post. Contact us at or ring for an informal chat on 645027 with Sonja Dosanjh, Volunteer Co-Ordinator at the Heritage Motor Centre.

Lighthorne Heath Primary School

This month we have been pleased to welcome artist and sculptor, Dan Hilton to Lighthorne Heath. He has been working with the school council to design a shelter for parents, carers, visitors and children to wait in before and after school. The children decided they would like it to have a wildlife theme and were thrilled to be working with a real artist. After finalising the overall design, Dan has worked with each class on making sketches of animals and plant life. The children's drawings will become part of the sculpture and some of the children will also try their hands at carving.

On March 1st we celebrated World Book Day. The children (and the teachers!) dressed up as book characters, took part in a range of workshops about books and read to their parents in our share-a-book session at the end of the day.

Finally, this week the whole school took part in a joint project with our federated school, Sydenham Primary. Children visited each others' schools to work with their peers on activities based on the theme of 'Freedom'. Younger age groups thought about animal freedom and their own freedom, whilst the older children considered slavery and human rights. Everyone really enjoyed having the chance to make new friends and learn in different ways. Juliette Westwood (Exec. Headteacher) and Michelle Cragg (Assoc. Headteacher)

Sunrise and Sunset at Slimming World

Slimming World, Kineton, is fast approaching its 1st year's anniversary of opening on April 12th.

From Thursday, 19 April, Kineton Slimming World is to change from Tuesday evenings to Thursday mornings at 9.30am in the same venue, the Methodist Church Hall.

The aim is that by offering an alternative 'daytime' group, Slimming World will become accessible to people for whom evening groups are simply not an option.

Bishops Itchington's Slimming World continues to take place at 7pm on Wednesday evenings and as a member of Slimming World, your card gains you access to any group you find convenient.

Indeed, members often swap between visiting Bishops or Kineton, depending on their personal circumstances.

Join now and save £5 on your membership fee up until 26th May 2012.

See you in the morning or perhaps later on! Lorna Bowden (Consultant) 01926 641214 / 07803 161146

Nature Notes

'The Hare: a creature of fascination'

Thirty years ago my father wrote these words in his local newspaper in rural Ireland. Then, most people were lucky enough to see the spectacle of "Boxing Hares" in their local fields in mid-March.

It was a frequent sight around Gaydon, too; I often saw them on in the pastures along Banbury and Kineton Roads. In fact, I helped to "long net" Hares on the Army Camp for reintroduction to other areas. We often caught as many as 50.

"Graveyard " Wood, now within the confines of the Army Camp, was a favoured spot and you could often find the moulded "forms" in the ground where they had been lying. Hares were quite vulnerable to traffic too so a Roadkill and "jugged" hare sometimes came my way. It's a large animal so the saying "He who shoots a Hare carries a Hare" is quite apt.

Few people will shoot or eat them these days. They will, however, still be victims to illegal poachers who use lurchers, lamps and nets. Sadly they are a rare thing to encounter now and always a thrill to observe close up: you sense and watch their huge all-round-vision orbs of eyes and hear the thundering footfall. They still have no close season or protection - perhaps they should.

Such an encounter came my way today as I ventured out in the cold misty dawn in the quest for an early antique market. I had barely scraped the ice from my windscreen when I spotted four Hares on the road ahead past Chadshunt and only the blast of my horn dispersed them. So a few still hang on, keeping a low profile in rough field corners and copses. They do not burrow and have more ancient antecedents than Rabbits in our countryside.

Snowdrops are gone now and replaced by ranks of daffodils, not of course a native flower to Warwickshire but planted by some far-sighted person for our delectation! Violets are out in some hedgerows and Blackthorn blossom is just starting, always a delight to see. Bernard Price

Air Ambulance

Please may I bring to your attention a petition to encourage the Government to exempt Air Ambulance services from VAT on the fuel they use, in the same way as the Lifeboats (RNLI) are exempt. If we get 100,000 signatures, Parliament is duty bound to debate the issue - currently there are over 25,000 signatures.

Thank you for your support for this magnificent volunteer-funded service: graham osborne