Gaydon Parish Magazine February 2017

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This Month's Diary

Parish Council Meeting Tues 7th 7.45pm Village Hall Coffee Morning Sat 18th 11am Village Hall Library Monday 20th Telephone Box Pilates Tuesdays 6.15pm Village Hall GAYDON CALENDAR PROPOSED DATES BIG LUNCH SAT 15 JULY VILLAGE HALL CHRISTMAS FAIR SAT 25 NOVEMBER VILLAGE HALL CHRISTMAS LUNCH SUN 3 DECEMBER VILLAGE HALL

Church Services in February

Sunday 5th 9.00 Holy Communion BCP Northend 10.30 Morning Prayer Fenny Compton 10.30 Holy Communion Gaydon 6.00pm Evensong Farnborough Sunday 12th 9.00 Holy Communion BCP Farnborough 10.30 United Service at Methodist Chapel Fenny Compton 10.30 Morning Prayer Gaydon 10.30 Communion by Ext'n Northend 6.00pm Evening Prayer Northend Sunday 19th 9.00 Holy Communion Farnborough 9.00 Holy Communion BCP Gaydon 10.30 Family Service Fenny Compton 10.30 Holy Communion Northend Sunday 26th 9.00 Holy Communion BCP Fenny Compton 9.00 Morning Prayer Northend 10.30 Holy Communion Farnborough 10.30 Prayer & Praise Gaydon

Parish Council News

Gritting Routes: The Kineton Road and the Banbury Road will be gritted as they have been for many years. The 'stopped-up' Warwick Road will no longer be gritted as the link road is now seen as the route through the village and this will be gritted. Residents on the 'stopped-up' Warwick Road did ask County Cllr Chris Williams for a grit bin but he considers it unnecessary since the road is no longer a through route.

Milestone: Residents who have spent many years in Gaydon will recall the saga around the 'missing milestone'. Cllr Mirrin Lewis and the Clerk will be looking into this again as we have been told that the lease has expired and so the milestone should be returned to Gaydon. The County Council gave permission for it to be removed, without the consent of the Parish Council we understand, over 25 years ago. We will keep you updated with our progress. This has been brought to our attention by a resident eager to protect our heritage.

Road Safety: Councillors will be meeting with County Highways to discuss the road safety report produced by Cllr Mirrin Lewis and Cliff Rendell. A copy of the report is on the new website so please look at it and let us have your views. Thanks again to Cllr Lewis and Mr Rendell for their hard work. It was hoped that the Police Road Safety Officer for the County would be able to attend this meeting but our County Cllr Chris Williams will not support this; we hope we can get his views outside of the meeting.

Budget: County Cllr Chris Williams confirmed at our meeting that the draft budget being proposed by the County Council includes his usual annual £30,000 delegated road safety budget and his £5,000 community grant. The shop has benefited in the past from receiving some of the £5,000 but, sadly, we have never been fortunate enough to receive any of the £30,000. Let's hope our luck changes in 2017/18!

Banbury Road layby: As you know, this layby is owned by the County Council. County Cllr Chris Williams has been made aware of this and we are hoping for his support in controlling the anti-social behaviour issues. Cllr Morisot has proposed reducing vegetation so that people there will be more visible. We understand that this is supported by the Police and our District Cllr Chris Kettle; we have asked the County Council to find a solution to this serious health issue which needs immediate attention.

Gully-clearing: The clearing of the Pimple Lane gullies is a County Highways responsibility. We are told that they regularly check all gullies but if you do see one blocked please report it via their website.

Link Road Safety Audit: We understand that road markings will be sorted out within the next 12 months; a replacement gate on the 'stopped up' Warwick Road is to be provided; the waste in the ditch on the Banbury Road will be cleared. There is no date for the redesigning of the farm entrance on the link road or the implementation of the recommendation in the safety audit which took place last August. Getting things done more quickly by the County Council is something that we are trying to achieve.

Lighting: Residents and councillors have met lighting engineers about the glare from the Starlight Express (new dual carriageway). A new shield has been fitted to one light and it is good - glare is significantly reduced. The problem now is funding and we are waiting to hear if County Highways will fund shields for all of the lights; or if our County Cllr will, out of his £30,000 delegated budget if it counts as road safety. Lighting on this road was strongly objected to by the previous Parish Council when the application was received. Ex-councillor Annette Conway spoke against it on behalf of the Parish Council at a County Meeting but we were not supported.

The ownership of the Banbury Road ditch is apparently still being negotiated between the County Council solicitors and Spitfire Properties solicitors, so no letter has been forthcoming. Chris Williams can provide no more information since it is still with the County legal team but the Clerk will try to find out via Spitfire and report.

Compulsory purchase of land by the County Council for a bypass, instead of upgrading the B4100 through Lighthorne Heath, has been brought to the attention of Cllrs Williams and Kettle.

Orbit Housing: If any resident has issues with maintenance tasks in respect of Orbit Housing properties, please contact District Cllr Kettle who will be pleased to help you.

Liaison Meeting: Cllrs Brine and Claxton attended a Liaison Meeting recently, along with local council representatives, WCC, the Motor Museum and JLR. JLR said that archeological surveys had unearthed a Roman settlement just north of Gaydon where their environmental area is to be. Works are on track and are to use remodelled designs that will reduce water-flow both to Gaydon and along the Kineton Road towards Chadshunt. Works should take 4 to 5 months. All present were consulted on routes onto the site that minimise impact. Routes through the boundary hedge and along the old Warwick Rd were not preferred. GPC's concerns about lighting pollution seem to factor in car parking plans that will be officially submitted. They acknowledge that the impact of light pollution is already large. At our next meeting we look forward to seeing what they plan to do.

Next meeting: Tuesday 7 February. All residents welcome to attend.

Nature Notes for January 2017

The recent cold snap brought a flock of Waxwings to the village, stripping the Mountain Ash berries. If you have spotted them, they resemble rather exotic starlings with crests and wing tips in yellow and red patterning. They seem to have moved on now because milder temperatures will draw them north towards their natural home in the forests of Scandinavia.

l often check the visitors to my bird feeders. I recently added some NIger seed which has attracted large flocks of Goldfinches that settle in my large Walnut tree. lt is probably the bleakest time of year: even Snowdrops delay until next month. Only Muntjac deer are easier to spot, feeding on the edges of woodland.

The Rooks are scouting out their nests from the previous season, Buzzards skulk in the lower branches and Kestrels hover above the fields well into dusk. There are few insects around - though you may spot the odd fragile geometric Winter moth in your headlights: the female is wingless and is the reason for the old practice of placing 'sticky bands' around fruit trees; though the odd one or two were still carried over during mating. The early Thorn moth which has superb red wing margins may come to your sight too.

My birding friend in Serbia tells me the Danube is frozen and many migratory duck have had to be rescued. We have been spared deep snow and freezing temperatures up till now. I have just spotted a male Bullfinch on my feeders, as I sit writing this at my large French windows overlooking the feeding area.

The mud is building up on the footpaths, so I am glad to see some areas of shredded bark have been spread at the gateway off Church walk. One day they will invent a rubber sole for wellingtons that does not pick up and has a decent grip - till then, care needed on those field walks! Bernard Price

February Fill-dyke

As there is plenty of mud about it seems appropriate to remind readers of a nice muddy walk that we publish from time to time. See if you can follow the instructions on page 5: but heed Bernard's warning! Ed.

The Old Allotment Walk

(page 5)

Start in Church Lane at the back of the church with the churchyard wall on your right. Now walk Westward to the end of Church Lane and enter the snickett.

Keep going for about a hundred yards until you come out at a grassy patch at the end of St Marks Close. Negotiate the footpath alongside a garden fence and climb over the stile at the end.

You are now in a field. The path goes off to the left and heads due South across the grass to a stile in a hedge. Climb the stile and the path ahead should be marked out in yellow against the green corn (though mostly mud this month). Walk over the cornfield to a gap in the hedge beside a stile. The farm track to your right leads to Tollgate Cottage on the Kineton Road. Cross over the farm track to another cornfield.

Again, the path is marked in yellow against the green corn in spring. Follow the path for about 200 yards. On this leg of the walk do take time to stop and look around. There are clear views of Edge Hill to the South and you can get a good impression of the village of Gaydon nestling in its hollow. You may be lucky enough to see skylarks here.

The path now turns right and heads for a stile in the hedge that separates the field from the Kineton Road. The clue to this mysterious turn is in the name of the field you have just crossed. It is known as the "Allotment Field" because the village allotments used to be here. The path was used by villagers walking out to tend their plots.

The ditch shown on the Explorer OS map 206, like the old allotments, now exits only in the country of the past.

To return to Gaydon, either walk back along the road or retrace your steps and walk the path in reverse.


The Parish Council would like to thank Ellis Machinery for the hamper they kindly sent in December. It was passed to the Carol Singers this year.

Mobile Library

The Library will visit the Telephone Box at Gaydon from 1.35-2.05pm on Monday 20th February.

Coffee Morning

Coffee mornings in the Village Hall will resume in February on Saturday 18th. Please note the later date for this month only; the time is as usual, 11am. There will be books, bring-and-buy and raffle.

Do come along and meet up with other villagers. Proceeds go to the upkeep of the Parish Church.

Burton Dassett Restoration Committee

A Coffee Morning will be held at Kimbles, Bottom Street, Northend on Friday 17 February in aid of the upkeep of All Saints' Church up on the Burton Dassett Hills. Coffee and cakes will be served from 10.30am till 12 noon.

Doctors' Surgeries

Little Thatch and Hastings House surgeries will be opening their doors from 8am through till 6.30pm with no lunchtime closure. Hastings House at Wellesbourne has extended its opening hours until 8pm on Mondays. Phone Little Thatch, Kineton, on 640491 and the Wellesbourne surgery on 01789 840245. Surgeries are still closed at weekends and bank holidays but in cases of serious illness you can ring either of the above numbers to receive the treatment you require.


We are sorry that some people were disappointed over the failure to put on a Burns' Night supper in the village hall last month. Although quite a few were interested in supporting it, numbers were not sufficient to make the event viable. It has been suggested that a date for 2018 should be decided on early this year and that interest could be registered well in advance so that 40 or 50 would-be revellers could be assured. There has already been an offer of help to run a group of cooks and entertainers who would produce a really fun village evening: our own Gaydon Burns' Night for all true Scots and Sassenachs. We also need Scottish dancers, bagpipe players and poets!

Please look out for further news on up-coming dates

e.g. Big Coffee Morning and Big Lunch - ideas welcome.

Gaydon Village Store

Our Friends of Gaydon Village Store scheme has started for the new year. Fliers and forms have come through your letter boxes and are also available in the shop. Please support the village shop!

The Road Sign Collector

An article appeared in 1992 in The Independent about an interview with Graham Stanton. He was - or may still be - a collector of old road-signs. Amongst the anecdotes was the following:

'It is another strange story: in 1986 Mr Stanton was given official permission to remove an old milepost from Gaydon, Warwickshire. But a resident saw him taking it, jumped to the wrong conclusion and telephoned the police, who arrived too late to catch their man.

'Three years passed. Then one day, Mr Stanton appeared on children's television talking about his signs and was spotted by the same resident - who again called the law. Mr Stanton was arrested at home, taken to Bromsgrove police station and locked up for two hours until the constabulary discovered he had been entitled to take the milepost, at which point they let him go.'

That resident was the then Parish Clerk, Austen Hill. It transpired that Graham Stanton had been given permission by the Council to remove the milestone; but that Gaydon Parish Council had not been asked whether they wished to keep it in its position along the Kineton Road.

It was near Chadshunt and showed the distance from Kineton to Southam. Efforts to get Graham Stanton to return the milestone have been fruitless but there are some villagers who would like to continue trying to get it back.

Hence the front page picture of a similar milepost that was restored back in 2004. See Parish Council article.

Anniversary 1997 2017

2017 is a special year for Shipston Home Nursing, celebrating its 20th Anniversary. We are your local Charity, nursing the terminally ill within their own homes since 1997. We would like to thank everyone who has been involved and all who have supported this wonderful Charity over the last twenty years. We look forward to seeing you all at fundraising events throughout our Anniversary year.

visit for further details. Registered Charity No. 1061405.

Seasonal Recipe for Shrove Tuesday

This year Pancake Day falls on Tuesday 28 February and here is a simple supper idea to celebrate the day.
Ingredients for the pancakes
4oz plain flour                       2 free-range eggs from the Village Store
1/2 pint milk                         tsp olive oil
For the fillings
4oz cheddar or gruyere cheese, grated     4 slices ham;
2 lemons                                  caster sugar
Beat the flour, eggs, milk and oil in a bowl to make a smooth mixture.
Fry 4 pancakes and lay a slice of ham on each.  Roll them up, lay them on the grill pan and cover with the grated cheese.  Grill until the cheese is nicely melted and slightly browned.
Meanwhile, make another 4 pancakes and keep them warm while you eat the hamcakes.  When you are ready for dessert, sprinkle the remaining pancakes with lemon and sugar and serve in the traditional way.  They are also very tasty covered in maple syrup and topped with whipped cream.

Tackling the Menace of Rogue Traders

Worried about rogue traders? Not sure where to go to find a fully vetted Trading Standards approved trader? Warwickshire Trading Standards can help!

A New Trading Standards Approved Trader Scheme Partnership has been Launched. Warwickshire Trading Standards has entered in to a new partnership with 'No Rogue Traders Here', an approved trader scheme with a difference, putting consumers in touch with traders who have been fully vetted.

All traders are:

Approved by Trading Standards; Bankruptcy and identity checked; Home and business addresses verified;

Licences and insurance verified; Monitored on both quality and price; Interviewed before being admitted to the scheme.

'No Rogue Traders Here' vetted traders include: Builders; Roofers; Plumbers; Double Glazing; Central Heating and Boilers; Electricians; Carpenters; Decorators; Bathrooms; Kitchens; Driveways and small jobs handymen.

Consumers: to find out more and register, visit: or phone 0800 233 5000.