Gaydon Parish Magazine May 2020

index of magazines

Gaydon Events

Everything cancelled.  Events below are subject to notice of cancellation:
Table Sale                    Sat 13th June            Village Hall
Big Lunch                     Sun 19th July            Village Hall
Scarecrow Festival            September                Village Field
Apple Day                     October                  Village Hall
Christmas Lunch               Sun 6th December         Village Hall
Carols & Refreshments         Mon 21st December        Village Hall  

May Church Services

Daily 10.30am and 6pm via the All Saints’ Burton Dassett Church website

The Vicar Writes:

As we face a time of challenge where prayer, worship and fellowship with others feels increasingly important, we find any plans to gather together as a worshipping community are on hold, owing to social distancing and self-isolation. It started with all public worship in groups being cancelled and then the church buildings were locked. Many people were asking: 'How do we keep our faith strong in this time and how, if we find ourselves in isolation, do we maintain a rhythm of prayer and worship?'
Whilst we are ‘locked in’ to our homes we are ‘locked out’ of our churches; but church is not closed - it has changed. Many churches chose to record services or livestream using YouTube, Facebook and other media. But many of these don’t allow live interaction between the participants. I wanted to hold services that would allow us to talk to and see one another in the same way we do when face to face in church. I therefore set up our new Digital Church using the Zoom Conferencing Service. This allows the church community to gather together for worship and a much-need chance to chat and socialise in the safety of our own homes.
We have a fully interactive service in the same way we would in a service held in the church. The words for the service and hymns are projected on the screen and people switch their microphones on and off as they join in to read the bible, say prayers and lead us as we sing to live music. The music for singing was initially very distorted until we discovered the ‘original sound’ button. Now our piano and vocal accompaniment makes singing so good that we are having a very uplifting twice-weekly ‘Songs of Praise’ every Wednesday and Sunday evening. During our services we pray for all in our communities and all directly affected by the coronavirus.
Our first Digital Church service was on Mothering Sunday and we’ve had two services a day ever since. The service ‘attendance’ has been 50 to 60 on Sunday Morning and 12 to 16 at each of the daily services. It has allowed families from all over the country to meet and worship together - we’ve had family members from Birmingham, Yorkshire, Wales, London, Surrey and elsewhere - it’s amazing! The worship is sandwiched between a pre- and post-chat, often with a coffee or glass of wine in hand! It seems to be bringing a routine to people’s day giving a spiritual and much-needed social connection. If you haven’t already done so, please join us at Digital Church. Text Rev Nicki on 07769871237 with your prayer requests

Parish Council News

Heartfelt thanks
Gaydon Parish Council want to say a huge Thank You to all of the volunteers who have been responding to requests for help. A wonderful network of support has been created and the village feels more connected and closer than many of us will ever remember. Residents in general are helping to lift spirits with beautiful rainbows, hidden painted stones, messages of support, and Teddy bears in windows - there’s even a fairy house! The phone box book exchange is also serving us well as we look for new ways to pass time; and the village facebook page is also being used to offer help, share ideas, request items and to make donations. It’s an especially difficult time for our vulnerable residents but so many daily acts of kindness will go a long way to make life easier.
What a cracking community spirit! Let’s try to keep up the lockdown restrictions so that we can all enjoy a new normality soon.
Play Area
All the bids have now been received and we had a decent response with some exciting proposals. These will be discussed at our next Parish Council meeting.
Pocket Parks
Last month we asked for volunteers to help plant the orchard but due to lockdown we have put this on hold. The trees are all reserved and being well looked after and we will plant the orchard as soon as it’s safe to do so. Stay tuned!
Old Play Area
The old area equipment will be un-installed soon. The roundabout was carefully dismantled by Cllr Claxton and the hope is to preserve it in some way - possibly as re-purposed seating.
The Old Gaydon Inn owners have applied to plough ahead with its renovation and GPC made no representations. We look forward to seeing its development.
Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held via Zoom on 20 May at 7.30pm. Details will be posted in the usual way, but feel free to contact the Clerk for more details at
Helpline: 07398 093023
Thank You and stay safe.


And after high tide has arrived
And it begins to ebb
We will walk from lockdown-imagined beaches
Into real sand running in rivulets through our toes
And supplying the grit in our picnic sandwich
And we will savour the taste of
Health is 365 times 24
Saints and angels rip up wings
For masks and gowns
We vent their anger while they get on
Replacing fish-floundering gasps with calm suspiration.
Now money grows in forests
Casting a pale green shadow
On vast deserts of austerity
They told us were necessary for
Corporates and banks slide hands into the public purse
Hedge-fund managers do patriotic duty
Carpetbagging blitzed Brit. companies
And pay themselves a true-blue loyalty bonus via
Panama, Monaco and Cayman.
When it finally ends
The homeless will be carefully guided
Through the hotel lobby to the door
Marked to the street
And food banks will return with relief
For routine deprivation
And re-stock tins and pasta for
‘Happy Birthday’ kisses
Will be laid on lips not screens
And sung for joy
Not to harmonise with hand-wash
That future present will be the gift of
In years to come
Our children will tell their children
‘There was a time – an interesting time…’
When - like Joni’s yellow taxi - we thought
We knew what we had got
But they will laugh to hear
That anyone, anywhere would crave
Normal T.H.


Joan Orcutt
Dr Roger Orcutt, Joan's brother, rang Josie Liddington on 23rd April to tell her the sad news of Joan's death.
In 1964, Joan and her parents moved to Gaydon from Looe in Cornwall and built their home at Clayes on the Kineton Road, now Almeley Chase. Her sister married and built a house on the plot of land that became Barnfield; and when their parents died, Joan moved to No 5 Church Lane in 1978. She was secretary of the Gaydon and District Horticultural Society and was well-known for her floristry skills. Joan retired to the West Country in 2002 but always kept in touch with her friends here and subscribed to the Parish Magazine by post for the Gaydon news. We offer our condolences to her family and friends.

St Francis of Assisi, Catholic Church, Kineton

We regret we have had to cancel all services until further notice. Parish Priest: Fr David Tams Phone 01608 685259 email:


The flag on the Green was raised for St Georges Day on 23 April; and to mark the Birthday of the Bard.

Seasonal Recipe Now that Flour is back in Fashion!

Lemon Drizzle Cake
100g unsalted butter, softened                          Glaze
175g golden caster sugar                                 100g icing sugar
2 eggs                                                   juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon - save some for decoration
175g self-raising flour  + 1 tsp baking powder                    
6 tablespoons of whole milk            
2lb loaf tin, buttered and lined
Preheat oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4

Tip all the ingredents into a mixer and process; or beat thoroughly for 2 or 3 minutes in a large bowl. The mixture should drop easily off the spoon. Put it in the prepared tin and bake for about 40 minutes until golden and firm to the touch or until a skewer comes out clean.
Beat the lemon juice and icing sugar together and pour over the cake while it is still hot. Decorate with some of the lemon zest.

Nature Notes in April

Lockdown. Still in operation as I write this...the village has had weeks of clear blue skies and not a plane to be seen to pollute them. The M40 almost silent...and the magic of birdsong fron dawn to dusk.
The first few Swallows have arrived and a Cuckoo has been heard. The air is so much cleaner without much car use and the smell of blossoms permeates gardens. There is a vivid display of Cowslips on the verges, and Bluebells in the woodlands and even along the hedgerow bottoms. The early butterflies like Orange-tips and Green-veined Whites have emerged, whilst Brimstones and Peacocks are now pairing up after hibernation. The former are attracted to Alder Buckthorn which is found in many of our local hedgerows.
The birdsong has a particular clarity, dominated by the loud persistent call of Song Thrushes from the tallest trees.
I’m digging out my hen run, sharing this task with fellow allotmenteers. To replace my flock killed last month by a fox, I’m hatching some 'La Fleche’ a rare French breed in my incubator (fingers crossed on fertility); but this is also a good opportunity to get some phosphate-rich manure - so wheelbarrows in constant usage. Bumble bees will be setting up nests in odd places in your garden and Mason bees in the odd crevice in walls: so keep clear of them if possible. I actually heard a lone Turtle Dove this morning, sadly a rare visitor to these shores.
We are all 'keeping our distance’ very well but conversations and communications continue. The shop has been really vital for us and the pub has valiantly continued to serve delicious takeaways, so life is pretty tolerable here. Dogs can be walked in nearby fields; gardens have taken on greater importance.
We are sure to remember these times and hope that some of the changes will have a lasting positive influence on society. Many parents will realise that teaching is a skilled job. We have all seen that NHS workers are heroic people; and that Postal and Council staff and other essential workers are vitally important to us. And perhaps there are some things we don’t need...
Many will have observed nature with more precision now we have time to do so. Better times ahead, I trust! Bernard Price


     Nothing is so beautiful as Spring -
     When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
     Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
     Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
     The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing...

Gerard Manley Hopkins (extract)


This month marks the 10th anniversary of Gaydon Village Store's opening and our cover picture shows county councillor Chris Williams performing the opening ceremony. A village celebration was planned for May until COVID struck; it will now be postponed till later this year or even until next May.
The present crisis underlines how lucky we are to have a shop in Gaydon: many of us are entirely reliant on its provisions at present. The village is also lucky to be served by the many volunteers who have come forward to help Sue Roberts to keep the shop running.
Orders can be telephoned to the shop on 641805 including Meat from Carpenters and Veg Boxes. Both are delivered on Tuesdays and Fridays and should be ordered on the morning of the day before.
N.B. There is an alteration to shop opening hours at the moment owing to social distancing and personal restrictions. Weekdays: 9am-1pm and 4pm-6pm. Saturdays: 9am-1pm.

Gaydon Parish Council Covid-19 Update

PARISH HELPLINE: 07398 093023
In these uncertain times Gaydon Parish Council want to reassure residents that there is a plan to pull together as a community and to offer help to those who need it.
The group of volunteers is now well-established and has been of great help to many isolated residents. Simply call the number above.
To volunteer, just text the parish helpline number above and state your name and the street you live on. You will then be added to the WhatsApp group and tasks will be posted and picked up or delegated. You can also email to offer your help.
If you are in need of medical support, please use in the first instance, call 111 or call the GP for a telephone consultation.
Coronavirus is contagious and volunteers should adhere to public health advice by keeping distances of 2 metres, washing hands for 20 seconds regularly throughout the day, particularly before and after going out. Deliveries should be left on the doorstep. Volunteers will be updated with the latest advice so as to prevent the spread of the disease.

Our Village United

While we give thanks to our NHS and all key workers galore
I would like to say a big 'Thankyou' to our village store.
While in isolation and quite alone
They have been wonderful and brought food to my home.

How lucky we are to have our village store!
Did we really appreciate just what we had before?
It may only be small and not that grand
But now with food scarce it is in demand. 

People struggle with the supermarket on the telly, I see,
But none of that for an old one like me.
I have to stay here, isolate, relax and pray. 
How lucky I am each and every day!
I am still alive,
I am well, I thrive.
It is all thanks to the volunteers in our midst
Who have answered calls of help, and to assist.

Not only have they delivered food from the store,
They have collected my prescription and brought it to my door.
When I offer them thanks and try to pay for their time
They just say, "No, the pleasure is mine".

I can't  thank you enough, all those on the help line,
For giving up your valuable time.
For those of us of a certain age in life
It is hard without a husband or wife.

So to have a friendly stranger bring food to our door 
Makes us less lonely of that I know for sure.
I am so grateful and wish to say
'Thank you' to all of you in every way.
So many of you doing different things of support
There is far too much for me to report:
For keeping the shop open every week,
For giving us the help that we seek.

While we clap for the NHS and workers that are key,
It is people like you who are needed by people like me.
Thank you from my heart
For stopping the village from falling apart.                    Jan Ewers

Allotment News in May

It’s good to see that Alyssia and Andy have really worked tirelessly to set up their plot now and have progressed to plantings already! Mirrin - who came a little later to the allotment ‘party’ - has made an accelerated start and is doing a mix of dig and ‘no-dig’ preparations to her plot which will hopefully be ready for some late spring sowings. Now that there are six plots all ‘active’, there might have been concerns about ‘social distancing’ (previously only employed when deodorant was lacking!), but having a good look at the plot sizes and distances involved it would be the norm for 4 to 5 metres minimum to be typical spacings as people tend their plots - even if all allotmenteers
are present.
The lockdown has meant that many of us have more time to focus on planning and planting (although, it must be said, that there are some overdue house and garden projects that vie for attention too!). Paul and Catherine’s plot seems to have over-wintered particularly well - no doubt due to diligent TLC on their part! Daniela’s and Bernard/Debbie’s plots are also showing positive evidence of the ambiguous ‘gift’ of time the current situation has given us.
John’s planted hedging appears to prospering along the fence bordering the field containing the allotments. This time last year the spindly ‘whips’ John planted looked frail and insubstantial, but the majority now show strong growth and will definitely survive. And - as corny as it may sound - it does inspire hope in difficult times. T.H