Gaydon Parish Magazine September 2019

index of magazines

This Month's Diary

  Garage Sale                   Sun 1st 1.30pm           Around Village  
  Lego Bus                      Tues 3rd 5pm             St Giles' Church 
  Parish Council                Tues 4th 7.30pm          Village Hall
  Field Day & Sunflowers        Sat 7th 2pm              Church Lane Field
  Coffee Morning                Sat 14th 11am            Village Hall 
  Scarecrow Festival            Sat 21st 2pm             Village Hall  
  Library                       Mon 16th                 Telephone Box  
  Pilates                       Tues & Weds 6.15pm       Village Hall  
  Tai Chi                  Weds 7.30pm & Suns 1.30pm     Village Hall 
  Cake & Crafting Circle        2nd & 4th Suns 5pm       St Giles' Church 
                                Gaydon Calendar     
 Harvest Supper                Sat 5th October           Village Hall
 Apple Day                     Sat 19th October          Village Hall
 Christmas Fair                Sat 23rd November         Village Hall 
 O'65s Lunch                   Sun 8th December          Village Hall 

Parish Council News

The Village Field

The parish council are continuing with the application for change of use for our part of the village field to recreational use. The parish council has now received the ecological report on the field and will be sending it to Stratford District Council planners for their consideration.

The parish council have also commissioned an archaeological survey as part of this application. This survey has taken place and we are now awaiting the report from the County Archaeologists.

We continue to explore funding opportunities for this and all our community spaces.

Neighbourhood Plan

The parish council has drafted a resident survey questionnaire with Stratford District Council. We expect to send this out to householders and then collect completed responses during October 2019. The District Council will then analyse responses to inform our Neighbourhood Plan. We are currently looking to engage a planning consultant to help with this work.

The survey will provide more information on the work that the plan will cover; however, further information is available if you contact the clerk at

We are also now considering how best to engage with businesses in the parish to further inform our neighbourhood planning process.


We have arranged for the graveyard and graves to be tidied up over the bank holiday weekend, any volunteers to help with this are most welcome. We will also be looking to work with other community groups and organisations such as the probation service to arrange further clean-ups in the future.

Climate Change

Several councillors attended a meeting to discuss the climate emergency, particularly how this should affect organisations like the parish council and how we can work with our community to best respond. We plan to discuss this further and suggest actions as a parish council at our next meeting in September.


As we approach the mid-point of the financial year we will be looking at our latest budget report in our September meeting. We will start to consider how best to address new priorities that have arisen during the financial year and how we are doing against priorities identified when we set our budget for 2019/20.

District and County Council

Stratford District Council is currently consulting with all parish councils as it identifies possible additional sites for development. The parish council will be responding to this consultation in September 2019.

Community Engagement

Parish councillors attended JLRs community forum in July. Issues to address litter and future planning were discussed. The district council is looking to provide a new litter bin and is working with the community on future and existing planning designations.

Next Meeting 4th September at 7.30pm.

Church Services in September

Sunday 1st       
      9.00   Holy Communion BCP    Burton Dassett
     10.30   Morning Prayer        Farnborough
     10.30   Holy Communion        Gaydon
      5.00pm Songs of Praise       Fenny Compton
Sunday 8th       
     10.30   Holy Communion        Fenny Compton
     10.30   Morning Prayer        Gaydon
     10.30   Morning Prayer        Northend
      3.30pm Pet Service           Burton Dassett
      6.00pm Harvest Service       Farnborough
      6.00pm Evening Prayer        Burton Dassett
Sunday 15th
      9.00   Holy Communion BCP    Gaydon     
     10.30   Joint Service Methodists Fenny Compton  
     10.30   Holy Communion        Northend
    6.00pm   Evensong              Farnborough       
Sunday 22nd        
      9.00   Holy Communion BCP    Fenny Compton
     10.30   Family Service        Farnborough 
     10.30   Prayer and Praise     Gaydon     
     10.30   Morning Prayer        Northend
      3.30pm Harvest Evensong BCP  Chadshunt
Sunday 29th
     10.00   Harvest Service       Gaydon
     10.30   Morning Prayer        Farnborough
     11.00   Harvest Service and Lunch Northend
      6.00pm Harvest Evening Prayer Fenny Compton    

Allotment News

It's been a mixed month weather-wise and - un-seasonal - battering winds have combined to affect the crops and the continuing efforts to organise the plots. Fruit yields from the newer (most of us!) allotmenteers' plantings are negligible from the immature bushes and dwarf trees. Leaf and bean crops have done well and squashes and courgettes are thriving. Daniela's sunflowers are giving out big, golden smiles and Debbie and Bernard's fruit cage has helped their mature bushes to bountiful crops. Paul and Catherine's plot - considering its relatively short time of development - is an astonishing multi-cropping testament to their efforts and they were able to distribute their surplus to other villagers.

This month the annual National Allotments' Week took place providing a nation-wide showcase for this newly-revived activity which had fallen out of favour in previous decades. Now, according to the Daily Telegraph, there is an allotment waiting list of 90,000 people. This revived interest coincides with an increased interest in growing (ideally!) organic crops and the continuing uncertainty about the future supply and cost of food from our near, continental neighbours for the first time since the Second World War. Self-sufficiency for individuals and countries can be a worthy aspiration, but climate constraints and differential land-use generally means a level of necessary food-producing interdependency between individuals and other nations. When our new plots have had one more year to mature, we would aim to have an 'open day' during next year's National Allotments' Week. TH

Owl Wisdom

'The owl of Minerva

only flies at dusk'

He said.

'Tales long on fantasy and fakery

short on fact

make the mists of some situations

clear slowly.

Truth doesn't dawn:

knowledge accumulates

then wisdom arrives

late in the day.'

Mobile Library

The Library will visit the Telephone Box at Gaydon from 1.35-2.05pm on Monday 16 September.

Coffee Morning

Saturday 14 September at 11am at the Village Hall. Bring and buy, Raffle, Bookstall. Coffee and biscuits 50p.

Village Field Day and Sunflower Competition

Saturday 7 September 2pm at Church Lane Field

Each year, on the first Saturday in July, communities across the UK champion their local parks and green spaces with Have a Field Day. KOG have applied to take part for the last two years, but haven't been able to celebrate it on that particular date as yet; so instead, we are going to celebrate our special space on the 7th to enjoy the last throws of summer with outdoor games, badminton, bug hunts, boules, nature trails and a picnic for all to enjoy!

The sunflower competition launched at Easter will be judged on the day based on a strict set of criteria. We've been hit by some mighty storms and gale force winds which have taken their toll on some of the plants: therefore, this could be a very short competition. Bring a blanket and a picnic and join us for some fun and games!

Millennium Group Garage Sale

Sunday 1st September from 1.30pm to 4pm. Maps of the Garages will be on sale for £1 at the Hall. Sale Tables in the hall. Refreshments available. Debbie Price

Scarecrow Festival

Saturday 21 September at 2pm in the Village Hall and Village area. It's time to start getting creative and planning your scarecrow for Gaydon's very first Scarecrow Festival!

The idea is simple, enter the competition for free (via the facebook event or there will be a form in the shop), build a scarecrow ready for the 21st. Use pots and pans, tree stumps and branches, broken furniture and discarded clothing or anything you can lay your hands on. Display your scarecrows all around the village - in your front garden, hedge, roof or on a wall - it's up to you, but there will be an opportunity to nab some extra points if your creations present a traffic-calming opportunity. The event itself will include a Scarecrow Trail, Guess the Scarecrow's Name, Raffle, food and drink, games, mini scarecrow-making work-shops and more. There will also be a cake stall and any donations will be hugely appreciated.

Scarecrow festivals are held all over the world, and are especially popular here, where the use of scarecrows as a protector of crops dates from time immemorial. Scarecrows are usually built from straw and wood, but in mediaeval Britain, 'scarecrows' were boys. Known as bird scarers or bird shooers, they patrolled wheat fields carrying bags of stones and chased away any crow or starling by waving their arms and throwing the stones. When the Great Plague of 1348 wiped out half the population, landowners couldn't find enough bird scarers to protect their crops. So they stuffed sacks with straw, carved faces in turnips or gourds, and made scarecrows that stood against poles. Bird scarers continued to patrol British fields until the early 1800s when new factories and mines opened up and offered children better paying jobs.

Our Festival and fundraising activities will be in aid of Gaydon's Youth Club and other community initiatives.

Ride and Stride

Warwickshire Churches are holding their annual Ride and Stride day this year on Saturday, 14 September. The aim is to raise funds for Warwickshire and Coventry Historic Churches Trust by sponsoring walkers and riders. Churches on the route provide water and squash for participants' refreshment as they go from place to place.

See local posters for more information or look online at

Gaydon Village Hall News

The next meeting of the Village Hall Committee will be held on Monday 9 September at 8pm.

Nature Notes

Sounds of Summer

A few years ago older villagers could still recall a very different Gaydon during the 1940s and 50s when the RAF base was still operating. It was always a noisy place with the wartime bombers taking off for bombing raids, the early Vulcan jet aircraft and much more. A German Stuka dive bomber, obviously lost, once fired at a car travelling up Watery Lane. Villagers were recruited to guard the Petrol pumps on the Banbury Road and large groups of soldiers walked from the Army Camp for a drink at 'The Gaydon Inn' often shouting and having 'Roaring Contests'. Rural tranquility returned until the building of the M40 which can be heard now, depending on wind direction. Most of us are accustomed to it by now and some days and nights are still pretty silent; Barn Owls can often be heard hunting on Church Meadow and dog foxes barking in winter.

This month the uncut Haymeadow is alive with grasshoppers and bush crickets and the chirping of these species has even extended to the village churchyard. This sound was once more common in the countryside before intensive farming

The invasion of Gaydon by Painted Lady butterflies continues along with Humming bird Hawk Moth; both have migrated here from North Africa. The Swifts have successfully reared young and have now returned in the other direction. Swallows have not been so successful, having lost one brood but may have time for a second, yet. The Buzzards have three fledglings in an old crow's nest in Itchington Holt so that the calls of Buzzards and Ravens high above the village are another sound of summer. Song birds have established territories and nested now, so their more melodic spring sounds are muted.

To summarise: one can hear quite a few species on a quiet day. I can remember less hectic times when there were few street lights. There were glow worms and the now rare house-crickets; which were a match for any canary and lived behind our fire hearth in rural Ireland. The call of corn crakes in our fields went on most of the night. My memories were revived on a recent trip to Greece where I heard them once more, along with Nightingales and Turtle doves - species lost to the UK, I fear, never to return. There is so much has been lost to our countryside in the last 40 years and we are fortunate to still have a few areas of unimproved grassland left around the village where you can hear insect 'musicians', see colonies of Blue Butterflies and Burnet moths and observe old-fashioned grass species. The recent gardening trend of converting your lawn to such meadows is hugely popular and there were crowds around the stands promoting them at the British Birdfair in Rutland last week. Bernard Price

Dassett Magna Parish Walk Saturday 7 September

Weather permitting this is the programme and route for the annual Parish Walk. Come and walk some or all of it, or just meet us at the churches. Open to friends with 2 or 4 legs.

10am St. Giles, Gaydon for coffee and croissants

10.30am The Chapel of Ease, Northend

11.30am St. Peter & St Clare, Fenny Compton, for coffee

Noon Walk from Fenny Compton to Farnborough

1.00pm St Botolph, Farnborough

1.15pm Picnic by the Lake at Farnborough Hall

2.45pm St. John the Baptist Avon Dassett

3.30pm Set off for Burton Dassett

4.15pm Finish at All Saints Church ending with tea and cakes.


Nigel and Susan wish to thank everybody who helped with the clearing up after the Climate Crisis talk from Extinction Rebellion's David Chapman and Linda Aspey. We were pleasantly surprised and appreciate your kindness.

Upton House

The National Portrait Gallery partnership exhibition comes to Upton House and Gardens from 21 September to 8 December and visitors will be able to see 'Faces of Change: Nature's Champions'. It focuses

on individuals who have transformed the way we perceive, experience, and aim to protect the natural world. Featured sitters include environmental activists, scientists, poets, politicians, campaigners, gardeners and broadcasters who have affected how we interact with our environment. The exhibition includes outstanding paintings, sculptures, photographs and recent commissions of the faces of those who have shaped the world we live in with their green legacy.

The Vicar writes:

I was recently asked 'How do you experience God?' As the summer ends I'd like to suggest a few ways you might have experienced a little of God this summer. Summer is a time of open road - a time for exploration - for winding down some small road you've never visited before. God is down the road and can be found through exploration, by the curious. We experience God through our free time. In summer we seek time to relax from our busy schedules. Schools break for the summer, have a holiday from the work and activity of learning, essay writing, studying for test, passing exams. In summer we experience God through rest. He's the God of the Sabbath who worked and then rested on the seventh day of creation. He says "Be still and know that I am God." ... Be still, rest.

Summer is a time to experience the God of Play who created the awe-inspiring beauty and variety of nature. Summer is a time to give thanks for "the laughter of children who play in the summer grass". The God of Play delivers us from too much seriousness.

Summer is a time to return to old haunts and familiar places and enjoy memories of past times, people and places. A time to read old stories and to discover new ones as in the Bible. Summer is a time of work for the farmer who toils long and hard. The God of Summer is aware of the rhythms of life, of how the seasons come and go and how dependent we are on the right mixture of sun and rain. Through the labours of the farmer we experience God's gracious gifts of fruit, vegetables, wheat, corn and more.

Summer is a time of friendship and faith, parties and celebration, hospitality and socialising. Jesus knew how to party. His ministry seemed to go from one meal to the next, one social gathering to the next. He even changed water into wine to allow the celebration to continue.

Let us be thankful for:

open roads and open spaces that pique our curiosity; free time to think;

summer rest when we may be still; time to play;

memories and time to make them; stories and time to hear to them

work and the gifts of the harvest; friendship and faith, parties and celebration; hospitality and socialising.

I hope these ideas open for you an awareness of the beauty and grace of God; and that this summer time, however you experienced its rhythms, was a special and Godly time! Rev'd Nicki Chatterton


It is with regret that we record the death of Doug Armer. The funeral service will be held at the church of St Giles, Gaydon, on Wednesday 4 September at 1.30pm. We offer our condolences to his family and friends.