Gaydon Parish Magazine May 2022

index of magazines

Gaydon Gazette

   Parish Council          Tuesday 3rd at 7.30pm       Village Hall
   Cake & Crafting         Sundays 8th & 22nd          St Giles' Church
   Village Hall AGM        Monday 9th at 8pm           Village Hall
   Coffee Morning          Saturday 14th at 11am       Village Hall
   Friendship Club         Tuesday 17th at 2.30pm      Poplar House
   Annual Parish Meeting   Tuesday 17th at 7pm         British Motor Museum
   History Talk            Wednesday 25th at 7.30pm     St Giles' Church
Something to Look Forward to! 
Jubilee Flower Festival from Thursday 2nd June at Burton Dassett          
Jubilee Street Party Saturday 4th June Midday at the Village Hall
Jubilee Pentecost Service Sunday 5th June 11am at Burton Dassett

May Church Services Dassett Magna

     1st          9.30am   Morning Prayer     Gaydon
     8th          9.30am   Agape Service      Gaydon
    15th          9.30am   Holy Communion     Gaydon
    22nd         10am      Morning worship    Fenny Compton
                  6.30pm   Songs of Praise    Gaydon
Ascension Day   
Thursday 26th     7pm      Holy Communion     Fenny Compton
    29th          6pm      Group Service      Farnborough

Jubilee Pentecost Service
All Saints' Burton Dassett Sunday 5 June 11am

Roman Catholic Church of St Francis, Kineton
Sunday Mass 11am.

Parish Council News

The April Meeting of the Parish Council was supposed to start with the Annual Parish Meeting but councillors decided that it should instead be the subject of a dedicated 'Event’. This will take place on 17 May at the British Motor Museum.
The Annual Parish meeting should include representation from all the groups, clubs etc. within the Parish. If you are an administrator of an interest group/organisation within the Parish and you have not been asked to present by the time this is published, please contact the Clerk.
Broken gate post on the Warwick Road and Electronic speed signs not working correctly have been referred to our County Councillor.
Confusion reigns over the name of our neighbouring village:
Is it Upper Lighthorne or Lighthorne Heath? The Road signs now say Lighthorne Heath in the Parish of Upper Lighthorne.
Street lighting on approach to Edgehill View: This will be considered at a later date, and will be added to the project plan. However, owing to a limited budget, repairs and upgrading of existing lighting will be a priority.
Countdown markers on the Banbury Road (prior to the 30mph sign): Council has requested that they be re-instated.
Gaydon Lay-by: Councillor Kettle stated that he and Cllr Mills are speaking to the officer concerned, with respect to improving the visibility of the lay-by in an attempt to reduce issues such as fly-tipping. Dimming of Starlight expressway lighting is also under discussion.
District Council Matters
Your district Councillor is Chris Kettle ( Please refer to website for details.
County Council Matters
Your district Councillor is Chris Mills ( Please refer to website for details.
No planning applications were discussed at this meeting. Full details of planning applications can be viewed at:
This is a brief summary of the minutes. A full version is available at:
Next Meeting
NB The next meeting will be held on 3rd May in the Village hall at 7.30pm. Please come along and share any concerns you may have. If you have any issues you would like raised at the next meeting please contact the clerk at or by phone 07930 517811

Annual Parish Meeting

Tuesday 17 May at British Motor Museum at 7pm.

Jubilee Celebrations

Gaydon's Street Party will start at the Village Hall at Midday on Saturday 4 June with a Grand Opening by Sir Martin Dunne KVCO, former Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire. There are two meetings this month to plan the details of the food and entertainment involved. We will meet to discuss arrangements on Thursdays 12 and 26 May at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. We look forward to seeing you there. DP

The Gaydon Royal Quiz

The Platinum Group are running this quiz to help with the funding of the Queen's Jubilee Celebrations over the weekend of 3rd, 4th and 5th June. A question sheet priced £1 can be purchased from the Village Shop, The Malt Shovel or Jayne Smith and returned by the 22nd May to be checked. If several papers are correct, they will be put in a hat and first to be drawn out will be the Winner of a China Platinum Mug.

Dassett Stroll

Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 10am-3pm
Starting and finishing at All Saints’ Church, Burton Dassett. Routes and breakfast buns available from 10am. Refreshments served all day. Walk the Dassett Hills enjoying beautiful countryside and amazing views. All routes family friendly, downloadable maps available. Well-behaved dogs on leads welcome!

Coffee Morning

Saturday 14 May at 11am in the Village Hall
Bring and Buy, Book Stall and Raffle. Coffee, tea and cakes for sale. Last month we raised just over £150 which was divided between the Church and the Ukraine Appeal. We are very grateful to everyone who contributed and came to the event. In June we hope to have a Plant Sale, so please bring any spare plants to that meeting.

Gaydon Village Hall News

The AGM will be held at 8pm on Monday 9 May. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Friendship Club

This month's meeting will be held at Poplar House, the home of Sharon Pettit. The date is Tuesday, 17 May, and the time is 2.30pm.

Gaydon Village Store

We are delighted to let you know that Mary Johnson has won the first draw in the membership group. Many thanks to Jo and Paul at The Malt Shovel for donating a voucher. Enjoy your meal Mary!


In April, the flag was raised on the 2nd in celebration of Cathy's 60th Birthday and on the 21st for Her Majesty the Queen's 96th birthday. On the 22nd it flew for Earth Day. On the 23rd the Flag of St George was raised, also commemorating the Bard of Avon. Another 60th Birthday was marked on the 29th - congratulations to Yento Evans!
If you have something to commemorate or celebrate, contact Siobhan Hannan on 07780 678582 and she will raise the Flag for you.

April Nature Notes

I’m a keep observer of ‘Webcams’ that are now installed in many places to give 24 hour coverage on the nesting sites of birds' egg-laying, rearing and, eventually, departing as juvenile adults. My favourites are the Peregrine Falcons which are nesting in Leamington Town Hall’s clock-tower and the White Storks in Freiburg, Germany. So far, both pairs have cleaned up the previous year's nest and laid two eggs each. More to come? I’m looking forward to further episodes.
I can still recall as an eight-year-old in the 1950’s that I already had a passion for birdwatching, influenced by my Irish grandfather who kept numerous cage-birds, mostly rescued from fallen nests, in the farm porch. He even rescued an injured Sky Lark, placing it in a canvas-topped cage so it would not bump its head when it soared up. His favourites were Bullfinches and a Jackdaw, all of which he had taught to talk and whistle.
Later, in rural Warwickshire, in 1952 meat was still ‘on ration’*. However, an old poacher, “Mr Davies’, soon taught me to get extra rations, teaching me to shoot an ancient 4.10 single shot hammer gun with cartridges he loaded himself. I was not allowed to miss, so often got a few rabbits and even the odd pheasant; and a couple of times a Partridge or pigeon. My mum gratefully plucked and dressed them as a welcome addition to our larder!
I became interested at this time in ‘Oology’’ or egg-collecting. There was no H&S then and you had to climb tall dangerous trees to get the rarest ones like Ravens'; or wade into rivers to grab a Swan's or Heron's. The hardest to get were Cuckoos' eggs which by sheer patient watching I obtained. Later I got hold of some very heavy German U-boat binoculars by Zeiss and using the Collins and Observer books for I/D became equipped as a serious birder. I even got some some now extinct species like Red-backed Shrikes and Corncrakes in my sights.
How very different it is today! Sixty years on I can just sit and watch the most inaccessible nests in the comfort of home on my Laptop; much closer and at any time of the day. My early childhood did not even include electricity or running water: it was Oil lamps and wells!
Another cold spell this month but Bumble bees are on the wing and early blossoms out in the hedges. Rooks are nesting around Gaydon and some territorial birdsong can be heard in the early morning. This was broken abruptly a few days ago when a large female Sparrow Hawk circled my garden and dropped a terrified blackbird it had just grabbed. I have many small birds around my feeders but strategically placed close to the house to avoid this predation. Sadly, a neat pile of feathers in the churchyard is a clue to a less fortunate victim caught in the open. Early cowslips and Primroses on the verges and trees in bud - Spring is closer each day with some clear skies and the croaks of our local pair of Ravens. You look up and see them performing courtship acrobatics in the sky. Bernard Price
*After WWII food rationing continued in the UK until 1956. Meat and sweets were some of the last to ‘come off’ and you had a card stamped to get these items, a bit like the ones in Café Nero today!

May Allotment News

What a time to be alive! There are new born Lambs bouncing around and playing in the glorious Bank Holiday Weather! Recently, tractors have emerged from their winter hibernation and have been going full bore to get the precious spring crops into the ground. The misery of winter weather is behind us and it is a delight to get outside and make use of the lighter evenings. A small 20 minutes spent weeding in the garden is a fantastic switch-off from the day's events, whether it's work or simply a hectic and stressful day. Did you know? Getting your hands dirty in soil is great for you too! A specific soil-based bacterium, called Mycobacterium Vaccae (could this be anything to do with contented cows? Ed.) has been shown to have a positive effect on our serotonin levels, reducing anxiety and stress and increasing our sense of contentment. (, 2022)
The allotments are gradually heading into their prime; with beautiful blossom on fruit trees, neat potato ridges, a fresh haircut and seed germinating in the fertile Gaydon soil. Even a little robin came to see me after I raked over a new seed bed, it was delighted by the free offering of an uncovered juicy worm. The Allotmenteers are more than just veg growers: we adore nature and happily nurture a piece of this earth to encourage wildlife to flourish. Daniella and Mirrin for example, have successfully created habitats welcoming to frogs, newts, and many other amphibians.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and this is my last allotment report. It's been a great privilege sharing with you updates on the allotments. It's often quite challenging to find words that adequately describe the joy and satisfaction of tasting your own organic veg, that's been made in this wonderful village. Over and Out.
  May Jobs:
  Earth up Potatoes
  Harvest early season crops
  Sow seeds
  Thin out crops such as Carrots or Beetroot
  Protect young plants against cold wind and night-time temperatures
  Put up supports like Pea sticks, bean frame etc.                  Andrew Smith

Thank you, Andy

I'm sure that I am not the only person in Gaydon to have looked forward each month to Andy's lyrical descriptions of his allotment experiences. Many will have found his list of jobs a handy reminder that work must be done before rewards are won. Good luck in your new garden in Napton! We are sorry to see you and Alyssia go. Ed.

Gaydon Inn

One of the first premises you notice when you approach Gaydon from Banbury or Leamington is the fine large building surrounded by black wooden fencing and scaffolding. This was the famous Gaydon Inn which had a long history as an old coaching inn. There are even stories of detained highwaymen being imprisoned in the upper rooms, their names carved into the beams.
Older villagers* will remember it, well-patronised on Thursday nights especially, when the farm workers were paid; or when it was packed with patrons who were building the M40. Sadly, it fell into a decline over the years. Its large field was once the centre for village events and fêtes. There were Horses and flocks of geese kept on there too. Goose eggs were often on sale at the bar. In the last few years the field was bought for housing and its car park grassed over. It is now being restored as a Grade II Listed Building and will itself become housing too.
It was therefore fascinating to receive a letter and some photographs and even a 'Gaydon Inn Song' from the grandson of a former landlord. Leonard George Lichfield's name was above the door in the early 1920s although his wife Ellen ran the Inn. He was Stud Groom to the Warwickshire hunt: you may have seen the photo of a Meet that hangs in the Village Hall. Lord Willoughby de Broke, Richard Greville Verney, the hunt master, features in the scene. The song is quite fascinating and includes this chorus:
'Let’s drink a toast our Country’s boast, the best place to begin! (There are 3 verses)
'Here's grass and Gorse, here’s hound and horse! And here’s to the Gaydon Inn!'
Subsequent verses mention many local places that were fox coverts like ’The Spinney of Gaydon’ and 'Itchington Holt’. When ‘we see on the card Thursday next THE GAYDON INN!'
Fox-hunting was a very popular activity in the village at that time. There was also a well-supported Cricket team and even a dog called Patch which appears in some shots along with vintage cars - Humber Tourer and Bull-nosed Morris. I have a rare copy of Lord Willoughby’s book ‘Hunting the Fox’ which also mentions and illustrates these localities. I’m hoping we can archive these items and display them in the future for all to view. It would be great to see this historic building, The Gaydon Inn, emerge fully restored in the future. Bernard Price
*Even the oldest villagers would have been children then; but any names or memories would help. One villager remembers the landlord hated coach parties; another recalls that boys would follow the hunt, always starting at the Gaydon Inn on their push bikes, as far as the Burton Dassett Hills and beyond!

May Memorial Book

         2016       4th      Alfred Diston
         2001      11th      Violet Simmonds
         2002      15th      Jack Talbot
         2003      23rd      Mabel Middleditch
         1999      26th      Joyce Povey

If there is a special entry that you would like to see, let me know and I will try to make sure that the Book is open on that day. Julie Rickman

Gaydon in the 18th Century

A talk by Martin Phelps
At St Giles Church, Gaydon
On Wednesday 25th May (and Thursday 23rd June) at 7.30 pm
All are welcome to come and hear about more episodes
in Gaydon’s history - including the Gaydon Inn, the Turnpike road
and Enclosure of the open fields
Admission free or Donations for Gaydon church funds
Please let Martin know if you are attending

Earth Day

Thanks to everyone who contributed to Earth Day. As usual, the committee worked hard to prepare an informative and fun afternoon. We were pleased to have two WCC staff members from the Recycling team with us to help spread the message. We sent £70 to the DEC Ukrainian appeal and also added to the Millennium Group funds. DP

Our Ukrainian Visitors

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us and our Ukrainian guests over the last two weeks. They have been made to feel so welcome and they and we are all very grateful for everything everyone has done or offered.
There is much form-filling going on at the moment as we get them registered for everything, so I may not have been able to respond to everyone directly and I am aware that I don’t even have contact details for some people who have made donations.
So whether you have met them in the park, made welcome cards, donated items or funds, offered help to take them out sometime, offered future lifts, or messaged to say “let us know if there is anything that we can do”, it is all very much appreciated.
If we haven’t yet taken you up on any help offered please know I have made a list of names and offers. It is good to know there are people to call on as needs arise.
Also, thank you to those who organised and attended the picnic on Easter Monday; it was a lovely way for the family to meet people.
Thank you all from us and from Kate, Val, Polina and Sasha. Jo & Alastair Hotchkiss