I have often wondered about the route Swallows and Swifts take back to Africa from Gaydon: well possibly I glimpsed a few last week in the Pindos Mountains (Greek/Albanian border). The Mountains are alpine here with meadows of flowers and lots of insects. I was sitting amongst a field of wild Saffron crocuses watching the Chamois (a sure-footed antelope) scramble along the rock faces; when I saw hundreds of Swifts, Swallows and Sand Martins above the summits. Some more exotic species, like Alpine Swifts and red jumped swallows, could be picked out with my binoculars, too.
The grazing is very rich and the sound of bells worn by the Brown Alpine cattle added to the bucolic scenario. The Shepherds were already moving their sheep and goats along the roads to lower places. Grammos, the small village I was staying at, is snow-bound by December. Difficult to imagine now, as there were still many butterflies on the wing.
My interest in this area was large carnivores. There were many Wolves and Bears in the region, numerous tracks and droppings on the trails. My guide was from Callisto, an organisation that controls the reserve areas. Bears have lived with the villagers for centuries but their habit of pulling fruit trees over to sample the fruit and taking the odd farm animal is controversial; though now the main threat is the new road. The tasks were erecting the new warning signage and reflectors, plus special fencing along verges to prevent roadkills; and most interestingly donating huge Shepherd dogs to the locals to protect them against Wolves. Some very expensive dog jackets were also being given out, for the wild Boar hunters' expensive tracking hounds - to prevent their being killed if they met a Bear or Wolf. Like foxes in the UK, Bears often sniff round villages at night looking for food. When I finally saw one, you realise how large they are and although they are 90% vegetarian, a formidible creature.
Many wild mushrooms grow here and we were able to pick choice specimens and take them to a great little place that cooked them with local game for our evening meal. Perhaps the best bird sightings were two booted Eagles passing prey to each other circling a huge gorge and viewed from an ancient Orthodox monastery perched on a precarious cliff. My Serbian friend was able to I/D them.
The autumn colours have started here with good crop of walnuts and figs and even autumn raspberries. I saw a late Brimstone along the warm banks of brambles of Itchington Holt whilst collecting blackberries and Hornets were feeding on this glut of fruit. BP
Every day I walk my dog around the fields and footpaths around Gaydon and I would like to say thank you to the farmers and landowners who maintain the hedgerows, ditches and footpaths leaving the edges of the fields unploughed. It is such a pleasure to walk out at this time of year when the sun is low in the sky and the trees a multitude of colours. This is made all the more enjoyable when the paths are clear and the hedges and ditches are neatly trimmed. There may be ulterior motives for this maintenance, but I would like you to know that your efforts in this area are appreciated. Adrian and 'Ippie'
The Library will visit Gaydon on Monday 21 October from 1.30pm-2pm at the Telephone Box.
The next coffee morning will be held on Saturday 12 November at 11am in the village hall. There will be the usual raffle, bookstall and bring-and-buy. Any profits go to church funds.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 15 November at 2.30pm at the home of Mrs Mary Fox, Corner Cottage.
The next meeting of the Village Hall Committee will be on Monday 14 November at 8pm.
The Flag on the village green was raised on 21st October in commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar. Many thanks to Andy Thomas for performing this duty on behalf of the village.
The Christmas Lunch for Gaydon and Chadshunt's older generation is being held on Sunday 4 December this year, in the Village Hall at 12.45pm. You should receive your invitation in early November. If you would like to come but do not hear from me, please ring me or call at the Old Bakehouse . Julie Rickman 640349
This year, Father Christmas will be at the Village Hall on Saturday 3 December at 2pm. There will be teas, mulled wine, home-made produce, gifts and raffles. It is the Church's Gift Day when you are invited to donate money to the Parish Church in Gaydon to help keep it open for Christenings, Weddings, Funerals and other services. Also, St Giles' is open every day for you to spend some quiet moments of contemplation or prayer. Please come to the Village Hall on the 3rd of December and help raise funds for your village church.
Fenny Compton Tots and Toddlers is a group run by local parents for children from birth to school age. If you'd like to come and join us, we offer a friendly welcome and lots of toys and activities each week. The group meets on every Wednesday in school term time. In November and we have lots of crafts planned including firework painting, making feathery peacocks and making clay Christmas tree ornaments and calendars.
We meet in Fenny Compton Village Hall each Wednesday morning 9.45am-11.45am and charge £2 per family including refreshments. First week free. We're also now on Facebook, so you can find us there and see what we're planning for the next week.
Many residents have asked the Parish Clerk: Why is County Councillor Williams allowed to remain in Parish Council meetings when planning applications are being discussed when he is a member of Stratford District Council's Planning Committee?
John Crossling of WALC explains: The Code of Good Practice is published on Stratford Council's website at https://democracy.stratford.gov.uk in paragraph 4. The standard advice is that if you are a member of a planning committee you should not comment on the merits of a planning application at a parish meeting. If you do comment, you should make it clear that these are your preliminary views and that you reserve your judgement on the matter to the Planning Committee meeting. The test for predetermination is whether the member made his or her decision with a closed mind, or whether the circumstance gave rise to such a real risk that the decision should not be upheld in the public interest. The test for apparent bias is whether the fair minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility of bias.
Reducing traffic and speed in Gaydon is a big part of our Parish Plan. GPC arranged to have a traffic survey conducted in May and the results are currently being analysed by our Traffic Calming Working Party (TCWP). These results will be presented at our December meeting if you are interested in learning more.
It will come as no surprise that speeding through the village is prevalent with more than 50% of drivers exceeding the limit; and with some speeds of over 61 mph. Banbury Road recorded the highest average speeds through the village of 35.54 mph and the average speed of 85% of the vehicles through the village was 36.92 mph. It's worth noting that if caught by a speed camera this would, without doubt incur Penalty Points and a fine as the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) thresholds are 34 mph (borderline) to 37 mph.
This really is the first step in gaining support and a motion in order to implement the calming measures we so obviously need. The TCWP will be making recommendations based on the data and information we have gained to WCC. We are not in favour of physical traffic calming devices and have many other ideas on how to reduce speed in keeping with the characteristics of our village.
The speed radars were positioned on every village road in key sites and collected data from both directions. It has also helped us to confirm where to conduct our traffic monitoring should be sited. Our Community Speed Watch volunteers have now completed training and are qualified in the theory and operation of a speed monitoring laser. Once the Police risk assessments are completed - we are in operation. We will start recording vehicles once they reach 34mph and whilst we do not issue speeding fines or points directly, we will be handing this data to the Police who can prosecute.
This will be a first step (in our control) to reduce speeds and gain awareness. If we all abide by the speed limit, we could all help to slow down traffic behind us. We have many vulnerable road users in the village who would feel a lot safer if limits were met. In addition, lower speeds are kinder to the environment, your cars and your fuel consumption.
Do you want to help? We can still add to our CSW team, we will need help distributing surveys (to collect your views) and you can join our meetings or send us your thoughts. If you do want to get involved, call Mirrin on 07932 669499 or email email@example.com
Designer Pop Up Shop: sale of fabulous collections at incredible prices on Thursday 3 November 6pm-9.00pm; Friday 4th from 9am-5pm. Darlingscott Farm, Darlingscott, CV36 4PN. Christmas Gift Fair at the Townsend Hall, Sheep Street, Shipston, CV36 4AE on Tuesday 15 November 6-9.00pm; Wednesday 16th 9.30am-3.00pm. Entry £5 to include a coffee and home-made biscuit. Rebecca Mawle, Fundraising Co-ordinator, 01608 674929 and on www.shipstonhomenursing.co.uk
Welcome everyone to join them at The Malt Shovel, Gaydon Tuesday 13th December from 9pm Singing Christmas songs and carols around the piano An informal evening of Cristmas music for all Do come and join your local choir to celebrate Christmas singing a selection of traditional and favourite music
Parish Council News
It is usually Corinne, our clerk, who tirelessly puts together the Parish Council news but it has been an exceptionally busy month and so I've taken the liberty of keeping you informed in my own style.
The foreseeable issue of changes to the local road network (including the stopped up roads) seem to dominate at the moment. Your Parish Council is currently challenging the assertion of County Cllr Chris Williams that nothing will change until 3 months after the works are fully completed. As the work is still proceeding (and the junction is still often annoyingly closed without warning at the time of writing), it would seem that issues will remain unresolved for potentially a very long time: unacceptable.
The Parish Council is currently supporting residents who have expressed real concerns about unsociable behaviour and fly tipping that has resulted from these poor planning decisions. At the very minimum, the council has argued for a 'no through route' and a 'residents only' sign on the now stopped off Warwick Road. We also very much want to see the fencing extended (with access gate) to ensure that the old B4451 doesn't become a favoured parking spot for lorries and depository for rubbish.
Whilst it is acknowledged that traffic is now free flowing, (often rather too quickly) it doesn't believe that this should be at the expense of Gaydon residents.
Talking of traffic speed, Cllr Mirrin and her team of volunteers are now trained and accredited to deter speeding through our village. The traffic surveys that they have been conducted have generated considerable data that confirms that there really is an issue. We look forward to seeing the speed gun in action soon!
The layby: despite the efforts of Cllrs Debi, Adrian and myself, it has been an uphill battle - all down to red tape and a lack of money. Thankfully, our District Cllr Chris Kettle has heard the disgust of what can be found there and why it now suffers from such a rat problem and some actions will be taken. Thank you all who are trying to make
Planning Decisions: The additional 1000 houses, at the GLH site adjacent to the Chesterton Woods, has been given the go ahead despite the continued strong opposition of so many including Cllr Tom who spoke on behalf of Gaydon Parish Council. Cllr Kettle is currently working in a working party to try and find solutions to the likely transport issues relating to the B4100 as the new town is built. The results of this are expected to go out for consultation in Mid-November.
There have been a plethora of planning applications that we have looked at in the past month and as many of you will be aware of, there are already more that have come through.
The retrospective application for the enlargement of facilities at the garage has been strongly opposed noting that the building fails to actually match what was actually built amongst a host of other reasons.
Parish Council News continued from p3
The 16/02984/REM application for the 15 houses on land south of the Kineton Road was discussed in detail and especially reflected on parking, speed along the Kineton Road and the future management of the development. As the latest modified plans were not available publically (though had been shared in a previous meeting), a decision will be reached in the next meeting.
A full list of applications and decisions is to be found on the website for Stratford District Council.
The developments that are being generated by the investment in JLR were also discussed: all with a view to minimising the visual and impact of works during the construction period - of 3 yrs. I followed up much of this at the Gaydon Liaison Meeting that was held at the British Motor Museum and again, got a very fair hearing.
I am pleased to report that:
Our previous lighting concerns associated with the massive parking proposals have been taken seriously and changes to these plans are expected soon.
The environmental area North of Gaydon Village is now due to start in the Spring and not imminently as originally proposed. The adjustments to plans should make a big difference to the issue of run off (flooding) that affects Gaydon and land towards Chadshunt.
JLR has confirmed that they would be delighted to again support future community projects in the village including more work in our cemetery and work on the layby if we were ever to be given the go ahead.
For those of you who have questioned why Cllr Chris Williams always sits during the planning part of meetings, you might be interested in the response that your magazine editor has been asked to publish.
In the meantime, whilst you mull over the response, I'd like to thank all residents who take the time to attend meetings and contribute so fully to them. It really does help mould our thinking and decisions as we strive to ensure that Gaydon is the best that it can be.
Colourful flowers around the flag staff, beautifully refurbished benches (courtesy of Cllr Adrian) and the prospect of daffodils emerging on the village green all, I hope, add to this sense of pride in our village.
I know that Corinne would no doubt regale you with more news and with more formality than I can but thank you for bearing with me this month! I do hope that you at feel at least partially informed.
Our next meeting is on the 1st November at 7:45pm. Kindest regards, John Brine, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gaydon Christmas Cake will be mixed on Sunday 27 November. This is the cake to be shared out on Christmas Eve at the Crib Service.
On Remembrance Sunday a list of ingredients for the cake will be put at the back of the church and you can sign up to contribute a spoonful of spice or a pound of flour or half-a-dozen eggs - whatever you choose to bring along. Join us at 10.30am on the 27th and make the cake!
Sunday 6th 9.00 Holy Communion BCP Northend 10.30 Morning Prayer Fenny Compton 10.30 Holy Communion Gaydon 6.00pm Evensong Farnborough Sunday 13th 10.30 Remembrance Service Farnborough 10.45 Remembrance Service Fenny Compton 10.45 Remembrance Service Gaydon 10.50 War Memorial Northend 6.00pm Evening Prayer Northend Sunday 20th 9.00 Holy Communion Farnborough 9.00 Holy Communion BCP Gaydon 10.30 Morning Prayer Fenny Compton 10.30 Holy Communion Northend Sunday 27th 9.00 Holy Communion BCP Fenny Compton 10.30 Holy Communion Farnborough 10.30 Morning Prayer Northend 10.30 Prayer & Praise Gaydon
On All Souls' Day it is traditional for the church to pause to remember those we love who have died. If there are people you would like us to remember in our prayers, then please add their names to the list you will find at the back of St Giles' church.
Our service is on Wednesday 2nd November at 7.30pm and this year will be at the church of St Peter & St Clare, Fenny Compton.
To arrange baptisms, marriages, visits at home or in hospital, or for any other pastoral matter, please speak to one of the churchwardens.
It is with sadness that we have to record the death of Kathy Samoes (née Allan) on Saturday 22 October. Our sympathies go to all the family, especially Leslie, Lynda, Moira, Daniel and Nathan. Rest in peace, Kathy.
Amélie Maia Choi was baptised at St Giles' on the first of October. We welcome her to the family of Christ's church here in Gaydon.
'A season of mists and mellow fruitfulness..... Conspiring with Him (God) how to bless.' Keats As I reflected on the generosity of creation in all its fullness.. Harvest celebrations mellowing in the mists of time, my thoughts drifted on ... to memories of quite a different hue. For the old adage, 'Memories remain evergreen,' remains true, even if that too is a hazy experience. We have the opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for the lives of loved ones who now rest in the eternal arms of God, at the All Souls' service at Fenny Compton church at 7.30pm on Wednesday 2nd November; and a few days later at our Remembrance Sunday service at 10.45am at the war memorial at St Giles' in Gaydon, followed by a service in church. Jesus reminded us 'to love one other as I have loved you.' Whether it be our rich Christian inheritance or those who gave their 'yesterdays for our tomorrows' matters not... as we count our blessings, reflecting on the goodness of God and fellow-humanity's 'mellow fruitfulness' towards us. Rev'd Heather Turner
We would like to welcome Denise and Ron to the village. They have recently come to live at Manor Farm Barns and we hope that they will enjoy being in Gaydon.
Fenny Compton Village Hall will be welcoming all children to Messy Church on Sunday 20 November at 9.15am for games, stories and refreshments.
Parish Council Meeting Tues 1st 7.45pm Village Hall Coffee Morning Sat 12th 11am Village Hall Remembrance Sunday Sun 13th 10.45am St Giles' Church Village Hall Committee Mon 14th 8pm Village Hall Friendship Club Tues 15th 2.30pm Corner Cottage Library Monday 21st Telephone Box Pilates Tuesdays 6.15pm Village Hall GAYDON CALENDAR CHRISTMAS FAIR & GIFT DAY SAT 3rd DEC VILLAGE HALL CHRISTMAS LUNCH SUN 4th DEC VILLAGE HALL