Gaydon Parish Magazine February 2021

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The Parish Council are grateful to the many residents who are helping round the village. Thank you to Dave on the Banbury Road who has cleared the footpath and made it so much easier and pleasant to walk along; and thank you to Adrian for moving the old bench to the Pimple Lane view point - perfect for taking a breather when you've toiled up the hilll. Thank you to the resident who has volunteered to help in the cemetery and to the one who locked the gate on the Warwick Road.
And finally we thank the many litter pickers who keep the village tidy.

Parish Council News

This Sunday morning it is snowing and everywhere looks white and clean; and I must admit we haven't taken our Christmas tree down (in medieval times it would have stayed up for 40 days), so the lights are on and there's a bit of nostalgia for youth as we pretend it’s a White Christmas.

Hotel and Old Warwick Road

We had an active and constructive Council meeting in January with the main topics being the plans for a new Conference Hotel at the British Motor Museum and the re-opening of the old B4100.
For the hotel GPC has agreed in principle but is raising concerns that the building will not blot the landscape but rather blend in.
The greatest discussion was on the re-opening of the B4100: would it help with the Traveller problem, on one hand, for the whole village; or on the other, would it be a major disruption to the residents on that stretch of road and the many dog walkers and cyclists from the village who appreciate the traffic-free part for leisure?
Overall, it was agreed to object to re-opening but with the proviso that a recommendation for a single-track road be researched, a suggestion providing a compromise on all concerns.

Maintenance Tender

The other major topic was the setting up of a tender document for the provision of grass cutting and ground maintenance for the village. This is the costliest annual item in our budget and whilst, in these difficult times, it is not our intention to raise the precept if we can help it, we have to be realistic. We will be looking into areas of savings in this new world of Zoom meetings, which I feel will continue well into 2021. Tender documents will be available on 'Tender Finder' and from the Temp. Clerk (, 07446620116).
Please spread this information to anyone you think may be interested in applying. I must point out that we are very pleased with our current contractor; but regulations mean we have to ensure we are getting best value, which can only be ascertained by going into the market and obtaining quotations.

New Councillor

Debbie Price was co-opted to GPC and we extend our welcome to her. Debbie has kindly offered to be assigned to the Neighbourhood Plan. There is still one vacancy for a councillor, hint, hint. We also have a vacancy for a new Clerk and will be advertising the post. As a general rule of thumb, the clerk is usually not a member of our village.

Green Bins

SDC are going ahead with their Green Bin charge at £40 per annum; however, if you apply before the end of February, you will get a £5 discount.


Believe it or not, 2021 is a Census Year (how time flies!) so watch out for mailings and advertising etc. The date is 21st March 2021, but you can return the information before this if you know where you will be on that date. This time, the Census will be electronic and you will receive an ID number and password to go online to complete it. There is provision to request a paper version and you can also get assistance to fill it in, if required. Please feel free to contact the Parish helpline 07446620116 if you need help, bearing in mind that it can only be done under Covid guidelines.

Covid Caution

Although this morning, outside has a nostalgic Christmas feel, it cannot hide the current worry of a pandemic that still claims lives every day. We are in a third lockdown and only essential journeys should be undertaken; you should wear masks, wash hands, keep your distance. Even if you meet in open spaces and are not wearing a mask (you don’t have to outside), please, please maintain that 2 metre distance! It is so easy to forget, with your pets wanting to get close up -
BUT Covid kills, especially the new variant, and even if you survive, you might have long-term, life-changing conditions. For example, no sense of smell, never being able to taste your food again, food tasting like something unpleasant and so on.
But to end on a positive note, vaccination is taking place and we can beat this if we all play our part. It still looks white and clean outside and you live in a community that cares for each other. Ask, and help will be there. God Bless, John Davies, Chair, GPC.

Next Meeting will take place on Tuesday, 2nd February, at 7.30pm.


February Church Services

Dassett Magna Service Times on Zoom 
Every Sunday at 11am Sunday Service
      7th and 21st February at 6pm Sunday Songs of Praise      

Zoom Midweek Services Every Week
      9.30am       Monday to Friday         Morning Prayer
      6.00pm       Monday to Friday         Evening Prayer
The church zoom services can be accessed by going to 

In Memoriam

Many of us remember Mary Fox fondly and find it hard to believe that it is nearly a year since her death. She had become too frail in 2019 to continue living alone in Corner Cottage (formerly Church Corner) and so she moved into a home in Leamington where she celebrated her 93rd birthday. Sad to say, she died shortly afterwards and the anniversary of her death falls on 20 February. Requiescat in pacem.

Giles's Church Memorial Book Latest Entries

Mrs Mary Jessie Fox
Died 20 February 2020
Aged 93 years

Mr Alan Thomas Povey
Died 18 October 2020
Aged 70 years

Children's Society Boxes

The Society would like to thank all Box-holders for continuing to raise money for the children it looks after but regrets that boxes cannot be collected yet because of the pandemic. Please keep your boxes until you are notified in a few months' time that it is safe for your co-ordinator to take them for counting. Do keep saving your small change: the Society needs your support more than ever in these terrible times and will collect your money as soon as possible. If you would like to help in the meantime it is possible to donate online at Julie Rickman

The Vicar writes:

After my father died I spent some time reflecting on his life and the things we did together. I remembered the fun we had doing certain things together; the times I needed to be challenged and disciplined; the lessons I learned, some the hard way. And how blessed I was to even have a father. What came to mind with absolute clarity, more so than anything else, were those times when he’d said "I'm proud of you."
Those words meant more than any anything else because I knew he meant them and they were from his heart. The phrase "I'm proud of you" is powerful and full of meaning. It can change one's life and one's world. These words build someone up, offer encouragement and recognise an achievement.
“I’m proud of you.” Full stop, or better yet, exclamation mark! There’s no waffle in this blessing. Not, “I’m proud of you, but if you could only get married we could have a grandchild.” Or “I’m proud of you, it almost makes up for those teenage years.” Or “I’m almost as proud of you as I am of your brother.”
At Jesus’ baptism God said…“This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” A little blessing goes a long way. Studies show that in the heart of every child is a cry for parental approval. Something happens when a father or mother says to their child, “I’m so proud of you.” The timing strikes me because Jesus hadn’t done anything yet, it was before he started his ministry, and gives the impression that God’s words had nothing to do with any accomplishment.
Maybe I'm speaking for myself but I think there are no more important words to hear, than "I'm proud of you." Even "I love you" doesn't carry with it perhaps what the phrase was meant to convey. After all, it's expected our parents will love us, it's expected that God will love us. But "I'm proud of you" offers an unexpected and different affirmation.
Your earthly father may have always been present in your life, or maybe you didn’t know him or he wasn’t always around. You may or may not have known what it took to make him proud of you and rarely, if ever, felt you accomplished that goal.
Well, forget that for a moment. I believe that through this phrase God wants us to know that he wants us to wake up every day knowing that we are his beloved, unconditionally loved and wholly approved.
The Lord is proud of you simply because you’re his child and he thinks you are pretty special. Your heavenly Father loves you whether you are generous and kind or selfish and mean. God doesn’t focus on all the bad stuff when he looks at your life. That sin has been covered by the cross! He delights in who you are because you are his.
What he does see is his “beloved child, in whom he is well pleased.” Rev. Nicki Chatterton

Nature Notes for January

A feature of this month has been very low night time temperatures and leaden skies by day, although the sunrise and sunsets have often been spectacular. The most interesting birds visiting the village require a long trudge over muddy fields to observe, suprisingly, at the village sewage unit! This area is surrounded by tall reeds and the stream nearby never freezes. Here, you are often rewarded by a Woodcock or a ‘wisp’ of Snipe bursting from under your feet. There is a small flock of golden Plover which arrives here every year and a couple of Grey Partridge also stay around there. The small area is a contrast to the bleak muddy fields bereft of anything other than carrion crows and Woodpigeons. The common pheasants that have come from shoot release-pens are also using the hedgerow bottoms questing for fallen berries, dropped by the profligate flocks of Redwings and fieldfares. Quite the most spectacular sight later this month will be the swathes of Snowdrops in Chadshunt Churchyard; always rather a magical place where Oxslips and Orchids flower later on. A few years ago I transferred some of these clumps to our own churchyard in Gaydon as a student conservation project and they are slowly increasing here too, There are probably hundreds of variant species of ‘Galloforms’ now ranging from pure white, green to yellow. They are often the first blooms we see and are a harbinger of Spring. They will often ’walk’ to cover an area and some mysteriously appear quite near houses and on the side of pathways for good reason. In the days prior to electricity they were visible at night, so planted on routes to outdoor water closets or on borders of roads. So next time you see a clump in an isolated spot, there may have once been a house there, way back, in the same way that Bluebells still grow after a woodland has long disappeared. The lockdown is certainly acquainting many with Warwickshire mud! Public footpaths are getting wider as a result, encroaching into crops: a good stick and rubber boots (preferably those with deep cleated soles like Redwing or Le Chameau) are a good bet. Often tracks (or slots) of our local Roe deer can be seen along the slithery routes.
The huge flock of goldfinches has been increasing this week with the addition of some Bramblings, Linnets and Chaffinches - so any seed heads or Niger seed will be welcome in our gardens. Times are hard for birds. I surprised a Buzzard last week digging for worms on a ploughed field leading to Itchington Holt.
Bernard Price

Cover Girls

Dr Rosemary Davies moved to The Leys, Gaydon, in 1957. She was joined by her dear friend, Miss Joyce Hammond, in 1964 and they lived there together for more than 60 years.
Joyce began her training as a nurse at Bart’s Hospital, London, in 1934. She went to France with the British Expeditionary Force in 1940 and also served in Malta, Norway and Palestine. In 1955, she was appointed Matron at the Violet Melchett Nursing Training College, specialising in the care of mothers and babies. Joyce retired in 1966.
Rosemary started her medical training at University College, London, in 1939, a time when few medical schools accepted women. She was one of only 7 women in her total year group of 70 and qualifed in 1945. Whilst living in Gaydon, she became a respected consultant chest physician at the Warneford Hospital in Leamington, Stratford Hospital and Warwick Hospital where the Berkman-Davies Chest Unit was named after her. In 1979, as Rosemary approached retirement age, she became one of the driving forces behind Myton Hamlet Hospice. She helped to fund-raise, participated on committees, and became its first Medical Director when the Hospice opened in 1982.
Together, Rosemary and Joyce had the most wonderful, productive, fun partnership over six decades. At The Leys, they gathered together an assortment of livestock: Dan the Donkey; various cats and dogs; hens, geese; and visiting sheep and Shetland ponies.
Their hospitality was legendary. Newcomers to the village were made very welcome and their house and garden were the setting for many a happy party. The garden was a particular passion of theirs. They worked tirelessly to great effect, with endless quantities and varieties of fresh fruit and veg and beautiful flowerbeds. Rosemary was also keen on wood carving, and, amongst other things, carved the intricate barge boards seen on the gables of The Leys.
They both had a deep faith and were great supporters of St Giles’ Church. Joyce helped with Meals on Wheels and the Village Flower Show, and she was a member of the WI and the Horticultural Society. Rosemary was a Churchwarden, a responsibility she took very seriously. She would also turn the page of the Memorial Book each day and had a detailed knowledge of each person on that page.
Joyce died at Kineton Manor Nursing Home in November 2014 aged 102, and Rosemary died at The Leys in September 2018 aged 97. They supported every aspect of community life in Gaydon, and I have no doubt that they would have seen a bench adjoining the new play area as a worthwhile and practical gift to the village. I hope it will be well used and enjoyed. Cathie Tsoukkas (Rosemary Davies’ niece)

Reading Room

We are all invited to join Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's website where she recommends books that she considers will help readers to escape, travel, laugh and cry. This quarter's titles are Hilary Mantell's The Mirror and the Light; Where the Crawdad's Sing by Delia Owens, set in the 50s and 60s deep south of the USA; The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shifak about the Ottoman Empire; and a thriller by William Boyd, Restless (which your Editor can recommend too). Her Royal Highness hopes these books will help to pass the days and months of lockdown; and the idea seems perfect for Gaydon with one of the oldest purpose-built reading rooms in the country. Just google thereadingroom.

Neighbourhood Watch

Please be aware that phony emails are being sent from what appears to be an NHS site asking you to complete an application form to enable you to apply for a Covid vaccine. The form asks you to give your bank details "to enable them to confirm your identity with your bank".
This is an illegal attempt to get control of your bank account and should be ignored. IM


The Flag on the Green was raised for John Davies's birthday on the 4th of January, with love from Gloria; and on the 9th for the birthday of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. On the 14th it was Ray's first celebration of his birthday in Gaydon: many happy returns of the day, Ray! And on the 20th it was flown for the birthday of Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.
Have you got something to celebrate?
Contact Siobhan Hannan on 07780 678582 and she will raise the Flag for you. The cost is a donation of £5 to Church funds.

Gaydon Village Store

Just a reminder that you can order fruit and vegetables from the shop for collection Tuesdays or Thursdays. Orders need to be in before 6pm on the day before. You can also order meat from Carpenter's Farm Shop which can be collected from us on Fridays. SR

A Postman's Tales

There are still some copies for sale at £5 each. Proceeds will be for Millennium Group funds. Please contact the Editor if you would like a copy.

February Allotment News

Early January brought with it those cold frosty days that made snap, crackle and pop sounds, when out walking around the nearby fields. As you might guess, it's a quiet period in the allotment calendar and I say on behalf of most allotmenteers across the country, we would much rather sit by a warm fire with a nice glass or two and save bracing the cold, wind and rain for another day! Don't despair though, the allotmenteers have a neat trick whereby we deploy cardboard, carpets and mulch coverings to protect the precious soil from such vile winter weather. The coverings help keep the soil warmer and drier which provides better conditions for any upcoming planting.
With the delights from last year's harvest coming to end and larders emptying, the vegetable growers alike will be venturing out from hibernation at the start of February, for we have plenty to do. Those keen to grown your own potatoes , get yourself online or visit local suppliers to order seed potatoes now. There is a wide spectrum of varieties on offer, yet you should act quick to avoid disappointment! Why buy so early you might ask? Most seed potatoes bought will need to go through a process of 'Chitting' (encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting), often carried out by placing in a tray, in a light and cool place but shielded from direct sunlight. Depending on the weather, you can normally plant potatoes as early as March.
February Jobs:
Finish planting any fruit trees and bushes, especially raspberries and other cane fruits.
Carry out final pruning to dormant fruit trues such like apple and
pear varieties.
Add compost/manure to your soil.
Weather permitting, dig over any compacted ground to aerate the soil.
Clean out and wash last year's plant pots and seed trays.
Order your vegetable seeds for the year.
We are delighted to announce that Rachel and Oliver have joined the allotment group and we wish them great success for the season ahead. Andy Smith

A Special Message from Tony Haydon

'Thank you for all the cards and messages you sent during my stay in hospital. You all kept me going with your support.' We wish you all better times in 2021. Sue Haydon