Gaydon Parish Magazine September 2020

index of magazines

This month in Gaydon

Scarecrow Festival  Sat & Sun 26th/27th   Village Hall Garden

Future Events below are subject to notice of cancellation: 
Apple Day                        October                  Village Hall
Christmas Lunch               Sun 6th December          Village Hall
Carols & Refreshments           Mon 21st December         Village Hall

September Services

Dassett Magna Service Times Sunday 6 9.30am Morning Prayer Gaydon 10am Holy Communion Farnborough 11am Communion (BCP) Burton Dassett & Live Zoom 6pm Zoom Songs of Praise Sunday 13 9.30am Communion (BCP) Gaydon 11am Holy Communion Fenny Compton & Zoom 11am Morning Prayer Northend/Burton Dassett 6pm Evensong Farnborough Sunday 20 9.30am Morning Prayer Gaydon 10am Communion (BCP) Farnborough 11am Morning Prayer Fenny Compton 11am Holy Communion N'end/B Dassett & Zoom Sunday 27 9.30am Holy Communion Gaydon 10am Morning Prayer Farnborough 11am Communion (BCP) Fenny Compton 11am Morning Prayer N'end/B Dassett & Zoom Zoom Midweek Services Every Week 10.30am Monday to Saturday Morning Prayer 6pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri Evening Prayer 6pm Thursday Songs of Praise

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:

Parish Council News

New Play Area

The new playground is underway! The natural equipment looks as if it is growing up from the ground and progress is good. It will be a few more weeks before its completion and then our younger residents can finally have somewhere to play again. It’s been a long time coming and really regrettable that some residents have grown up during the time a new play area has been discussed. It is hoped that the whole field will give some pleasure to all and it can be a place for everyone, young and old - two or four legged (or more) to enjoy.

Pocket Park

Nature is a concurrent theme on the meadow and the Pocket Parks orchard is going to be planted and producing this month. We’ve already had volunteers to help create a Willow Tunnel and will need more helpers when we come to furnish the bug hotel, which is also being built by our play providers. If your children want to take part, please email so you can be contacted to take part in these activities.


Unfortunately, the village seems to be blighted with dog do-do at the moment and it’s not OK not to pick up after your poo-ch. Dogs and humans have lived together for 40,000 years and long may that continue! When the new play area/park opens, dogs will remain welcome, but here are some tips for dog lovers and non-lovers.

Dog lovers:

Be considerate - not everyone loves dogs. Even though yours is probably totally benign, some people could still be scared.

Always keep sight of your dog - if you can’t see it, you don’t know what it's up to and yes, dogs can poop multiple times!

Always pick up your dog's poo.

If you haven’t (yet) got good control of your dog off the lead, consider using a flexi lead.

Dog non-lovers:

Be considerate - many people derive great benefit from the companionship of their dog(s).

Remember that the vast majority of dogs you meet will be perfectly benign, if perhaps somewhat boisterous.

If a dog comes running towards you, STAND STILL; fold your arms and look away. Never run away and don’t flap your hands because the dog will think you’re happy to play.

Remember, not all poo is dog poo! Foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, rabbits and more use the field at night.


The drive and paths are due to be re-gravelled and we could use some volunteers when the gravel is delivered to distribute it. Please email to offer your help.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting takes place on Tuesday 1st September via Zoom.

Seasonal Recipe: Fig Jam

This summer seems to have suited the fig trees of Gaydon and they have produced super-abundant crops that are ripening en masse. Waste not, want not: enjoy them in winter with this easy preserve.

1lb fresh figs                                      1lb sugar
½lb sharp apples                                    Juice of 3 lemons


Cut off the stalks and dice the figs; peel, core and dice the apples. Put in a pan with the lemon juice and cook very slowly until the fruit is soft. Add the sugar and bring to the boil, boiling hard for 10 minutes or more until the jam jells when tested. Pot and cover.

Bromson Hill Nursing Home

Bromson Hill Nursing Home, like many other care homes, has faced significant challenges over the last few months in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are happy to report that the Home's residents and staff are Covid-free, with the most recent round of tests being completed in the week beginning 17 August 2020.

The Home has implemented robust infection control, admissions and visitation procedures and has been complimented for its efforts by the NHS.

While we are able to accept visitors in our gardens and conservatory, we also provide video tours for potential residents and ensure communication between residents and families using mobile phones and Skype.

Now more than ever we wish to immerse ourselves in our local community and are able to offer a discounted respite stay of £750 per week for residents of Gaydon and surrounding villages.

We have found that families need a break from looking after loved ones and residents welcome a change of scene.

Please call us on 01926 651166 or email for more details.

The Vicar writes:

So much has changed and no, I’m not talking about COVID although that has had a great impact. I’m talking about my brother-in-law Doug who had a severe stroke in late January and the impact that has had on both him and my sister-in-law Stella. It has taken a lot of hard physical and emotional work to get them to where they are now. He can now walk - very short distances with a stick but with poor balance. His left arm and hand - his dominant side - are still useless, but he has his speech, although his recognition of what is safe and his short term memory have been affected.

Stella still has all her physical and mental faculties but has lost her independence and become a full time carer. She cannot see how she can still be involved in her gospel choir her drama group: who will stay with Doug while she does this? The support groups and local charities run by volunteers that would have provided this are not doing so because of social distancing.

Then there is the problem of the home. They live in a little cottage with steps everywhere, a tiny spiral staircase and a large garden. Since he returned from hospital two weeks before lockdown they have lived in two downstairs rooms. They must move and find themselves a bungalow with a small garden all on one level. I’ve had two visits to help ‘house doctor’ their home ready for sale and that has been painful as they decide what to take and what to get rid of.

As I compare this with the changes in my own life due to lockdown and social distancing, I realise that mine are only temporary. One day my life will be able to go back to pre-COVID. But there will be things I’ll miss or am thankful for:

My husband working from home, suiting both of us and his employer; and I’ve had the bonus of his choosing to take over the cooking - he’s a good cook but never had time before.

Zooming our church services has been successful and continues despite now being able to have services in church.

Increased contact with family on Zoom and FaceTime. Regular chats through the week when before it was visits a few times a year as relationships with family and friends become more important.

The last few months have made us all re-evaluate so much. Perhaps we all need to ‘house doctor’ our lives. Throw out the old and embrace the new. Consider the lives of others and become the good neighbour.

However, let’s not forget that there are some in our families and communities whose lives will not revert back and whose lives will have changed forever: whether due to COVID or to other things that would have happened anyway. Let’s see if we can be there for them and help them to embrace the new and unknown. Rev. Nicki Chatterton

Nature Notes for August

An exceptional year continues in the village with regard to wildlife. It appears that after the first rain in weeks, many species are at least four weeks ahead. The emergence of butterflies is a case in point. Freshly-emerged Commas, Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks - which under normal circumstances are the brood that hibernates through the winfer - will now almost certainly be laying eggs for a second brood. There are huge numbers of Small whites and other Peridiae devastating our cabbage plants; and meadow species like the Marbled White and Ringlet are also early, accompanied by hordes of bright orange Gatekeepers gathering in every bramble hedgerow. Moths like the hummingbird Hawk are still around and I was surprised to find another African migrant, the Convululous Hawk, a huge moth, hovering around my tobacco plants in the evening.

The swifts have already left the village, having reared large broods, whilst the swallows remain. Insect life continues to diminish and I have not had a mosquito or horsefly bite all year! Even Houseflies seem thin on the ground, the cost of excessive hygiene perhaps and ‘tidiness’.

The very high temeratures have had incredible results in my garden, Lantana bushes, Plumbago and Banana trees nurtured through the winter are growing a-pace now; whilst some seeds of the Baobab tree which I found in my pocket on return from Madagascar are now germinating into little trees. Only 400 years to go before the 'upside down tree’ matures! Similarly, many people will note numerous tomato seedlings popping up in flowerbeds.

My chicks are feathering up nicely and soon it will be time to see how many are males - decorative but superfluous to a small flock. My recent rescue of the Gaydon Buzzard has appeared in Wildlife News, obviously downloaded from the Net. A hedgehog has begun to burrow into my compost heap in search of worms, each time removing the ventilation door at the base. You may also sadly encounter, like me, the minuscule Pigmy Shrew brought in by cats - uneaten as distasteful. Frogs and newts are reappearing after the damp spell.

My allotment crops are certainly growing after the recent rain but the windy spells are more reminiscent of autumn: a bountiful crop of apples, mulberries and Quinces in prospect; I even have a few Medlars. Older varieties of fruit trees seem to be making a comeback. I spent a pleasant afternoon looking at a neighbours' old trees and local community orchards. It is sad to hear that HS2 continues to destroy so many ancient trees, the latest victims being the 250 year old Pear trees in Cubbington. Thoughtless urbanisation for questionable and short term gain is a threat that Brexit may bring in the future to our rural heritage and environment. Bernard Price

Malt Shovel Inn Mini Market

Saturday 5 September 10am - 12 noon
Variety of Stalls; Breakfast Baps and Coffee on Sale 

Scarecrow Festival 26 & 27 September at the Village Hall Garden

Last year we celebrated Gaydon’s first Scarecrow Festival and received 33 entries. On the run up to the event residents enjoyed spying scarecrows popping up all around the village and although there was no set theme, 'Road Safety' was suggested to gain extra points. Villagers totally embraced this and it made a massive impact on reducing speeds. The winner, ‘Monty’, a traditional cottage gardener, took up permanent residence in the allotments.

This year we are suggesting 'Rainbows' for inspiration.

To enter the competition for free, email or register in the village shop. You can be as traditional or as imaginative as you want. 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 - there are so many options...

The event itself includes a Scarecrow Trail, Guess the Scarecrow's Name, Raffle, Food and Drink, Games, mini Scarecrow-making Workshops and more. There will also be a cake stall and donations will be hugely appreciated.

Scarecrow festivals are held all over the world and are especially popular here. In medieval Britain, scarecrows were young boys known as bird scarers or bird shooers, who patrolled wheat fields carrying bags of stones, chasing away any crow or starling that tried to land in the fields. In the absence of live bird scarers, farmers stuffed sacks with straw, carved faces in turnips and stuck scarecrows on poles.

Scarecrow festivals have been celebrated for around 20 years and our fundraising activities will be in aid of Gaydon’s Youth Club and other community initiatives. We can’t wait to see your efforts! KOG

Back to School

Best wishes for the coming year to all children starting back to school this month! Our cover shows a class of children at Gaydon School on the village green over 50 years ago. In the early '70s the school closed and village children were bussed to the former RAF school at Lighthorne Heath. The Old School was converted into a house by Mary Fox and was later demolished and replaced by the present modern dwelling. Look on the website for a bigger image and see if you recognise any of the pupils in our picture!


The flag was raised on 4 August for Lilly Walden and on the 6th for Griff Lewis. It flew on 15 August to mark the 75th Anniversary of Victory over Japan Day which was also the birthday of HRH Anne, the Princess Royal. Also on the 15th were the birthdays of William Hannan and Louie Gates. Twins Sue Wilkshire and Jane Bennett had the flag raised for their birthday on the 23rd; and it was raised on the 26th in honour of Alun Roberts.

Something to celebrate? Contact Siobhan Hannan on 07780678582. Cost? £5 donation to Church Funds.

Flu Jabs

Kineton and Wellesbourn surgeries of the Hastings House Medical Centre are vaccinating the Over 65s against flu this month. Telephone reception 01789 840245 to book an appointment.

Kineton Surgery: Thursday 17 September 9am-12pm.

Wellesbourne: Wednesday 16 September 8am-6pm.

People in the 50-64 year-old age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then. If you are 50-64 and you are in one of the other groups which is eligible for the flu vaccination, you will be invited earlier. There are specific time slots for people who have been shielding, please ask when you book. New dates will be released one at a time.

Please keep an eye on the website

Telephone 01789 840245 for both Kineton and Wellesbourne Surgeries

Gaydon Village Hall News

GVH Committee meeting on Monday 14 September at 8pm by Zoom.

Allotment News

As I write, we are celebrating National Allotment Week (10-16 August) and the theme for this year is 'Growing Food for Health and Well-being'. At first, I thought it was a good fit in these unprecedented times, but health and well-being is always paramount and is a great motive for growers as well. This year, I think we have all found therapy and positive vibes from our allotments and gardens in some way or another.

Amongst the beautiful allotments we have a delightful array of sunflowers which not only look beautiful but are also favoured by the local Bee population. Regarding sunflowers, special mention of Debbie and Bernard is needed for their accidental 'Birdseed sunflowers', which had quite an interesting journey to their plot, being transported via manure from the empty chicken pen! Whilst the sunflowers have brightened up the plots, the veg plants had started to look worryingly dehydrated in early August. Then came the large number of thunderstorms which provided an abundance of that golden liquid and the plants started to thrive again.

Pumpkins, Courgettes, Tomatoes, Beetroot and Potatoes have had a particularly good growing season in the Gaydon soil. My onions from seed have been a disappointment, though, and I will pursue only onion sets next year. At home we have utilised 'blanching' and freezing to make use of the abundant Runner beans, despite significant damage caused by a large population of Blackfly!

As lockdown eases and we slowly return to 'normal life', I ask you to carry on doing the activities you made time for during lockdown: whether it is gardening, riding a bike or spending quality time with loved ones - you should 'Always make time for the things that make you happy'. Andrew Smith

Gaydon Village Store

Please do not forget the Village Shop now that the worst of the Coronavirus epidemic has passed. If we are to remain open and ready to step up to future emergencies, as well as providing daily bread and milk, etc., we need the support of the village. You can help most by shopping with us regularly but you can also volunteer to work in the shop for an hour or two per week.

Shopping is easy as orders can still be telephoned 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.